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Old March 30, 2011, 09:07 PM   #1
Danb1215
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Your thoughts on "hand select"

I'm curious as to what the TFL C&R enthusiasts think about paying extra for hand select from most of the big distributors. Almost every site offers it, do you for it? Always, sometimes, never? Any conspiracy theorists that think it doesn't make a bit of difference? Personally I haven't ordered enough to make any kind of judgment, but depending on the particular firearm and the site, I'd most likely opt for it.
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Old March 30, 2011, 09:16 PM   #2
kilimanjaro
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I'd much rather select it myself, but for ten or twenty bucks more, not a bad deal. I've not received anything yet where I felt some care wasn't taken by the dealer in selection. The best way to do it, in my opinion, is to call the dealer and talk directly to the salesperson who will fill your order. You can discuss what you are really looking for and he can let you know what is at hand. That's the best way to get your twenty bucks worth. If they won't do that, maybe call back a bit later, could be really busy, or just jerks in which case you go somewhere else or take your chances.
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Old March 30, 2011, 11:21 PM   #3
deerslayer303
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Yeah they hand select them alright. They put their hand in the crate and grab one. I do not think they actually run a swab down the bore and then inspect with a bore light. Nor would they actually head space one or inspect the firing pin or spring pressure. But with that said I think they do a "quick" visual. So of course I will toss in an extra 10 bucks.
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Old March 31, 2011, 12:00 AM   #4
ripnbst
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If given the option I would definitely go with a hand picked, every time. You are already throwing down a few hundred, possibly much more. Whats another extra 10 or 20 bucks?

Plus you get the satisfaction of "This is the one I picked out".
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Old March 31, 2011, 12:57 AM   #5
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I have paid the ten bucks extra for hand select a few times. Sometimes I don't think it made much difference, other times I got what appears to be as new condition.
Hand select isn't a search through the dealers entire stock. They pull 5 guns from the storage, and pick what looks to them as the best of the 5.
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Old March 31, 2011, 04:21 AM   #6
Danb1215
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Kili, any sites in particular that have given you really great CS when ordering like that?
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Old March 31, 2011, 07:51 AM   #7
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I tend to use it, but its a timing issue. In my experience, when C&R dealers buy large lots of stuff (P1, P64, M57, TTC), they buy them pre-sorted into G/VG/Exc condition groups. If you buy early and check the hand select box (no special instructions, just paying the fee), they just toss you a box that says Exc on it. If these are gone, they toss you a VG. When there are only Gs left, they say things like "hand select" probably isn't worth your time.

This system seems to be interrupted if you give SPECIFIC instructions (e.g., I want a P1 from the 80s with the hex bolt and thicker slide with serrations in front of the safety) as now the dealer has to look into some boxes.

So, the earlier you buy, the better condition your hand select is likely to be...and the more likely you are to get your money's worth. Paying at the end will just get you the best of the Gs.

YMMV
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Old March 31, 2011, 08:17 AM   #8
madmo44mag
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I have always ordered hand select but once I ordered a hand select TT-57 and when it came in it looked and function like new.
I liked the pistol so much I ordered another and did not get the hand select and the finish was scared, dinged and marred, the fire control assembly fitted very poorly in the frame.
I'll never not order hand select from now on.
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Old March 31, 2011, 10:04 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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The dealer I hung around at when in college in the 1960s had Mausers stacked like cordwood. Buy mailorder from him and "hand select" meant the best looking gun in the top layer. $5 extra on a $30 rifle for a half minute scan was not a bad deal... for him.

One distributor more recently came out and said that "special select" meant the best of the next five guns out of the crate. You do not get a lengthy search of everything on hand.
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Old March 31, 2011, 10:30 AM   #10
gyvel
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Quote:
Hand select isn't a search through the dealers entire stock. They pull 5 guns from the storage, and pick what looks to them as the best of the 5.
Bingo!

Actually, I think J&G is best of 3.
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Old March 31, 2011, 10:32 AM   #11
orangello
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If it is based on when the dealer received their shipment, then i suppose the question would be "which dealer has the freshest cz-82's?".

I would like to know that answer myself. I mean, are most of the dealers ordering their cz-82's from Century; is Century (or whichever distributor) expecting a new batch soon? Anybody got an extra clue? I've been debating a cz-82 or one of the Bulgarian Makarov's or something along those lines, but i don't want to end up sending a $200 pistol off to be coated or having to replace much beyond a firing pin or springs.

I've also wondered whether the Yugo M57's that Gander Mountain occaisionally stocks are as good as what is available online. Since i just picked up a CZ-52 at the local gun show ( $250 ), it would be nice to have something else to share ammo.

Last edited by orangello; March 31, 2011 at 10:44 AM.
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Old March 31, 2011, 03:33 PM   #12
stu925
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Quote:
I've also wondered whether the Yugo M57's that Gander Mountain occaisionally stocks are as good as what is available online.
A friend of mine just picked one of these up and is very pleased with it. I haven't seen it as of yet, but he says it may be unissued. Of course he drove the guy at the gun counter nuts pulling out M57s to find the one he wanted (his own version of hand select). I suspect the next time that guy sees him come in he'll take his lunch break.

