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Old 01-23-2008, 04:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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buying a used gun

1st timer here...
so what is the process for buying a used gun? i'm trying to think of the process like buying a boat or car. you'd definitely take it for a test drive, check the oil etc. I see a shotgun I want in the classifieds and call the guy up. is it normal to meet up at a shooting range and blow off a few rounds? or fully disassemble it? or just work the action a few times and call it good?

i appreciate any tips you could share
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ive sold a few. I just meet someone at a location. They check out the condition of the gun usually. Do a function check if they want, and call it good. Thats how its gone in the 3 I've sold. But ask the guy he might be up for taking it to the range or something to check it out.

Some people will do private sales paper work too, which I recommend. So if he doesn't have a copy, I recommend you find one. Its not required in WA state, but I'm not sure about your state. It just washes your hands legally of the previous owners ownership of that firearm.

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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some guns I will headspace check (FAL, CETME/HK variants, ARs if i feel funny about thier "round count") all I will field strip and inspect the bore and wear parts.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Depending on what type of shotgun and the price, I would think a visual inspection should pretty much cover it. I personally, would disassemble it and see what it looked like on the inside, check the bore for damage, and give it a good look over. Rust, neglect and a lot of internal wear are my main concerns.
I donít think shooting it is really going to prove anything other than it didnít blow up in your face. Unless it is a slug gun and you are concerned about groups.
If it is some high dollar gun, then have it checked out by a professional.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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semi auto?
if you cannot fire it, at least pull the forearm off and make sure the gas piston parts are there.
Had a buddy take a Rem 1100 in trade at a gun show once, he later found out those parts were missing, cost him nearly $50 to get it running.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Visual check and basic takedown is good but it doesn't guarantee it works.

I just picked up a browning Buckmark and it looked good on the outside but when I got it home and took it out to shoot only about every 4th round would fire. I picked up a case on the ground and it looked like the case was barely touched by the firing pin (amazed it fired with as shallow as it was). Did a full teardown and I wonder if the guy ever took it apart. The firing pin was broken and was almost frozen in place. I'm waiting on one from Brownell so hopefully it shows up this week and I'm shooting this weekend.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Get some sort of ID from the person and at least a bill of sale with the serial number on it. Also note the liscence plate number on the sellers vehicle. If the firearm ever comes up as being stolen it could help. It is unlikely though. You may want to meet somewhere nuetral so the seller doesn't know where you live and come back later and get it and your other guns. All probably overkill but it is best to be safe. As for condition and price, experience can be a good teacher and hopefully not cost too much. Get a copy of the Blue book of gun values if you want some handy info on types and general pricing of guns. Look very closely for cracks in the stock. Feel the barrel very carefully running your hand up and down the barrel of a shotgun. You can feel a bulge sometimes easier than seeing it. Look for buggared screws, if it has those a monkey has been monkeying. Not always bad, but never good. The best thing to do is take your time looking. Shhoting is a good idea but not always convenient. Check the bore very carefully. Get a bore light if you can. At least then you will look smart.Just keep handling the gun and look it over very well and work the action. Better to find that pitting or bulged barrel before you get home.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I usually give them a good visual inspection.
The main thing I am checking for it wear.

Check the bore for corrosion and erosion.
Check the friction parts for wear.
Cycle the action.

If it looks like it has been used a lot, I will skip.
Most people never shoot a gun enough to wear it out, and I only buy them if I feel they are in like new condition.
If they look as worn as some of my guns, I will skip because I know how many years of shooting it took to get in that condition.

I have bought a bunch cash in hand, I usually get a signed bill of sale with there name, address, and phone on it. I keep those bill of sales even after I re-sell the gun.
I was looking through a stack of them the other day.
If you want to check to see if it is stolen, you can call the local police with the ser. #, I think gun shops can check too through the NICS computer or phone.

Some guns I sell cash in hand.
Usually to people I know, or at least know how to track down.
If I don't know you, I will make you produce a WV drivers license.
I take down you name, address, and drivers license #.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Last month I had a 9 shot 22 LR revolver in the ad paper.
A got a few calls, but nothing serious.

One guy called from a motel in a bad end of town.
I never returned the call.

The next week he calls, but the ID showed a different motel.
Home slice started asking me questions.
HS: "Is this like a cowboy gun or like a glock?"
Me: "It is a revolver. You pull a pin, the cylinder swings out, and you load it. The trigger is double action. You can cock the hammer to shoot single action, or you can just pull the trigger to shoot double action."
HS: "So it's like a Glock"
Me: "No, it is a revolver"
HS: "Like a cowboy gun"
Me: "Not really"

So home slice calls about an hour later and says he will take it. He asks for me to meet him at the motel in the bad end of town (40 miles away for a $150 gun).
Yeah, right - bait me into your home base. I am already figuring on getting the gun stolen through grab and run or armed robbery.
I refuse. He then asked how to get to my house.
I said, "I'll meet you at a specific gas station, but I will need to see a valid WV drivers license and take down you information"
He said, "Ohhh? Well we are headed that way after a while and I might call you when we get there".

I knew he wouldn't call back, if he did I was going to string him along to get more info. He said he and his buddy were from out of town, staying at the cheap motel working.
I asked where he was working and he told me "Right there in St. Albans".
I asked what type of work. He ignored the questionand started asking me questions.
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