Hi-Point Firearms Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are things to look for if you are buying a used gun at, say a yard sale? Are there any to stay away from?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,848 Posts
Got a few hours? Seriously, with all the various firearms out there unless you already know what to look out for you're not going to learn a great deal from a few posts. The basics are look out for poorly kept, rusty, or dirty firearms, all signs to really examine it before buying. Check for bbl bulges or bent bbls, broken parts, and missing parts.

You also need to have a rough idea what various guns are worth used. Condition matters a lot, some antiques have a value in the thousands above 90% and fall down to a couple hundred bucks in 30%. Some people have no idea what they have and sell a $600 Colt 1911 for $100, others want $500 out of their single shot H&R shotgun.
 

·
Village Amadan
Joined
·
591 Posts
One of the very first things I look for is overall condition of the metal. Is the bluing mostly gone (shows signs of a lot of use)? Is there any rust anywhere (shows possible neglect)? Are there any readily visible defects? I recently saw an old Stevens Springfield 20 gauge and the guy was asking $50 for. I picked it up and the first thing I saw was a huge split in the receiver!

Look at the barrel(s) and check for good rifling, or a smooth shiny bore for shotguns. Move the barrel(s) up and down and side-to-side. A little movement may be OK but if it's sloppy it may not allow the primer to line up with the firing pin. If possible, put your finger over the firing pin and pull the trigger. It might hurt but it's worth the check! The trigger should be smooth though it may be heavy.

Check the action and dry fire it a few times (except for .22 and then it's a good thing to have an old spent case with the initial firing pin dent marked). Everything should move smoothly unless it's rusty or covered in cosmoline. Bolts should move freely and may have some lateral movement while open but not budge a micron when locked in. Semi-automatic actions should lock to the rear after a trigger pull and an empty magazine. If gas operated look at the pistons/tubes as they are accessible. Pumps should move easily and lock positively when closed.

Check the sights or beads. All should be securely fastened and in-line. If it's a shotgun and it has a vent rib, check to see if it's tight or lose. Ask the seller if he/she/you can disassemble to look at its innards (only if you know what your doing!). If you know the manufacturer has a lifetime warranty (HP, Taurus, etc) regardless who owns it then you may have a great find even if it doesn't work right as long as there's no evidence of abuse/neglect.

Finally, if you're unsure, ask if you can bring a friend back with you to look it over or, if it's found faulty after a gunsmith looks it over or when live firing (for those in good working condition) if you can bring it back for a full refund. Don't ask that question if you find a pristine C9 for $50!

I'm sure I'm missing a lot but those are, at the very least, the basics. Hope it helps!

Mac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
Make sure the serial number hasn't been ground off :)

I carry an LED flashlight that has a very small light on a flexible neck that makes a great borelight. Comes in handy when checking the condition of the rifling, etc.

Check to make sure the safety works.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
806 Posts
Mr_Mac makes a lot of good points here.

If your looking at a revolver, check the cylinder for wear & tear. When you close it, try to turn it by hand & if it moves then it needs some timing work. You can also shake it & if it rattles then it also will need some work on the locks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
That they are not hot.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,372 Posts
Know your manufacture's warranties. As in Craftsman, they will fix anything and a lot of folks don't know that and just sell their things for cheap at yard sales and stuff. IF you find an HP for instance cheap but damaged, scoop it up because of the warranty they offer.

I also dry fire it, rack the slide a few times, look down the barrel and check the sights. I feel for overall tightness of the slide and any other moving parts and make sure the safety functions properly.

Just go with your first instict. Its usually right.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,372 Posts
So, is there something like a "blue book" that showed approximate values for firearms? Especially older ones?
Yes there is. Most pawn shops have them on hand and you can buy them. Theres different ones, just google "used gun prices" and you'll get several hits.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,418 Posts
Okay, accuse me of being a wisea55, but check to see if it's loaded.

I was in a gunstore yesterday and a guy brought in a Glock, a Remington 870 and an AR to sell. The side-saddle on the 870 was loaded, and there were loaded magaines for the others. The owner picked them up and looked them over, cycling the action first as you should always do. The pistol and rifle were loaded. The shotgun wasn't. A beautiful butt-chewing ensued with the seller claiming he thought they weren't loaded because he took out the magazines. According to the gun store owner, he normally gets at least one loaded gun a week.

What are things to look for if you are buying a used gun at, say a yard sale? Are there any to stay away from?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,372 Posts
Okay, accuse me of being a wisea55, but check to see if it's loaded.

I was in a gunstore yesterday and a guy brought in a Glock, a Remington 870 and an AR to sell. The side-saddle on the 870 was loaded, and there were loaded magaines for the others. The owner picked them up and looked them over, cycling the action first as you should always do. The pistol and rifle were loaded. The shotgun wasn't. A beautiful butt-chewing ensued with the seller claiming he thought they weren't loaded because he took out the magazines. According to the gun store owner, he normally gets at least one loaded gun a week.

What are things to look for if you are buying a used gun at, say a yard sale? Are there any to stay away from?
Thats messed up man. Somebodies gonna get killed like that one day.
 

·
Village Amadan
Joined
·
591 Posts
Those are the same kind of people who think it's a great idea to keep a loaded shotgun by the front door in case of a break in.

The Blue Book of Gun Values is a great tool to have to value a gun in your collection or to decide on a price to sell one but I sure wouldn't use it to buy one unless I knew it was overpriced. The book will tell you how to grade a gun and that's what you really need to know at a garage/yard/moving/estate sale.

You need to know that if your neighbor has an old side-by-side ("twiced barreled shoot gun" for you Cajuns) and its met the basic criteria as laid out already, and it's a Browning, and he only wants $250 or best offer, how fast can you reach your wallet? On the other hand, if it's a side-by-side and the name is Sammy's Shotguns and is made in China, and the price is $500, how fast can you move on?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
201 Posts
Mr_Mac makes a lot of good points here.

If your looking at a revolver, check the cylinder for wear & tear. When you close it, try to turn it by hand & if it moves then it needs some timing work. You can also shake it & if it rattles then it also will need some work on the locks.
also put some pressure on the cylinder with your finger and cock it that also helps to tell if theyre losing time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
If they are not willing to show ID and write you a bill of sale PASS
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
806 Posts
If they are not willing to show ID and write you a bill of sale PASS
I second this motion!!!

Make sure to get 2. One for you as the buyer with the serial # & model, sellers name & address as it appears on the drivers license & another with your info on it as the buyer for him to keep.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top