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Buying a Used Shotgun: Tips for First-Time Buyers

02 October 2023


Buying a used shotgun can be a great way to save money while still getting a reliable firearm. However, as a first-time buyer, it's important to be aware of some key things to consider before making a purchase.

These following tips will help guide you in making an informed decision when buying a used shotgun:

1. Research:

Before diving into the used shotgun market, do some research on different shotgun models, their prices, and the reputation of various manufacturers. This will help you understand what to look for and what to avoid.

2. Determine your needs:

Consider what you will be using the shotgun for - hunting, sport shooting, self-defence, or all of the above. This will help you choose the right type and gauge of shotgun.

3. Set a budget:

Determine your budget and stick to it. Used shotguns can vary widely in price, so having a budget in mind will help narrow down your options.

4. Inspect the firearm in person:

Whenever possible, inspect the shotgun in person before purchasing. Visually inspect the overall condition, paying attention to any signs of wear or damage.

5. Check the barrel:

Inspect the barrel for any signs of pitting, bulges, or rust. A damaged barrel can affect the performance and safety of the shotgun.

6. Check the action:

Test the action of the shotgun by cycling it multiple times. Look for any signs of stiffness, roughness, or excessive play in the action.

7. Check the bore:

Look down the barrel to check for a clean and smooth bore. Any signs of fouling or damage can indicate poor maintenance or excessive use.

8. Ask about the shotgun's history:

When buying from a private seller, ask about the shotgun's history. Find out how often it was used, how it was stored, and if any modifications were made to it.

9. Test fire if possible:

If allowed, test fire the shotgun before buying. This can help you assess its reliability and how it feels in your hands.

10. Consider a reputable seller:

If purchasing from a gun shop or dealer, choose a reputable seller with a good track record. They are more likely to have inspected and serviced the used shotguns in their inventory.


Buying a used shotgun can be a cost-effective option for first-time buyers. By following the tips outlined above, you can navigate the used shotgun market with confidence. By doing your due diligence and carefully inspecting the firearm, you can find a reliable and suitable shotgun for your needs. Happy shopping!

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