I've never test fired a gun. Usually I'm familiar with the type, but not always. Heck, I bought an XD the day they showed up at my dealer. I suppose I could have tracked down an HS2000 to shoot somewhere if that would have really mattered to me.
I bought my gun without shooting it. I had the option though, my local dealer said that any used gun he sells can be taken to the range about 5 min away and test fired before purchase. If I was buying anything but a SIG I would have done it.
I bought a Gen 3 Glock 23 without having fired or handled a compact Glock before. Eventually I realized that the front strap finger humps were preventing me from getting good grip. Instead of being between my fingers as they should be, my middle finger rested on top of the first hump. I shoot it well and have too much invested in sights, holsters, and trigger work to trade it. I fixed it by grinding off the finger humps and applying skateboard tape to the front strap. I'm going to remove the skatboard tape and stipple it when I work up the nerve. I'm kinda worried that if I removed too much material that stippling it will weaken the frame. Its a dream to shoot now.
I just picked up my new Stoeger Cougar .45 yesterday having never held or even seen one in person. I bought it only on reputation and reviews.
I was able to hold and dry fire every other handguns I have purchased, but never test fire.
I haven't. The opportunity rarely exists (at least around here) when buying a new firearm.
I just research as much as I can and then buy from a well-known and trusted dealer.
Not even as a rental. I do my research and then go for it. Haven't had a bad one yet. From the complaints I read here, some people seem to just have bad luck.
No LGS in town. 2 maybe 3 pawn shops that sell some guns. Hell we don't even have a rifle/pistol range in the county I reside in. Gun store in a big city 2.5 hours away has rental guns you can rent and shoot. I bought my GLOCK 19 without ever firing a single GLOCK and later bought a GLOCK 26 without ever firing one (I know, not much difference in those two). I love my GLOCKS.
Other than a new caliber, extra small pistols, and extra large pistols I don't think firing a gun is a big factor prior to purchasing. The feel of the gun in your hand and being able to "run the gun" are big factors. Sure it's best if you can test drive it but sometimes you can't.
used Ruger SP101 .357 $399.00 SHIPS FREE
I wish I could, but the SP101 or the GP100 would be nice. The grip on this SP101 I wasn't a huge fan of, but the 686's felt perfect in my hand.
Its nice having a range with so many rental guns to try. They have a wide variety; everything from Glocks to Nighthawk Custom 45's.
I keep my eye out for used S&W K-frames on Gun broker I like the 65 or 66 mainly because stainless is much more resistant to wear