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Buying a used gun things to look for?

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Old 01-04-2014, 07:45 AM   #1
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Default Buying a used gun things to look for?

In probably buying a used revolver soon but i was just wondering is that good idea? And if it was should i look for when buying a used gun
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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I have seen this discussed on here before, but have yet to find the thread.

A couple of important issues are timing and cylinder lock up.

When the hammer is cocked in SA mode or the trigger is pulled in DA, there should no "wiggling" of the cylinder. The cylinder should "lock up" tightly.

The chambers of the cylinder need to line up with the forcing cone of the barrel. Whatever mode is involved, SA or DA, cocking the hammer should rotate the cylinder to align the chambers with the forcing cone. The action must be properly timed for the bullet to be lined up with the barrel when the hammer drops.

The condition of the top of the frame where the cylinder and barrel align is also important to check for structural integrity.

If you have doubts or any concern have the prospective wheel gun checked by a trusted 'smith before firing it, which is good advice for any gun.

The only way to acquire a vintage Colt. S&W, Ruger, etc. is used, so used is definitely worth consideration. I bought a used S&W 686 and had to have the cylinder release adjusted. I paid $525 for the gun, $35 for the cylinder adjustment and still feel like I got a bargain. I feel all warm & fuzzy when I score a nice, used, quality wheel gun.

Last edited by Gatoragn; 01-04-2014 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:43 AM   #3
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cAs, Good question but if your asking that, my answer is you should look for a Gunsmith before you pay for and try anything that is used. Every weapon has its own particular PMCS items and function checks, they are not the same. There are many owners that think they knw how their weapon is supposed to work but cant prove that safely. Looks and condition are important but safe function is key and most of that can be checked out without firing a single round through it if you know what the exact characteristics of the action are supposed to be.

Any private sale that wont let you have the piece inspected by a Smith probably isnt worth the $$$ or physical risks associated with it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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another thing to watch out for is bubbafied home gunsmithing! there are very few guns i would buy used with bubbafied gunsmithing done to them and the price i would pay would reflect that.

try to see if it looks like it's been taken care of or abused. look at the bore. should be clean, sharp and shiny. look for rusting or rust pits.

wouldn't hurt to have a gunsmith do a check over on something before putting your money down. if someone balks at having you getting it checked out, then walk away. don't let emotions drive your decision to buy. better to walk away and wait for a better deal than to be stuck with something that has problems. a better deal will come along.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:07 PM   #5
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I've bought many used Revolvers .

Revolvers are if just moderalted cared for forever-guns.
And even if not cared for still last a very long time.

Had good luck everytime. One of them was a bit rough but I used that to bring the price down.

Like Gator says probably the first thing to lock for is lockup you want it kinda tight.
But I would definelty go so far as to say that not even the slightest wiggle is permitted.
For example Rugers use a harder steel for the "hand" that rotates the cylinder than Colts and Smiths.. as a result that little "hand" ( for got the name) is not a wear item unlike other brands.
But because such hard steel cant be fittet as tight it also means that lock up on the ruger is rarely if ever perfectly tight and yiou will generelly see even in brand new gun a very slight wiggle in the cylinder.

Everything else is just common sense look for rust spots, worn off blueing if applicable.. pretty much what you see is what u get.

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Old 01-04-2014, 01:37 PM   #6
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Ruger uses harder steel in their Pawls "Hands" than other companies?? Where did you come up with that one? Do you know which Pawls are cast and which are machined? The principles of leverage differs between S&W and Colt. Colt uses a system that locks in place during battery. S&W uses a forgiving system that allows the chamber to align with the forcing cone during battery.
Which one best. Well you can purchase a S&W double action Colt left the market place. For a Colt DA to remain in perfect timing they needed an over haul every 6 Mos. This ruined Colt DA revolver sales to police and military. As for Ruger and timming. They work but are not in the class of Colt or S&W.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:44 PM   #7
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Here's a very good start.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:56 PM   #8
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I remember the thread Gator is talking about but I can't find it either...

With no stickies in the Revolver section, I'd have thought that would be the one...

Found this one on another forum...seems pretty comprehensive...
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:55 PM   #9
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@ 2:00 he goes over buying a used revolver, great tips. The whole video is good too.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:54 PM   #10
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Thank you all very much
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