Things To Check Before Buying A Used Firearm

Things To Check Before Buying A Used FirearmAlmost every American has a firearm or two and we can’t imagine our lives without them. Since not every family has a “gun budget” I suggest buying a used firearm. It will help you save money for your other prepping plans. To make sure you made the right purchase pay attention to the following before buying a used firearm.  

If you come to think about it, a firearm is actually a worthy investment. Even more, as preppers we consider our rifles and handguns as being the best deterrents. They will protect us against looters and other elements of society that wish us harm when it hits the fan.

Some people have no problem dropping a few hundred dollars on a firearm while others have to save for months before making a purchase. For those wanting to make a firearm purchase in the near future, I suggest you start saving money right now. You would be surprised to discover that even just a few dollars a week will add up over time. If you pay attention to used firearms for sale during gun shows as well as trough online or newspapers ads, you should have no problem buying a used firearm. Showing a handful of green bills will help you negotiate a lower price since we all know that cash is king.

Before you take all your savings and go to the nearest gun show, you should do your homework. As a first step, you should at least know what different firearms are worth. Even better, ask a friend who has that knowledge to accompany you. It will help you learn firsthand and spend your money well when buying a used firearm.

Suggested article: Choosing The Best Survival Gun For Your Prepping Plans

You can probably imagine that prices of firearms fluctuate based on geography and laws in effect. As an additional tip, I can tell you that the popularity of a given make or model can greatly influence the final price. Brands such as Glock or Remington, can put a higher price on their handguns based on name recognition alone. As a starting point, you should expect to pay around $200-$300 for a shotgun or low-budget handgun. If you want a good-quality rifle add another $100 to $300. Keep in mind that these prices are for buying a used firearm, not a brand new.

Buying a used firearm on a tight budget:

As I said before, if you want to save money for other prepping plans you should buy a used firearm rather than a new one. You can always find some really good deals at gun shows and I recommend visiting as many as possible. There are people walking around with guns in their hands that they are looking to sell. It’s quite easy to spot them and you should expect a haggle. Even gun stores have a selection of used weapons they are trying to get rid of.

My father used to say that you need to pay attention when you buy a used car or else you could be buying someone else’s problem. I can honestly say that the same goes when you’re buying a used firearm. It is critical to know what to look for and properly inspect the firearm before handing over your hard earned money. Experience comes in time and during your first purchases you should ask an experience family member or friend to come with you.

Check out the following when buying a used firearm:

Upon being given permission from the seller, pick your firearm of choice and make sure it’s unloaded. Try to gently shake the firearm and listen for any loos rattling. If you hear something, that should be a cause for concern.

Make sure to ask about the history of the firearm. The seller may not know about the previous owner, but it never hurts to ask. Some sellers are honest and they will tell you the truth, while others will start to feed you a story, rather than giving any real details. This could be a sign that the seller is hiding something. Try to buy from honest and forthcoming sellers.

Check the weapon on all sides and look at it closely. Some people are reticent when they see small nicks and scratches but those are normal and won’t affect the operation of the firearm. When buying a used firearm you should stay away from anything that looks bent or if there are missing screws or something. If that’s the case, move to the next firearm or seller.

Ask permission to cycle the weapon a few times. This will help you establish if all the parts that are supposed to move do so freely. It will also help you notice if the parts that aren’t supposed to move stay put.

Related article: 5 Guns Every Prepper Should Own

If all the above meets your expectation and you are going to make a reasonable offer, move to the next test. Ask permission to field strip or partially disassemble the firearm. Even the seller could do it to allow you to check the barrel and other interior parts. Do so if you are honest about making the purchase and don’t waste the seller’s time. Check for rust spots inside the bore and notice if it looks dirty or not. If rust or dirt is present, that’s a clear sign that the firearm wasn’t properly maintained.

After all of this is time to bargain on the purchase. Haggling is expected, but you should be reasonable about it. Check online ahead of time so you know what the weapon is truly worth. Don’t offend the seller by offering a ridiculously low price when buying a used firearm. You will just lose time, irritate the seller and you won’t make a deal. Also, take into account the condition of the firearms and any accessories the seller may include. You could pay more for a used firearm, but you will make it up for it if you negotiate accessories like holsters and ammunition.

A final word

Rather than buying the latest and shiniest handgun, rifle or shotgun you see in magazines, check the second hand market first. You will be amazed how many good deals you could find. I used to check Facebook groups for buying a used firearm or various accessories. Since they banned gun sales, I now rely on gun shows, online ads and various magazines. I recommend looking for deals on used firearms rather than spending all your hard earned money on the latest polymer designs.

Other Useful Resources:

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting

Learn how to Safeguard your Home against Looters

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us



4 thoughts on “Things To Check Before Buying A Used Firearm”

  1. I troll BackPage all the time and have bought/sold many-a firearm through there (‘many’ being a relative term). I’ve met all sorts-a folks at all sorts-a places, too. And ‘just ’cause I’m buying/selling don’t mean I ain’t carrying don’t-cha-know!!!).
    I’m surprised there was no mention of ‘check for stolen’. I’ve found a coupla websites that’ll give me info on that, buuuuut I don’t know how current they are or how they obtain their information.
    Do you suppose there is a good ‘place’ to check on a weapon’s status as it relates to ‘stolen, missing, lost’?

  2. @Craig
    I was thinking the same thing about stolen guns. As I live in Ca there is not much of a problem there as they still have to go through a FFL holder but I was recently at a show in AZ where people were walking around with guns and signs and there were no questions asked when money was exchanged

    • No requirements selling/buying Firearms in AZ [LOVE THIS STATE, Friendlier to us ‘Good Folks w/ Guns’ than any other state on the Union save Texas (of course)]. I personally require a CCW (also not required to Carry Concealed in AZ) of all my Buyers, as well as their DL and I fill in a Bill of Sale for records (Your Honor, I sold that gun back in 1972, here’s the BOS! Nice)… I just don’t want to sell to a prohibited possessor you know. I am not required to do this but I like sleeping well! Of course I can ‘build a case’ for a Buyer/Seller; walks like a duck, quacks like a du…
      As that is the case, and no FFL Dealer is required in a personal Gun Exchange here, I find it challenging to really CONFIRM the Firearm legit. I reckon I could do the transfer at ‘my Gun Shop’ and ask them for help here… prolly for a small fee. Love to hear tips on this (confirming a Firearm ‘not stolen’).
      No Firearms for sale on Amazon/eBay/CraigsList but BackPage’ll let us advertise Guns for Trade/Sale… and it’s free (or really cheap). BP’ll also let you advertise your ‘Stripper’ business… don’t know about that bein’ too cool but to each his own I guess.

  3. Calibers matter the most. Buying a great gun in an obsolete or difficult to find caliber is a bad idea. Stick with simple, known calibers. 38 spl, not 38. 9mm not 380, 45acp, not 45 long colt. Price and availability are important. In rifles you can do a lot with a simple 22 LR. In centerfire, 30/30, 243, 30.06 or 308 are reliable, powerful and available. Large exotic, or ultra magnums, European calibers are expensive and hard to find. Used guns can be very good but know what you are looking at. Hopefully it won’t happen but you may have to trust your life to your choice, research, ask others, search gun shops, and shows. Know what you are buying.


Leave a Comment

book cover e1586100880799

Subscribe To Our Newsletter and Get your FREE BOOK!

Join our ranks to receive the latest news, offers and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!