Did your Dad buy used?

My dad didn't like guns. To him they were a necessary farm tool, and only useful for killing, which he hated. He had a few that he bought used.

I've bought a lot of used guns back int he day, never really had a problem. When you have some basic knowledge of what to look for, it's not hard to weed out the junk. It seemed that 30-40 years ago, used guns were more like used cars. The working guy who had more money bought a late model used car only a few years old with low miles, whereas the average guy bought one 10+ years old with higher mileage. Only "wealthy" people ever bought new cars. I'm still that way; I really scratch my head when I see people driving around in $70k trucks. They live in a very different world than I do.

I have no problem at all with used guns. The last one I bought was well used, and I'm enjoying the heck out of shooting it every time I get to the range. Sometimes you find a great deal on a used gun. You can't you get a new S&W .45acp revolver that shoots as good as this 83 year old one, not for $225. :)


Most of my Dad's guns were acquired used. Especially in the earlier days. In the last 20 years or so, definitely more new guns than used. I think it is a function of desiring some newer models that may not be readily available in the used market, and probably also some willingness/ability to spend more on certain things than when he was raising a young family.

For me, I typically prefer to buy used if I can find something in good condition at a fair price and after adequate inspection to hopefully validate you are not buying someone else's problems. Also, many items of interest are older firearms, which are not available new (except for a NOS find/GunBroker sale at collectible prices). This goes for guns, vehicles, sometimes tools, etc. However, if it is something that can be bought new (recent or current production) that I am after, and the seller wants close to new price (as often seems to be the case this year in the current firearms market), then I will buy new without hesitation. Also has been the case with most of the vehicles I have purchased the last 20 years. If I have to spend close to new $ for a fairly new car, I prefer to just buy new, especially since I am particular about what I want, and usually keep them for a long time. If used auto, I have always stayed away from lease returns and especially rental car companies selling their old inventory. The old adage "drive it like you stole it" for a rental car always comes to mind. Many of these are probably fine vehicles, and often someone selling a fairly new but still used firearm just wants to trade for something different rather than unload something defective or damaged. I just prefer to go a different route if I am not saving a fair amount of $ on it.


People buy new because; haven't you seen the store your bubblegum facilities all across towns? Pay to store your extra garbage and then at some point you've paid more in storage fees than the value of what is in those units.

People are hoarders and like 'stuff' to keep them comfortable.

He who dies with the most toys wins. Or still dies.


We have become a consumer culture in all things, including firearms.
just always need more.
our father’s and father’s fathers handed down firearms, and were given as presents to be treasured. They were also more of a tool for hunting, for a food source.

Now we are a weaker society. Firearms are just another accessory now.
Could be one, or more, or all of the factors you mentioned.

I think it has more to do with the excellent quality of modern firearms. Even most down-market guns have pretty good reputations for reliability. All of that quality and reliability is now available for 400 bux, sometimes even less.

I often buy my higher quality (more expensive) guns on the used market, most of my SGs, HKs, and 1911s have come to me that way.

Then I'll see a used XD for $400 and, as fine a gun as it is, l also know that l paid $375 for a BNIB 3.8" XDM (and got 3 free mags) just a couple of yrs ago.

I guess what I'm saying is that the paper thin margins of new retail purchases take the starch out of the deal when buying/selling used.
I can attest to this! I was in the market for a new “Springfield Hellcat” and I looked at used best I saw was $450 most were 500-550 (plus transfer fee) I just bought one BRAND NEW today for 585 after tax. There’s something to owning a gun and knowing your the only one that had used it. Especially if it’s a carry gun. You KNOW it’s been taken care of!
Dad and Grand Dad almost always bought used, partially as the firearms they were into were ether long out of production, spendy new, even back in the day, or a certain version they wanted! New really only came if there was something they just had to have, usually pistols, so that's what they bought! Dad did order a couple of collector pieces new, sets from Winchester and Colt, a 5 gun set of 1911's from Colt with one each branch of the armed forces, and the first 4 digits of the SN being the date each branch came into being! He also has several Winny levers of various special run collectors, like the John Wayne Series, and such! He also collects vintage Colt Revolvers, and 1911's but has also added Schofield's and very early Smith and Wessons to the mix! Grand Dad was always a Winchester guy, be it Levers or early Pre Mod-70 Bolts, and was also a hard core S&W revolver guy, and he had a lust for Belgian made Browning and Weatherby bolts, but only ever got his dream Weatherby when my cousins, brothers, and I tracked the one rifle of his dreams down for him and bought it and gifted it to him! He also really loved the Holland & Holland bolt actions, and pretty much any sporter based on the Mauser 98's! And like everybody else, if you wanted am M-1 Garand/Carbine, M-1A/BM-59, or 1903's, you pretty much bought surplus and rolled with it as it was! Thinking on it, I don't think Grand Dad ever bought a "New" firearm other then a couple of Smith&Wesson revolvers!

Ruger Rich

My Dad had 3 guns, a Mossberg 22, a model 94 in 30-30 and a side by side 12 gauge that I dont know the manufacturer. All were used when he got them. Sadly I have not a one of the 3. For me the ratio is about 7 used to every 3 new. The new becoming more prevalent. Used prices, generally speaking, are not that much below new. There are guns I want that are no longer sold new.


Anymore by the time you pay a transfer fee and waste your time meeting up most used firearms are just not that great of a deal. The days of passing cash along with a handshake in Home Depot paking lot or a garage sale are long gone.

I have an estate sale FFL that doesn't charge a background check fee and his firearms for sale are well below market value.
He's a fair and honest guy and It's a pleasure to receive his emails once a month showing what's up for grabs.

Wombat of Doom

I was thinking back on the number of guns I saw in my small home town while growing up.
Not a lot of new guns.

Most were bought on the secondary market. For a somewhat reduced price.
Many were tools of past Wars that had been reconfigured, and pressed into service as inexpensive option to gather game.

People buy new it seems.

Could this be due to the proliferation of credit cards?
Or maybe the lack of quality surplus available today?

In any case. Men sure were more thrifty then I was young.
My dad didn't buy guns. Well, technically he bought me some when I was 12. He has slowly come around, and owns a couple now. I might have given him one back when that was legal in another state that shall remain nameless.

I usually buy used. Because I like old stuff mostly. They ain't making any new stuff used in the great war.
When I was growing up it was VERY common to see used. Mil surp stuff was everywhere and compared to now dirt cheap. First 1911 I ever shot that set off my love for them was bought by mail, Mil Surp. Lost track of the M-1 Carbines I saw pass through shops this way. Often makes me wish I had hung onto a couple of them :(
Until the state made this more trouble than it was worth I loved buying used. Every new gun I ever buy is only new until I can get to a range. Normally a matter of hours, not days. Loved buying and selling so I could play.


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