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squashpickle
07-08-2008, 12:39 PM
Iíd like to purchase a revolver but virtually all current production models seem inferior. A Dan Wesson would be my top choice, but Colts and pre-lock S&Ws are also fine by me. If it werenít for the Certified Roster I would simply have something shipped to me from auctionarms, gunbroker, etc, but as it stands I am unsure of a good option.

So, are there any suggestions as to how I could procure a nice used wheelgun? Am I even correct that online sales are out of the question? Is there a loophole that Iím failing to see?

Thanks.

Miltiades
07-08-2008, 2:41 PM
I can appreciate your frustration with the difficulty of bringing a used revolver into CA from another state. Although Gunbroker and Auction Arms are full of such items, they have to be on the current CA list to be imported through a local FFL.

If you don't like the current production revolvers available at CA gun stores, your best bet is probably to locate a used revolver you like for sale in your vicinity and do a Private Party Transfer at your local FFL. The "For Sale" section of Calguns is a good source, elsewhere on this website. You can also look for consignment sales at local gunstores, pawn shops or gun shows near you. And other gun chat websites have "for sale" sections as well. It is best to establish a regular search routine and be patient until you see what you are looking for at a reasonable price.

I also like revolvers and have accumulated a number of them over the years, representing the brands S&W, Colt and Ruger. For a good first all-around revolver I would recommend the S&W 686 or Ruger GP100, both in .357 magnum with .38 special capability. The 4 inch barrel is a good compromise length.

PzKfW
07-09-2008, 4:08 AM
Expect to pay a premium for pre lock smiths, or colts. If you can find them.

dfletcher
07-09-2008, 8:01 AM
I’d like to purchase a revolver but virtually all current production models seem inferior. A Dan Wesson would be my top choice, but Colts and pre-lock S&Ws are also fine by me. If it weren’t for the Certified Roster I would simply have something shipped to me from auctionarms, gunbroker, etc, but as it stands I am unsure of a good option.

So, are there any suggestions as to how I could procure a nice used wheelgun? Am I even correct that online sales are out of the question? Is there a loophole that I’m failing to see?

Thanks.


Using the specifics of a law really shouldn't be viewed as a loophole, but rather simply doing what is permitted by law. If you want to buy a 70's Smith or Colt or DW the usual "buy & ship" won't work. There are a few options available to you, but as you observe many if not most of the on line auctions are off limits under most circumstances.

First, any handgun that is a C & R (Curio & Relic) need not be certified. This opens up all those 1950's and earlier Smiths & Colts and some that are not 50 years old. A 1957 Python or Officers Model doesn't need to be on the certified list - find someone on GB & have it sent to your FFL. Or get a C & R FFL ($30.00 for 3 years, 2 pages of simple paperwork) and you can buy same day, face to face when out of state. I've bought dozens of older Colts & Smiths, just bought a 60's manufacture Walther PP (in Maine) for $235.00.

Single action revolvers are exempt. This is probably out of the area of what you want, but a single action K38 or OM would be exempt.

LE can get not certified handguns and PPT to you. Out of state family can send not certified handguns to your FFL.

And at least in the Bay Area, there are lots of older Smith available at gun stores. Of the handguns I own, I'd say about 40 are older Smiths, Colts and other not rostered revolvers & pistols all purchased legally, most from local stores.

Personally, I'd get to know the gun stores in your area. Something will pop up and if you ket us know where you are in CA I'd bet other posters will let you know which stores are best for what you want.

squashpickle
07-09-2008, 8:46 AM
Thanks. Yeah, I wasn't really looking for "loopholes" exactly. A .357 with a 4-inch barrel was/is what I'm after. It's just pretty depressing to see what our gun-laws have done to the used market. Maybe I'll wait to get a revolver until I live somewhere else. There are so many beautiful pieces floating around the rest of the country that it seems foolish to press the issue. Won't hurt to frequently check the for-sale section here though.

I had been leaning towards 70's and 80's era, but something older might still fit the bill.

So, which store(s) in the Bay Area would be best? And where's the best place online to find C&Rs?

