If he's local...test fire it with bbs and a fresh battery. Does it shoot perfectly on semi (try 10-15 shots). Does it work perfectly for short burst (3-5 shots), one quickly after another. Hold the trigger down on a full mag (or 3!). If it works...it works.
If you're buying it with mags...try out each of the mags. If you're buying it with a RDS...fire up the reddot and look though it (ask in advance what type of batteries it takes).
Fiddle with everything.
Without mentioning any names...this is what can happen. Hopefully your deal doesn't go down this way, but NOTHING replaces a face-to-face meet and test fire.
Buy from guys you or your buddies trust. Ask if a reputable gun doc can check it out first (money well spent and you're probably going to do something to it anyways). Either a local gun doc close to the seller...or have him ship it directly to a reputable guy local to you.
Ask for clear detail pics of both sides of the item. Explicitly ask:
- are there any cosmetic issues with it
- are there any functional issues with it
A guy recently brought me his M4 that he just bought from a guy out of province.
The TM M4 had been painted (badly) at least twice.
It was missing:
- forward assist knob
- flora pin
- bolt release
- dust cover
- tightening screws for the RIS (it was a Madbull Dragon Fire ris and without those screws it just spins around)
- both cross pins for the front sight
The body was broken at the trigger guard and the flora pin hole was so enlarged that there's no point of putting a pin in there.
He's got a mechbox to repair in it (cracked and broken nozzle/cylinder head)...but that was after receiving it (maybe...).
The RDS Acog that he got with it...(Seller: "All you need are new batteries...")...is flat out broken. The on/off/brightness knob was snapped off and the MOTHERF*CKER jammed in a carry handle knob to fake it!!!!
And 6 mags...(didn't see them, but what hopes can you have after seeing the rest of this crap!)
I had to go over all of this with the buyer...explain to him that his "new" rifle might not be worth fixing. I'm scrounging like a mofo to find parts so I can put together something working for him. Poor guy...he got ripped off for $500.
Another guy brought me a SCAR that he had just purchased. Used...didn't work right out of the box.
Within 2 min I found the following:
- paint job was utter shit....looked like it had been dipped in a can of paint. Paint was coming off already
- trigger spring was installed incorrectly (it was sticking out of the mechbox/receiver!!)...there was no freaking way that someone could have "test fired it and then packed it for shipping"! NOT FREAKING POSSIBLE
- wiring was a twisted, electrical taped disaster
- I stopped there....couldn't bare to look any more.
Thankfully the guy got his money back (it was either $500 or $800).
I don't see the above kind of stuff, thankfully, very often. But it breaks my heart to tell a guy he just got ripped off (and it's horrible if it's his first rifle). It's like rubbing salt in a wound when I go over one thing after another after another of what's broken or missing...but they do need to know. It angers me to no end...
Buyer beware...protect yourself when buying...