Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 9 years ago

Used Firearms vs. New Firearms (Purchases)?

Through all of the time I've been here, I've noticed that almost *EVERYONE* asking about which firearm to purchase (especially first timers), wishes to purchase a firearm brand new, while setting a fairly limited budget for themselves (almost always unreasonably budgeted, I might add).

Why is there such opposition to buying pre-owned firearms? Is it just not fashionable? This being said, 99% of the firearms I've bought were used, and they are every bit the gun a new version of it is... less the difference in cost.

I'm just curious as to what everyone thinks of used guns. Thanks again everybody.


EDIT: As an example, perchance someone with a $300 budget wishes to purchase a decent hunting rifle. Instead of buying a Remington 770, Mossberg ATR, or Savage Edge, why don't they look around for a little while for a used Remington 700 (I've seen them in good shape for that price) or Savage 110?

Update 2:

Glock Doctor: I definitely agree to stay away from the 770, but there is nothing wrong with the older 700's. The only times they have ever had problems, were from rifles that had either been shot to hell & back (by that I mean 10,000 rounds a year, for 20 years), or been monkeyed with by amateur gunsmiths wanting an even better trigger.

I absolutely agree with everything else you have said though.

Update 3:

Glock Doctor: I've heard FN having any real problems. That being said, I've never seen Rugers go in for much of anything either.

Update 4:

Mopsy: Fair enough, fair enough. Then again, there usually are some signs of stress though (revolvers, either a bound up, or overly loose action, or with semi's battered action components).

Good point though.

19 Answers

  • joed
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No problem with used. But, a dangerous place for the newbie and inexperienced to venture. First time owners and inexperienced shooters are better off buying new to keep from getting hosed by an unscrupulous seller. The inexperienced will likely not be able to recognize a firearm that has been tinkered with by the garage "gunsmith".

    Think about the stories you've heard about the dealer who bought a collection of fine guns from a grieving widow. He always got them at a steal. He's just as easily screw you the buyer as he did the seller when he acquired them. As with anything, it buyer beware.

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Because most gun buyers don't know any better. Many first time buyers (erroneously) assume that a new gun is going to be better and more trouble-free. More often than not nothing could be farther from the truth.

    A gun dealer's highest markup comes NOT from selling new guns, but from selling used guns, instead. If you like guns, there are few occasions sweeter in life than walking into a gun shop that's just taken in a passel of guns from somebody's grieving widow! The experience is tantamount to discovering GOLD!

    I've watched gunshop owners become almost orgasmic the moment they see one of these, 'gun shop widows' walks through the front door. While I don't know the percentages, I suspect that people have far less trouble with someone else's old gun THAT WORKS than with many new guns that don't.

    Glock pistols immediately come to mind. Why? Because Glock has been using the ingenuous American public to field test their plastic experiments and marginally defective, 'factory-reconditioned' police trade-ins for many years, now, and always at the public's own expense. In fact, if I weren't already an armorer I wouldn't touch a Glock at all.

    Over the past two decades, all of the major gun manufacturers have released their own, 'dog models' on the market. It's just another one of the risks a gun buyer takes when he purchases a new firearm. Should you buy a used gun? Learn how to check one out. If it passes muster then that's the piece you should buy first!

    ADDED: Ahhh, Gregg, reread the last paragraph and stay away from older Remington 700/770's - OK. As for the presumed advantage of a new gun's warranty? Glock has the worst factory service in the world. No, wait, H&K has the worst factory service in the world. No, scratch that, Taurus has the worst factory service. Ahhh, I'm not so sure. Maybe, it's Kel-Tec that I'm thinking about. Ahh, hell, they all stink. (But Glock is, probably, the worst.)

    If you want a new gun with, at least, a factory warranty that works you've got very few viable choices to make. In my opinion: Smith & Wesson; Strum-Ruger; Arsenal, Inc; Springfield; and, perhaps, Kimber lead the rest of the entire industry.

    (At the present time I'm waiting to see what happens with FN? Only problem is, I've never had an FN firearm that did not work! FN seems to be a different kind of gun company.)

