The Sportsmen's Guide to Purchasing Used Firearms

If you’re in the market for a new firearm, but buying brand new isn’t in the budget, consider purchasing a used one. Whether you want a gun that’s been modified or something as close to stock as possible, your No. 1 concern is to buy a firearm that is safe and functional. Following these tips on proper inspection and identifying the bad signs of wear and tear will help you make a more educated and safe purchase.

Best Places to Find Used Firearms

In general, a local gun store is the best place to go in order to obtain accurate knowledge on used firearms and to learn which one will best suit your needs. Be sure to find a trustworthy retailer with a knowledgeable staff so you can be confident that you’re purchasing a firearm that is safe to use and with all the functioning parts.

You can also find reputable online gun retailers that will provide you with great service and reliable products. Always verify the reputation of the business, as you won’t be able to handle the used firearm in person before your purchase.

Quality Check

It’s important to thoroughly inspect the firearm. Guns generally hold their value over the years, but if you can see cosmetic wear and tear, chances are the asking price will be lower than the standard rate, even though the firearm still functions properly. Another aspect to consider are upgrades made by the existing owner, which can affect the price of the gun. If the used firearm you’re looking at has been upgraded, ask yourself if the modifications are worth the additional cost.

After viewing the exterior of the firearm, disassemble and inspect the inside. After all, functionality trumps cosmetics when it comes to guns.

Avoid Signs of Wear and Tear

The three major areas of the firearm to inspect are the bolt, slide and sights. Make sure there is nothing loose or dinged on the gun and that all the parts operate as they should. Does the slide glide easily? Does the trigger wiggle or any parts of the firearm rattle when moved around? These are vital things to check before buying a used firearm, and if you are purchasing the weapon in person, ask as many questions as you can to better understand how it was used and if there were ever any issues with the gun.

What to Expect at Checkout

The legal requirements when buying a used firearm in America has become quite the rigorous process. Depending on your record you may only need to wait 10 minutes for your background check to be processed and approved, or in some instances, you may need to wait a day or two for the approval to come through. Make sure you have identification and all your personal information readily available so you can quickly fill out a background check and all other forms needed depending on your state.

Created By
Casea Peterson

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