Which is Better?

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SBHRSSSSS

Bearcat
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
45
Having not bought a gun online before, I was wondering which Site was better; Guns America, Guns International, Gunbroker, other? Are they all about the same? What cautions should be considered? To be honest, I'm not an online purchase fan, but, it may be how I find a particular couple of 3 Screws I'm looking for. Thanks for your advice.
 

SBHRSSSSS

Bearcat
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
45
Thanks. I hadn't considered that. I'm not looking at the moment. Just thinking ahead and saving. I just got a 1959 Blackhawk Flat Top, 4 5/8" .357, shooter, unconverted, non-original grips. So, back to saving. What I'm looking for isn't anything great, just a 3 Screw Blackhawk shooters, unconverted, in .44 mag, and .45 Long Colt. I'm hoping to get every caliber and barrel length. I have several, just a few more to go. The calibers I mentioned will complete my every caliber goal. Just a fun hobby, one of several. Again, thanks for the idea.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,423
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
You are on a slippery slope.
First,, it starts with "one of every caliber." Then, it's; "One in every caliber and barrel length." It progresses to; "One of each variation."
Heck, in the OM's, there's (6) variations of the OM .45's alone. The .30 Carbine,, basically (1) but actually there are (2). The .357,, SEVERAL, as you have the (3) barrel lengths, then the FT's vs the protected ears, the Ross, the transitions, etc. The .22's, I think there are around 200 variations of the Single-Six in just the OM. The .44,, a bunch, and the .41 mag, A few are super hard variations.

Yep,, a slippery slope for sure! A FUN & excellent way to pass the time trying to learn AND collect each type,, as so many of us around here know.

But,, do NOT let this deter you in ANY way. GO FOR IT!
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,761
Location
NYS
THIS is definitely THE PLACE to put an ad asking for what you need. The members here are honest and knowledgeable. AND, they will most certainly have whatever you need to complement your collection.

J.
 

SBHRSSSSS

Bearcat
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
45
Thanks Contender, for prophesying the hopeless joy ahead! It all started with a OM Super Blackhawk, then an OM .357 Blackhawk/Protected Ears. Then came the OM Single Sixes, then more Blackhawks. Imagine my joy in finding a pair OM .357 Flat Tops, 4 5/8" and 6 1/2", Original Rubber Grips, owned by the same gentleman, the original Owner (he worked in the LGS I bought them from). He was reluctantly selling them due to health issues, and was excited that I bought both and kept them together. These were my first Flat Tops. And, as you and Ale said, Calibers and Barrel Lengths... I slipped and fell long ago. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and humor. I enjoy the hunt. Only 2 calibers to go!!
 

BearBiologist

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
464
Only one I've had problems with was Bud's Gun Shop==a real bunch of idiots!! Gun Broker several times and, with care, the Classified sections on forums, including this one!
 

ammo dave

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
29
Location
niceville, fl
Bud’s used to have pretty good prices and service, not so much anymore. I’ve used GB and Guns America many times with no problems. They provide a level of protection that you don’t get with a private sale from an unknown seller. Lots of scam artists out there.
 

kcsteve

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
76
Having not bought a gun online before, I was wondering which Site was better; Guns America, Guns International, Gunbroker, other? Are they all about the same? What cautions should be considered? To be honest, I'm not an online purchase fan, but, it may be how I find a particular couple of 3 Screws I'm looking for. Thanks for your advice.
Zoom in and examine the pictures carefully. If an area is not shown, don’t hesitate to ask for more pictures. If the pictures are blurry, be cautious. No excuse for blurry pictures.
With Gunbroker, you deal with the seller directly. Gun Auction is a third party seller. I have good success with both.
This site is also a good place to buy from.
Talk to an FFL dealer and tell them what you are buying. They will send their info to the seller and the gun will come to the dealer. Usually the dealer charges around $10.
 
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Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,337
Location
missouri
When I was 'in the business', I bought/resold numerous guns to my customers. Customer told me what he's looking for and his budget then I found the gun that best matched his desires on GB and bid it to his limit. This was 10 years ago and probably more hokus pokus now.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
10,297
Location
Webster, MD.
One thing I would suggest is if using Gunbroker, or a like site, that you deal only with someone that has a lot of feedback. I would stay away from the seller with little or no ( # ) behind his/her name.
 
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vlavalle

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 10, 2022
Messages
75
Location
Chandler, AZ
Zoom in and examine the pictures carefully. If an area is not shown, don’t hesitate to ask for more pictures. If the pictures are blurry, be cautious. No excuse for blurry pictures.
With Gunbroker, you deal with the seller directly. Gun Auction is a third party seller. I have good success with both.
This site is also a good place to buy from.
Talk to an FFL dealer and tell them what you are buying. They will send their info to the seller and the gun will come to the dealer. Usually the dealer charges around $10.
In my experience, $10 for the use of an FFL is very low! Perhaqps you may find this low fee in a smalltown, but I live in a very large metro area (the Phoenix, AZ metro). Many charge something like $40 or more. I recently bought a Ruger GP100 (6" doubke action stainless), and I looked for a much lower cost FFl and found one that deals in tactical arms, where the sell mainly assualt rifles and machine guns, and even build machine guns. So, they had no rifles nor revolvers for sale. Their fee was $15, and their service went well.
 

weaselmeatgravy

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Messages
2,370
Location
Colorado native, Vermont transplant
I agree with Contender, it is a slippery slope.

