Shooters Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Buy new or used?

Since I don't have a mentor/experienced shooter to help me avoid the "used" pitfalls, I'll be going solo.  What questions should I ask about the gun?  What should I look for, measure, and raise an eyebrow to?

Below is a post from sixgunner regarding a gent who is selling a Bisley 41 mag.  I'm second in line if the deal doesn't work out with the first respondent:

"Jim S.
41 bisley for sale
Mon Feb 5 09:22:53 2001


Have a 41 Bisley fluted cylinder and barrel has been cut to 5.5" . The over all gun is excellent the barrel just behind the front sight , bluing removed to attach the front sight had been cold blued . Looks not as nice as the rest of the gun but otherwise nice gun nice dark gonc grips. Offers ? Value ? Let me know if you are interested and we can talk."

The length is right for my packing pistol needs.

Thanks and Blessings to all,

Alan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi MT -

I clicked on "message" and I only have one from Contender - I just figured out the message feature today... I'm a little slow at times  :grin:
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Alan,

Except in VERY rare cases of personally knowing a seller, his gun for sale, and his maintenance habits I am loath to buy used from an individual. I would seriously consider a used gun only if sold by a reputable dealer who doesn't want his name tarnished by a garbage sale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Good morning Bill and thank you.  I've received several e-mails to that effect.  

Since there are a few good gunshops within an hours drive of my home, I'll keep my search local; I shouldn't have any problem finding what I need.  

God Bless,

Alan
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
Alan,

I too saw that post on the Bisley.   My personal feeling towards sight unseen purchases, is that if the seller will allow a ten day evaluation/inspection period that he probably has nothing to hide, and even if he does you are in good shape because you can evaluate the gun with no risk.   When working with a private individual, I will post date the check for two weeks usually, to allow for postal delivery of the payment, and the shipping time required to recieve the gun.  In this manner you both are protected, you and the seller.

I  much prefer to buy used firearm with lots of hands on touchy feely!  In a revolver especially you can tell quite a bit by careful examination.  Before I even look at the physical attributes of the gun, the cosmetics can tell volumes!  If it has been cosmetically abused or neglected, you can be pretty sure that mechanically it has no better treatment.

I won't write a book here, but a few things to watch for on revolvers.  First check cylinder lockup and timing.  The cylinder should NOT lock into battery after the hammer makes sear engagement when cocking single action!  When in a cocked condition, make sure the cylinder locks up tight.  Also check the cylinder end play to make sure it isn't excessive.  Check sear/trigger engagement that it is solid, and positive.  You should not be able to push on the cocked hammer and have it slip sear engagement.

Crane/yoke assemblies should be tight, and without play on double action models.  Check screw heads on side-plates for evidence of amateur tinkering (buggered up screw heads)  This should cause red lights, bells and whistles to go off in your head on an unknown gun!  If evidence of this sort is present, then give the gun more serious going over!

Now, if all those details are up to par, then check the barrel!  look specifically for bulging or ringing in the bore which would be evidence of firing with an obstruction in the barrel.  Check cylinder/barrel gap to make sure it isn't excessive, and that the breech end of the barrel is square and parallel to the face of the cylinder.  Also look to see the condition of the rifling, look for scratches in the barrel caused by improper cleaning tools, and pay special attention to the muzzle crown for damage from poor cleaning practices or from damage caused by impact.

Check serial numbers too!  First make sure they are still there!  (I came across one up here in Idaho for sale that had them ground off!)  Then write the numbers down (if a private sale), leave the deal and make a phone call the the local sherrif's department.  Most departments will gladly run the numbers through NCIC to see if the gun is stolen, or reported missing.  If it gets a clean bill of health, then you can rest easy... if not, simply give them a name and address, of the holder of the gun!

Now, after all this I hope I haven't scared you off from buying a used revolver!  I have procured some of my finest shooting/packing guns from private party sales... just pay attention to the character of the individual you are buying the gun from and it will help you too!  If he makes you uneasy... leave the deal!

Not a complete list, but it should give you a place to start!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Marshall for an excellent post!

An informed buyer stacks the cards in his favor; unfortuantely, I'd probably wind up playing 52 card pickup :^)    If I do find a quality revolver from a private seller and the price is right, I will take the revolver to a gunsmith for a once over.  Spending &#3635 or so is cheap insurance (peace of mind).

I've been to a few gun shows over the past couple of months and used prices, in general, are not that far off from new.  Example, most 98% condition SS SBH's are marked &#36295-&#36310.  I can buy new locally for &#36381.  Go figure?

In His service,

Alan

(Edited by Alan at 2:54 pm on Feb. 7, 2001)
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Alan,

Much like used cars, gun dealers make their real money on the "previously owned" stuff. They give you &#36150 for your gun and resell it for &#36300. A much higher profit margin than on new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Morning Bill -

What you say makes perfect sense.  I'll be sure and steer clear of plaid jacket and white, patent leather shoed used gun salesmen   :biggrin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Timing is everything and mine needs to be recalibrated!

I went to a small, local gun show this past weekend.  At best, there were 100 tables.  At the very first table, I find a NIB but 1 year old (inventory piece from small dealer) Blackhawk 45 colt for &#36299.  Great price, don't look elsewhere I say...great price....search is over.  However, the grass is always greener......

Long story short, the Blackhawk was sold within minutes of my leaving the table - When I regained my senses,  I went back only to find a check being written by someone other than me for the revolver.

What was it that Forrest Gump was fond of saying?  :wink:
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Alan,

Don't sweat it. There are plenty of .45 Blackhawks out there. Never jump on the first thing that you find. He's an example from my own history.

~8 years ago I was at the old, big gun show here in Pittsburgh. Within about twenty minutes of getting there, I happened across a Ruger 77RS that looked promising. Nothing special, just something I felt a need for. Price was fair, condition very nice. But I held off. A bit later I came across something just a bit better.

How 'bout a NIB 4" S&W M24? :smile:

For &#36325. :shocked:

Boy am I glad I passed on that Ruger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I probably walked away from that M24 to take a quick peek at the 77RS only to find you writing a check minutes later for the Smith  :biggrin:
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top