Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Gun
created: 9/26/2023 12:42 PM in GEAR

Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Gun

The firearm industry, like many others, has seen a digital evolution, shifting a significant portion of trade from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online platforms. 

In this modern landscape, savvy buyers often look to the internet to find the best deals and rare items that might not be available in local gun shops. While there are multiple online destinations for firearms enthusiasts, Armslist Firearms Marketplace emerges as a leading contender in the realm of used guns. 

Touted as a comprehensive and user-friendly platform, Armslist bridges the gap between sellers and buyers, offering an expansive inventory, competitive pricing, and an unparalleled opportunity to discover unique finds.

Whether you're a seasoned collector or a novice looking for your first purchase, understanding the dynamics of buying a used gun online can ensure a smoother, safer, and more rewarding experience.

Advantages of Buying a Used Gun

Cost Savings

One of the primary reasons individuals opt for used firearms is the substantial cost savings. New guns can be expensive, but the used market often offers more budget-friendly options, allowing more people to access firearms for self-defense or sport.

Vintage and Collectible Firearms

For collectors, the used gun market is a treasure trove. Vintage and collectible firearms often appreciate in value over time, making them not only a hobby but also a potential investment.

Related: What is a used Winchester Model 70 worth?



Certain firearms may be challenging to find in new conditions due to limited production or discontinued models. Buying used increases the chances of acquiring these elusive firearms.

Reduced Depreciation

New guns tend to depreciate quickly once they leave the store. Used guns have already gone through this initial depreciation, making them a more stable investment.

Disadvantages of Buying a Used Gun

Uncertain History

Used guns come with a history that buyers may not always be aware of. They could have been mishandled, improperly maintained, or involved in incidents that affect their reliability.

Related: How Much is an AK-47?

Lack of Warranty

Most new firearms come with warranties from manufacturers. With used guns, these warranties may have expired or may not transfer to the new owner, leaving them without manufacturer support.

Wear and Tear

Used firearms often exhibit wear and tear, affecting their appearance and potentially their performance. Buyers should carefully inspect any used gun they consider purchasing.

What To Look For When Buying a Used Gun

Purchasing a used firearm requires careful consideration to ensure that you acquire a safe and reliable weapon. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when buying a used gun.

Identification Details

Review the inscriptions on the slide and frame/receiver for information about the firearm's caliber, brand, and model.

Serial Number Verification

Ensure that the serial number is clear, unaltered, and visible. It's mandatory for all civilian firearms to display at least one serial number on the frame or receiver. Note that some models may have this number displayed in multiple locations. 

For instance, the Springfield Armory XDM 10mm with a 15-round capacity features the serial number in three distinct spots: beneath the frame ahead of the trigger guard, on the slide's right side behind the ejection port, and on the chamber’s right side. A match across all three locations indicates the firearm retains its original components.

Exterior Examination 

For semi-auto pistols and revolvers, particularly those with frequent use, assess the exterior for signs of holster wear. It's not uncommon for older firearms, like those from the Smith & Wesson 5900-series, once issued to the police, to display holster wear but remain mechanically sound.

Condition Check

Scrutinize the metal components for signs of deterioration such as scratches, tarnished finishes, rust, or cracks. Inspecting pins, screws, and other smaller components is essential, ensuring they are neither missing nor loose.

Modifications and Additions

Be aware that some pre-owned firearms might come with modifications or add-ons from the previous owner. This could range from night sights on pistols to an extended magazine on shotguns or varied furniture on an AR-15 rifle.

Previous Maintenance Inspection

Watch out for signs that indicate improper handling or disassembly by the previous owner, such as tool marks or damaged screws. These signs might hint at the use of inappropriate tools during maintenance.

Overall Assessment

Despite the external appearance, a firearm may still be in excellent mechanical condition. Often, a firearm that shows external signs of wear might offer a valuable deal, particularly if it remains mechanically sound. 

Many law enforcement firearms, despite their worn exteriors, have been carried more than they've been fired. However, there are exceptions, like the unused surplus from police departments across the US (Smith & Wesson M&P .40, for example), which might be priced as used but look pristine.

