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How can you tell if a revolver has never been fired?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ACES&8S, Mar 15, 2018.

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  1. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    To tell if a revolver has never been fired can make a difference in resell value of course.
    It can also tell you that you have a revolver you can shoot.
    I had a Python that was never fired for sure & made a killing with it,,,, wait that didn't sound
    right, I sold it for a LOT of LOT of cash this past year.
    Turned that cash into more revolvers. Did I mention I love revolvers, old ones never
    fired are better. Or with just a slight turn on the cylinder is ok. The original box & papers
    is even better, even if it has been fired.
    I have my own way of checking to see if they are in new condition or like new but would like to
    hear how you guys decide what you have. One owner is easier of course but how can you tell
    if you don't know the history?
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Most are fired at the factory.

    A turn line doesn't mean a gun was fired. Lack of a turn line doesn't mean it is unfired.
     
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  3. mcb

    mcb Member

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    /don't take this too serious

    This idea of an un-fired revolver (or any firearm) does not compute. Most guns get fired (many even proofed) before they leave the factory. I wouldn't want one that was not at least function tested. I can pass on the proofing though (another can of worms). The idea of owning a firearms that I have not shot completely does not make sense to me. I bough a NIB Webley Mark IV and the first thing I did when I got it was clean it, lube it, and then head to the range and shot a bunch of ammo through it. Most of my revolvers have been bought used. I let the previous owners work out the problems, find the lemons, pay for the trigger jobs, and break them in for me.

    I invest in stocks and mutual funds, I buy guns to shoot, compete, hunt and have fun with.

    we can be serious again/
     
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  4. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    On most revolvers I seriously doubt if you could ever determine 100% that it had never been fired. If someone had fired a gun 12 shots and then took the time to really detail clean it how would you know? As far as I know they are all test fired at the factory. 12 shots would only be 2 complete revolutions of the cylinder. That likely wouldn't leave a drag line. Even if it has a line that may just mean it was dry fired not live fired. I just don't think you could ever tell for sure especially if the seller wanted to make it look unfired.
     
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  5. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    If I haven’t owned it then it’s unfired. If i have owned it for more than a few minutes it’s been fired.

    The collectible stuff doesn’t really prime my case, but one thing I do look at is the blast shield. The spot where the fired case pushes back is pretty obvious as it leaves a brass ring there, but the cases not under the hammer drag too, and their fine lines are often not as meticulously cleaned. I look closely at the hand to make sure it isn’t damaged, and look at the cylinder catch to determine wear. It doesn’t really take a whole lot of metal on metal action to disturb bluing enough to be noticeable, but on stainless it can be buffed to not be noticeable and on chrome it doesn’t show. Char rings on the cylinder face, any wear on forcing cone or top strap where flamecutting can happen. I actually do a quick but thorough inspection of a revolver before I buy, and of course check for endshake, and timing.
     
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  6. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Lack of a turn line MIGHT indicate it's unfired.
    Lack of fouling around the forcing cone or carbon scoring on the face of the cylinder MIGHT indicate it is unfired.

    However, as ColtPythonElite points out, most are fired at the factory, so I don't really know that it matters or that you are actually getting ANY unfired guns nowadays. Maybe back in the day. I don't know.........
     
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  7. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Become a forensic scientist. Otherwise, there is no reliable way to acertain whether a gun is fired or unfired. Even then, there are way to obfuscate even their investigation.
     
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  8. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    Well said, in fact I have fired several -new in box- type myself mostly 6" revolvers.
    My deal with the wife is, I can buy all the firearms I want as long as they will be considered an investment
    she can sell -IF- I ever die. So I try to keep some in high market value condition.
    Not a bad deal & I have taken It to a high level.
    I also do the major , real investments, which helps sponsor some of the deals.
     
  9. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    Yes indeed, I believe I could fire these that I have & clean them up so no one could tell.
    Just use Flitz & they are like new. I would never trick anyone like that but it would be so easy.
     
