used rifles (and shotguns)

Ben Lamb

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Aug 6, 2010
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Helena
Brent said what I would have very well. I've bought used guns for decades & consider much like buying a car; let someone else take the depreciation. I also like to tinker with guns.

There's the Winchester made P17 in 338 that shoots about 3/4 moa with 225 ttsx's, the used S&W model 29 that's my sidearm in grizzly country and a used 870 express that cost $200 & has never had a hiccup.

Bought a used Ruger m77 mark ii this year for a steal & sent it off to a gunsmith so he could rework the stock. I took a leap of faith since I never had time to develop a load before the Smith had a window of opportunity but she shoots well and looks great.

111667

Wife got me a used over/under two years ago that's become my favorite upland gun as well. It's 81 years old and still putting down birds.

111668
 

Jess

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Aug 7, 2014
Messages
107
I have a great gun store close to me that lets you rent out guns. You actually take them home (the place only has a pistol range). At the end of the buying season (right now actually) they put these guns out for sale. I've bought so many guns from this place and all are in like new condition but because they were the store demos, they are reduced significantly. The handguns get much more use because you can rent and shoot them at the store. I don't think a lot of people know about the rental program so the guns get very little use. I just purchased a like new Browning 725 trap with adj. comb for under 2500. It was a demo and you couldn't tell the difference between it and a new gun. The action is still so tight, you still have to work it open.
 

Gila

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Jun 8, 2019
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273
Location
New Mexico
There were some new guns that I couldn't sell fast enough and yet some used guns that I regret selling. Most of the issues were with shotguns but then most of my hunting has been with shotguns. I bought a new ultramag 835 that was a piece of junk. Difficult to pump those "roman candles" through it. Traded the 835 in for a Benelli SBE which shot very well, however on a goose hunt the extractor fell out. I felt like wrapping it around a tree! I put an extractor in with loctite and never had the same problem. However, I had to keep it clean to shoot low brass so it soon went to the gunstore.

I special ordered a new medium grade Citori from a gunshop. I was in a hurry when I picked it up and didn't look it over much. The action felt like it was full of sand the first time I opened it to clean out the packing grease. The action was full of burrs and uneven edges. The stock was cut un-even where it fit into the receiver. Under warranty they smoothed out the action but the lock up sucked swamp water and they would not replace the stock. The bluing started bubbling on the barrel after a year so It went to the rack. I bought a lower end Fausti to replace it at one third the price of the Citori. The Fausti fit and finish is an order of magnitude better than what the Citori could have been with no issues.

Some of the better rifles are guaranteed to shoot sub MOA out of the box. You see those internet videos where these guys say to break in a barrel by shooting ammo through it until the barrel can grill hamburgers. I wouldn't want to buy one of those pre-owned. High quality optics will help a person realize the accuracy and range potential of their rifle. I just recently shopped for a new hunting scope. The price break for me on a good quality hunting scope was 600-800. If you are buying a used rifle with scope, the scope value is part of the deal. Welcome to the forum. I am new around these here parts. A wealth of knowledge to be found here.
 

sharpshooter97

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Dec 6, 2018
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131
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North Dakota
I enjoy guns, and I buy most used because I like older guns. If you know what you’re looking at there is no problem buying used, the only guns I have that were new is the .22 my dad gave me, and my glock. Everything else I have bought used, some I plan to keep forever and some I buy and sell. But there are some great deals out there if you know what to look at.
 

bushman13

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Jun 11, 2018
Messages
312
I always look for the classics, much better quality generally. This method worked very well living in Georgia and not having to do background checks on a private sales. There is something very satisfying about buying a gun on a handshake. Now that I'm in CO, I've bought my first few brand new guns ever.

My first 2 guns were used when I bought them in the late 60's. A pre 64 model 70 30-06 and an 870. Both were in great condition and I still own them today. About half of the guns I purchased after that were also used. I think buying a good quality used gun is much smarter than buying an entry level new gun. I was in a gun shop last week and the shop had 2 almost mint condition post 64 model 70s with 3-9 Leupold Vari x 2 on them. One was an 06 and the other was a 270. I know 2 guys who currently do not own deer rifles but are looking at new entry level guns. They are not interested in a good used gun. I told them they could pay the $600 asking price for one of those Winchesters and use that combo for years. Nope they want a new gun for their first gun.
 

N2TRKYS

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Jul 26, 2016
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Alabama
From what I've seen, used guns(and not that old) are being sold for what a new one costs.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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Chugiak, AK
I think of about 25 rifles I've owned/bought/sold over the years. Only 3 were new off the rack. I've bought a number that were like new. Honestly, I don't see any reason to not buy used. There are few things that can be wrong with a rifle, and most are pretty easy to fix. Ironically, the rifles I've had the most issue with were the ones new off the rack.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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Chugiak, AK
From what I've seen, used guns(and not that old) are being sold for what a new one costs.
January-March is a good time to buy rifles. People are paying for Christmas, or looking to pay off taxes (I presume). I've made some great purchases some 30-50% below retail on really nice rifles. The best deal I made was on a like new M70 375H&H safari express, scoped, 4x boxes of noslers, 100 brass, and a 2.5x weaver scope... for $550.

