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Tips on buying used rifles.....

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Sly Fox, Feb 3, 2006.

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  1. Sly Fox

    Sly Fox Member

    Feb 3, 2006
    Rockwall, TX
    Hello all! New to the forums, and guns! Hope to learn much from all of you.

    I moved out of the communist ;) state of New York, and happily live in Texas now. I have the gun bug and have spent hours and hours online doing my homework on calibers and such.

    I am beginning my gun collection, and would like to know what to look for (or stay away from) when buying used rifles ,and/or buying at Gun Shows. I'm actually going to my first gun show in Mesquite, TX tomorrow!

    Any tips would be appreciated!

    For those that care....... here is my wish list, which I plan on aquiring ASAP!

    Long Guns:

    1) Marlin 30-30 (all around use under 200 yds)

    2) Remington 700 in .308 (to reach out and touch somone)

    3) Springfield M1A- Scout (WTSHTF):evil:

    4) 2 12-ga Shotguns


    1) 9mm. (to carry)

    2) 1911 - .45 ...... shouldn't every American own one? :)

    Did I miss anything?
  2. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    Welome, sir, to both the High Road, and the wide wonderful world of firearms! May I put in a personal plug for what I believe to be the best compact 9mm on the market today, the CZ 75 PO1? Also, if money is tight, a Yugo SKS unissued, (around $150), makes a wonderful stand in SHTF rifle whilst saving for that M1A.
    Again, welcome!
  3. M.E.Eldridge

    M.E.Eldridge Member

    Dec 11, 2005
    If you're going to be looking at a gun show for a real deal, especially if you don't want military surplus rifles, look around at what private sellers walking the isle have. The dealer tables will have their stuff at prices that range from MSRP to much more.

    If your just now getting into guns, I would strongly reccommend you get a good, reliable .22. Ammo is dirt cheap and you can shoot alot, get used to shooting tecnique and not develop a flinch.

    Also, if money is tight, look at mil-surps. You can get a Russian M91/30 is like-nex rearsenaled condition for 70-90 dollars and ammo for it is quite cheap.

    Oh, and trust me, once you have the guns on your current list, or even before that, you'll be making plenty of new lists. Welcome to a truely wonderful obsession.
  4. MinMAN

    MinMAN Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    Sly Fox, I made the same move you did back in 1986, and a came back to NY/NJ in 1992.

    Bring a bore light when you look at used guns. Also, bring a pull through bore cleaner, Like Otis, or Boresnake. Otis is better I think, you can get a kit that can clean any caliber. Run a wet and dry patch from breach to bore. Examine the rifling for pitting, ect... The rifling should look sharp, well defined and shine on an exellent condition rifle. It's important to be extra carefull to check the crown and muzzle on the M1A or Marlin 30-30 for prior cleaning damage. If the bore was subjected to cleaning from muzzle to breach, where chances of damage to either the crown or muzzle can ruin what ever accuracy the rifle may have had.
    I hope this is some help to you.

    Good luck with your search.
  5. Firehand

    Firehand Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    As MinMAN says, check out the bore and crown carefully. Work the action, look for roughness or looseness. Check for signs of abuse. Note that 'abuse' and 'use' are not the same; many old firearms show lots of use, but are mechanically perfect and will make you very happy.

    And definately add a good .22 rifle and pistol to the list; lots of practice for little money.

    Ref the 'abuse vs. use', if you find something interesting, don't let exterior condition alone throw you off. Couple of years ago I bought a BSA Martini .22rifle that had originally been a British school rifle. The exterior of the receiver and barrel was fairly awful looking; lots of pitting and surface rust, especially along the barrel at the top of the forend, and the sights had surface rust. But the bore was spotless, and the works, aside from old grease and crud, were tight and worked perfectly. After a good cleaning and lubing, it proved very accurate, and the Parker Hale sights(after a serious cleaning) are wonderful. Bad finish and all, I'm glad I grabbed it.
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