If the buyer is local, it is perfectly normal. Why wouldn't you let him shoot it? If you were the buyer, wouldn't you want to shoot it before buying it?
There is a very old saying that goes, "Caveat Emptor" which is Latin for buyer beware! I am sure this prospective buyer just wants to make sure the gun is in good working order and will suit his needs.
How do you expect someone to buy your used gun without trying it first? If you really do not want someone to fire your gun before buying it, then you will have to be willing to refund all of their money if the gun fails to suit their expectations or needs.
If it's local and he wants to pay for the ammo and the range, sure. Worse case scenario is you wasted some time and have to clean the gun again. If this is a Gunbroker or some other site, then no way. Are you supposed to ship it to him and hope he pays for it?
When I purchase a gun, new or used from any lgs, I don't get to shoot it. Of course, I understand with new, but not a chance to shoot a used one. I sold guns to people and none ever asked to test fire. They knew the gun, inspected it, and trusted me.
As said before, if he wants to pay for range time, and the ammo, I dont see any harm in letting him/her put a few magazines through the gun to make sure its working properly, comfortable, etc.
If I may play devil's advocate just for the sake of discussion, I'd like to point out I've never test-fired any weapon I own, nor do I know of anyone who was able to do this. Sure, for friends, family, close friends, this is a pretty easy thing to do, but Joe Shmoe off the street?
As the seller, if you can easily arrange it and are comfortable with it, I'd say, why not? You're going the extra mile to satisfy a customer. But I also think in the grand scheme of exchanging firearms, this is very far from the norm. As a buyer I don't expect the opportunity to test-fire from the seller, and I imagine as a seller I would not offer this feature unless, at the very least, the buyer is a repeat customer.
When I sold my Witness 9mm, the buyer asked if he could fire a couple of rounds through it first. I figured no problem, it could mean the difference between a sale or no sale. All for a 15 minute cleaning session? Gave it to him and said go. He bought it 10 minutes later.
As a buyer I don't expect the opportunity to test-fire from the seller, and I imagine as a seller I would not offer this feature unless, at the very least, the buyer is a repeat customer.
This is why we moved from N. Taylor Ave to Wentzville! (just kidding!)
Actually, if you are dealing with a repeat customer, that person is probably less likely to ask for a "test drive" if he knows you and trusts you. OTOH, why is the prospective buyer asking to shoot the gun before buying it? Obviously it is because he does not know you well enough to trust you! Maybe he has gotten burned before and just wants to protect his best interest. If you have nothing to hide, there should be no problem with letter someone test drive your gun. I would rather lose a sale because they guy didn't like the gun than have to deal with some angry guy who thinks he got screwed.
If I know them pretty well and they are willing to go with me to a range I could let him shoot it. He's not getting it with me not there though. But yeah, it happens pretty often but for me I'm not letting someone take a weapon of mine and going off to test fire it and do God knows what. I want to be there to see just what they are doing to what is still MY weapon until they buy it.
You are not getting a weapon from a shop new and taking it out back to squeeze off a few rounds. It's going to be the same with me. Unless I know them pretty darn well.
Last edited by DevilsJohnson; 05-26-2009 at 03:47 PM.
I think it is a perfectly natural request. A gun can cost alot of money, so why not let him "test drive" it to see if he likes it before he doles out the cash? What's the harm if he is local and will agree to bring his own ammo and pay for the range charges?