You're starting out much the way I did. When my dad died, I had seven Rugers, a 10-22, Mini-14, #1V, M77, Speed Six, Security Six, and a boxed old model Super Blackhawk with non-prefixed SN (it had been traded to a local Colorado gun shop by a former Alaskan fur trapper who said he shot it "a lot - probably at least 50 times"). The rest of my small accumulation of firearms were three S&W model 29s, a Colt 1911, a Glock, and a Remington shotgun. My dad had a few more guns than me, maybe a couple dozen. One of his was a 7.5" boxed old model Blackhawk in .45 Colt that I have fond memories of shooting with my dad. My dad's guns all went to me since neither sister had any interest. Getting the .44 and .45 together, both with 7.5"barrels, made me think I should try to get an old model in every caliber. A friend at work overheard me talking about that plan and mentioned that he was asked by his neighbor's widow to help sell her husband's guns, and he had a .357 x 9mm convertible OM Blackhawk in the box and he wanted $200 for it. I bought that, which led to opening up the convertibles, then came barrel lengths. Then I put an ad in a local classifieds type paper and was contacted by a guy who had a .357 flattop to sell for $300, plus he had a near complete collection of RCA Journals and some patches & decals all for another $50. I had never even heard of flattops at the time, so that opened up another can of worms with 2 calibers and 3 barrel lengths, plus the journals opened my eyes to more stuff. Then came Single Sixes, then the RENE Reference that defines all the variations, then Hawkeyes, Bearcats, and somewhere along the way the double actions. And since my dad also had a few New Models, I couldn't call myself an old model purist, so I started accumulating NMs too.

Good luck to you in your quest! Contact me when your finances recover - I have an OM .45 to sell ;) (no, not dad's)
 

KS25-06

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
38
Location
Moscow, Ks. Stevens Co.
From what I can tell, prices on GB are generally cheaper than the other two sites you mentioned. Another site you might consider is Auction Arms. Not as many guns and not as popular, but you can get some very good buys once in a while. I have used GB for years, have purchased many guns on their site. The only problem they have is their Customer Service. IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Uncle Howie

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
1,166
Location
MN
In my experience, $10 for the use of an FFL is very low! Perhaqps you may find this low fee in a smalltown, but I live in a very large metro area (the Phoenix, AZ metro). Many charge something like $40 or more. I recently bought a Ruger GP100 (6" doubke action stainless), and I looked for a much lower cost FFl and found one that deals in tactical arms, where the sell mainly assualt rifles and machine guns, and even build machine guns. So, they had no rifles nor revolvers for sale. Their fee was $15, and their service went well.
In MN, a $20 transfer is a pretty good price, everywhere I’ve checked. Many charge more than that. A few FFLs here will do $10 transfers for LE/military.

GunBroker has a “Find an FFL” type feature on their site, maybe other sites do, as well. If you can find a small shop or “kitchen table” FFL, they are likely more interested in doing reasonably priced transfers, and/or building a clientele base.

My two old FFLs (both passed away), and my new FFL all charge $20. I give a $5 tip- keeps me in good graces, and $5 on the cost of a gun is minimal. I have ALWAYS gotten great service from my small FFLs.

Shipped one purchase to a Scheels (regional mall-type sporting goods chain) store. It was $35 (15-20 years ago!), but I thought I’d “spread the wealth,” so to speak. I had to wait a week for my overpriced transfer, while their “transfer guy” was on vacation. NEVER AGAIN!

I’m getting crotchety, and would raise hell, if that were to happen today. At the time, I didn’t get excited- I just took it as a hint that they’re primarily in the sports bra and yoga pants business, and clearly not interested in doing repeat transfers!

Many sellers on the auction sites are starting to charge exorbitant shipping rates. Saving $100 on a gun isn’t all that great if you’re paying $60 shipping, and a $30 transfer fee! 😂

Many (most?) states are now collecting sales tax on online purchases, so any “private sale” tax savings are gone, for many of us.

Like any auction, pick a max bid, and stick with it. DON’T get sucked into a bidding war at the last minute, willing to “win” at all costs!

That happens regularly, but it doesn’t have to happen to you!

Online sites can be a great way to find rare models, and to check out current pricing- just be sure that you are checking the SOLD prices, not just “pie in the sky” asking prices!

I won a fixed-sight NM Single-Six (missing .22WMR cylinder) on GunBroker one time by throwing in a lowball “starting bid.” Forgot all about it, until I got the notification that I won! 😆

It’s a pretty nice revolver for $225… 😎
 
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ncvikingfan

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
215
Location
NW North Carolina
From what I can tell, prices on GB are generally cheaper than the other two sites you mentioned. Another site you might consider is Auction Arms. Not as many guns and not as popular, but you can get some very good buys once in a while. I have used GB for years, have purchased many guns on their site. The only problem they have is their Customer Service. IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I started to post a reply and mention Auction Arms. However it had been a while since I had used it (lost my ID). I was not sure if it was still in business. I made a couple of good bargain priced gun purchases there in the past.
 

RC44Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
146
Location
Long Island
Other than local shops I’ve purchased from Impact Guns, Buds and CMP. Thick there’s one more but can’t recall at this time. Never an issue with any of them.
 
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Black Knight

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Charlottesville, VA
I have bought only one gun online and that was a Springfield Armory Saint. I bought it from Brownell's and the process went so smooth I was amazed. The transfer happened at a local dealer who charged a very reasonable price considering what other dealers in my area were charging. Some of those dealers charged 10-20% the cost of the gun. The dealer I used had a flat rate of $25.00 per transfer. Not having purchased more guns online I would not be afraid to purchase another from any reputable online dealer.
 
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