No, clean it.
I was looking at a used Walther P99 today...the gun was in excellent shape. The gun store was nice enough to field strip it for me as well to look at the internals, which were in excellent condition but dirty. Should the fact that the internals were dirty cause me to run the other direction? The rest of the gun looks like it's barely been fired.
No, clean it.
Clean it up if it looks good otherwise. I bought a Kahr CW45 that was absolutely the dirtiest I had ever seen. The previous owner must not have known how to take it apart. Cleaned it up and it has been flawless. Can't always go by looks.
If it looks dirty though, wouldn't that suggest that the previous owner may not have lubricated it properly?
Possibly, it would certainly suggest that the previous owner did not clean it properly.
Maybe the previous owner knew he was going to sell it and didn't feel like cleaning it. You could buy a used gun that had thousand's of rounds thru it and was only ever cleaned once. But if that one time was the day before you bought it....... What's the difference?
I would personally be concerned with the weapon being dirty for the reasons you mentioned. If the owner did not care enough to clean his/her pistol, what else did he/she not care enough to do to it. Also, I would question the quality of the gunshop if the staff there puts a dirty weapon out for sale. A lot of gun stores that sell used weapons claim that they take the weapons through an inspection before selling them. If it is dirty I would think they did not inspect it very well.
I would not buy it unless you are completely convinced there is nothing wrong with it.
If you are as concerned about the gun being dirty as you seem to be, then listen to that inner voice Grasshopper. Otherwise you might be second guessing yourself and that doesn't make for proud gun ownership.
Tell the shop that you will buy it after they clean it and you inspect it one last time. If they want to sell it, they will clean it.
+1 on the apprearance.I was looking at a used Walther P99 today...the gun was in excellent shape.
+1 on the niceness of the gun store.The gun store was nice enough to field strip it for me as well to look at the internals, which were in excellent condition but dirty.
+1 on the internals in excellent condition.
-1 on the internals being dirty.
Not sure how it can appear that it has barely been fired when the impression that you give is that it is extremely filthy inside.The rest of the gun looks like it's barely been fired.
I believe the integrity of the gun store is not in question. They field stripped the gun (which is a display of honesty and intent to sell) and either wasn't aware that it's dirty, don't care, or perhaps it's really not all that dirty. The level of filth can be subjective to ones perception. However, I agree, they should have checked it thoroughly before and should present a clean gun for sale, even the slightest film of residue should have been cleaned off. Does this mean that the gun itself is bad? Not necessarily, it certainly indicates that it wasn't cleaned and also may indicate indolence on the part of the previous owner as well as the gun store. I would follow through with BeefyBeefo's suggestion.
Last edited by unpecador; 09-14-2008 at 10:50 PM.
I'm not really concerned about the internals of the gun being dirty so much as wondering if that is an indication that the gun may not have been maintained properly. The rest of the gun looks relatively unused...no wear on the finish, only one small nick on the frame, and very little wear on the outside of the barrel from the slide cycling. The bore is also very clean. Basically I'm only second guessing myself because this would be my first handgun and I am by no means an expert on evaluating used ones.
It would also be a completely moot point if the seller isn't willing to come down from $550 on the price. I was offered a newer model used P99 with a laser at another gun store for just over $600 (wasn't interested though because it was a QA model), and have seen a few others newer models going for around $500 or so. Based on the research I've done into pricing, this particular one I'm looking at (2001 model P99 AS 9mm) is worth about $400-450.
This thread was started based on your concern for cleanliness and now you're saying that your not that concerned about the gun being dirty. Cleaning a gun is maintaining it properly, there's not much else to maintain unless a part malfunctions.
How are 10 round mags a big negative in Virginia?
This gun may be worth $400-$450 but if it's hard to find anywhere else and this is the gun you want then it should be worth more to you.
10 round mags are a negative in Virginia because full-capacity magazines are legal here. It's not like Massachusetts where high-capacity mags are against the law.
I rest my case, this appears to be a pointless merry-go-round.
I thought it was a reasonable question, and a reasonable concern. Glad you posted it.
Matt noted that the internals show little wear, the powder residue is a concern for reliable operation, but easily remedied. I'd suggest that you clear the firearm, and check that the barrel locks up tightly with the slide when in battery. It shouldn't move at all. The slide will move a bit relative to the frame, but the barrel and slide should seem like one piece of steel.
Hope this helps...
Look it over, function test it, buy it, take home, clean, shoot hell out of..........
Well..Being the shop owner had no issue about breaking it down I would say that he know the person that traded it in and trusts the pistol will function fine. I bought a Springfield 9mm 1911 at a gun show that looked inside like it had never been cleaned...EVER!. I was allowed to take the slide off and see that although really dirty everything looked to be OK and bought it. The dealer at the show was a guy I have done business with in a town not too far from me and I knew he was not one that would sell junk so I went for it. It's one of the best shooting guns I have.
Dirty or not you should be able to see if something is really worn or broken. More than likely the owner used some cheap dirty ammo and once decided it was going to go cleaning it just didn't seem important. Personally I can see how someone bring a dirty gun to bargain with but everyone is different I guess.
Hell, Make the dirt work for you and use it as a bargaining tool. "Well..All this crap in it I'm going to have to spend all day cleaning it just so I can fire it myself..."
If you like the gun then go for it. Maybe you can get a 10 day return on it if it does malfunction once you can get to actually shoot it?
You say it's dirty and over priced....... dont buy it. That was an easy solution.
A couple of years ago, I bought a Sig 226 Toledo Police Trade in. When I received the gun from the dealer, it had not been cleaned in ages.
There gunk caked under the grips to the point I had to pry them off with a small screwdriver.
I totally stripped the handun and used two cans of cleaner on it. I replaced the pins and springs.
It has a 3,000 round trigger. What ever officer had this gun, shot it. Smooth like butter.
I bought a Kahr P-45 cheap, because it was filthy and jammed every third or fourth round. The gun shop/shooting range actually let me fire it first, because I was a regular customer. It had two failures to feed in the one magazine I fired, and they knocked off $50 on the spot.
I took it home and cleaned it, shined the feed ramp up a little and returned to the range with four different types of .45 ammo. It loved Sellier & Belliot FMJ's, never jamming once. I fired 50 rounds of it, and then tried the other brands, and they all worked, too, including the Speer Gold Dots that I wanted to carry for an SD round.
My conclusion was that somebody bought it new, fired a box or two of really dirty ammo through it, experienced many failures, couldn't hit anything with it, and found the recoil to be too heavy. When I finished cleaning it, it looked brand new, and was eventually reliable enough that I carried it a lot.
So, I don't worry too much about buying a dirty gun, as long as it shows no signs of abuse. It is my belief that the overwhelming majority of handgun owners never learn to shoot them very well, and soon stop trying. The result is that there are a great number of used guns out there that look like hell, but actually are not even broken in, yet.