Buying a Used Gun??

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Thread: Buying a Used Gun??

  1. #1
    Member Array MRPOWER's Avatar
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    Buying a Used Gun??

    Hey all,
    all though i have been lurking these forums and a few others for the past month or so, this is my first post here. anyway starting in mid september i will be in the market for my first firearm. i have decided ( after a lot of research and some test firing ) that i will be purchasing a XD 45C very preferably in black. i was originally not interested in purchasing a used one since my research at gun shows and pawn shops shows very little if any difference in the price of the same and comparable used and new firearms. my thought process was of course why would i buy something used that i can get new for the same price. However, finances may be a little tighter than expected and buying a used xd (of course at the elusive discounted price) has started to look a little more appealing. my questions are basically what have you all's experiences been with buying used firearms both from dealers and private parties? do you run into a lot of abused and mistreated weapons, or do u find a good variety? also what types of things should i examine and look for to make sure its in good condition? don't forget im a newb to firearms and ownership
    also what is the process in Georgia for buying a used gun from a private party?
    thanks
    when I leave this Earth, It's gonna be on both feet; NEVER KNEES IN THE DIRT

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array luvmyglock's Avatar
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    If buying from a private party, one of the first things you should look for is an unmodified serial number on the receiver. This is to verify that the weapon is not stolen or illegal. The second thing that I will always check is the functionality of the weapon. In most cases, you will not be able to actually fire the weapon, but I would suggest going to the XD forums (or other applicable resource) and gaining a basic working knowledge of the weapon and its functionality. This will assist you in determining if all of the parts are intact and functioning. These forums are a great place to learn about and ask questions about a weapon before going to look at it. These same functionality checks apply to looking at weapons in stores. Just because it is for sale in a store does not mean it is in immaculate condition. As part of your knowledge of the weapon, I would learn how to field strip the firearm, or ask the owner/salesman to show you. Field stripping (basic disassembly) the firearm will allow you to see the internal moving parts and critical elements of the weapon, and check for wear. Wear can normally be easily seen, as the color of the finish diminishes with wear. I suggest dry firing the weapon, owner/salesman permitting. Other than that, what you see is generally what you get. Final advice to you is: if you don't already have it, learn about proper firearm safety. You will be handling a LOT of firearms in your search for the right one. Just remember to ALWAYS check the chamber to ensure that the weapon is not loaded. Accidents happen. Even if the salesman/owner "just checked it", check it for yourself. You can never be "too safe". Always be aware of where the muzzle is pointed. Salesmen don't like to be swept by muzzles, and practicing proper weapon safety will go a long way as far as your first impression goes. Don't be afraid to ask questions, that is the nature of getting into the sport/lifestyle of firearms. We are always happy to answer questions here as well. Welcome to the forum, and good luck.

    MRPOWER,
    I just noticed that I didn't answer too many of your questions. To address a few, here are some answers:

    I have bought three weapons used. I have had great experiences with all three. As long as you inspect the firearm first, and know what to look for you should be fine.

    I have found some mistreated firearms, but they are generally obvious to point out/detect. Since you live in GA, mistreated firearms will likely be priced as such. In my experience, states such as CA where firearms are more scarce have more abused firearms, at a higher price. Since firearms are fairly common and accepted in GA, prices should reflect quality. Basic rule of supply and demand. In CA, there are no guns, so what there IS available is generally overpriced and neglected. In GA, this is not true. You should be fine.

    As long as you do your homework, and aren't afraid to ask questions, you will be just fine.
    EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD MEN FAIL TO ACT.

  4. #3
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with purchasing used firearms. That being said, some of the knack comes over the years and with a bit of experience. Generally, this may include getting a lemon every now and then. For the most part, dealers or volume movers will ask more, but have better quality. They do have a reputation to uphold, and usually have a competent gunsmith in the shop at least once a week to go over the used or traded fireams to make them sale worthy. If they don't, they part them out, or send back to the factory for upgrades then sell as certified pre-owned. Generally speaking once again...individuals who place an add in the paper for a used firearm...more than likely didn't want what they bought in the first place, didn't do their research, and maybe fired the thing ten times, or five thousand...but they don't care for it now besides getting a cash reward for it. It's very likely folks such as this have not taken well care for their firearm. When buying used...as you've stated...it seems like the asking price is as much as or little less than the value of a brand new piece. Remember...you are the buyer, and offering less never hurts. In any used pistol, I'd make it a point to never offer anything more than $100 less than that same pistol would go for brand new at your best dealer's price. And of course with an individual trade or buy, you won't have to pay taxes. Extra magazines or night sights should not play a major role in the bargaining factor, but current economics may point you to the better deal in that respect. Then you can work up from your initial -$100 offering if it's important. Gun shows aren't what they used to be. Folks used to rent tables to sell things...nowadays, it might just be a good place to show and tell. You'll know when someone actually wants to sell or whether they are just there to portray the current market situation and associate with friends from the last show last weekend in Atlanta. There's good and bad......be a scrupulous buyer, ask questions, and ask for less, and hopefully have cash. Money talks, and it's your money....so if you talk too, your money talks more! Never be apprehensive on making a lower offer. It's all figured in from the start. I've bought new and used, and traded for used. I've never come out on the short end of the stick. Maybe it's just luck or I know how to work with what I've got in the end.