JTROKS
07-09-2008, 9:06 AM
I've been looking over the "NIB" display case and the S&W aren't getting any cheaper. I supposed they have to make up for the money they spent on developing the lock and all the current hike in cost due to fuel prices. If you can find a 686 around $400 to $500, it's a score as long as everything checks out. If you want a shooter, ensure the action is good to go, the finish on stainless guns can be restored or to even better than before with a beadblast or if you have the time to apply some elbow grease - Emery cloth. As long as there are no deep gouges, stainless guns are the way to go. Now if you want beauty, the blued guns are unbeatable, but current blued S&Ws aren't the same like they were a couple of decades ago. Expect to pay premium for P&R S&Ws, but those aren't being bought for shooting, mainly for collecting. It seems prices are a bit higher in the bay area than upper norcal or socal. Where are you located at? I may have a King Cobra 6" and a S&W 19-4 P&R offered for sale due to current projects I'm running out of parts for.

rivviepop
07-09-2008, 10:59 AM
So, which store(s) in the Bay Area would be best? And where's the best place online to find C&Rs?

What part of the Bay Area are you in, regionally?

ivanimal
07-09-2008, 11:09 AM
Where are you located we usually look out for each other here. I always am on the look out for old Colts and some Smiths. Tell me where you are on PM and I will let you know if I see one.

dfletcher
07-09-2008, 11:38 AM
Thanks. Yeah, I wasn't really looking for "loopholes" exactly. A .357 with a 4-inch barrel was/is what I'm after. It's just pretty depressing to see what our gun-laws have done to the used market. Maybe I'll wait to get a revolver until I live somewhere else. There are so many beautiful pieces floating around the rest of the country that it seems foolish to press the issue. Won't hurt to frequently check the for-sale section here though.

I had been leaning towards 70's and 80's era, but something older might still fit the bill.

So, which store(s) in the Bay Area would be best? And where's the best place online to find C&Rs?

Hands down the best place in Bay Area is Contra Costa Collectibles in Walnut Creek. Even if you have no intention of buying a gun, I would not venture there without some cash. Bullseye in Castro Valley is good, the San Jose Gun Exchange is very good when it comes to older revolvers.

If you'd like to hit Sacramento the River City Gun Exchange is usually OK. Badger Johns in Sac just put out some 70's Smiths, but I think the price is too high.

Imbert & Smithers in San Carlos is very good, but they ding you for an extra $15.00 or so on a PPT so out of principle I won't use them, you may feel otherwise.

Lots of choices.

So far as on line goes, my method is to type in the specific model. For example, if you type in "Trooper" you'll get the newer model and the old, but mostly new. Type in "New Service" and everything you get is C & R.

I guess I've gotten to the point where finding the deal & getting it done is part of the fun - kind of like getting Cuban cigars (from Baranow's in Australia - don't tell anyone).

JTROKS
07-09-2008, 1:11 PM
You can get Cuban cigars outside the country as long as you smoke it outside the country. :D In Kuwait and Iraq there are lots of Havana cigarillos (my favorite) and the like. I remember one of the younger troops planning of bringing a bunch of cigarillos that he spent some money on. Well, you know what they say about, "Loose lips sinks ships"... We were smoking them prior to boarding our freedom bird.

AJAX22
07-09-2008, 1:13 PM
50 year old pistols are exempt from the list.

you might try looking for one of those...

squashpickle
07-09-2008, 3:08 PM
Thanks a lot everyone. For the record Iím in San Francisco (and waited patiently for prop H to be thrown out).

San Jose Gun Exchange sounds like a wonderful place to check out, so Iíll plan a trip south. Also spending some time on the C&R option.

Pardon my rookie questions, but how can any gun shop sell unrostered handguns without breaking the law? And, is fifty-year age the only requirement for exemption? How efficient are the WTB listings on here?

Thanks again.

rivviepop
07-09-2008, 3:23 PM
Pardon my rookie questions, but how can any gun shop sell unrostered handguns without breaking the law?

They are consignment sales, just like clothes - one private party is selling a gun to another private party, but the gun is sitting in the display case of the store. The store will usually take 20% of the selling price as a commission for acting as the display case (so to speak). Technically the store itself is NOT selling you the gun, therefore no laws are being broken.

As mentioned above, take a ride out to Contra Costa Collectibles - closer than the SJGE. :) It's a little hard to find your first time out there so make sure to print a map and know where you're going. When you walk in the door, make sure to look to the *right* behind the door for the more common, cheaper revolvers -- the ones you see to the left are the more expensive rare (or special) ones.

How efficient are the WTB listings on here?

It depends - some happen right away, some sit forever depending on if someone has what you want, and are willing to sell it! I've gotten WTB hits right away, and still have some sitting for months. I've been able to help people posting WTB items as well, see what they wanted at a shop and sent them a PM when i got home. People will help you out if they can, so just post what you want - you can't lose.

bruceflinch
07-09-2008, 9:49 PM
Auction Arms has a locator. You can search just for California guns for PPT.

