01 Don’t Be Afraid
Many people are hesitant to buy a used gun, but the fact is there are plenty of good deals waiting to be had that can net you the gun you want at a considerable savings. We see so many guns offered up for sale that have barely been used or have never even been fired before.
02 Do Your Research
After you decide which gun you want to buy, do your research on it. Find out if there are different variations or generations of the gun you want. Some newer models will have reliability, performance or safety improvements that will make them worth more—or less—on the used market. Check to see if there are any known issues with the gun you’re interested in, and if there are, know what to look for when examining it. Understanding what you’re looking at is key to getting a good deal.
03 Understand Pricing
Some guns demand more money than others for a variety of reasons. It’s good to research the value of similar firearms that have already been sold to see what the actual going price is. You can oftentimes find them on auction websites such as gunrbroker.com or listed in marketplaces on gun enthusiast forums. As with everything else in life, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If you come across what seems an unbelievably good deal, proceed with caution.
04 Where to Buy
You can find used guns at gun shops, pawn shops, gun shows, on online firearms forums, and on auction websites. Any reputable seller should know the history of the firearm in question, so buying directly from the seller can be an advantage.
05 Examine & Ask Questions
If at all possible, examine the gun in person.
Look for telltale signs of wear such as on the bolt and the barrel’s rifling. Look for cosmetic imperfections that you can’t live with. If you’re relegated to looking at pictures, don’t be too shy to ask for more images so you can clearly see what you’re getting. Ask the seller about round count, the reasons for selling it, and if there is anything else you should know about the gun. The bottom line is that common sense is key. Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t seem right.