  5. #4
    Member Array MRPOWER's Avatar
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    thanks for all the great info, although im relatively new to firearms im am a seasoned vetrain and the area of buying and selling . im a gear head so i have gone through my fair share of used cars. i am also a member of the xd forums and have been soaking up a whole lot of info on my specific firearm like u suggested. while ive never owned a firearm i have had air rifles and pistols the majority of my life and I am very comfortable with the 4 laws of firearm safety. i have also read the manual from the SA site and watched a few videos on youtube that demon straighted the field stripping process. it seems pretty straight forward and simple (which was one of the many reasons i chose this gun to buy) and i def think i can handle that much during the sale.
    any way thanks again and keep it comming
    when I leave this Earth, It's gonna be on both feet; NEVER KNEES IN THE DIRT

  6. #5
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    Glad that you finally decided to start posting.

    Do not pay too much attention to exterior finish wear...commonly called "holster wear" as many firearms are carried a lot and not actually fired a whole lot. So it's possible for a firearm to show outward signs of wear but, still basically be a brand new gun.

    Look for signs indicative of amateur or home gun smithing. Shy away from those.

    Ask if you can "hand cycle" a magazine or two of Dummy rounds through the firearm. You might want to buy some first in the caliber of the firearm that you intend to purchase in case the dealer does not stock them. The dealer will usually want to examine those dummies to verify that they actually are.
    Hand cycling some rounds through the firearm is a great way to pre-determine if the firearm will have any feed related problems.

    There are hundreds of reasons why people sell or trade in firearms that have nothing to do with the guns being lemons or problematic.

    Spouse dies.
    People switch from revolvers to semi-autos and vice versa.
    People get short of funds.
    People trade up.
    Folks inherit them and don't want them.
    Police Depts...switch to different duty guns.
    Guys get married and the new cute but Liberal Left Wife does not want guns in the house.
    Folks quit hunting and/or target shooting.
    Shooters want to switch calibers.
    A certain gun will not fit a large hand or a small hand so it gets traded for that reason.
    People buy a firearm - shoot it once - and think that it recoils too much.
    The list goes on and on.
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  7. #6
    Member Array MRPOWER's Avatar
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    what would be some of the signs that are indicative of amateur gun smithing
    when I leave this Earth, It's gonna be on both feet; NEVER KNEES IN THE DIRT

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array luvmyglock's Avatar
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    Some signs of amateur gun smithing would be "rough" look on cut edges, non-stock or MFR alterations that don't look to be professionally done, and well pretty much anything that looks like a dremel did it (silence, Ram Rod!)! Common home smithing items are stipled grips, shaved mag wells/lips, or incorrectly installed sights. These items usually look unprofessional if done at home. I would suggest scoping out some pictures of common professional firearm modifications so that you can tell the difference between pro and home just by looking.
    EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD MEN FAIL TO ACT.

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    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Welcome from Arizona.
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  10. #9
    Member Array MRPOWER's Avatar
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    ok cool, thanks for all the info. im really looking forward to getting the money together so i can be ready for the purchase. the only downside is that i will be in Savannah when im ready and im sure the market there for such a specific firearm is much smaller than it is in Atlanta
    when I leave this Earth, It's gonna be on both feet; NEVER KNEES IN THE DIRT

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array luvmyglock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRPOWER View Post
    ok cool, thanks for all the info. im really looking forward to getting the money together so i can be ready for the purchase. the only downside is that i will be in Savannah when im ready and im sure the market there for such a specific firearm is much smaller than it is in Atlanta
    I am sure the Market in Savannah will be better than in Atlanta. The smaller towns seem to have MUCH better selection and pricing IMO. This is only my personal experience and opinion, and you may find something different when you get there. Good luck with it.
    EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD MEN FAIL TO ACT.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Not already mentioned but be sure you follow the laws of your state for proper gun transfer. Most states require you to go to a FFL dealer to change the ownership, but not all of them. I also make it a matter to get a bill of sale with the buyers and sellers DL# on it.

    NCH
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    Carry On!
    NCHornet

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    Welcome from Savannah

    In Savannah, there are two shops that I can recommend.

    The Gun Shop on Eisenhower St

    Dean Forest Guns & Ammo on Dean Forest Rd.

    I've had great experiences with both - new & used.

    I'd be glad to introduce you to them.
    PM me when you are ready.
    Roy
    The situation will NEVER BE THE WAY YOU WANT, it WILL BE THE WAY IT IS. You must be FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT and just "DEAL WITH IT".

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