This guide has everything you need to know about buying Second Hand Air Rifles.
If you’re new to Air Rifles, I’ll show you how to get started with buying your first air rifle.
And if you’re a Air Rifle pro when it comes to buying second hand air rifles, I’ll reveal advanced tips, tactics and strategies that you can use to get the exact air rifle you want for less.
If you want to buy an air rifles safely and you want to get the most for your money you’ll love this guide.
Buying a 2nd hand air rifles can save you a fortune, but not if you end up buying a gun ready for the scrap heap!
Later in this guide you’ll discover the exact 10 points to look out for so even as a novice air gun enthusiast you’ll be able to tell the difference between a bargain and waste of time and money.
Let’s dive right in:
Buying from a gun store can seem intimidating when you first start out, there are so many different types, brands, calibers and different looking air guns. And it’s here that the your local Gun Shop can come in handy.
You may pay a little more for a 2nd hand air rifle in a gun store than from some of the other places we will talk about later in this article but in the long run their advice could actually end up saving you a lot of time and money.
An experienced local gun smith will have the knowledge to not only pick out the best air rifle for you and your purpose he will also have the corresponding social connections to put you in touch with others that may help you on your journey through the sport of air guns.
Gun Stores rely on a good reputation to sustain their business, so most have great customer service and know better than to try and make a “quick buck” off an unsuspecting and inexperienced customer.
As well as picking out the best air rifle for you they will be able to advise you on maintenance, care and other important aspects of the sport, it’s best to ask as many questions as possible here and don’t be afraid to ask to see the rifle out of its stock so you can properly inspect it.
Inspecting an air rifle for being serviceable is the same regardless of where you buy it so we’ll look at the tips to look out for when buying any air gun.
1. Look out for rust – including under the stock and especially on the cylinder of PCPs
2. Be suspicious of damaged screw heads
3. Ensure that barrel lock-up is secure on break-barrels
4. Check wooden stocks for splits
5. Test fire to check firing cycle and accuracy
6. Chronograph test to confirm power is consistent and legal
7. Inspect the barrel for signs of damage, especially from metal darts
8. Ask gunshops if they offer a warranty
9. Join a club. Serious club shooters look after their guns and change them regularly
10. Use common sense, and walk away if you’re in any doubt
Tips Courtesy of Shooting UK
Buying air rifles online using paid advert services and privately will generally mean you pay less than the price when compared to buying from a gun store, when it comes to paid services to sell your air rifle there are 2 main companies, these are Gunstar and Guntrader.
Both Gunstar and Guntrader have large databases of guns for sale, they don’t just advertise air rifles they also advertise shotguns, rifles and other firearms, if these interest you it is well worth a look.
These sites have also partnered with many local gun stores to create a one stop shop for second hand air rifles online, on both gunstar and guntrader you can filter for trade sellers and private sellers depending on what you prefer.
Like many online classifieds there is an increased risk of unscrupulous sellers and for this reason these sites offer support with the most common scams to watch out for:
That being said the paid ads route has traditional been a great resource for genuine customers and most report meeting nice people, who are honest sellers, but you should do your due diligence.
Forums are made up of a community of like minded people that usually share an interest. You have to become a member to interact and contribute on a forum.
In the UK the 2 largest airgun forums are airgunbbs and airgunforum both forums are long established and well monitored, they also have sales rules that need to be followed. This can mean they have a better regulated classified section and there are lots of eyes to watch out for dishonest sellers.
Forum moderators do there best to keep an eye out for bad sellers but online sales fraud is still a risk. Here is a fraud guide from airgunbbs to help you ensure you don’t get caught out:
When it comes to selling guns even paypal isn’t safe, so use caution and common sense and do not send large sums of money to strangers.
Forums can be a good place to buy and sell air rifles, they have less traffic than the classifieds so things can be slower and the search and display function is not as dynamic as on other platforms so checking listings and keeping track of what is still for sale can be frustrating, but if your motivated and willing to put the time in then you could get a good deal.
If you don’t mind travelling a bit further out that can really speed things up for you.
Lastly, brings us to buying through Free Classified Ads:
So you’re probably wondering why people don’t use Ebay, Facebook or other large established markets for selling used items. These are safe secure and huge markets that have the millions of listings and already brought 1000’s of buyers and sellers together.
The reason you can’t buy and sell air rifles on these and other classifieds such as free ads is due to policies that do not allow sellers to sell weapons.
These large organisations have a reputation to protect and hey have decided to distance themselves from the sale of guns of all types. The reality is that the value of their reputation is worth more to them than the perceived risk of the possible negative public perception that they could get from selling guns on their platform.
That leaves very few places to advertise used air rifles for sale for free online in the UK.
Free ads was the king online marketplace for selling and buying 2nd hand air rifles until Feb 2020 when they also changed their policies to prevent air rifles from being listed on their site. When this happened a community of air rifles buyers and sellers was lost.
The problem with free ads was that they were also the king of online scams and although there were plenty of happy customers there are also plenty that have been burnt and lost their cash to a dubious seller or buyer. For this reason when buying on free ads or any free classified, face to face would be best practice.
If you do find an honest buyer and your wondering about posting your air rifle or air pistol then here’s a few things that are useful to know.