Buying a used handgun for self-defense is a great way to get a good price on a gun that you’d otherwise not be able to afford. There are plenty of places where you can purchase a new to you gun, to include locally at your gun store.
There are certain things you’ll want to look for when you go to purchase a used concealed carry piece, and this article will cover some of those things.
You’ll want to look for obvious signs of proper maintenance and premature wear. How worn down do the parts look? You’ll want to inspect the firearm on the outside, as well as on the inside.
A side benefit to buying a firearm is that most gun enthusiasts are meticulous with their firearms maintenance, and take better care of their guns than they do just about anything else, including their cars.
You'll also want to continue that meticulous maintenance, whether you're cleaning your gun from home, or taking to a professional for a cleaning. At home, you can pick up Gun Cleaning Mats for multiple models that make the process easy and clean.
Some people may disagree with us on this one, but the recoil spring is usually one of the first components to wear out on a gun. Because there really is no way of knowing how many rounds of ammo the person you bought it from put through it, changing this part is recommended.
They’re cheap enough, and you don’t want to find out the hard way that your recoil spring stopped working during a self-defense incident. Replace it after you buy it, even if the previous owner said they only have a few hundred rounds into the gun. They may be lying to you, and recoil springs are easy and cheap enough to replace that the chance shouldn’t be taken.
Especially not with a concealed carry gun.
Buy in person
It’s almost always better to buy a firearm that you can see in person and inspect. The last thing you want is to buy something sight unseen and regret your decision later. Of course, there are certain times when buying from a distance is likely okay, but for the most part, it’s almost always better to buy a used gun in person.
Buy from someone you trust
The best way to purchase a used firearm is to buy it from someone you know. The main reason as to why this is, is because if you know the person they can explain anything that’s been done to it, if it’s been modified at all, how well they took care of the gun, etc.
Even better, if you have any issues with the gun you can take it to them and ask what’s up.
It’s a very good idea to know how much the item you want to buy is worth in used condition. There can be a gray area here. If the item isn’t popular in your area, the seller may be able to sell it for more money than it may be worth, simply because of supply and demand.
This won’t always be an option, but if you can shoot the particular gun before you buy it, doing so will help tell a story that you wouldn't have otherwise gotten. If you can, try to shoot your chosen self-defense ammunition to make sure it’ll function how you want it to.
Even just shooting a few rounds through the gun is better than nothing, and if buying in person, is a good way to know for certain if this is the gun for you, or not. This isn’t usually an option, however, and if you can’t shoot it, it is not a deal breaker.
Much in the same vein of shooting the gun before you buy, is shooting the gun after you buy. Chances are very good that you won’t have the option to shoot it beforehand. So, the next best thing, is to shoot it after you buy it.
You should do this with any firearm you purchase, especially if it’s a gun you plan to carry for self-defense. You don’t just want to bring your target practice ammo with you, but also the self-defense hollow points you plan to carry in this gun to make sure it cycles them.
If it doesn’t cycle them, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker, as this particular ammo may have issues with this particular gun. However, if you try more than one type of ammunition and none of them seem to work right, it may be time to get rid of your new purchase.
You should ideally shoot the gun a couple hundred times with your chosen ammo to make sure there aren’t any bugs that need to be worked out. While shooting, we like to think about safety first. Picking up a pair of Tac Strapz for your protective eye wear is highly recommended when shooting at the range.
Be prepared to resell
It can be a hard pill to swallow, but if your new, used gun doesn’t perform how you want, there is no reason to keep it. Someone will buy it, even if it doesn't cycle your self-defense ammo properly, just as a target practice gun, or for some other reason.
Sadly, this is the name of the self-defense gun game. Buying something that doesn’t work how we want is to be expected from time to time, and there really is no way of knowing beforehand. Sometimes, you just need to sell it.
When you know what to lookout for, buying a used concealed carry firearm is a good option to help you save some money while still getting a reliable gun. Following the steps in this article should help you find a used gun that’s right for you.