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Tips And Tools For Buying A Used Handgun



Feature | 9mm Gun in the Table | The Best Handguns For Home Defense

When buying a pre-loved handgun, consider these tips to get the best bang for the buck.

In this article:

  1. General Tips When Getting Pre-Loved Handguns
  2. How to Buy a Revolver
  3. How to Buy a Polymer-Style Handgun
  4. How to Buy 1911 Style

How to Buy the Best Used Handgun with These Tips


General Tips When Getting Pre-Loved Handguns

First, let's begin with a must-do when buying a used handgun — asking for a warranty. It doesn't need to cover a lengthy period. It can be just a few days or a week.

Second, you must have the time to go shoot the gun to be sure it works. If you are buying used handguns for sale at a store with a range, ask to shoot them before you buy.

Here are more tips, which can also apply to other firearms for sale:

  • Know the overall condition of the firearm and look for excessive wear.
  • See to it that the grip angle fits your hand comfortably.
  • Look down the barrel from the outside to see if it's straight, and there is no bulging.
  • Check the sights on the gun. Make sure they are in line.
  • Assess your grip. Look for cracks or breaks.
  • See to it all the screws or pins are secure and tight.
  • Do your homework before going into a store.
  • Be patient. Don't rush finding a handgun. If you do, you may end up with something that isn't the best.

How to Buy a Revolver

How to Buy a Revolver | Tips And Tools For Buying A Used Handgun

Revolvers for sale are great guns to buy, even if they are pre-loved. There is very little that can go wrong with them, but there are still some things you want to look for when buying one:

  1. Ensure the cylinder opens with no issues.
  2. See to it the swing arm is snug with the frame of the gun with no gaps.
  3. Guarantee that the ejector works perfectly. You want it to move smoothly with no hang-ups.
  4. Make sure your action is working and the cylinder is rotating as it should be.
  5. Use a bore light and take a look inside a barrel and the cylinder. See if everything is clean as it reveals proper maintenance.

How to Buy a Polymer-Style Handgun

For a polymer handgun, here are a few things you should check:

  1. Start by racking the slide a couple times to see that everything works and does so smoothly.
  2. Put in a magazine and rack it again to check if it will stay back when you do.
  3. Check the mag release and slide lock.
  4. Use your bore light and check the barrel. See if everything is nice and clean.
  5. Now you want to push down on the barrel hood while the gun is in a cocked position. If there is a lot of movement in that part, the gun will not be accurate. You won't see a big difference in accuracy until you get out to around 25 yards. To fix this problem, replace the barrel or just don't buy the handgun.

How to Buy 1911 Style

How to Buy 1911 Style | Tips And Tools For Buying A Used Handgun

American Tactical FX45 1911 | Gun Carrier Handgun Review Photo by Gun Carrier

The methods of checking a 1911 style handgun are similar to those of polymer weapons. Here are the steps:

  1. Check the slide and rack the gun to ensure they work smoothly. You want its slide to be very smooth.
  2. Assess the magazine release and slide lock.
  3. Know the status of the safeties on the gun. Pull the trigger while your hand is not on the beavertail safety. It should not fire. Put your hand on the gun completely. The regular safety must be on, and the gun should not fire. If it does with either safety in use, you do not want to buy that firearm. It is unsafe.
  4. Test the trigger pull and dry fire the gun. You won't hurt the handgun, and you can see if it works for you.

Do you need more ideas on how to buy a used handgun? Watch this video from bulletsandbroadheads:

There is no doubt that handgun brand matters. There's a reason why the worst handgun brands do not sell well. They are not only poorly designed but are also unsafe. They can cause serious injury or even death for both the users and the people around them. Whether you're buying guns online or not, though, don't rely only on their names. Testing is still an essential step. You want to find a gun that gives the best value for your money. It should be a gun that can help protect you at all times.

Do you have other tips on buying a used handgun? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

Up Next: 9 Mistakes New Gun Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 23, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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