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Old October 3, 2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Location: Alexandria Kentucky
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Has anyone ever used this website to buy a gun? I am a little weary about buying a used gun online without handling it first but I have really been wanting to buy a used Ruger Single Six and this is the only place that I can find one. I live in Northern Kentucky and have been checking a couple of local gun shops but with no luck.
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Old October 3, 2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Yes its simple. Be sure to ask questions and check the sellers rep. Many have a return policy. You should be able to find one for a good price on there since they are so common. In my experience, well over 90% of the time I am happy.
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Old October 3, 2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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As of today I've bought 3 rifles and 4 pistols from Gunbroker without any problems. All new, however if you are buying used be careful. I was going to buy another 1911 then I noticed the left hand safety was missing. When I callled the seller he tried to minimize the fact that he didn't disclose it.

With used stuff it's definately buyer beware.
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Old October 3, 2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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No, I've never used them....

but I do know ....there is some fraud on there/and other popular sites...where guys have paid for and never received a gun ...( and I don't know if its 0.01 % or 10% ) ....but the website guarantees you nothing. They do try and keep the fraud out ...but its very hard for them to tell who's legit and who's not....

I have an acquaintance that got burned on GunBroker ...and a couple of guys that got burned on gunsamerica...

a yr or so ago ....gunbroker had a seller listing a Wilson Combat 1911 for sale...good record on feedback etc....but I checked the serial number he gave me with Wilson - and they had no record of ever mfging that gun.../ that particular seller would show up, with that gun, for a week or so at a time...then disappear....and show up again...

Now there are legitimate dealers on gunbroker...a used gun store in my area uses them to get a bigger market for unusual or high value guns he's selling if the seller has a real brick and mortar operation somewhere, you can call get more info - maybe more photos of the gun / maybe even a return policy ...then I would say you were probably ok. But a private seller on an internet way ....
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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i have bough many firearms using gunbrooker and auction arms. as stated earlier make sure you check out the feedback of the saler and also remember that any gun must be shipped to a ffl dealer. so if you want to buy a gun you will also have to add the shipping and the trasnfer fee to the price. i have gotten some very good deals. it also gives you an ideal of what items you are looking for are going for. also ask questions befor you bid...
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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I've purchased two revolvers that were both in great shape (exactly as described by the sellers) and for fair prices. Both sellers were completely legit, had FFLs, and shipped the guns as soon as they received payment.

You are not likely to get a great bargain on that site because any bargains get bid up pretty well by the time the auction expires.

Read the descriptions and conditions of sale carefully, and don't be afraid to ask the sellers questions (including requests for additional pictures if warranted). Check all of their prior feedback. If they are selling "as-is", better be sure you really want it and would be willing to pay to have it fixed by a gunsmith.

You also need to be patient. It may take months for a gun that you are looking for to show up in the condition you want for a price you want to pay. Also, add guns you are interested in to your watch list, and check to see what they actually sold for. You'd be surprised how many auctions go unsold because of a too-high reserve price or starting price. Some sellers seem to relist the same $550 gun for $900 for months in a row. Guess they aren't in a hurry to sell, but are willing to wait for someone in a hurry to buy.

Watching these auctions and the sale prices will let you learn what the genuine going rate is for the guns.

Keep in mind that you'll need to add about $25-35 or more for shipping and probably $25-50 for your local FFL transfer fee. Sometimes that is offset by not having to pay sales tax unless the seller is in your state, but it's still something to consider.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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I have done over a dozen transactions on GB and never had a problem. I only buy from folks who have a history on there. It's easy to check their track record that way.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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I have bought several, and all but one turned out fine.

The latest acquisition had some issues. The seller was working on consignment for a friend of his. The seller had a good rating, with many transactions.

Problem was, there were issues with the gun that I wasn't savvy enough to notice on initial inspection, and by the time a gunsmith friend of mine looked it over, it was too late to attempt a return.

Used, WWII issue Colt 1911. I knew it had been reblued, and had newer grips, but that didn't bother me. It arrived with a National Match barrel and bushing, and that itself wasn't a concern - the bluing and grips had already tanked collector value, and I had not paid a collector price, I had paid a shooter price.

However, it turned out that whoever did that barrel installation didn't fit the barrel quite right. Also, the person or persons had ground out the feed ramp in the frame, so that the .030 jump from ramp to barrel ramp was non-existent.

The gun worked ok with ball, but would not feed hollowpoints, due to the things that had been done to it.

Bob Hunter improved things somewhat (I'm lucky enough to live a half hour from Bob), and now the gun will run HP so long as I load ball as the last round in the magazine. Due to the metal removed from the ramp, he could only mill the barrel ramp so much without risking case support.

