Used guns can offer a tremendous value for hunters who are looking for a deal. However, the old adage applies: Buyer beware. Here are some tips for shopping for a used deer rifle or shotgun.
By Bryan Hendricks
Inspect the bore and chamber closely with a bore light. Gunk and sludge in the throat and chamber reflect sloppy maintenance. Rust in the bore is a deal breaker. It looks deceptively like powder residue. If a Bore Snake doesn’t remove it, don’t buy.
For Internet purchases, walk away if the seller is vague or evasive.
I buy used guns only if they’re 95 percent of original condition or better. Even then, you can get surprised. I bought a 1967 Grade II BAR from a reputable dealer. It was in perfect condition cosmetically, but I later learned the action wouldn’t cycle because parts in the gas system had frozen from rust. A gunsmith fixed it for about $80.
Be very careful with military surplus firearms. If possible, have a gunsmith inspect them before you buy. Definitely get a gunsmith’s approval before shooting.
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