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    All of my firearms are used except 2 of them. Why most don't purchase a used firearm, (knowledge) about what in the hell to look for or what at. And the old story one has from a bad purchase of their self or someone else. Its hard to find a Remington, Ruger, Winchester or Browning that is shot out or worn beyond fixing or repair. They can look like hell beat up and neglected, but shoot like a lazer cleaned and properly scope mounted and ammo supplied. I have also seen several NICE 700 BDL's under $450 used, (NICE)... I purchased one not long ago in a .270 when my buddy bought my 25/06 Ruger at asking price. If I woulda been a week earlier I would have bought the exact same model in a 30/06 for $20 more as someone already had it on a laya-way plan. Both came with the original iron sights as well which most often have been removed for scope placement. Another reason why is budget. They feel if its not new, its not worth the money they spent so long to save for and therefore a waste to take home only to find it doesn't group with the $40 dollar scope on it. Well guess what, the new version is the exact same way. The Marlin I purchased for example in the 308 with scope included both new. It wouldn't hold a group to save your life with, with that cheap-o scope. I simply swapped it with a Leupold I had handy, problem solved. Less than 1/2 inch at 100yds and factory loads. Alot of bad purchases can simply be remmied by rebarrling, headspaceing it properly, swapping for a decent scope, cleaning the inside of the barrel or changing type of ammo. If its beyond any of that repair, your just blind in eyesight to have purchased it in the first place.

    Source(s): And I have to agree with Den Dresdner on several of his views as well.
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Hi Point C9 (Nov 2010) was the first *New* gun I've bought since my first gun. that's about 4 years ago. my budget is really really low and it doesn't help that I live in California, where you really can't buy a new gun in the sub-$250 budget.

    I guess most people have money money than me?

    I don't mind used guns, usually i find a gun that's well cared for and pretty broken-in, so its all ready from e to shoot. used guns also have a history about that that is always interesting.

    some people don't know how to inspect a used firearm before buying, so maybe that's the other reason why people prefer new guns. if you don't inspect the gun properly you could be getting a lemon.

    Source(s): Marlin 925r- first rifle, first new gun. Sept 2006 (insert 4 years and 12 used guns here) Hi Point C9- first new gun since the Marlin 925r.
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  • Jeff
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I generally buy most of my firearms used. But I have been shooting, training and trading guns for 30 years.

    A new person may not have the technical knowledge or understand the other aspects of locating a suitable used gun. That's kind of sad... most sporting guns have been in the safe or closet other than a week or two a year... when they get in the woods for a few hours.

    The other issue is Warranty. Used is "buyers beware"... new- send it in if it's got problems. A lot of long guns get little use and are good bets for purchase. Buying a semi auto pistol that's been used in a high round count sport may be a little trickier.

    The other issue... cool factor and gadgets. Many new shooters know most of what they know from the media- if a firearm doesn't seem cool or have some media rep... they probably won't know what they are looking at.

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  • 9 years ago

    I think people don't trust one another especially someone they don't know. honestly the first things that come to my mind when I see a good deal on a used gun is " is it stolen or abused and broken?" this is why i get a bill of sale written out. I have no problem buying used because lets face it, if A gun is shot one time other than the factory it is considered used. I would rather buy used but fact is also a lot of people ask way to much for used guns at least from what I have seen on local classified sites.

    Source(s): I buy sell trade all the time.
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  • ntg
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    I have to go with a combo of Tahoe Guy's and MJ's answer. I am much newer to guns than you guys, so I wouldn't necessarily know to look for the corrosive ammo signs. I would take the time to educate myself on it, but as Tahoeguy said, the difference in price hasn't been that much. When looking at 300 to 500 dollar guns, I haven't seen a big price difference between the used and the new. So I've bought new, which makes me feel a little more worry free. And as you know, many of my purchases have been Rugers.

    The Mark III Target I bought brand new at $339 was being sold used at $299. For that difference, I just went with the new.

    With your knowledge of how these things work, however, I would definately buy used.