So, this was a "live and learn" for me. A quick once-over, then a range test with ball ammo, may not be sufficient for finding deeper problems. If you buy anything other than NIB, a gunsmith inspection might not be a bad idea, unless you really know what you are doing.

I'm a good shooter, but I am not much of a smith.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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I bought a Mossberg shotgun that turned out to be much better than the pictures on line made it out to be. I saved a ton of money, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:38 PM   #10
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I've bought several used handguns off Gunbroker. I did have one bad experience where I bought a used S&W revolver from a large dealer in Kentucky who had over 4,000 sales on Gunbroker. They rated it as 97% metal, 98% wood, but when I received it it was non-functional. I had to send it to S&W for repair and pay for it myself. It was built prior to their lifetime warranty.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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I've bought a bunch of guns there and never had a bad experience. Matter of fact I just bought a S&W 629 Talo 3" today! Dennis
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Old October 3, 2012, 10:28 PM   #12
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I've bought 5 guns through Gunbroker with no issues whatsoever...three were described as NIB, the other two as "Mint". All were as described and I had them in my hands within 2 weeks of the auction ending. Here's my method...

I never bid on an item from a seller with a limited track record...i.e. less than 100 transactions...and I always read the reviews on his record.

I will not bid on a gun that specifies that no inspection period is allowed.

I always pay with a USPS Postal Money Order which makes any hanky-panky a Federal offense.

I only bid on items from an FFL holder and use a reliable local FFL to complete the transaction.

On winning an auction, I always call the seller the next day and firm up delivery plans.

It's worked for me...hope you have good luck. Best Regards, Rod
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:24 PM   #13
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Rod has some good advice. No "As Is" sales for me.

Good photos are essential, and not just of the two sides. Grips off to see if any rust underneath. Bore if possible (that's hard). For revolvers, front and back of cylinder plus crane/frame junction and blast shield with cylinder tipped out.

Call up the seller's feedback and then sort by rating - worst on top. Sometimes a deal goes wrong. How the seller responds is the most important part.

Always ask a question or two. If the seller answers fast and seems ok, proceed. No answer, bad attitude or squirrelly answers - RUN.

Look at a recent auction or two if possible. If the seller seemed to get a really high price and there is one "bidder" who kept pushing the price up but has single digit transactions, that might be a sign of shill bidding.

Call up completed auctions. Search for your gun and display by highest number of bids first. That way the guns offered over and over with no bids are on the bottom. Don't forget to search "S&W" and " Smith Wesson" ( for example).

The saved search function works. I spent 9 months looking for an M&P 340. One popped up a few Saturdays ago with a "Buy It Now" option. I bought it.

Speaking of "Buy It Now" that's fine for new guns but when I see a used gun with a starting auction price only $50 less than the "Buy it now" price, my bet is it's over-priced.

I've done considerably better on GunBroker than I have at any local gun stores or gun shows. I've found a couple of good deals out of town in more rural areas, but with knowledge about what you want and the patience and discipline to stick to a reasonable price, you can do ok on GB. No real steals, but ok.

I was the only bid on one gun and worried that I'd missed something. Seems that the seller had listed the gun too high 5 or 6 times. Buyers got tired of looking at it and the auction ended in the middle of a weekday.

Last edited by TheTinMan; October 4, 2012 at 08:49 AM.
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:35 PM   #14
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I used Gunbroker for a few non firearm items, like gun parts etc... My uncle did use Gunbroker to get his CCW peice, very good he said.
Has Taurus really spent more on shipping customers their firearms back to them than actual sales?
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:36 PM   #15
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TinMan - how do you search for "completed Auctions?" I don't see that when I go to a current auction or to the seller's page.

Also, if it is a different process, is there a way to find out what a similar model gun has actually sold for on GunBroker? If yes, what are the steps to get there? Thanks.

Note: I bought one gun via GunBroker - a Ruger No.1. It was just as beautiful as in the photos and has a great history to boot - I was very happy with the purchase. But I was a rube for most of the process.

Last edited by FloridaVeteran; October 3, 2012 at 11:41 PM. Reason: Add a note about a GunBroker purchase
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:56 AM   #16
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FL Vet - I'm not sure that there is a direct way to see a seller's closed auctions. However, if you are following S&W revolvers for example, there are several sellers who stand out as getting stupidly high prices on a consistent basis and the bidding just looks wrong.

The best way to avoid over-paying is discipline. Set a ceiling and stick with it.

