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Thread: The perils of second hand rifles

  1. #1

    The perils of second hand rifles

    Upon grant of my FAC in April, I purchased my first rimfire. A lovely Sako Quad in .17 HMR with Lightsteam 4.5-14x44 and SAK moderator. The gun shop advised the rifle wasn't very old and had fired less than a few hundred rounds. Quite a bargain at 650 I thought. Although only managing an average group size of 1-1.5 inches at 100m, it's proven quite devastating on the rabbit population on my permission. Hearing of others consistently realising sub 1-inch, I just put the larger group sizes down to being out of practice.

    I then added a semi-customised Ruger 10/22 in August but could only manage groups of 2-3 inches at 50m. Very long story short, after cleaning excessively, trying different scopes, with and without moderator and different makes of ammo (>300 rounds in total), I gave up and sent it back. The experience rather put off second hand rifles and I was just counting my blessing that at least the Quad had worked out well.

    This was at least, until the last week. Two-weeks ago after a deep clean, I put in my first 5-round cloverleaf with the Quad at 50 metres. Needless to say I was delighted, the old eye appearing to have returned after 6-months and ~700 rounds of practice. Having only fired ~30-rounds, I cleaned the bolt and action, but left the barrel. Stepping up to 100 metres this week I was expecting sub 1-inch, but was sadly disappointed, still realising 1.5-inches. However, things just didn't feel quite right. Marksmanship principles were applied just as consistently as at 50-metres and rounds would appear to just 'jump' from point of aim. Not far, but far enough to make up the 1.5 inch group size and just not feel right. The spring the bolt rides over never having sat right from purchase and now almost completely broken off, I took it into my local gun shop today to enquire about a repair. They kindly rang the importers (GMK?) who looked up the serial number. It was first purchased in April 2005. They then ran a brush through the barrel to enable a better view of the bore, which revealed very worn rifling. That rather explained why even just ~30-rounds gave sufficient coating to reduce the effects of what's left of the rifling. Clearly the rifle was not a few months old and the barrel pretty much shot out.

    There are clearly honest types out there, including the chap who sold me the 10/22 who took it back without question. However, lesson well and truly learned and the "two from two" negative experiences has left me resolved never to buy second hand again.

  2. #2
    Glad you got it sorted , I've heard of that many problems with 10/22 rugers you couldn't pay me to have one I've never understood why people buy a gun that you then need to spend more money in to get it to shoot
    There are no perfect men in this world ..... Only perfect intentions

  3. #3
    Caveat emptor.
    Sako quad .17hmr and .22 barrel. Second hand. .17 touching groups at 100yds. .22 1/2 inch at 70yds.
    Tikka .243 stainless varmint. Second hand. If I do my bit it'll clover leaf with 58 and 100gr.(this guns barrel was inspected at Drummlanrig on a best practice day and was declared 'as new')
    Brno .308 ZKK601 Deluxe. Second hand. Clover leafs at 100yds. Best gun I own, stunning wood and very accurate with 150gr BTSP's.

    Not all second hand rifles are ****e, you've just been unlucky (or Ive been very lucky....)
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  4. #4
    Just like with used cars there are good ones and one where the vendor has not got a clue about what the truth is.

  5. #5
    +1 on the 10/22 bought mine new put about 5000 rounds through it. Every make I could get hold of and couldn't get the thing to group satisfactory, most of the ammunition wouldn't even cycle consistently. Needless to say it didn't last long and I'd never have another

  6. #6
    I'm just relieved I purchased my .243 new. Consistent 1" at 100m and totally confident of shot placement to 250 metres.

    I would just have expected more from a dealer. There's more than a reasonable and honest margin between 6-months and 8-years. The bolt never riding properly over the spring from the outset and a trained eye not seeing any issue with the rifling is surely beyond coincidence. Equally and as much as I hate to see a dealer "getting away with it", it's been over 7-months and just too much time and cost involved in even trying to take up with them. At least a new spring and barrel should see the rifle returned to decent shape, with many more years of use to look forwards to, a valuable lesson learned and relationship further built with my local gun shop.

  7. #7
    An 8 year old 22lr shot out, I very much doubt it, more likely is a badly, or over cleaned barrel.


  8. #8
    I have more second hand rifles than I can easily count. No problems with 99% of them and the ones that do have problems had them when I bought them and I understood that when I bought them.

    There are a lot of 2nd hand rifles out there and you sampled two... Not a really good basis for a Pronouncement.~Muir

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet 6 View Post
    An 8 year old 22lr shot out, I very much doubt it, more likely is a badly, or over cleaned barrel.

    I've got a rack full of 1949-1954 Brno#2 22LR Training rifles that will shoot better than I can hold despite having had 60-70 years worth of shooting through them.~Muir

  10. #10
    There will be very well used second hand rifles out there I guess.

    But I bet there's many more one owner, bought it, shot it on a few occasions, put it back in the cabinet until renewal when they realised it wasn't getting used and might as well sell it as it's not worth the hassle and money to renew again rifles. They'll literally have had hardly any rounds through them and be nearly as good as new.

    Having said that, I must admit to only buying new. Although with shotguns, I've got a mix of new and second hand, but with them, it's much easier to check the condition.

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