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What to look for in used Firearms

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posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 12:07 PM
Ever gone to a gun show and bought something that you really shouldn't have and if you had known what to look for, more than likely wouldn't have.

Well, here's the tread to post all those handy, well-known and little known tricks on what to look for when purchasing a second (third, fourth, fifth...) hand firearm.

Knowing the people here at ATS and more especially here in the Survival fourm, this ought to be good.

I'd start off the subject, but I don't know how to tell if the recoil spring is worn or if a revolver is shaving bullets myself.... Why do you thnk I'm asking

[edit on 12-7-2010 by Jkd Up]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 06:52 PM
It's difficult to determine the condition of a firearm bought at a gun show for the simple reason that you cannot chamber and eject rounds to see if it is functioning properly.

I DO take a bore light and a dental mirror with me if I am serious about buying something and have a gander inside the barrel to see if the rifling has been worn out. This is especially important if you are buying a semi-auto rifle or pistol as they tend to have more rounds fired through them than a revolver or a bolt action rifle would.

Look for rust, especially inside. Check the extractor and firing pin for wear, they will tell you the most about how much use a particular firearm has seen.

[edit on 12-7-2010 by Asktheanimals]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 09:46 PM
Well it depends on what style firearm you are looking to buy.
I can tell you 1 or a million things about selling used firearms or how to cover up such sins, as I used to sell new and used guns as a sideline.
This job fed my hunger for years and was fun.
Tip: if it rattles you probably shouldn’t buy it, if it’s an AK47 and it doesn’t rattle you shouldn’t buy it.
What type are you looking for pistol, revolver or semi?
Rifle, semi, pump, bolt?
Shotgun, breachbreak, pump….I don’t do semi auto shotguns by the way too much room for error and ammo types all of these factors lead to jams or short gun life.

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 09:55 PM
Easy solution: Always Buy New!

Unless your getting commie surplus (AK's, SKS, etc.) (And then I would consider Saiga)

I don't know how things are where you live but used around here isn't a deal. It is more like 75%-95% of new.... don't waste your money wondering, just buy new and call it a day.

[edit on 12-7-2010 by infolurker]

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 04:51 AM
great thread, seemes aimed at an exact experience i just had

i bought a used ruger 45 pistol from a local gun shop a few weeks ago and regretted it. let me just say first and foremost, never buy a gun if it is dirty, for one guns should always be cleaned immediatly, but if one is being sold still dirty from use, i learned it could be to cover up things that would otherwise be easily visible,

the ruger i bought was great and low priced, except used and dirty, the only reason i got it was because the owner of the shop said i could return it for an exchange for 30 days, so i took it home and cleaned it, and yup just as i feared, there was pitting inside the bore, so much so i didnt even trust the safety of shooting it,

i went back to return it without having even fired it, two days after buying it, and every worker in the store told me NO that they dont take returns or exchanges. the owner lied to my face during purchase. but i tracked him down and in person asked again, he had a change of heart so i exchanged the used ruger for a brand new taurus 45 auto, glad i did to, 500 shots later its only jamed 4 times, and only because it needed a cleaning,

your better off buying brand new, only get used if you must. i payed just over $400 for my taurus.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 06:19 AM
My advice is simple.
Any gun, needs thoroughly inspected, even if by amateur eyes.

Look down the barrel, (empty chamber!
) to see if the bore is clean and looks lightly used.
I usually look to see if it still has a shiny surface inside.
The entire gun should be relatively clean or it proves it hasnt been well taken care of.
It would be easier if you could take it apart but I imagine that's tough to know every guns disassembly.
Look for build up of grime or carbon.
Usually shows the previous owner only cleaned the outside.
I am a huge fan of full disassembly to clean after use of any gun.
Buying used is always a gamble.
Sometimes its worth it.

Best advice, buy from an older gentlemen.
Not dealers...
They always seem to have nicer guns!

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 06:39 AM
There are obvious things to look for. Rust, pitting, tight lock up, action cycles.

I got burned buying a used CETME. I didn't know much about the rifles prior to seeing one. All of the basics checked out and it was really cheap so I bought it.

