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Just the Tips: How to Buy a Used Gun (and Not Get Catfished)



Been looking for a piece in the “back pages”?

Do you know the going rate of the gun you’re shopping for? Do you know if the seller is legitimate? Image courtesy of Wikipedia

If you’re trying to buy a used gun on a budget, you’ve probably gotten a little nervous about finding a private seller who’s willing to let you get some alone time with the firearm that caught your eye. On the one hand, you know you can get some great bargains by buying a piece that ain’t exactly factory-fresh—but on the other hand, you don’t want to pay for a sleek little .380 and have a big ol’ .50-cal Desert Eagle that’s taken so many rounds its barrel is practically a smoothbore. Now you’ve got both hands full (and not in a good way). So how do you buy a used gun from a private seller without getting catfished? Here’s a few Just the Tips…

The Blue Book of Gun Values is in its 39th Edition

1-Y’all Need a Bible

Look at you, digging around in the BackPages of the Internet trying to get a piece. If you’re gonna do that, at least get an idea of what other guns of similar quality are going for these days…and that means you need to get a Bible. At least, that’s what the guys who’ve been around the block call it. You might call it the Blue Book of Gun Values. Protip: The Gideons haven’t gotten ‘round to stashing these in hotel-room dressers, so you’re gonna have to bring your own to that party.



2-Reverse Image Search is Your Friend

Look up the image that you find of the gun that is for sale using Reverse Image Search | Photo courtesy of Wesley Fryer

We all know there’s some trifling people who think that as long as the picture they show you ahead of time looks good, you’ll just have to deal with whatever shows up on the actual date. Just for fun, you’ll wanna run a quick reverse GIS on that pic to see if it’s actually just ripped from Instagram pics of a much better-looking gun. Here’s how. Now, if they’ve been trying to turn that gun out, you will see it on other sites—what you’re looking for is clear evidence that the pic is of some other, much more attractive gun.

3-If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is


If the gun is priced like it came from a junk pile, it probably did.

For the time being, there’s no Snapchat puppy filter that people can slap on a gun to hide those signs of wear and tear, but you’ll still want to keep in mind that if that “BackPage” piece looks incredible and is selling at a price that makes you all “shut up and take my money,” there’s gonna be a catch because that’s just how it works. Is it possible that you might come across something that matches the hype? Sure—it’s a big old world and sometimes you do find a unicorn. But don’t trust it until you’ve seen it in person, looked in the unicorn’s mouth, and maybe given its mane a tug to make sure it doesn’t come off.

Just the tips!


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