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Old January 24, 2014, 07:49 PM   #1
FloridaGuy
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Purchasing Used Revolvers

So far all of my revolvers where purchased new. I have stayed away from purchasing any used revolvers. I have been looking at a couple of used revolvers and may be ready to seriously look at purchasing them. But what do I look at to make sure they are in working order?
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Old January 24, 2014, 07:59 PM   #2
klmspider
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study... research

I've gotten myself into this predicament, and it isn't a lot of fun. Read the many articles on how to check out a revolver. You may have to go under specific brands, and use that information to generalize.
In a nutshell, the more you know, the better prepared you will be. You can take a lead ball, larger than the chambers, press it into the end, and see if the other chambers line up with the circle your pressure made from the first impression. All chambers should be exactly the same size. Feeler gauge to measure cylinder-barrel gap, smooth action? Is the cylinder locked in position when the hammer is cocked? Look for frame cracks and erosion where the cylinder chamber gap projects gases. Check the bore for smoothness, corrosion, nicks in the crown... gosh, the things to check out are next to endless. Some people will actually "slug" a barrel (force a lead ball through the barrel), and check the diameter, and notice if the lead ball goes down smoothly, rolls freely, or hits tight spots. Get all the reviews on the models you are looking at and take criticisms seriously. Good luck!
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Old January 24, 2014, 08:03 PM   #3
Joe_Pike
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Start with this thread, which is a "Sticky", in the revolver section here.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57816
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Old January 25, 2014, 01:10 AM   #4
klmspider
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Revolver checkout- revisited

Thanks, Joel, for posting this. I read it some time ago, and was referring to this great work (especially for someone as myself). Even if one can not perform all the tests, the quick-over can be much more informative/telling!
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Old January 25, 2014, 09:38 AM   #5
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Please don't buy used revolvers!!!!!!!!

I don't need or want the extra competition.
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Old January 25, 2014, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Please don't buy used revolvers!!!!!!!!

I don't need or want the extra competition.
Okay! Post of the week!
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Old January 25, 2014, 11:00 AM   #7
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The "how to check out a used revolver" is good stuff. That's what I do.

I've had great luck picking up used revolvers. Usually they are estate sales and my experience with used revolvers has been great.

Picked up this barely-ever-shot Ruger a couple of weeks ago. A real sweetheart of a revolver.

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Old January 25, 2014, 01:27 PM   #8
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That is a nice looking gun. How much. I have only bought 2 new revolvers new and they were both second hand guns. I have owned 37 revolvers at one time in my gun collection. I have sold 30 of this last year. They were better than having money in the bank!!!
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Old January 25, 2014, 01:30 PM   #9
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ya, Roger, how much
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Old January 25, 2014, 02:03 PM   #10
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"I have stayed away from purchasing any used revolvers."

OMG, I can't even imagine. I have bought maybe 150 used revolvers in the past 45 years. Probably 50 were bought from auction sites with no prior inspection.

I'm trying to recall getting a bad one.

Still trying...

Life's a gamble. I would hate to miss out because I was afraid of this or afraid of that. God hates a coward. Be bold and God will be with you.

If you can handle the revolver before buying cock the hammer. Make sure the cylinder turns. Push on the hammer to make sure it actually holds at full cock. Pull the trigger to make sure the hammer falls. Make sure the cylinder doesn't wiggle back and forth or side to side too much. Make sure the cylinder swings open and closes freely and smoothly.

That covers about 99% of it.
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Old January 25, 2014, 03:00 PM   #11
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used

I buy it.
I shoot it.
I decide if it meets my criteria.
If it does, goodie.
If it doesn't I fix it or send it to a pro for fixing.
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Last edited by WESHOOT2; January 25, 2014 at 03:00 PM. Reason: I do this for new guns, too
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Old January 25, 2014, 03:38 PM   #12
Jim March
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Ironically, my favorite revolver and the one I've bonded with the most (and modified beyond what most people consider sane!) was bought new in 2005. But that's because the Ruger New Vaquero was brand new - the gun now known as "Maurice the FrankenRuger" has a serial number just over 5,000.

