1. Yep, I’ve only bought one used handgun to date (Was close to buying a few more but happened to be on a few occasions the VERY day I planned on cutting the check for new, a serviceable used model arrived in the stores)

    My Day-to-Day carry gun is a Scandium S&W1911 commander. They’re well above my standard price-bracket new, and the going-rate used ones are still a bit rich for my blood. Still I logged my time in the trenches watching the used racks and asking around for leads. Sometimes this took years (My S&W617 10-shot was a LONG time coming, and I’m VERY pleased to have gotten it at the price I did) other times just months, but I got one for a better price than I’d ever expected.

    A lot of the cheap new guns listed are well-made and should last a good while. Others not listed generally have a finite life-span that a diligent trainer might easily encounter.

    A used quality gun if properly shopped shouldn’t have much appreciable difference from a brandy-new one.

    Especially if you’re going to stuff it in a holster or run a good round-count through it. That new gun won’t look new for very long, so why bother paying the premium?

  2. If you can, find a range/gun store that will let you rent used guns.

    My latest acquisition from Knob Creek was a used Taurus PT145. I rented the gun for $10, put 100 rounds through it, made a quick call to a gun friend to do a quick search for reviews or issues with the gun, and then bought it. It was a great way to decide if the gun was right for me before shelling out a lot of cash.

    I strongly suggest training a few friends to help each other out, call them when considering a purchase, have them check for:
    1. Search for ” review”
    2. Search for ” issue OR problem OR broken”
    3. Search for ” serial number”.
    4. Search for ” owners club” and ” message board”

    If theres a glaring issue, recall, consistent compaint, or rave reviews. It should show up there in just a few minutes.

    In my case we didn’t do all those, I got a bit lucky. But it would have shown that the PT145 had frame cracking issues early on and that the trigger massively improved in later generations. Running the serial through Taurus later showed the date of manufacture to be recent and well past these issues. I got a used gun I’m very pleased with almost 400 rounds later.

    Specifics aside, the internet and cell phones bring a lot of power to a buyer. We can consult 1000’s of other owners right there at the gun shop. You should find a shop you can trust, but sometimes theres a deal at a show or a pawn shop that needs to be checked out.

  3. Damn it, ate my tags.

    1. Search for ”mfgr model caliber review”
    2. Search for ”mfgr model issue OR problem OR broken”
    3. Search for ”mfgr serial number”.
    4. Search for ”mfgr owners club” and ”mfgr message board”

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