Got it home and tore it down to clean and discovered the barrel wasn't pressed in far enough into the trunion to ensure proper cycling. Sure enough after one good mag it seized. Now, unless I can get a hold of a hydraulic press and some welding equipment I have a very cool looking paperweight.

Oh well. On a positive note I now know more about these guns and the locking roller blowbacks of HK than I ever thought I would.

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posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 07:05 AM
reply to post by g146541

I was looking into revolvers and semi pistols directly, but I am not sure if those involved would like to braoden the thread to more weapons.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Are you saying a shell casing is stuck in the barrel? If so take a rifle ramrod and force it from the muzzle end.
Trust me the brass will not damage the steel.
And then get a licensed Gunsmith to set the barrel.

reply to post by Jkd Up

Revolvers I only ever carried and owned Smith& Wesson they were great but others are Ruger, very beefy frame, can handle +P+ rounds all day long.
Colt, they were an industry standard for a long time but I’m not even sure if they still make revolvers.
Bottom line on revolvers make sure the cylinder locks in tight and has no play in any direction until you advance the cylinder.
Open the cylinder and spin it to visually inspect for bent ejector rod, cylinder should spin a few times, and NEVER but NEVER slam the cylinder shut. Always use your hand to close it as you may bend the ejector rod by slamming it shut Elliot Ness style.
Look at the front of the cylinder to look for gas expansion spots where the gas escapes from in between the barrel and cylinder. Get a gap and use a feeler gauge if needed for gap space.
Check the cylinder advance pin for wear. That is the little lever at the back part of the frame inside the cylinder “hole” where the cylinder sits. Check the barrel, if the dealer says it just needs to be cleaned say cool just clean it and we’ll see.
These are just off of the top of my head, there are more things to look for but if there is that much of a question new may be the better idea.
Now semi auto pistols
There are so many things that can be wrong with many different brands of guns.
First things first stay away from crap brands as they tend to anger your attacker when they fail to function no Jennings, Raven Etc. there are more crappy pistols but those two I can personally speak for.
Guns I would suggest Heckler&Koch SigSauer, any US mod 1911 mil. spec. Taurus makes some good weaponry nowadays, Beretta is good.
I have found problems with Smith & Wesson semi auto pistols and ruger semi autos.
I have heard there are some good Soviet block era guns that are excellent but as I have never had to compromise I don’t.
Functioning of semi autos make sure the slide sets forward and the recoil spring is not weak or worn, check the barrel, field strip the pistol (most are easily done, if not onto the next pistol and forget it.) check inside the slide rails for excessive wear, look at contact points where metals meet for excessive wear or deformation, The only problem you may have is functioning not all weapons will function happily and this is why I say stick to the good name brand weapons.
For instance I have a SigSauer P220 45ACP that will fire any ammo all day long with not as much of a peep of a problem. However, I reloaded some Speer Gold Dot bullets and they would jam every cycle. It was not a reloading problem as I have reloaded easily more than most people will ever shoot, plus they functioned fine in my dads 1911.
Jerk got himself 200 rounds free LOL.
All in all there are plenty of good weapons out there and the technology is where even crappy old companies have started to put out fairly respectable pistols.
Stick to the big names though I say, err buy German Machinery.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 06:18 PM
reply to post by g146541

No. I'm saying the barrel isnt far enough into the trunion. A stuck shell would be a godsend if that was the problem.

Because the barrel isnt into the trunion far enough the bolt face doesnt make contact so the bolt carrier isnt kept in place. Without that proper gap the rollers wont disengage the receiver walls.

How I wish it was as stupid as a stuck shell.

I've tried everything: larger rollers, complete bolt/carrier replacements, "super grease", nothing will work but a torch and a hydrolic press.

There are ways I can fake it by adding material to the barrel end to meet the bolt face sooner but that isnt safe at all.

For an idea google "CETME bolt gap" to see what I've been struggling with.

[edit on 13-7-2010 by thisguyrighthere]

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 08:55 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Gotcha, big buckets of bummer i say.
2nd line.

[edit on 13-7-2010 by g146541]

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