You have to shop classifieds and keep your eyes open. Its hard to find deals online, or auction sites. Same goes for most all gun shows. Most of the stuff at gun shows is priced at retail, or it is up here anyway.
 

N2TRKYS

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Jul 26, 2016
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Alabama
January-March is a good time to buy rifles. People are paying for Christmas, or looking to pay off taxes (I presume). I've made some great purchases some 30-50% below retail on really nice rifles. The best deal I made was on a like new M70 375H&H safari express, scoped, 4x boxes of noslers, 100 brass, and a 2.5x weaver scope... for $550.

You have to shop classifieds and keep your eyes open. Its hard to find deals online, or auction sites. Same goes for most all gun shows. Most of the stuff at gun shows is priced at retail, or it is up here anyway.
I look at guns and ads at various places and most, if not all, seem overpriced.

I get a chuckle out of the description of "light handling " marks on some ads. Apparently, most of those folks use their rifles/shotguns as a brush axe. Lol

Buying new is just a better deal for me for what I want than buying used.
 

rtraverdavis

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Oct 20, 2016
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1,139
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OREGON
Great advice in this thread. With any rifle purchase you’re going to have a set of unknowns, that list slightly increased if you purchase a used gun with unknown history. But playing around with loads and making slight adjustments to the rifle is all part of the fun, and that would be no different—new or used. If you see Brockel selling a rifle on this forum and it’s in your price range, I advise you buy it.
 

noharleyyet

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Nov 15, 2004
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TEXAS
Great advice in this thread. With any rifle purchase you’re going to have a set of unknowns, that list slightly increased if you purchase a used gun with unknown history. But playing around with loads and making slight adjustments to the rifle is all part of the fun, and that would be no different—new or used. If you see Brockel selling a rifle on this forum and it’s in your price range, I advise you buy it.
..and if it's not, borrow the rest.
 

Europe

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Dec 26, 2018
Messages
454
I have not done this in years but my husband occasionally found very good deals in pawn shops. some worked out and some became a "parts" purchase. Estate sales provided pleasant surprises occasionally . We would after work when in Europe look around, especially in small towns. But the laws have changed and I have no idea if any of this is possible now.

I did have someone form Europe send me a lead and if I had the money I would have bought it and found a way to legally get it to Brent or Ben Lamb. 1819 J.H. Hall Harperys Ferry Breech loading , Flint, that supposedly still works. I also have a friend in Pa that enjoys these types of rifles, so I sent the lead to him .
 

MJE2083

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Oct 12, 2015
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Central PA
I've bought my fair share of used guns. I used to work in a gun shop some years ago and I miss getting "first pick" on the used guns that would come in to the shop. That being said, you have to be cautious and of course the price has to be right. I see so many used guns that I feel are overpriced, particularly at dealers. The ones that are a good price don't last long generally. The shop that I worked in, we had 2-3 older retired guys that would come in several times per week and scoop up virtually anything that was a good price. If I can buy it new for less than ~ $150 of the used price, I'll generally buy new.
I'm usually a little more particular about buying used rifles than pistols or shotguns. IMO people rarely sell rifles that shoot really well.
 

Jbotto

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Apr 12, 2019
Messages
46
I’m odd and like some unusual or unpopular guns, especially those that are a bit older. I find used racks the most fun to peruse! I’ve picked up some lemons but also been very happy with others that I’ve found.
 

mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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montana
They said it has been a pleasant surprise to find, in a forum this large, that there are only two members that like to "pick" at them, but if you ignore them, the forum is not just helpful but fun.
Wonder who they are? mtmuley
 

Millsworks

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Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
693
I have always preferred used over a new one.
I love all the old M70, M77, and 700s. Nothing like the finish of the metal on those old rifles.
But now, most used guns seem to be priced pretty high. Deals can be found with patients and some hard looking.
But often times many used guns are priced as much or more than many of the less expensive new.
I am very patient, and usually hold out for a good deal on a used gun.
But it's getting tuffer to find something specific at prices I consider affordable.
If a person is flexible a good used gun can be had with some effort. Especially if you start looking long ahead of time.
If I have something I want, I save up the cash and stash it away so I can be quick on any deal I come across.
I find myself wanting a 6.5 PRC now. It will take me a year to have enough money to buy one. Unfortunately it's unlikely I will find that caliber in a used one, as it is too new to the market.
But if I find a good used rifle at a good price, I may do a rebarrel on one. But even doing the work myself it is not an affordable project.
So I better get a bigger piggy bank for that one .
Probably best to purchase new in my case this time.
So, it obviously depends on each person's want, need, and budget.
I'll be window shopping this winter and with luck and hard earned savings, I'll find one to take home eventually.
 
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