Buying a Used Firearm / Gun
Buying a used hunting rifle can and should be an enjoyable experience, as long as you take the time to make the correct choice.
The type of action you choose really depends on your area and style of hunting. Bolt Actions are extremely accurate, can handle a wide range of caliber's and pressure levels and are available in a wide range of styles. Bolt actions are ideal for areas where shots are long. Lever Actions are faster than a bolt action, but due to the pressure limitations of the action are not available in as wide a selection of caliber's. Some notable exceptions are the Savage model 99, Browning BLR and Winchester 88. Single Shot the great thing about a single shot is they generally are reasonably priced, reliable and offered in a wide range of caliber's. The only draw back, if you consider it one, is the fact that you only have one shot, really, this is all any hunter needs. Some examples of high-end single shots are the Thompson Center Contender, and Encore and the Ruger model 1.
Choosing a Caliber
When selecting a caliber, choose one that offers enough power for the game you are hunting at the range you will be shooting. A 30/30 has enough power for the eastern woods hunter, yet lacks the distance for longer shots out west. Likewise a 7mm magnum is a great long-range cartridge, yet may be too much for the occasional hunter who can't master the recoil. Choose a cartridge that you can shoot well, control and offers enough power. Too often people go to the super high velocity wonder cartridge that offers bragging rights, yet that can't hit what they are aiming at.
Looking at Wear
The most important things to examine while buying a used hunting rifle are the barrel and action. The barrel should be clean and smooth, with no pitting and minimal fouling. Excessive fouling and pitting are signs that the rifle was mishandled. The action should be clean and operate smoothly, parts wear should be minimal and overall appearance should give you the sense of the rifle having been used not abused.
When buying a used rifle, check and see if the seller will give you a few days to try the rifle. Usually if it is a dealer, they offer a short trial period (7-10 Days) for you to try the rifle. At the very least you should have the opportunity to touch off a few rounds and see if the rifle works as it should and that accuracy meets your expectations.
By following the above guidelines you can get yourself that new hunting rifle, and save money to boot.
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