  10. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    I heard that.
    That is good info.
    I never buy a used revolver that I am not allowed to shoot.
    I buy them new or like new condition & I turn the cylinder on them or even a primed case works.
    I have good reason to do that. My friend owns a gun shop & some of the hidden troubles
    in the revolvers is head shaking.
    In fact I have had 3 times I can recall right now, without getting into details that included 3 different people
    but with similar lower morals that bragged about taking guns that wouldn't work every shot or worse condition to a dealer
    & got good money for them, & act like it is ok to beat an honest business man. Two of those never came here any more,
    the other is related & I made him go get the rifle back.
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    That is true, you probably could fire them without anyone knowing.

    I'm not a collector so an unfired used revolver means nothing to me. What is the difference if a gun has only the factory test rounds through the barrel or another 5 or 10 rounds?

    I bought a Chief's Special years ago from a dealer I trust. He said the gun was sold to him with a box of ammo with only 5 rounds missing. We both felt those were the only rounds fired in the gun other than at the factory but soon after I fixed that problem with 100 or so rounds lol.
     
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  12. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I believe when most people speak of "unfired" they mean "unfired outside the factory," so the "test fired" argument really doesn't mean anything, at least in my humble opinion.

    The one thing I look at is the recoil shield. It doesn't take many firings before the cartridge will leave some kind of a mark around the firing pin. That and all the things others have mentioned to some degree or another.

    Really it's a matter of looking at enough revolvers to get a "feel" for them. Even then I can't prove it. It's just sort of a feeling. The only way to know for sure, is to buy it brand new yourself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Factories proof fire and then they don't clean it afterward. Really, who has time for that?

    Was told at the S&W factory that their metallurgists can conduct tests and determine the approximate round count.
     
  14. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    If you are the last person in the assembly and QC in the factory before it is fired for testing, you can say it is "unfired".
     
  15. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    All high quality guns are at least proof tested at the factory; some are function fired with a cylinder or magazine of ammo. At one time, factories took care to clean the guns after firing, but today most do not, for two reasons. The first is time; the second is that an uncleaned gun shows clearly that it has been fired and functions properly, something some folks like to see.

    Jim.
     
  16. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    Never seen one uncleaned, and I would imagine it would be a liability as the bore is stripped of protectant and could corrode.
     
  17. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    If there is any question, take it to a range and fire it. You've removed all question.

    Bob Wright
     
  18. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    I was at Smith & Wesson some time ago, and the revolvers were fired for accuracy, and the autos were fired for functioning. As soon as the firing was over, the guns were placed in their boxes and taken away for packaging and shipping.

    Bob Wright
     
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  19. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Exactly.

    I really don't care either way. I buy them to shoot, whether someone bought it as a collecitible and left it in their safe for 30yrs or not. Although I will sometimes pay a premium for the privilege of being the first to fire a 30yr old gun. ;)
     
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  20. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Got an old Diamondback that had no smudges on cylinder, no turn ring, no residue in the bore, nothing. I ran a patch with solvent down the bore and got some reddish crap on it. Not rust, waxy residue from old preservative oil from the factory. I'm pretty sure this one was a virgin. I fixed that.
     
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  21. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    When is the last time you bought a new gun?

    Of the dozen or so new handguns I've bought over the years, at least eight of them were very clearly fired and then put in the box dirty, and sold to me. The only ones that appeared as though they were at least wiped off with a oily cloth were my HKs and my Wilson/Beretta 92 Brig Tac.
     
  22. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    Couple of years back. I noticed HK were very clean, and bore appeared to have at least been swabbed out.
     
  23. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    That is why I save some for the $$$'s someone will pay.
    Per the Wife says, you can buy all the guns you want as long as I can sell them when your------GONE!
    Leave her a little something, but she has a gun collection of her own now so I guess the same deal
    goes for me!!!!
     
  24. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    On the other hand, back around 1970, in the black period of American quality, we had several guns we sold that had not been fired, proofed or tested at the factory....they wouldn't fire. Embarrassing when two went to your bosses twin sons.
     
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