To see past auction results, hit the "Advanced" tab over on the right. Then at the top of the box, select the "Completed Items" tab. Set your filters including "Sort By" highest # of bids first, and go. BTW you'll find what I'm talking about relating to shill bidding if you look at enough closed auctions.
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:31 AM   #17
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I've bought probably 3 dozen or more guns off of Gun Broker, mostly C&R black powder cartridge revolvers, a couple antiques, both revolvers & rifles, & a few modern firearms... I've never gotten screwed... I did get one crappy condition gun, ( but I knew it was pretty ugly before I bought it, & the price was cheap )

only buy from sellers with high ratings, & with whom will communicate with you & answer your questions...

only buy from sellers that offer good pictures of what you are looking at...

better to pass on what seems like a good deal, if you can't get your questions answered before the auction ends, or get better more clear pictures if those provided were blurry, than to get stuck with something that you aren't happy with

with a single six, the guns are very durable, so cosmetics would be the most likely disapointment... make sure they show pictures of all sides of the gun... ( BTW... with most good quality pics, the gun looks worse in the picture than in real life... so showing any flaws is not difficult if the seller is being honest ) the only other issue might be with your local FFL, check to see what they'll charge you to recieve & do the paperwork... this can be anything from $10-20, to more than anyone would sainly pay ( my local FFL charges $30.00 )
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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; October 4, 2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:18 AM   #18
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I've also bought quite a few guns off of most of the popular auction sites, and never had a serious problem. Second the suggestion that you look at the seller's feedback, be sure you know what you're buying, understand the description fully, and be sure all the pics are nice and clear. Fuzzy pics are often fuzzy for a reason I believe.

Ask about an inspection period. I've never used one, but then I understand fully what I'm buying. Don't hope for the best, we know how that works out, don't we? Call the seller and ask about anything you're not 100% sure about.

Use a credit card or POMO to pay and you have at least some protection. Never use Western Union or cash, and be sure of your receiving FFL before doing a deal. The final worry is how much the FFL will charge you for the transfer.
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:49 PM   #19
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I guess I am fortunate to have a friend who is a part of GB. He tells me fraud is extremely rare, however mispresentations or missed defects do occur.

He also tells me many sellers have been screwed because buyers will remove a part(s) from a gun or replace a part and send the gun back to the seller. Then the fireworks begin.

For Buyers
I concur with Rodfac on his cautions especially the use of USPS money orders.

My prefered method would be to use the credit card as of the protections you have. Yes I realize some sellers have surcharges of around 3%, but a credit card is a safety net.

Also be aware of those with very few sales.


Auction Arms, does not have the "AS IS" problem. Sellers must allow an inspection period.
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Old October 5, 2012, 12:45 AM   #20
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TinMan - thanks very much.
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Old October 5, 2012, 08:56 AM   #21
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I've bought four or five through Gunbroker since 2002 or so.

Several handguns, and several long guns.

Not a hint of a problem with any of the transactions.
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Old October 5, 2012, 02:24 PM   #22
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Myth #38

rodfac ....I always pay with a USPS Postal Money Order which makes any hanky-panky a Federal offense.
The "Federal offense" occurs NOT because a USPS postal money order was used, but because the "hanky panky" involved the U.S. Mail. No matter what is mailed as payment, it would be considered mail fraud if the buyer never sent the item.
A personal check, WalMart money order, bubble gum wrappers, or pennies wrapped in an old sock are treated no less than a USPS money order.
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:43 PM   #23
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I have used to purchase 4 guns (2 shot guns and 2 handguns) three of these were new and one was used. I have never had any problems and the process has worked flawlessly for me. I tend to focus on doing business with FFL dealers and those GB members with a large number of satisfactory transactions (e.g. A+). Good luck.
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Old October 5, 2012, 08:48 PM   #24
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They do have buyer protection to an extent. Go to their webpage click on buyers at the top and then click on buyer protection.
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:54 PM   #25
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I've purchased one rifle from GB and one rifle from - didn't have a problem with either transaction. Just to echo what some of the others have already stated, pay attention to sellers with good feedback and use common sense. I don't necessarily rule out sellers with low feedback numbers....they have to start somewhere, but a seller with consistent high feedback will offer me more security with my purchase.

As for not being able to handle a gun, that's the price you pay to use an online auction site. It's important that you know what you're buying before you even place your bid. Do your homework and research the firearm you're interested in, that way, you'll have some idea as to whether or not a seller is full of it or if his item for sale is an honest listing. Communication is also important. Ask the seller questions, lots of questions and be sure to read the terms of the auction very carefully. I've had plenty of non-responses from sellers and I tend to avoid them like the plaque. If they can't take 2 minutes of their time to respond to my question then they're either hiding something or they just don't give a damn.
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