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Bought a used gun at LGS and got a lemon

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Hawaiiglock, May 20, 2012.

  1. Hawaiiglock

    Hawaiiglock 58008

    Jul 15, 2008
    Kona, Hi
    Warning....Long and winded!!!:supergrin::supergrin:

    Back story: I've had my eye out for a M1 Carbine for a while. My Winchester 9422 22 mag has served me well for pig hunting but after carrying a friends M1 a few years ago on a trip I knew I wanted one. The light weight and short over all length make it ideal for chasing pigs through the rain forest.

    I checked out a new gun store last Thursday and low and behold they had a Iver Johnson M1 on the used rack. I know that the Iver's are not USGI, and the later models were known to have problems. This was a low serial number gun with a clean crisp bore. There was no rust, some finish wear on the bolt, and the stock was in decent shape. The action/trigger/ mag release all functioned smoothly. All in all I'd say about 75%, a gun that still looked/functioned well but I wouldn't be afraid to crawl through the bush with.

    The gun was priced on the higher side, but "want" clouded my judgement and I plunked down the cash and took it home. I cleaned the gun up and on Friday I loaded up and went to the range. Out of the 20 or so rounds of current production ammo (American Eagle, Federal) ran through the gun I ended up with a few stove pipes, some jams, a stuck case and failure to return to battery. The failure to return to full battery was scary because pulling the trigger still let firing pin go, there was a light strike on the primer :shocked:. I;ve seen some aftermath pics of out of battery fires and it's not something I'd like to experience.

    I went back to the store after the range trip to talk to the owner. I explained the problems with the gun and I felt that it was unsafe. He let me know that the gun I purchased was on consignment (this wasn't mentioned at time of purchase) and he called the owner and let him know the problems and I wanted a refund. The original owner said he wanted to check the gun out first, which I agreed to and left the gun at the store. This was my first purchase from this store, I understand the risk of buying used but if I'm paying top dollar I expect to get a firearm in safe working condition. I also expect a gun store to stand behind what they sell, you really don't know if a gun functions properly until you fire it.

    I was hoping to get a call today from the store owner to resolve the issue but that did not happen. I had told the owner that money didn't have to be refunded, I'd take another gun (new:whistling:) instead. My only saving grace is that I paid with my credit card so I can reverse the charge. I don't want to burn any bridges but I'm not getting stuck with a useless paper weight.

    So I guess my question is should I wait and try to work it out with the gun store or should I call my bank and dispute the charge? It feels weird asking for advice on the net but out of the 10 or so used guns I've purchased this is the first time I've had a problem.

  2. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane NRA Life Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    New England
    I would absolutely give the dealer an opportunity to work out something before going the dispute route.

    At one local dealer here, they have a prominent sign on the display counter that reads, "All used gun sales final", probably for similar reasons.

    Your offer to the dealer for resolution was more than reasonable and it would be their opportunity to make things right and make a repeat customer.

    Hopefully an M1 expert will chime in on the function issues and in particular the out of battery situation. It's possible some of them are just finicky and need some special TLC to get running.

  3. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    I also would let the owner try to work it out. If that did not work before I dealt with my credit card company I would want to know what the necessary repair is and how much it would cost. If it turned out to be something simple and inexpensive, say a spring, I might not want to burn a bridge over it. A while back I bought a used P245 and it would not always go back into battery. I was not happy but the problem was solved by a new recoil spring. Also I guess this is as good as any time for me to remember back when Woolworths had barrels of M1 Carbines on the floor. I remember the select ones for a while were $99.
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  4. Decguns


    Dec 29, 2003
    Your functioning problems could have been caused by your ammo, magazine or recoil spring. The vast majority of functioning problems with M1 Carbines are magazine related. When buying a used M1 Garand or Carbine, I typically replace most of the springs.