Buying Used Guns on Armslist

The rise of digital platforms has greatly influenced the firearm market, and Armslist stands out as a noteworthy online marketplace for used guns. When considering purchasing from Armslist, several advantages come to mind:

Expansive Inventory

One of the primary benefits of using Armslist is the expansive inventory it offers, with over 95,000 active listings as of writing this! The platform aggregates listings from sellers across the nation, providing a vast array of options in terms of firearm makes, models, and editions. 

This comprehensive collection ensures that buyers are more likely to find a specific gun they're looking for, which might not be available in local stores or other smaller marketplaces.

Competitive Pricing

With its multitude of sellers, Armslist naturally fosters a competitive pricing environment. Sellers are vying for attention on the platform, often leading to more reasonable and market-adjusted prices. Furthermore, by comparing various listings, buyers can ensure they get the best value for their money.

Convenience and Accessibility

Armslist provides the advantage of convenience. Without being restricted to store hours or locations, buyers can browse listings at their leisure, anytime and anywhere. This digital accessibility eliminates the need for travel and the limitations inherent to brick-and-mortar shops.

Opportunity to Find Rare Items

The vastness of the Armslist platform increases the likelihood of encountering rare, vintage, or collectible firearms that might not be available elsewhere. For collectors and enthusiasts, Armslist can be a treasure trove of unique finds.

Armslist offers a modern, expansive, and user-friendly approach to buying used guns. While the platform presents numerous advantages, buyers should prioritize safety, exercise due diligence, and ensure all transactions comply with local, state, and federal regulations.

In your pursuit of a quality pre-owned firearm, it's beneficial to remember that sometimes, appearances can be deceiving. Always prioritize functionality and safety checks before making a purchase.


Are used guns cheaper than new guns?

The cost of a used gun depends on its condition, rarity, brand, and demand. While many used guns are more affordable than their new counterparts, some collectible or rare firearms can command higher prices.

It's essential to consider factors beyond price when purchasing a used gun, such as its condition, history, and any modifications or alterations that have been made.

Do guns maintain value?

Generally, guns can maintain or even appreciate in value depending on various factors.

  • Brand & Quality: Renowned and high-quality firearms tend to retain value better over time.
  • Rarity & Collectibility: Limited edition guns, antiques, or those with historical significance can appreciate in value.
  • Condition: Well-maintained firearms in excellent condition are likely to hold their value, while those showing significant wear and tear or damage may depreciate.
  • Economic & Legal Factors: Changes in gun laws, import/export restrictions, and market demand can influence a firearm's value.
  • Maintenance & Storage: Proper care, cleaning, and appropriate storage can help a gun retain or increase its value.

Should you clean a gun right after you buy it?

Cleaning a gun after purchase, whether new or used, is a proactive step to ensure safety, optimal performance, and longevity of the firearm. 

  • New guns often come with preservative oils or coatings from the factory, which should be removed before the first use.
  • For used firearms, cleaning ensures any old residues, potential obstructions, or contaminants are removed, as the full maintenance history might be unknown.
  • Cleaning ensures that the firearm functions correctly and safely. A clean gun reduces the risk of jams or malfunctions.
  • Cleaning a newly acquired firearm allows the owner to familiarize themselves with its components and operation.


The decision to buy a used gun versus a new one depends on various factors, including budget, purpose, and personal preferences. 

While cost savings and access to collectibles make used guns attractive, the uncertainty of their history and the absence of warranties pose inherent risks. 

Potential buyers should conduct thorough research, seek expert advice, and consider their individual needs before choosing.

Join our community of firearm enthusiasts today and find your next perfect handgun on ARMSLIST! Our platform makes it easier than ever to connect with sellers and make safe, responsible purchases. 

Exercise your Second Amendment rights responsibly and explore ARMSLIST for an unparalleled firearms shopping experience!


created: 9/26/2023 12:42 PM in GEAR

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