Inspecting a factory rifle before purchase

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Oct 9, 2019.


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  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    What do you all do when inspecting a rifle you want to purchase? I ordered one through the net and my FFL said we will inspect it first prior to me "taking ownership" of it. I will check the crown and flashlight the barrel (I do not have a bore scope). I will look for cosmetic flaws, free floating barrel, run the action, check the safety function. Is there something else I should look for? For a factory mid level rifle...how picky are you about cosmetic flaws? I don't mean a large ding in a nice wood stock but maybe a faint scratch? This will be a hunting rifle which I will likely scratch anyways. Thanks!
     
  2. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    If I'm buying a new rifle, it's probably for the action more than the barrel so the inspection is cursory at best. If I was buying it to use as is, I'd ask to run a patch through it if needed and look from the chamber side and look for any obvious flaws in the rifling/throat, etc... look at the muzzle and see if the bore is down the middle of the barrel or offset to one side (more common than you might imagine) and check that the bolt timing is good.
     
  3. KyCarl

    KyCarl Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    He's right once it's transferred to another name it becomes a used gun and
    most sellers/wholesalers won't take it back. Any problem after transfer has to be handled with the manufacturer. I tell everyone that before I hand them any paperwork.
    Other than a once over it's hard to really inspect it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  4. mobenzowner

    mobenzowner Well-Known Member

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    The 2 things I look for are to make sure at least to the naked eye, the barrel bore is concentric and the receiver appears to have the scope screws centered.
     
    skipglo likes this.
  5. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming that the punctuation mark there was meant to be a period. In any event, it certainly deserves to be because it's a heck of a true statement.
     
  6. John 264

    John 264 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen new unfired rifles have rust pits in the barrel so if they have a bore scope most definitely have the barrel checked
     
  7. KyCarl

    KyCarl Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    This is the reason I would rather sell you a used gun! We can take it out back and shoot it. If it doesn't suit you don't buy it. I have 15 acres zoned A-1 so it's cool.
    Remember the guy at the counter didn't build it or pack it or ship it!
    It's not his falut. He's just trying to make a few bucks.
     
  8. skipglo

    skipglo Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    If I want a scratched gun I will scratch it! But why the H--- would I do that! If there isn't quality control on the outside....what would lead you to believe there is on the inside....where nobody could see it?
     
  9. freddiej

    freddiej Well-Known Member

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    To re-enforce what a few have said here: I got in 2 days ago a Rem 11-87 because it would not extract or feed. well the action was a bit dirty but nothing bad, the action was bone dry, but the really nasty part was this gun has a completely rusted up chamber. The gun looks new on the outside except for the last 4" of the buttstock. This gun has been neglected. so do look all over the gun for small things. I am now looking for a new barrel for the guy. I do not think I can get the pits to polish out of the chamber.
     
  10. Frog4aday

    Frog4aday Well-Known Member

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    This was a good article for inspecting a USED rifle before purchase, but in reading it, a lot of the same checks would be appropriate for a NEW rifle.
    https://gundigest.com/article/inspect-used-rifle

    As for a scratch or some other cosmetic defect, you'd have to decide for yourself if it was acceptable or not. As you noted, if the gun is going to get knocked around and dinged up from hunting anyway, perhaps you aren't too picky about a minor flaw in the stock or metal work under those circumstances. But if you paid top dollar for a fine quality rifle you'd expect it to be near immaculate, and anything less would be a reject.

    Most interesting rifle 'problem' I found was the trigger dropping (firing) as the bolt was being lowered on a bolt action (about 50% of the time.) Uh...that's not good! Turned out the guy bedded the action lug but not the tang and when the tang screw got tightened, it was enough to bend the action slightly so the sear wouldn't hold properly. Bedding the tang fixed the problem, but that would probably be a rifle you don't accept and would send back.
     
  11. dreamhunt

    dreamhunt Well-Known Member

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    If it has warranty them i don't think that's necessary.
     
  12. John 264

    John 264 Well-Known Member

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    a 11-87 shotgun all you need to do is polish the chamber and only if the pits are causing a extracting problem do you need to replace it a shotgun doesn't have to be smooth like a rifle
     
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  13. bearcat2

    bearcat2 Well-Known Member

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    Most interesting rifle 'problem' I found was the trigger dropping (firing) as the bolt was being lowered on a bolt action (about 50% of the time.) Uh...that's not good! Turned out the guy bedded the action lug but not the tang and when the tang screw got tightened, it was enough to bend the action slightly so the sear wouldn't hold properly. Bedding the tang fixed the problem, but that would probably be a rifle you don't accept and would send back.[/QUOTE]

    A friend of mine bought a factory savage with this problem. It wasn't correctly headspaced and chambering a round it dropped the firing pin about half the time. Dangerous!
     
    Frog4aday likes this.