by BF, Survival Blog:
On to the firearms batteries. I am a big fan of used guns. Most of the time, a used gun has not been shot much and you can pick it up for a significant savings over a new one. Right now is a great time to pick up trade-in police department handguns. Police trade-ins make an especially good deal for the person who is buying a gun to use rather than to show off. Even though the finish may be worn and the grips in need of replacement, they may only have been shot 100 rounds per year at annual qualification. Even in the more highly trained departments, unless the individual officer is interested in additional training, the handguns are probably shot less than 1000 rounds per year. Please see this letter I wrote to SurvivalBlog with more information about police trade-ins.
Used guns can also represent false savings, if you are not careful. A gun that is no longer manufactured or one that is a cheap import can end up costing you more over the life of your ownership than you save in initial prices, due to having to replace worn out parts (or the whole gun) when the spare parts are not readily available and may be of questionable quantity. Some guns, such as AR15s in the current market, can actually end up selling for more used than new. I can’t explain why, unless it is an example of something I vaguely remember from economics class– the concept of imperfect information.
One thing about used guns, unless you are fairly confident of the gun’s history, is that you should buy a complete spring set from someone like Wolff springs. The sets are usually around $30. If you don’t have the mechanical ability to replace them yourself, a gunsmith should be able to do so for a minimal charge. If you ask nicely, maybe he or she would even let you watch and learn how to do it.
Once you buy a firearm, you need to take it out and shoot it. I put a minimum of 200 rounds through a used semi-auto pistol (150 ball and 50 defense rounds) before I am convinced it is reliable. With a new semi-auto pistol, I up the number to 500 rounds of ball and 100 rounds of defense ammo. In a used revolver, I put 100 rounds through and a new revolver 200 rounds. I also run 500 rounds through a new or used semi-auto rifle before I would trust my life to it, and I usually run at least 100 rounds through a shotgun, new or used. If anything is going to break, I want it to happen early so that I can get it fixed right away before it can cause a situation to go south.
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