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New vs. Used

When buying a gun do you prefer new or used? Through the years I have known loyalists to both camps. Buying a gun like any purchase has factors that can sometime limit our buying power.

Funds

Available funds (or the lack there of) is normally the top factor, especially for first time gun buyers. Buying a new gun is like buying a new car; you pay a premium for it being new. By buying a used gun you can often purchase a high quality firearm without paying the premium price.

Reviews

When you buy a new gun the available information on that particular model can be scarce if the model is new to the market. New models are normally limited to the “laboratory” test results from the manufacturer and the information they place in the brochure. Used guns and new guns that are current models that have been in production for several years will likely yield more reviews from real world shooters.

Testing

Other than holding and feeling a new gun and possibly a dry fire or two you will likely not know how the guns shoots until you pay for it. If you are pondering a purchase of a used gun at a facility that includes a range you will likely have the opportunity to fire the gun before you purchase it. Firing a gun rather than just handling it will make a lot of difference.

Accessories

Buying a new gun will likely yield more included accessories like spare magazines special tools and/or case.  Example: My new Sig P226 included the carrying case, an extra standard magazine and a high capacity magazine. It is highly unlikely to get these when you buy a used gun.

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No matter which group you are in or if you fall somewhere in between, educate yourself about the gun before you put down the cash. If you know someone with the model you are looking at, ask them to bring it to the range for you can try it out. Using the gun could persuade you not to get it or may sell you on it.

If you have friends in both camps ask them why they prefer one over the other, the answers might surprise you. Reasons I have heard range from the abject to the downright paranoid. On the used side “the cheaper better” would be my favorite. Cheap can be good but sacrificing quality for a cheaper price tag could be costly in the long run. From the new side I have to go with “with a new gun you know that it hasn’t been used in a murder”. Where that could be a legitimate argument, your sales receipt can be your alibi for any such event that happened before your purchase.

So what do you prefer, new and shiny or used with some character?

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Happy shooting, God bless America and God bless you and yours

James

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