Anyone found a top quality gun among the dross?
I'm thinking of the situation where you look through a pawn broker's case, filled with worn-out junk, and, there it is: THE gun you've been looking for; great condition, complete, and at a good price.
I don't go into pawn shops, but I've had some customers tell me about collector pieces in good to excellent condition that they found at them. I would be willing to bet that a good deal of them were stolen, though.
I have bought a Singer 1911a1 from a guy that didn't know what he had, thanks to a clerk that didn't know what he was looking at. It was a hand me down and the guy wanted to trade it for part of the price of a rifle. Yes once in a while you can get a great deal, and also pawn shops have to run the S.S.# before they can put them out for sale.
I had been looking for a 4"Python for several years. Went into a pawn shop the other day and they had a 4" Trooper MK III there. After a little haggaling back and forth I got it for $350 out the door. It's not a Python but it's a Colt and for less than half the price of a Python.
I have seen several really nice handguns in pawn shops recently, most of them were insanely overpriced, sadly.
In the past, I bought the following at pawnshops:
Dan Wesson Model 15-2 6" Blue Good appearance, perfect working cond.
Dan Wesson Model 15-2 4" Blue Near mint.
S&W Model 28 very nice shape.
Beretta 84 VG condition.
Walther PPK, appeared new, jammed constantly until worked on.
Sadly, they're all gone.
Once, when in need of inexpensive home protection, I got a Mossberg 500 Riot at a pawn shop for $82.50. It wasn't in perfect shape, but it worked and the price was certainly right. Never bought handgun at a pawn shop, but I wouldn't hesitate if the price was right.
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You need to know your guns fairly well and the market price that they are selling for or you can get burned in a heart beat. I was at a pawn shop the other day and they had a Colt Police Positive there for $459 98% good condition no box or papers. I offered $400 out the door he said no way. After checking with a good friend I find out out top dollar should be no more than $350 with box and papers. Not knowing the market I almost beat myself. Lesson well learned.
Pawn Shop Guns
I've seen a wide range of quality/prices at pawn shops. The one I frequent most has some really good stuff at reasonable prices, about what you'd expect to pay at a good gun shop for used guns.
Also, seen a lot of otherwise good guns, but missing parts. Example, a Ruger Super Blackhawk, missing the ejector assembly, otherwise very good condition. Asking price was around $300. Purchaser paid $225.
The protocol here is that the pawn shop clerk cannot come down on the price tagged, but can accept counter offers.
The few pawn shops around here that actually sell guns want sky-high prices for beaters, probably because I'm so close to DC.
While I can't say they were great deals, I've bought a Colt Agent, Glock 30, Beretta 86 and Ruger Old Army from California pawn shops (three from the same one), and still have all but the Glock.
The local pawn shops here mostly sell Lorcin, Jennigns, Jiamenez Arms, etc.
Of course I did find one that sold used firearms for more than twice what they cost brand new(no exaggeration).
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