Pawn Shop Guns

Pawn shops are stereotypically known as a place that sells weapons. Growing up in a small farm town in Oklahoma, we didn’t have pawn shops. When I wanted to buy a weapon, it was known who had them for sale, or we could run to the local Wal-Mart. Anyway, this isn’t about guns I’ve had, it’s about their availability in pawn shops.

If I’m looking for a bargain, is this a good place to go? Is there any reason to go there, than say going to Wal-Mart, or one of the major sporting goods stores?

You aren’t going to find a bargain at a pawn shop. Those guys know the market very well, and will charge all it will bear.

In fact, the prices at Pawn shops are usually pretty high.

Some gun stores carry used guns.

What kind of gun are you looking for? I have a 799 mm fully auto uzi that I keep under my pillow just incase the red chinese take over America in the middle of the night.

I agree that pawn shops generally have prices as high as, or higher than, gun shops; at least around here.

If you’re looking for a bargain, you might find one at the gunbroker auction site. The selection will certainly be better.

Do you mean something like this? I’m a little suprised you can fit that under your pillow, and that one’s only 600 mm.

I have bought at a pawn shop in the past - got a good deal. It really depends on where you live. The gun shop I used to go to in LA carried used guns, and had their onsite gunsmith go over them prior to sale as well.

Whenever I see people getting good deals, it’s usually because the owner is ignorant of the true value. They might sell all Mosin-Nagants for $150, but if they don’t realize that it is Finnish it would be a steal.

Not all pawn shops sell guns. The ones in Montgomery County, Maryland, do not.

Like any significant purchase… shop around. Make a day of it. Visit a few pawn shops and then a few gun shops. Many dedicated firearms retailers (i.e. “gun shops”) sell both new and used items.

But to answer your question… no. Going to a pawn shop doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a good deal.

I dunno anything about gun prices, but I’m sure the pawn shop guys do. Do some research before you buy.

Also, don’t forget that pawnshops haggle. I never buy anything for more than 2/3 the listed price, and usually less.

I think you can get a fair price at a pawnshop, but I don’t know that it would be a “bargain bin” price. I’d think that would be more likely online…but there are disadvantages there, too.

I worked at a pawn shop in Tulsa while going to college (25 years ago). At the time, we had the largest gun collection in town. They probably still do. New gun prices were nothing spectacular. We couldn’t buy in bulk like Wal-Mart could. Our used gun prices were good but you have to have realistic expectations. Used guns don’t depreciate much, especially if they are in good condition and still in the original box.

Haggle. It can’t hurt. We’d come down 15-20% on used guns but none on new ones.

Make sure you know what you are looking at, in terms of safety and the like, very well. Most gun shops will accept an exchange but I don’t know pawn shops to do so. And pawn brokers may know value but they usually aren’t gunsmiths. They go by looks and sometimes things that look good aren’t. IF you are lucky enough to get a steal, have someone with an FFL and/or training check it out before putting your face somewhere around it loaded.

(A buddy got a Mauser from a pawn shop once. When he actually tried to load it, something felt wrong (or as he put it - “funny”) and he stopped at that point. Good thing; someone had buggered up the chamber trying one of those “DYI” caliber conversions, messed it up, and just pawned the gun at that point)

Hey, I lived in Tulsa 25 years ago too. Truth is, the last time I was in any type of pawn shop was when I lived in Tulsa and traded a working Poulan chain saw for a Betamax player! I can’t believe I didn’t think of haggling. Nobody pays retail! :slight_smile:

Wow, that’s a scary thought. Truth is there is a reputable gun shop that does consignments that I’ll probably look in to. I was just curious if I should also include pawn shops while I’m in my ‘looking around’ phase.

This is my plan. I’m in no hurry to buy. I’m just looking around, and was trying to think of places to include.

What is the best place deal wide to get hand guns? the prices at Gander Mountain go from $ 500 to over a thousand for most handguns. Is this typical?

I most certainly would. I’d also ask them for some kind of guarantee. Caveat emptor is not sufficient.

New and from more major makers? That’s about average price.

Used, for used guns, a good gun shop is going to be a lot cheaper and safer than shows or pawn shops. If I see something I like in someone’s show case, the first thing I research (quietly usually) is how long they have been in business. If its something like a year or two, I check the piece over real careful. If its like 30 years, I write the check and fill out the forms. You don’t stay in business that long in one location as a gun dealer if you don’t know your stuff and sell quality safe firearms. Inbetween the two, I ask questions and try to get a feel for how the guy or gal operates.

The big retailers usually don’t have good deals on new guns. There are some exceptions among regional retailers, such as Academy Sports & Outdoors.

You can usually get the best deals at online auction sites, such as Gunbroker. You’ll need to pay for shipping and for an FFL to handle the transfer (usually $20-30), but I usually find I can save $100 or more buying used guns online. Bud’s Gun Shop tends to have the best deals on new guns online, but once again you have to pay for the transfer.

Wal-Mart sells guns? That’s news to me, none of the ones near where I live (Minnesota) do. A few retail stores will carry hunting rifles and shotguns in their sporting goods section, but outside of a gun shop I have never seen any retail store offer handguns. (YMMV, depending on your state’s laws.)