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Thread: What to look for when purchasing a second hand rifle

  1. #1

    What to look for when purchasing a second hand rifle

    I am considering purchasing a second hand rifle (Heym SR20 if it has any relevance to the following question). I am slightly nervous because I have no idea about the tell-tale signs of a poorly maintained, unreliable rifle versus one that is is good working order.

    The RFD who is selling the rifle knows very little about the previous ownership of the rifle, having bought the rifle from another dealer. He states that externally the rifle appears to be in good condition, and that the original blue finish on the metal work is intact. The barrel has been shortened to 20" and screw cut for a moderator, by (or on behalf of) the previous owner.

    The RFD has offered me the chance to fire the rifle on his range to see how it groups.

    I have not discussed with him what warranty heis prepared to give on a second hand rifle.

    Can anyone tell me the warning signs that should I look out for when I go to look at the rifle, and what checks (based on visual inspection) I should carry out on the barrel, trigger, action and safety to try to determine if the rifle has been well maintained and is in sound mechanical condition?

    Is it unusual for a purchaser to have a rifle vetted by a gunsmith prior to purchase to establish if it is in good mechanical condition?

    Dings and scraches on the stock and the metal work do not bother me provided that the mechanical performance of the rifle is of a high quality.

    Any comments and suggestions will be gratefully received!



  2. #2
    Some good tips here:
    What to look for when buying a second hand rifle?

    Also worth a look at the shooting times/sporting gun guide - it's online somewhere...

    Vis a vis having a rifle inspected by a gunsmith, I would have thought that any OK RFD would be happy for one .

    Hope this is of some use



  3. #3
    Condition............................ condition ........................... condition.

    Make them clean the bore properly then inspect it your self. using strong light look at the rifling inside the muzzle and if you can see copper wash there it's not been cleaned properly. This copper wash can hide wear and damage so it really needs to come out. The bore when examined by the naked eye by looking through it at a light background, not direct light like a lamp or the sun of course, should be clean and free of blemishes.

    Check the bolt face and locking lugs for pitting and galling. Try the trigger and safety. Are they smooth and positive?

  4. #4
    Thanks to both of you for this advice.

  5. #5
    Or get someone with a bore scope in your area to have a good look at it, particularly around the end of the chamber. Any reputable gunsmith should have no objections to this being done.

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