    Like most military rifles, the Carbine's firing pin is free floating, so it will lightly indent the primer when chambering a round. The hammer can fly forward on a Carbine before it is in full battery. GI carbines have two safety features to stop this from firing a round... including a cut in the receiver bridge to retain the firing pin and the design of the rear of the bolt which protects the firing pin from the hammer until the bolt is in battery. Many commercial carbines eliminate the receiver bridge cut out and rely on the rear of the bolt to stop out of battery firing. The problem being the rear of the commercial bolts were often not heat treated and could be damaged by repeated hammer strikes. This is why it's important to inspect a carbine bolt for damage before firing, especially on late Universal Carbines.
  5. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012

    He beat me to it.

    With the IJs there is very little that can't be fixed, generally by adding GI parts. Unlike the universals that IMO merely "looked like" a carbine. A good working knowledge of the carbine and a bit of tuning up may well pay off.

    For the stuck case and some of the other malagies I would look at the extractor make sure it is clean and moving properly. If you visually chech the chamber to make sure it is not pitted or damaged then the chances are very good that either the magazine feed lips are allowning rounds to pop up too high and get in the way or the extractor is at fault.

    You didn't say anything about the mag but I noticed that your screen name implies Hawaii residency. I know they have some screwy laws there. Are you by chance using a 5 rd aftermarket commercial mag as a result? or to meet hunting laws? I have use the m-1 carbine for blacktail deer in the past and have had exactly the same symptoms with about 50% of the 5 round mags I bought to meet the legal requirements.
  6. TSAX


    Jun 5, 2010
    I would try to work it out with the shop, if they refuse or are jerks about it, call the bank right away and let everyone know that you got ripped off. I hate when companies/places do crap like this, not saying they did intentionally but if they did or wont help fix.solve things Id post this story everywhere I could and spread the word so no one else gets screwed by them. If your a veteran or military you can let the base knows, each station should have someone to go to let them know you were screwed by a company/shop. If not you can always try the BBB and the cities small business association and Im sure there are more avenues to report about bad business/rip offs practices.

    Now it could be just a bad part or ammo, hopefully it all gets worked out. Good Luck :wavey:

  7. Hawaiiglock

    Hawaiiglock 58008

    Jul 15, 2008
    Kona, Hi
    Thanks for the advice/info! I ran Federal and A.E. ammo through the gun, and switched between 2 15 round mags that are in good shape. Bore looked good and the action cycled smoothly by hand when I inspected it at the store.

    I'm not one to usually rant away but I guess I'm all riled up because I think buying used firearms from a gun store shouldn't be a gamble. A quick look around the net puts an average price on a good working condition Iver at around $450 (I payed a little more then that). What I expect when I pay the going rate is a gun that functions and doesn't need any work done to it. Thanks again and I'll chime back in when I get this resolved.
  8. TSAX


    Jun 5, 2010
    Unfortunately, this isnt always the case. you would expect that getting a used gun from a gun shop shouldnt be an issue but like some used car salesmen they just get your money and dont care if you ever comeback. When I managed a range/shop I would full inspect, function check and if possible test fire a few rounds to make sure it works. Although sometimes this is easier said than done, especially if there is no range attached to the store.

    I would hate to have sold something and screw someone over. Too bad many people dont feel this way in many businesses/industries. Buying used guns will always be a gamble from GunBroker auctions, private party/face to face and gun shops. they best thing to do is be prepared and educated before you buy something. Know the going rate for new and used online and local (total cost, not just the sticker prices). Know how the weapon functions and maybe have someone there to help you that you trust. These arent always plausible in spur of the moment buys and there is never a guarantee on a used gun that you wont get a lemon.

  9. harleytech


    Feb 25, 2012
    Clean and /or replace the gas piston...that's where I would start..
  10. Rancher


    Jun 3, 2003
    SW Missouri
    Very thankful the only place I buy used at comes with a money back policy if the gun does not function properly. Downtown pawn shop, big selection, good guy's to deal with.

    Screw the bridge you are not wanting to burn unless he is the only game in town. You paid money for something you expected to work and it did not. Next time ask before you buy used if it can be returned if the firearm does not function properly. Make sure you let them know you are not just wanting to "try it out" cause you think you may like it rather you know sometimes a used gun is being sold cause it may be a POS.