Should I buy a used Handgun? - Page 2

Should I buy a used Handgun?

This is a discussion on Should I buy a used Handgun? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've bought several used and I've been very fortunate. The cost difference has to be worth it to me to take the risk though. PS. ...

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Thread: Should I buy a used Handgun?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I've bought several used and I've been very fortunate. The cost difference has to be worth it to me to take the risk though.


    PS. I've bought a couple from forum member here on the DC buy and trade thread and they've been awesome. I couldn't function check them first, but the members had a significant number of posts, had been members for a while, and I could go back and review their threads and posts regarding the weapon to get an idea of how many rounds they'd put through it or whether they had experienced issues or not. Everything was cool in their posts about the weapons and I got some great handguns at great prices. I've been totally pleased!!! Thanks guys!!!
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  2. #17
    Senior Member Array CCWFlaRuger's Avatar
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    This has a simple answer. Maybe.

    You need to function check the weapon, should probably insist on test firing it as well. But also, there is the possibility that the seller, or the person who sold it to them, did not come across the firearm "legally"... Kind of like unprotected sex, you are not only buying it from him, but everyone he has boght it from, etc... and when you didn't see it come across the LGS counter with the factory grease, you don't know when, where, or at who that gun has ever been fired.

    SO, be careful, check the serial number, and trust the seller.
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  3. #18
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Buying used guns. I've bought plenty of them myself and I've always come out well. As of now, I'd say what I have bought new vs. bought used is around 75/25%. Know what to look for and check, and you'll know a good deal. If you're undecided as to the good deal vs. what you find.....know how to fix it....or what it would cost to get it back in shape. There are a few name brands that I personally look at more than others in the used market simply for their well known quality, and the prices of their replacement parts. More important parts to be concerned with would be the more costly parts to replace such as a barrel or a bolt. There are only a few hidden aspects of a used firearm that might not show themselves upon detailed inspection, or by dry firing and manipulating. That could be excessive head space, or a broken firing pin. With the more modern firearms, it will be easier to find replacement parts, and thanks to the internet....you can search for and find the best deal on those. Older models, it's hit and miss. I'd have no problem buying a used Glock with all OEM parts since the OP mentioned Glocks specifically. Cosmetics? Again...... it's whatever you can live with or fix yourself that could make or break a deal. Never be apprehensive about talking down the seller on price for some of the faults you may find. Just like buying a used car, except buying a used car involves more risks where the previous owner or owners were involved, and parts and labor are more costly to fix. Tires are cheap compared to drive train or engine parts, but you can still point out to the salesman that the tires wouldn't pass inspection...be sure to check the windshield wipers as well. Cheap parts replacement, but your time finding them and your labor installing them is the bottom line for you asking for an allowance. A dinged rifle stock, missing sling stud, a scratch on the exterior of the barrel or slide, a pitted shotgun barrel, any visible rust....etc......
    Even on a seemingly 'good' deal......being observant and pointing them out to the seller are still the best bargaining tools you'll have on getting the best deal you want. If the seller states they can't go any lower on the price after you've pointed out the faults, and shake you head a bit.......simply walk away. By walking away, I mean don't walk down the showcase and start looking at other offerings in the same store......I mean walk toward the door and leave. If you walked in the shop acting like you had an overflowing wallet (cash), they may catch you before you get out the door and make a deal. If you walked into the shop thinking about the cost of ammo, or that 5 boxes of mac&cheese for $2 is a good deal........ then remember you'll need milk to make the mac&cheese.......you'll be going out the door and they'll be thinking you're coming back tomorrow! There's only one time to make a good deal, and that's the first time. Make the most of it, use your tools...get in or get out before you have to go home and think about it and go back. When you go back...that makes for a seller's market. While you are there.....that makes for a buyer's market. If you walk out the door the first time and go back a week later and it's still there.........you'll know nobody else fell for the 'good deal' and you didn't want it anyway.

  4. #19
    New Member Array NYReload's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I see the consensus is a big ol' YES on used guns. My only other concern is, what if this gun was used in a crime, or worse yet a murder, would that be an issue?

  5. #20
    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYReload View Post
    Thanks guys, I see the consensus is a big ol' YES on used guns. My only other concern is, what if this gun was used in a crime, or worse yet a murder, would that be an issue?
    My understanding is that once a gun ends up in the hands of the police, especially as evidence of a crime, it is HIGHLY unlikely to ever see the light of day again. Now, if that crime was unsolved and the gun never found but they have ballistics info... it is possible it could eventually be discovered and tracked down to you. That is also HIGHLY unlikely unless you commit a crime causing the police to seize the gun and check its ballistics signature... such as a murder or armed robbery.