But otherwise, yes, I highly recommend buying used most of the time.

Rugers are of special note because Ruger will fix 'em if they break without worrying about who bought it new.
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Old January 26, 2014, 10:16 AM   #13
Peter M. Eick
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I agree with Oxygun. We don't need more competition for used.

I have only bought one new revolver but I am at over a hundred used. I have been fortunate not to have any serious bummers so far. Mostly the bad ones have been just in a need of a good cleaning. There have been some buggered screws but that can be fixed. All but 6 were made at least a decade before I was born so there is no possibility that I could have bought them new. Besides of those 6, I could never have afforded them when new.

So knock on wood, I will keep buying used and have fun doing it.
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Old January 26, 2014, 03:31 PM   #14
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The only NEW revolver I've ever bought was an LCR. Liked it, but not enough to keep.

Both the GP100 and Security Six in my safe were purchased used and they're gems. Great revolvers.
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Old January 26, 2014, 03:46 PM   #15
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I have yet to purchase an NIB revolver. And yet to have a lemon.
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Old January 26, 2014, 04:25 PM   #16
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its a crap shooot. Some conditions are really hard to spot without alot of expertise.

is that hard to open cylinder/crane assembly from dried up oil, or did the last owner pistol whip their great dane with it?
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Old January 26, 2014, 10:02 PM   #17
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Two things to look for are buggered screw heads and poorly fitting sideplates (or other parts when the gun doesn't have a sideplate. These indicate a gun that has been taken apart, possibly by an amateur "gunsmith". And that may mean trouble with a capital "T". If buying from an individual, ask flat out why he is trading/selling the gun. If buying from a dealer, ask if he will guarantee the gun and have any problems corrected on his dime. If you don't like the answers, take a pass.

JIm
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Old January 27, 2014, 10:28 AM   #18
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Most of my revolvers are pre-owned. I always check the lockup and timing before I use them. I ask for an honest assessment before I buy them online. It saves money for more ammo.
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Old January 27, 2014, 10:51 AM   #19
Mike Irwin
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As of this moment I own.... 35 revolvers?

Something ridiculous like that.

Not a single one of them was purchased new.
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Old January 27, 2014, 10:57 AM   #20
CDR_Glock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post
As of this moment I own.... 35 revolvers?



Something ridiculous like that.



Not a single one of them was purchased new.

Smart. Most of my stuff outside of revolvers were also used.

For Semiautos, the advantage is greater because most, like a 1911, require a break in.
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Old January 27, 2014, 11:46 AM   #21
Mike Irwin
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Oh, only one of my maybe 25 semi-autos was purchased new.

No, make that two.
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Old January 27, 2014, 05:48 PM   #22
BigJimP
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Educating yourself - on how to check a used revolver - and to evaluate it --- becomes part of the fun of adding revolvers to your collection, in my view.

I have about 25 S&W revolvers in my collection now ... 1 inherited, the rest of them were all purchased used.
-------------
If you can, try and find someone at your local range ...who has a few / talk to them --- what do they own, calibers, why those specific guns../ maybe they will let you put a few rounds thru some of their guns...and you can start to evaluate what you like in terms of grip size, weight, barrel length, caliber, etc.../ even though you have some revolvers, its probably time to take a bigger look at revolvers in general - as you get ready to jump into the deep end (with the rest of us )...because its not just how to check / its evaluating what you really want in revolvers, in my view...
---------------
Personally, .357 Mag is my favorite caliber...and S&W is the gun that fits my hands the best ...and I like their triggers the best...( S&W's like model 19's, 27's, 28's, 66's, 686's ...etc are all models I like in 2 1/2", 4" and 6" barrels ) but you have to figure out what suits you the best !

Last edited by BigJimP; January 27, 2014 at 05:55 PM.
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Old January 27, 2014, 06:17 PM   #23
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They make "new" revolvers?

Who knew?

Study the stickies at the top of this and most other gun forums. Look at few and you'll quickly pick up what to look for for.

Most used guns don't get sold because there is anything wrong with them. They get sold because the owner got bored with them, wanted something different, or needed money.
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