Once you have been bitten by the firearm bug, many people go a little overboard with wanting every new and cool thing that comes out in the marketplace. We shouldn’t do this. It can get really expensive. For a good home defense shotgun or rifle or survival shotgun or rifle, I think used is the way to go. Why buy used shotguns and rifles? Because I know that I can buy a much better firearm with a higher quality for less.
Used shotguns and rifles are for sale, usually, because someone wants to upgrade to the next “must have” or they may have fallen on hard times and need to sell. I am not one to take full advantage of someone, and will generally offer a reasonable price, but this is still about getting more bang for your buck.
Here’s the deal: Firearms are precision equipment, meant to contain a substantial explosion and moving ballistics. They are built well, usually with high quality, and meeting tight tolerances. This being said, any quality brand of firearm will hold up to the test of time if any amount of care is given to it.
All but one of my guns are used. I have one for almost every situation. When you can buy a well-maintained winchester or remington 12 guage pump for 100 bucks, that is a good buy. Buying a high end hand gun with lots of extras for 350 is a steal.
This brings me to my next point. Many times when you purchase used, the owner throws in all the extra accessories that go with the firearm. Many accessories are best used with that particular model, so it is not extremely useful for them to keep the additional magazines for a gun they are selling.
I have actually made money on firearms that I have bought used. At a later date, I sold it because I wanted something more practical, or just an upgrade. I wasn’t stressed by it, so I held out for the right buyer.
So some things to think about:
If you are not experienced in buying and selling, you should probably buy from people you know and trust. Most people aren’t out to just plain rip you off (unless you buy from a pawn shop) but it is probably best to just get your equipment from someone reputable to you.
Operational testing. You want to check the actions. Are there any subtle places in which the trigger or action stick a little. If you know it can be corrected, this is one thing, but you don’t want to buy a gun with problems, unless you really want a project. Use blanks or caps to dry fire the gun, so you don’t break the pin.
What does it look like? You can tell a lot about the care of a firearm by how it looks. It could be old and rusty outside, and prestine inside, but what are the chances. Someone that cares for the inside will care for the outside. This doesn’t really work in reverse though. Lots of people may clean the outside without doing anything to the internal parts. Look for barrel misalignments, or bulges.
Buying used firearms is quite possibly the best way to get a good quality tool for a small price. Instead of buying new junk, buy used higher end tools. They don’t lose their value very much either, if at all.
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