When in the market for a gun, there are plenty of choices to make based on caliber, action, size and weight, and your intended use. Most new guns sold in the united States are going to be up to your standards for quality, some are known for being more accurate and reliable, but unfortunately some can be rather expensive.
An option worth consideration is to buy a used gun. If you understand guns and know what to look for, a used gun can be substantially cheaper while providing a weapon every bit as functional as a brand new one.
You can generally trust a reputable dealer to have tested a used gun, and made any necessary repairs to assure it will work well to your needs. Pawn brokers are known for supplying great guns at considerably less than a new one, and regular gun store owners are often willing to buy and sell used guns as well. It’s always a good idea to make sure there is some sort of guarantee, ideally thirty days, in which you can return the weapon if you find there is a problem or you just don’t like the gun after a good testing day at the range.
Opinions vary on buying from a friend, as it can lead to hard feelings if there is later buyer’s or seller’s remorse. With that said, you may be familiar with the weapon and know it has been well taken care of, and should have a chance to test fire it enough to assure you’ll be happy with the purchase. It’s important to give the gun a thorough inspection and ask if it has ever had any problems or major repairs before buying it, and do a little research rather than trusting the seller to give you a good price.
A third way to buy a used gun is to find an advertisement and buy the weapon from a stranger, or perhaps from an individual at a gun show. The problem here is that you likely won’t have a chance to test fire the weapon, and if you do find out later something is wrong, you won’t be able to get back in touch with the seller. You also won’t have a reasonable understanding of the gun’s history, and you probably don’t want to end up with a gun which was used in even a legal shooting, and certainly don’t want one which was used in a crime. Most sheriff’s departments will run a free background check on the serial number, but other than that, you just don’t know for certain.
There’s nothing wrong with legally buying a used gun, but just as if buying a new one it’s worth the time and effort to do the research and make sure you buy something you’ll be happy with for years to come. Check internet forums to see what other people like and dislike about the weapon, how they’re review might affect your shooting, and determine a fair price you’re willing to pay for it.
~ Firearm Daily