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View Full Version : What else to look for when inspecting a used semi-auto?


Verci0013
09-09-2010, 7:19 AM
I have never bought a used firearm so I don't exactly know what to look for when inspecting a used firearm.

So far I learned I have to look for:

-Round Count

-Barrel Condition

-Feed ramp condition

-basic function test (racking the slide, safeties work, etc)


anything else to look for?

nn3453
09-09-2010, 7:56 AM
Round count is irrelevant. I have guns that have seen thousands of rounds and they shoot as well as the day I got em. At most, you might to replace an extractor or a recoil spring. You only care about it if the seller is advertising it as like new or barely used. But sellers will lie, so I don't even bother asking the question. It is irrelevant.

Check for obvious uneven wear marks in the grooves that the slide rides on as well as the slide itself.

Barrel wear and any pitting (sometimes a crappy cleaning job can look like pitting). Make sure the muzzle does not have dings on the inside and the crown area is undamaged. External dings are okay but you might be able to talk the seller down.

Yes, function test. If it is a 1911 or similar backyard bubba favorite, make sure that the hammer/sear engagement/thumb safety works as it should. There are 1911s out there modified to the point where they are unsafe.

If the barrel is coated, the condition of the coating/paint near the muzzle end will tell you about the age/use. The muzzle end of the barrel on a well used gun will have almost no protective coating left.

SpringfieldEMP
09-09-2010, 7:56 AM
here is a list of things to check...

http://www.uspsa.org/gmTips/tip07.html

Also, bring some snap caps and fully function test...

Beelzy
09-09-2010, 9:34 AM
Strip the pistol and spend the time looking over the Frame. Look for uneven wear at the slide rails, or any warping of the frame anywhere.

Also would be a good idea to check the fire control group (Trigger, hammer etc.) for wear
as well. People worry too much about a good bore on a gun and forget to really look at the frame. The frame will tell
a person what kind of ammo was shot through it and how well the gun was maintained far better than a shiny barrel bore.

Good Luck!

Hoologan
09-09-2010, 10:00 AM
Most sellers will fib about the round count so use your best judgement there. I love it when people claim only 100 rounds fired when most of us put over that through a gun in the first 20 minutes of shooting.

SReagle
09-09-2010, 10:03 AM
things I also ask is;
Original owner ?
What ammo works best (IMHO relevant) because the owner should know this, if not maybe he just buying & selling.
Round Count is also relevant to me when I ask, 1. if the seller says it's got 2,000 rounds thru it and upon inspection of the firearm everything looks good I am likely Interested., 2. if in turn he says it's got only 100 rounds thru it and looks like hell of alot more he is probably hiding something and I am no longer interested. 3. etc. etc...
bottom line it's going to tell me about the sellers Honesty.

viet4lifeOC
09-09-2010, 11:52 AM
Since I am a noobie with the gun hobby..I also have very little knowledge buying a used gun. I save myself the headache and just drop an extra $50-$100 (including shipping, FFL fees, etc) and buy a brand new spanking handgun verses buying a used one on calguns classifieds.

Only used handgun I bought so far was a Sig P6 since they don't make them any more.

gorenut
09-09-2010, 11:56 AM
Also a lot of guns tend to have problems with the firing pin if they're dry-fired a lot without snap caps. Just another thing to look out for.

nn3453
09-09-2010, 12:00 PM
things I also ask is;
Original owner ?
What ammo works best (IMHO relevant) because the owner should know this, if not maybe he just buying & selling.

Who cares? Plenty of collectors have guns sitting in the back of their safes that they've never shot. You wouldn't buy it because the guy has not shot it? Makes zero sense.

drunktank
09-09-2010, 12:02 PM
Unless it was a new gun, I've always let potential buyers shoot my gun at the range to test things out first hand. I've always provided them with exact round count and made sure they disassembled the firearm to see the wear and tear which always matches what I told them. It's a good point already mentioned that if the said round count is "a few hundred" and you see excess wear on the barrel/slide, you are probably dealing with a shady seller and might want to look elsewhere.

It can be like buying a used car. Everything might look and test out okay, but the truth will unfold after many miles!

SReagle
09-09-2010, 2:11 PM
the OP did not ask about Collectors Firearms.:eek:



Who cares? Plenty of collectors have guns sitting in the back of their safes that they've never shot. You wouldn't buy it because the guy has not shot it? Makes zero sense.