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I am just getting into pistol shooting and I read about all of these cool pistols that I would like to have like a 1911 but I am in college and can't afford a lot. I was wondering what everybody's opinion is regarding used pistols. Is it worth getting a used pistol so that I can afford to get more pistols? Also, I don't know how to really tell a good from a bad used pistol due to the fact that I am new to this. Should I only go to places like Cabelas to get a used pistol or is it okay to get them at a pawn shop too? What about if I just buy them from somebody in the newspaper classifieds, do either I or them have to have a FFL, is it safe?
 

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When buying a used firearm of any type, you should research it beforehand.... familiarize yourself with the operation, maintenance, and common problems of that particular firearm. Better yet, bring along someone who is TRULY knowledgable (But you'll probably need a good BS detector to find somebody who really knows what they're talking about).

In lieu of the above, deal only with a local reputable dealer.... no pawn shops, no f-t-f sales, no online sales. That way, you'll have some recourse if there's a problem. Know ahead of time what the gun is worth, and be prepared to walk away if the price is too high.
 

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I agree with another poster here, research before going to look. I've bought almost all my pistols used, but I knew what I was looking for. It's nice seeing a good price online, but nothing beats working the action, how it feels in your hand, and seeing in person the condition of the bore. If looking at a revolver, does the cylinder lock up tight when closed? That sort of thing is hard to tell from an ad online. Personal opinion here, but I would avoid the pawn shops. In my state we have gun shows fairly often. I found some great deals to add to my collection. I have found the dealers nice, and very reputable. My .02
 

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I'd recommend keeping your eyes peeled for police trade ins. Often these guns were carried a lot but hardly fired. I've picked up several Sigs and Glocks for very good prices that were PD trade ins.

My Sig 229 belonged to the VT attorney generals office and there was hardly ANY slide wear on the barrel and very little noticeable holster wear. I snapped it up for $399 with 3 12rd mags! :)
 

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I have bought plenty of used guns. I buy them from licenseded dealers some of the guns were sold on consignment. But since i bought from a dealer their is a paper trail showing were you got the gun. Hopefully that will avoid any problems that may arise with former owners. I never have had a problem yet.
 

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I donot buy new. I do not buy what cannot be shot. That said - my favorite time period is 1920 - 1950. I have two dozen pistols, total, and five are newer than 1955.

Read up. Ask questions. Don't hesitate to buy a used gun. They don't get holes in the knees.
 

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Like others have said . . . Don't be afraid to buy used. I got a good deal one time on a Beretta 92FS that was a police trade-in . . . It had been worn alot in a holster as you'd expect so some of the blueing was worn, but seemed to not be shot too much. It shot very nice - I'm starting to kick myself for selling it :cry:
 
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