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Old March 31, 2011, 06:49 PM   #13
Danb1215
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A bit off topic but I wish the closest Gander Mountain weren't 2 hours away. I'm really jonesing for an M57 and my C&R is still a few weeks out. Maybe I'll have to take the plunge and drive up there.
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Old March 31, 2011, 11:17 PM   #14
kilimanjaro
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Danb, Classic Arms was responsive recently, and J&G a couple years ago. Others may have some good reviews for you.
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Old April 1, 2011, 02:48 PM   #15
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I've asked for a hand pick twice. The first time, I called AIM and asked guy on the phone if they could pick out a Hex Ishy for me (I already had two hex Tulas). I ended up with a third hex Tula.

Classic Arms, before whatever oddness happened with them earlier this year, came through for me with a hex Ishy. Otherwise, I've just gone with the regular price from AIM, J&G, Classic and SOG. Maybe I've been lucky, but I've always received an excellent condition firearm.
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Old April 1, 2011, 09:01 PM   #16
James K
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Here is the scoop. A company like CAI might have 75,000 model Z's in the warehouse. Every morning, they take out and bring to the packing and shipping department however many they think they will ship that day, say 200. When they get a special select order, they will try to pick one of the better ones out of that 200. As the day goes on, the number dwindles to, say, 50. So the special select order in the morning gets the pick of 200; the one in the evening gets the pick of 50, or 25, or 1.

NO ONE, repeat NO ONE, goes to the main warehouse and picks through those 75,000 guns looking for one especially for you.

So does your premium get you a better gun? The best answer is "maybe."

Jim
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:03 PM   #17
Cheapshooter
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Quote:
they will try to pick one of the better ones out of that 200.
They don't go through all 200, or whatever. Read post #10. Best of 5 (or so)
They even state that in the add if you look fir it.
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Old April 2, 2011, 12:33 AM   #18
Ignition Override
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No.
Since May '09, my purchases are only at gun shows or from a trusted friend. For a specific rifle, I run a couple of patches through the bore (sometimes) at shows, and use a bore light.

If an owner won't let me try a patch, then he is trying to hide something and I walk away. He can inspect any patches and the plastic cleaning rod which I carry.

I stopped buying guns on-line due to the high FFL/shipping costs.
If I decided to again pay such fees, it would be a gun from "Joesalter".

My first Jungle Carbine (all-matching, beech) came from his firm in early '09, and except for these other costs, would be happy to buy another gun from his huge selection.
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Old April 2, 2011, 08:43 AM   #19
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I've done it a couple times, and the quality of gun I got was just fine. I think part of it might be in being nice to the people you talk to on the phone, as that has always seemed to work for me. It doesn't take any more time to be pleasant and make a little conversation with a person on the other end, who might just have gotten some goofball who wants to complain about some nit-picky thing. Helps them out, and I think in return - of course - I could be wrong, they help you out.

And that hasn't just worked for getting guns for me. In my line of business, I sometimes need court documents from across the country. I ask nice, give the person on the phone a nice time, and I got things a lot faster than others in the office.

The Doc is out now.

M-N 91/30 round, laminated, hex, M38, M44, M39.
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Old April 2, 2011, 12:29 PM   #20
TX Hunter
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I usually pay the extra for hand select, even if they only look at 5 rifles, i still like to get the best of the 5.
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Old April 2, 2011, 08:02 PM   #21
James K
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Hi, Cheapshooter,

I should have been clearer. They go through several (5 or so) and pick one that looks good, but if none look good, they might check out the next five. They don't bring five at a time out of "storage" if you mean out of that big warehouse, but they do bring what experience says they will need to fill that day's orders. Whether the extra money is worth it is still a crapshoot.

Jim
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Old April 3, 2011, 11:46 AM   #22
emcon5
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Another thing you can do is ask when you place the order. I doubt it is their official policy, but I ordered a pair of Mausers a year or so back, and asked if the hand select was worth it. They said: "On these, no, not really"

You can also ask if they have any set aside, I got a Mosin from J&G last year, I told them I was specifically looking for a good shooter, they had a few that were set aside for bore condition for $20 more. That one was worth it, it is a great shooter.
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Old April 4, 2011, 12:36 PM   #23
jsmaye
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Quote:
Another thing you can do is ask when you place the order. I doubt it is their official policy, but I ordered a pair of Mausers a year or so back, and asked if the hand select was worth it. They said: "On these, no, not really"
That's happened to me several times - in fact, one particular vendor told me on one occasion that the hand-select was worth it and on another that it wasn't. So they weren't just grubbing for the extra $10.

Quote:
I think part of it might be in being nice to the people you talk to on the phone, as that has always seemed to work for me.
I'd like to think that, but it's hard to believe that the woman taking the phone order influences the person picking the inventory - "this guy was nice to me on the phone so go out of your way to get him a good one."
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Old April 4, 2011, 08:34 PM   #24
Ignition Override
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To clarify, when I bought a hand-select MN 44 in late '07 from Classicarms, the gun would not really make a group at 50 yards, using the old Bulgarian yellow-tip ammo in the faded, sealed gray cans.
It seemed pointless to try any further targets.

This was both with the bayonet extended and folded. Part of the fault could be my lack of real skills when resting the rifle on bean bags and I sold both Russian MN 44s.

Don't get me wrong, I really like the people at Classicarms and their website-but some staff might not have the time or tng. to spot problems in a bore or muzzle.
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