Call Chuck @ Contra Costa Collectibles 925-937-3376 & ask what he has in stock. Nice Guy.

maxicon
07-10-2008, 7:13 AM
Too bad you're not closer to San Jose - I've picked up a nice assortment of older revolvers at reasonable prices by stopping by Sportsmen's Supply in Campbell on a regular basis.

For a while, I was hitting them once a week, and I ended up with a nice assortment from those days. They get a lot of consignment pieces and have a lot of turnover. The prices range from very good to expensive, but with frequent stops, the good deals turn up pretty regularly.

dfletcher
07-10-2008, 7:53 AM
Thanks a lot everyone. For the record I’m in San Francisco (and waited patiently for prop H to be thrown out).

San Jose Gun Exchange sounds like a wonderful place to check out, so I’ll plan a trip south. Also spending some time on the C&R option.

Pardon my rookie questions, but how can any gun shop sell unrostered handguns without breaking the law? And, is fifty-year age the only requirement for exemption? How efficient are the WTB listings on here?

Thanks again.

If you're driving to SJ from SF you can easily hit: City Arms in Pacifica, then Tabors in San Bruno and Imbert & Smithers in San Carlos. Swing over 92 then take 880 South to Irvington Arm and TargetMasters in Milpitas. Hop on 680 South to Reeds on Alum Rock in San Jose, get back on 680/280 to SJGE then its 5 minutes down to Sportmans in Campbell.

Guntech
07-10-2008, 9:14 AM
If your getting a new one and want a good priced reliable one get a Ruger if your going for a old one go Colt

JTROKS
07-10-2008, 9:19 AM
City Arms Pacifica had a S&W 686 4" for $400 and it was prelock w/ MIM parts. Finish wasn't that great, but man that was a deal that I passed up on. Stupid me, and Dimitri agreed.

Guntech
07-10-2008, 9:23 AM
Of course he agreed lol you didn't make a purchase! But they are pretty good guys down there up to date on OLLs and all that.

voodoo
07-10-2008, 10:09 AM
As someone who somewhat recently jumped on the "pre-lock" bandwagon (been at it about two years now), the only advice I can give you is to be patient and keep your eyes and ears open.

It works, as I've been able to pick up several nice pre-lock S&Ws. My "highlight" purchase was a 90+% pre-lock 686-2 I picked up at the Del Mar show last year......












...for $200!!!:D

JTROKS
07-10-2008, 11:43 AM
Of course he agreed lol you didn't make a purchase! But they are pretty good guys down there up to date on OLLs and all that.

:D You know, I haven't seen another prelock S&W for that price. I picked one up on this board for $500+PPT fee, it's a 686P
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh257/joshuatroy/DSC01589.jpg

Also picked up a decent 586 (no dash) for about $500 OTD, that I'm desperately seeking stock wood grips for.
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh257/joshuatroy/DSC01976.jpg

I suppose you can still find some very low priced prelocks out there. You just have to be in the right place at the right time, but hey it's fun driving all over the place and browsing gun shows.

Julians4x4
07-10-2008, 12:35 PM
+1 Jumped on the PRE-Lock bandwagon about three moths ago and you really need to eyes and ears open.
Picked up good deals on S&W models 60,65-4,586 no dash from this forum and local paper.

As someone who somewhat recently jumped on the "pre-lock" bandwagon (been at it about two years now), the only advice I can give you is to be patient and keep your eyes and ears open.

It works, as I've been able to pick up several nice pre-lock S&Ws. My "highlight" purchase was a 90+% pre-lock 686-2 I picked up at the Del Mar show last year......












...for $200!!!:D

maxicon
07-11-2008, 8:37 AM
I picked up my 586-1 for $350 back in 2004 over at Sportsmen's. That was a great price even then. There was another guy looking at it when I walked in, and he was wavering on whether to get it. I hovered there after I saw the price, and as soon as he handed it back to them, I looked it over for about 30 seconds and gave an "I'll take it!"

Excellent trigger, nice finish, low miles. The only flaws were Pachmayr grips (it's got Hogues now) and a slight ding on the sideplate seam, but it's the best shooter of all my revolvers.

Here's an old pic from before I figured out how to take better gun pictures:
http://www.maxicon.com/guns/586-1.jpg