    Bought my G19 used and its a great gun... got trijicon night sights for free.
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  6. #21
    Member Array usmcj's Avatar
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    Many times, in some communities (like mine) you can take the gun to the police dept, and for a fee ($10), they'll run the serial number. Downside is if the serial gets a hit, they keep the gun. I always ask the potential seller if he'll go with me to the police dept to run the serial number BEFORE the sale. If he refuses, it tells me something.

    You can always run the deal through an FFL dealer. The dealer will run the gun as part of the transfer process, and you will usually be charged a transfer fee. Again, if the seller refuses to run the deal through a dealer, you have a decision to make.

    If the barrel/firing pin has been replaced, the ballistics signature is virtually useless.
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  7. #22
    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYReload View Post
    Thanks guys, I see the consensus is a big ol' YES on used guns. My only other concern is, what if this gun was used in a crime, or worse yet a murder, would that be an issue?
    Well it would probably suck if that ever came up but the reality is that it probably never would. In all truth, television is a load of crap. Very few police departments in the country have crime labs. The ones that don't rely on the state and they are usually several years behind on testing ballistic patterns. The gun also can not be matched to a ballistic unless they have the bullet from the crime and the gun both. If you bought a gun that was used in a crime, then there is almost no way to track it down unless the gun was used by someone that originally owned the gun so the serial number is known. Then it would be entered into the system and if ever ran by a leo, then he would confiscate it. The main concern about buying a weapon that was possibly used in a crime is that if it is discovered, then you would lose the gun. Now don't take the above the wrong way. I am just being real but in no way am I saying buy a gun that has been used in a crime. If you buy a used gun, do your research and only buy from a respectable person.

  8. #23
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    Interesting thread. I've been thinking about adding a Glock 21 to the collection and then getting the 22lr conversion kit. Talked to one of my LEO friends and he said he would ask around the force as other officers frequently have used they would like to sell. If the G21 was from a local LEO I think I'm pretty save it's not stolen or been used for a mob hit. How would one use the serial number to check a gun out if buying from a pawn shop or the like?

  9. #24
    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babarock View Post
    Interesting thread. I've been thinking about adding a Glock 21 to the collection and then getting the 22lr conversion kit. Talked to one of my LEO friends and he said he would ask around the force as other officers frequently have used they would like to sell. If the G21 was from a local LEO I think I'm pretty save it's not stolen or been used for a mob hit. How would one use the serial number to check a gun out if buying from a pawn shop or the like?
    The only two ways I know to have a serial number checked is to complete a FFL transfer or have a law enforcement agency run the serial number through NCIC. Someone else on here might know of another way.

  10. #25
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    If you are buying from an individual....hopefully you'll be able to filter out the 'hot' gun on your own. Buying used from a dealer at a gun show, the pawn shop, or the local gun shop that takes trades.....you can almost bet it's been run through the system and good to go. You judge the individual transaction to the best of your abilities. Around these parts, personal transactions more than likely make up 50% of the deals. Cuts out the middle man (and taxes!)

  11. #26
    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    Glocks, XD's and revolvers are guns that I personally will buy used, perhaps even preferring used. The rest, I wouldn't trust used.

  12. #27
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    You may or may not be planning to use the pre-owned pistol for defensive purposes. I could be in the minority here, but I would not trust my life to any firearm previously used by anyone else. Technical rock climbers trust their lives only to hardware they bought new and know everything about. For example, I once dropped a carabiner on a concrete floor---it looked OK and probably was OK, but I took it out of service and now use it only for clipping items to a belt loop, because it could have a microscopic internal fracture just waiting to rip wide open if it suddenly received a force of a few hundred pounds. For me it's the same with defensive firearms; there is always a risk of mechanical failure, but I want to minimize that chance as much as possible.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    For me it's the same with defensive firearms; there is always a risk of mechanical failure, but I want to minimize that chance as much as possible.
    I minimized my risk by running 200 rds through it before I carried it daily. Come to think of it, that's what I did with my wife's new gun too. It's just a good idea. I don't know that new equals less risk. My purchased new P3AT is a piece of junk! My used G19 rocks.
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  14. #29
    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    I minimized my risk by running 200 rds through it before I carried it daily. Come to think of it, that's what I did with my wife's new gun too. It's just a good idea. I don't know that new equals less risk. My purchased new P3AT is a piece of junk! My used G19 rocks.
    Send your P3AT back to keltec... they will fix it up for you. My new P3AT has never failed to go bang... and my used G19 rocks as well!
    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
    You are not paranoid if They are actually out to get you, however, They probably are not and you probably are.

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