<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">*How to buy used guns*
This article will cover how to buy used guns from individuals. At this point in time this is one of the best ways to buy guns and not have the government stomp all over you rights. The majority of my firearms have been purchased in this fashion and I have even bought a few for friends who happen to know my “talent” in this area.
Just so you know that I have some credibility in this area…I have purchased the following guns in the last four months...(all of these guns are in +90% condition).
1) .44 Colt Anaconda with 6” barrel for $225
2) .380 Bersa Thunder for $50
3) 9mm Beretta 92FS for $350 (with 3 hi-caps)
4) .44 Ruger Blackhawk for $100
5) .44 Winchester 84 lever action for $100
6) 12 ga. Mossberg 5500 with 2 barrels for $125
7) .45 Glock 21 with a nice carrying case for $175
8) 9mm Walter P99 for $333
9) .44 Desert Eagle for $335
10) 9mm Taurus Millennium with night sights for $175
11) Russian SKS for $75.00 (probably at 85% condition)
All of these guns were bought from motivated individuals looking to sell their guns. I have passed on more guns than I bought and have let a few get away for monetary reasons that I wish I hadn’t. The ones that got away…
1) .380 Walther PPK/S for $180
2) .40S&W Glock 23 with night sights for $300
3) .223 Bushmaster with 20” barrel for $400
(I know…I know...all of you would have loaned me the money to buy these! Right? As long as you got to shoot them!)
Let’s start with some questions to ask right off the bat…
Make sure the gun functions. Remove the magazine, check the barrel/cylinder, work the slide, pull the trigger, test the hammer, and test the safety. If you can, field strip the firearm to check wear and/or abuse.
The answer to this question will let you know if you have a motivated seller or not. Answers like “My wife says…”, “I need…”, and “I have to…” all indicate motivation. If you don’t have a motivated seller, you will just have to negotiate differently as you will see below. Continue with the next question.
Wait patiently for them to give you a price. React accordingly. For example, the guy selling the Glock 21 (a motivated seller – he was moving and needed $) told me that he wanted $200 in answer to this question. I shook my head from side to side and sucked a breath in through my teeth and said, “I don’t know? I was thinking more like...(pause)… $150.” I looked at his face for any sign of expression as I said “$150”. He kind of bit his lip and did some figuring in his head (I could see the wheels turning). At long last he said he really needed to get $200 out of the gun. I then (while shaking my head yes) said to him, “Why don’t we meet in the middle at $175?” Now you and I know that the gun is worth far more than $200 and I would have paid more for it, but HE didn’t care, he needed the money more than the gun. I think that if I had pushed real hard I might have got him to come down to $150, but I wanted to be able to sleep that night J.
On the other hand, you will have people tell you some outrageous dollar amount for a gun. React with surprise and don’t let them get away with it. Tell them to forget it because you’re not even in the same ballpark! A motivated seller will come back with “Well how much will you give me?” Don’t fall for this trick. Hem and haw and say something like, “Well I was looking for a bargain and if I told you what I would pay, you would probably reach over and smack me!” A motivated seller will insist you make an offer. At this point go ahead and offer an unreasonably small amount of money (like $150 for a .44 Winchester 84 and Ruger Blackhawk). I ended up paying $200 for these guns and the guy started at $500, for what it’s worth.
Know what the gun is worth to you and the marketplace. Understand that the gun is worth what you are willing to pay for it, not what some book says its worth. A person may think his Jennings .22 is worth $200 (don’t laugh I have meet him), doesn’t mean it is. Likewise, a person may think their Glock 21 is only worth $175, not my problem that he doesn’t know what his property is worth. I have never mislead a person about the worth of a gun, I have even pulled out a Blue Book of Values and showed them what a gun is worth and offered half of the amount. That’s what it’s worth to me. So knowing beforehand the value of gun will help you spot deals and not end up buying a used Ruger P89 for $600 at an auction (Again, I saw it happen last month!).
Body language is important. In my examples above I noted my head movement, my eyes, and some expressions. I didn’t talk about the tone or volume of my voice, or the placement of my arms & body. This is an article all in itself (Keep an eye out for it!). I typically use a technique called “mirroring”. This is a technique that mimics or “mirrors” the body language of the person you are speaking with. I have used this technique successfully for many years. You can even “move” people with this technique once you “lock” their body language with your own. They will begin to “mirror” you. I call this my “Jedi mind trick”. I have had salespeople I was training be amazed with the power of this technique. Practice this with friends and you will be amazed. Be careful, if you are not aware, this technique can be used on you!
Do not let people fool you with sob stories. If they could sell it for more they wouldn’t still be talking to you! My favorite thing to do is commiserate with them. Tell them “Man I know what that feels like! That’s why I can only offer $___. I just put brakes on my truck! I can’t believe how expensive things are right now!”
Lastly, be prepared to walk away. This mindset will help you stick to your guns (no pun intended) on the amount you are willing to pay.
I always ask for a signed receipt / bill of sale with their name and address on it and the gun and serial number and the price paid. You do not want to be accused of knowingly buying stolen goods. And with some of the deals I have made, a prosecutor could easily lead a jury to believe I was getting “a deal too good to be true!” After I purchase from someone I don’t know, I anonymously check with my local sheriff’s department to see if the gun was stolen. I call them from a pay phone and say something like, “I was thinking of buying this gun from a guy but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t stolen or anything.” I then give them a model # and S/N. I have been fortunate so far, no known stolen guns.