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  • 9 years ago

    So, in the world of first timers, I think the dominant factor is knowledge. As good as many guns are, lots can be wrong with them. To the experienced eye these faults often can be found, but not always. To the new eye, there is no idea what is being looked at and the "warranty" sounds cheaper than a "gunsmith" particularly with the hassles of trying to ship a firearm these days.

    I think to a lesser extent, but still legitimate has to do with features. I think there are many people who are looking at the new Glocks with the interchangable backstraps thinking they have finally made one that will fit them for example. Certainly there are many, many models already out there, but new stuff is coming out all the time in many cases that people are waiting for. On the rifle side people are always waiting for a new caliber or a bull barrel, or the accu-trigger, or whatever.

    Finally, I definitely think there is a "new gun smell" or the like associated with buying a new firearm. For alot of people (myself included) I only buy firearms I like to shoot. Not to collect, nor as heirlooms, nor even just because they are "good deals". In fact, in many cases the guns I am looking for are specific enough that buying used isn't really much of an option - for example I would really like (and it's on my list) a Hammerli Xesse (not the Trailside because of the grip change) standard. Not too many of them out there as Larry's Guns in Maine is the only distributor and they are relatively spendy. Or another on my list is a JP-15 (JP Rifles AR-15) with the customized reticle ACOGS with red dot set up for 3 - Gun competition, or a CZ75 SP-01 Shadow Custom - again pretty specialized. For any of these which might be available new someone ALREADY has done custom work to make it "theirs" and so buying it used is buying whatever they did to it to suit them, which probably doesn't suit me.

    Plus, I really enjoy shooting. In a good year I'm shooting 20,000 rounds total, and a bad one still probably close to 8,000. (like 2010! Grad school blows for your schedule) So, I tend not to buy many of my guns used - because the round count may matter to me.

    I have a few - I have a Beretta 89 that I bought used because Beretta doesn't make them any more, and I found one online after a year or more of looking that I picked up. Now I'm making a list of the spare parts I need to get and store to keep it maintained, because it is one of my favorites. I have a Smith and Wesson 19 that I used to shoot in a steel plate league that had been customized for competition shooting that has something wrong with it now that I need to send it to a gunsmith for. (need to find a revolver gunsmith around here!) I have a glock 19 that I bought off of a friend who had put only 50 - 60 rounds through and decided he didn't like it and wanted something else, probably a few others if I went through the list.

    So, I think it depends on what you are looking for in a gun. Certainly if you are a mainstream shooter, experienced and handy to do some level of work on them yourself, the used market is a great place, but for others it's just not that competitive.


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  • 9 years ago

    I always bought new as I had a disposable income. Then along came the kids - I'm lucky to have money for ammo after they've finished raping my wallet.

    Last year I did purchase a new Remington 700 SPS because the barrel was threaded to accept a .30 cal suppressor I already had.

    The last shotgun I purchased was used - saved £££ and well happy with it.

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  • 9 years ago

    There are a couple of big reasons why I don't usually buy used weapons:

    . Clowns demanding as much for a used weapon as for a new one

    . Clowns asking as much for a poorly-maintained example as for a new one (Your rusty, beat-up SKS is not worth as much as the "new" one dripping cosmoline at the reputable gun-dealer down the street)

    . Weapons that are obviously poorly maintained (I mean, at least clean the thing ONE TIME before you put it on the tabel at the gun show)

    . Weapons that are actually non-functional from poor maintenance (don't any of these clowns EVER remove and clean SKS pistons, piston extensions, and piston return springs?)

    . Ugly modifications (If you've gotta have those finger-groove grips in some odd color, at least retain the original grips and include them for sale)

    . People who don't realize that modifications lower the value of the weapon, they don't raise it.

    . Shady characters selling guns (You're probably okay, but why have you come all the way from Louisiana to a gun show in New Mexico?)

    . People who act like they don't want to make a sale (I'm sorry I don't recognize your ancient, no-longer-produced Smith and Wesson and am asking some dumb questions)

    Mostly I go to gunshows to buy holsters, spare parts, and accessories.

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