If you’re in the market for a new gun but don’t have the scratch for a new, factory-fresh piece, you can always look into buying used guns. Check out this quick guide to help you out.
Used Gun Buying Tips
Sometimes, used guns can be just as valuable as new firearms, particularly if their old owners have treated them properly over time.
However, buying a used gun comes with some risk.
Follow the below advice before buying a used gun and you’ll ensure that you get a good deal and a working firearm.
1. Always Inspect a Used Gun Before Buying
This should go without saying, but you should always inspect a used gun before purchasing it.
You’ll want to look over the hardware carefully to make sure that there aren’t any major broken parts or things that can represent a danger to you or anyone else who might use the firearm.
Specifically, you should check for:
- a cracked frame or part of the slide, which may indicate weakening of the metal parts of the gun
- a bulging barrel or cylinder – this indicates that pressure might have deformed that part of the weapon
- check how well a revolver “times” if you want to purchase a revolver handgun. This means that your revolver should align perfectly when you cock the cylinder, leaving no space between both the cone and the cylinder
- check for rust and any other signs of wear and tear
- make sure than any of the controls, like the safety or the slide lock, are intact and still function perfectly
2. Check the Bore/Barrel
We’d specifically recommend that you pay special attention to the bore.
In fact, remove the bolt and look through the barrel of any rifle you plan to purchase from the muzzle end of the piece.
You should find that the bore is round and clean and that all the grooves are pretty easy to pick out in the light.
Remember, your bore and barrel can significantly affect your accuracy.
3. Check That Upgrades Are Installed Correctly
Sometimes, you can find excellent used guns that have aftermarket upgrades and other ancillary parts already installed.
These can be great deals, but only if the parts are installed correctly.
This means investigating any aftermarket triggers, sights, rail systems, and other optics.
Fiddle around with the various parts and make sure nothing is installed incorrectly or is outwardly wobbly.
4. Investigate the Weapon’s Fit
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to see how a weapon fits with your existing holster or straps before purchasing.
This is especially true if you’re buying a used gun to use over the long-term.
For handguns, check to see whether the pistol will actually fit in your chosen holster.
You can also use it a bit to see how it feels in your hands and whether it’s a good fit for their size.
For a rifle, be sure to check its compatibility with your straps, optics, and other attachments.
Sling it over your shoulder to see how the weapon feels and get an idea for how it’ll work you take it on a hunting trip.
5. A Note On Seller Behavior
Any gun seller worth their salt will let you investigate a firearm you’re considering buying as much as you like.
If a gun seller ever tries to prevent you from fully inspecting the weapon, or otherwise tries to convince you that it’s good before a thorough checkup, leave the shop and never come back.
Chances are high that they have something to hide with the firearm or are trying to pawn off a broken piece to some uninformed soul.
You have better places to spend your time and money.
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All in all, buying a used gun can save you a lot of cash and still result in you having a fantastic firearm for your hunting or target practice needs.
Just be sure to take the proper time to investigate a potential purchase before “pulling the trigger”, and you’ll avoid any unwelcome surprises.
Have you tried buying used guns before? Share with us your experience in the comments section!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 29, 2020, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.