View Full Version : Police turnins....

Dave McC
October 29, 2000, 08:58 AM
Nobody I know and shoot with has a yacht with solid gold plumbing, or a summer place in Monaco. Most are the usual mix of blue and white collar types, with mortgages and car payments and college funds for the kids(or grandkids) to worry about.IOW, folks like us.

So,figuring out ways to save money on shooting equipment is a good thing,and buying used weapons is oft a good way to save. BUT.....

Most metropolitan areas have a gun store or two that does lots of police inventory. Most depts turn in their weapons on a regular basis to get new ones, even tho the old ones may be effectively NEW. Some weapons get issued more than others, some just sit on a shelf, others go through wars on the losing side, from the look of them. And every dept has at least ONE cop who regards his/her job as a debit and takes their animosity out on a official piece of equipment. Or, just doesn't care if it works or not.Until it doesn't...

Various weapons in the past were frequently chosen by PDs simply because they held up to the abuse. The 870 comes to mind, and the K Frame S&W. The Models 12 and 97 from Winchester, the 37 from Ithaca,also were rugged by police standards.

And the key word in that last sentence was "Police". No commercial shotgun I know is made as ruggedly as a battle rifle like an AK or Garand.Some do get used that way, unfortunately. I'd have reservation about buying any shotgun with a bayonet lug, for obvious reasons. So, buying a police turnin is definitely Caveat Emptor.

Some guidelines....

First,a famous name like S&W or High Standard does not guarantee a high quality weapon.Both made some turkeys. Stick to Remington, Ithaca, and the classic Winchesters,or the newer 1300s and Defender series.

Check for condition like you would for any used pump gun. You won't find flawlessly cut hand checkering here, we're talking utility grade wood here. Look for addons, like sling swivels,easy to add, but still a detail that might already be taken care of. Look for obvious reconditioning also, it may cover a multitude of sins.

And bring some snap caps, triggers seem to get heavier every year, and then there's some fool that thinks he's a gunsmith that may have lightened that trigger to an unsafe condition. A trigger pull gauge is a good thing, optimum for a slap trigger is around 4-6 lbs, a little lighter for a slug shooter.

And just for paranoia's sake, if the bbl looks pretty short, measure it. Maybe a PD can get away with a 17 7/8" bbl on a cruiser gun, but you can't.

Find out if the dealers carries any kind of warranty on the piece. Some go for the 30-30 guarantee,30 feet or 30 seconds. Other prefer repeat customers and will cut some slack if there's a glitch. It's a good idea to fire the piece shortly after buying just to make sure it works.

Finally, dicker a bit. If the dealer has umpteen turnins of the same make, he may be willing to sweeten the deal with a discount, ammo, or maybe upgraded wood. If he knows you he may be willing to do a little goodwill dealing.

Good luck and good shooting....

October 31, 2000, 07:32 AM
"So you seen any police weapons?"

"I seen a little on TV!"

Thats about it in Kalifornia, if anyone knows of any gun shops left out here and ones that sell used police equip post it.

Dave, with the cost of my Vang M1 you would think I was sailing my Finnish made Nautor's Swan 86' in the south pacific somewhere :)

Dave McC
October 31, 2000, 08:10 AM
Ober, you've a fine tool there, that cost about the same as any two of my 870s, which are also fine tools.

As for Kali, it's not the same as most of the US, thank the Diety...

Mike Irwin
October 31, 2000, 02:28 PM

Generally good information, but you unnecessarily damn S&W shotguns.

S&W contracted production of all of their shotguns made post WW II to Japanese firms, using other companies proven designs.

S&W shotguns are as reliable as any of those made by the big name shotgun makers.

Smith & Wesson is dead to me.

If you want a Smith & Wesson, buy USED!

Dave McC
October 31, 2000, 07:09 PM
I answered this elsewhere, Mike. I'll reprise...

MD DOc used the 3000s as tower shotguns for a year or two. They failed to hold up to the abuse and neglect common to the system. They didn't fire well dirty,but worked well when clean and not used as ashtrays, kicked down steps, dropped from towers, or left wet for a month or so.They also had a Flextab type carrier when we were having to dissassemble an 870 to fix a short feed.

I liked the 3000. What's not to like? It's very similiar to an 870. IMO, a modicum of care for the 3000 would result in a reliable, good shooting weapon.

Dave McC
May 13, 2002, 04:58 PM
Up for the newbies....

May 14, 2002, 02:02 AM
Unfortunately, in some states, LE agencies are not allowed to sell their surplus weapons within thier state. If I remember correctly, this began in Washington State when some firearms sold by an agency were used in a crime spree. Of course, The Peoples Republik of Kalifornia followed suit, but it didn't start here.

Dave McC
May 14, 2002, 04:04 AM
DML, thanks for that, but do you know if they can sell them OUT of state?

Billy Sparks
May 14, 2002, 07:02 AM
I am pretty sure they can sell them out of state. I own a S&W Model 28 that was carried by the Washington Highway Patrol.

May 14, 2002, 11:26 PM
Dave Mc:

It does seem that surplus firearms can be sold to FFLs out of state. We bought some Mini-14s, but they had to be shipped to AZ. I'm still not sure if it's because of CA laws or because they can't be sold within the state. We have bought firearms from other states without any problems.

I just remembered something. Firearms that are confiscated in CA can not be sold. The must be destroyed. I'm pretty sure that's the way it is in many states now.

Dave McC
May 15, 2002, 03:52 AM
Thanks, DML.

Mike Irwin
May 15, 2002, 10:12 AM
Wow, this came back from the dead...

In any event, in the 2 years since I last posted in this thread :) I've been rather abusive to my S&W 3000, not cleaning it, shooting it rather heavily, etc. Don't use it as an ashtray, and don't drop it from towers (ANY shotgun can malfunction if some asswipe CO drops it from a tower for god's sake!)...

Still going strong with not a single malfunction.

My question is, what condition where the Model 12s and 97s in when they were supposedly the best, most reliable shotguns around? Had they gone through years of use? What was their track record when they were FIRST purchased? That's the telling thing.

It doesn't sound like the S&Ws had a very long tenure with MDDOC. Might have been that they were given up on before the kinks were worked out?

Dave McC
May 15, 2002, 04:27 PM
I brought it up for some tyros here, Mike.

As to the 12s and 97s, some of each were in the inventory when I started at the Md House of Corruption in 77. Beatup beyond belief. Most still functioned perfectly. So did the two Thompsons, which were in perfect condition. Wish I knew where
they went.

IMO, the 3000s were not as robust as the 870, but still a darn nice shotgun under normal conditions of usage. Congrats on yours...

Al Thompson
May 15, 2002, 05:12 PM
Interesting that this just came up. Good friend bought a 870 with out a detailed examination. Turns out his magazine tube is a bit rusty.

Always pack a good flashlight for the inspection.

I have two police trade-ins and they are outstanding values.