Buying firearms via online/mail order

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Rourke, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Rourke

    Rourke Monkey++

    Some of the prices I see in online ad's and in Shotgun News are very low. I have never purchased online and a little hesitant. I want to support my local gun shop - but when I can savve $100, $150, sometimes $200 on a single purchase - that is hard to ignore.

    Question - does anyone have any experiance buying online? Was it positive? Who do you recommend? What kind of costs were associated with shipping and then transfer fee's from your local FFL? I have seen some companies also do lay-a-way as well.

    Thanks - Rourke
  2. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    never bought online for firearms. To much rigamarol for me. Although as I'm to uderstand, it's not to much more expensive. depending on your local FFL dealer, FFL $5-50. Have to get FFL info from local dealer first, then pay and give FFL info to seller, then wait for shipping to FFL dealer and then pick up and pay FFL fee. not a big deal.
  3. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    Bought my SOCOMII online.. FFL only cost me 25.00. No worries here.
  4. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    I did a bit.

    I had a 03 FFL for a while that allowed me to mail order certain older guns to my home.
    I bought from reputable distributors (who advertise prominently in SGN) and had no problems. They were older guns, so they had a few quirks, but that was to be expected.

    I also purchased one modern gun via gunbroker and had it transferred to a local FFL and had no problems.

    It's really like buying any other big ticket item via ebay or mail order except that procedure needs to be followed.
    I'd imagine it could become costly if you had problems and had to return an item, but this didn't happen to me.

    Dealer transfers cost from $20 - $45 which is more than made up for with the savings you get by buying wholesale.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Have bought many firearms on the internet from different sellers with no problems. Shipping depends on what they want and transfer from my FFL is $30.
  6. pcc

    pcc Monkey+

    I've purchased several on the internet. The last couple I got, shipping was $50 and ffl transfer was $20. Even at that both guns were still significantly cheaper than buying locally.

    Check out Buds guns, Guns America and Gun Broker. They have list of dealers that will or have accepted transfers. Be sure to check the transfer fees before ordering, in my area they range from free to $50 per gun.
  7. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    you supply the seller with your FFL's info, or your FFL sends it himself. Some of the ones here won't send their info but to another FFL, don't want to receive shipments from non-FFL's. Some here also charge exhorbitant transfer fees, would rather order a gun for you themselves.
    Work that out before you buy. It might add a significant amount to your purchase.
  8. SamSung

    SamSung Monkey+

    got to check gun broker out, they sell guns cheaper than my local gun store
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Never had a problem. Probably over 30 firearms transfered via mail/UPS over an 8 year period.
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I have bought three good rifles by online sales, and had one deal go belly up AFTER I sent payment - the danged seller sold the rifle (a unique muzzle loader, not often seen) to a walk-in. We had already agreed to terms and I sent the MO.
    The seller did return the MO, but it left a bad taste for me, and I haven't ordered online since.
  11. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Shotgun news online also has a FFL dealer list state by state, along with what each listed dealer charges to receive for you. UPS was the way I had mine shipped and it was a whole lot less than $50, but, it has been several years ago.
  12. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I have bought a few receivers and what not from online and had them shipped to an FFL. No problem with the transfer. The local shop had actually done enough that their FFL was already on file.
  13. pcc

    pcc Monkey+

    There was just a big blow up on one of the local gun boards about a transfer. In the end it all boiled down to communication or lack thereof by the buyer.

    The guy called a local shop and asked if they would accept transfers from individuals, the manager said yes and the guy hung up. He didn't leave his name, say I've got one coming your way, nothing. Apparently he was a regular at the shop and assumed that the manager recognized his voice.

    A few days later a gun shows up at the shop with no paperwork inside, the buyer shows up that afternoon to pick up the gun but nobody at the store knows anything about it and the manager is on vacation. Things went downhill from there, the buyer goes home jumps on the puter and starts slamming the shop. He ended up getting the gun the next day and sort of apologized but if he had communicated with the shop none of the drama would have been necessary.

    When I do transfers I always let the receiving ffl know what specific gun I have coming including the serial number, when the gun is shipping, who it is coming from and when the gun is expected to arrive.

    The last gun I had transferred could have turned out like the story above if I hadn't communicated with my ffl. When it arrived all it had was a business card inside.
  14. Rourke

    Rourke Monkey++

    Thanks for all the info. Like I saidd before - I want to support my local shop - but some of the deals online I can't ignore.

    Other than Buds, GunsAmerica and Gunbroker - any others recommended?

    Thanks - Rourke
  15. pcc

    pcc Monkey+


    jg sales
    aim surplus
    lancaster arms top of the line ak's
    hyatt gun store more high end guns ar10 stuff for kimber pistols
    atlantic firearms
    peachstate guns local ga site good guys to deal with
    gunslingers mostly high end pistols check out the volkmans
    rankin arms again mostly high end stuff
    top gun supply
    proload distributors the place to buy les baer pistols mostly milsurp stuff

    Websites/forums with strong buy and sell sections Big buy and sell board. Do not mess with Buddy, read the rules & follow them to the T or he will ban you no questions asked.
    sigforum primarily for GA and the surrounding states FTF transactions although some members will ship. another GA site there are two really good deals on ed browns right now.


    There's tons more, these are just the ones I check first when looking for something or checking prices
  16. JSmith36

    JSmith36 Monkey+

    I have purchased >10 guns from various sites without a hiccup, in fact had more difficulty getting ammo last year.
  17. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I didn't really mention, but others' have. I think it should be stated plainly:

    The key to buying firearms cheap online is to find a local FFL that will transfer on the cheap. Some charge a percentage of value. Others' charge a set fee. So, if you are buying a $2K assault rifle, set fee is a better deal. For a AR lower receiver, you want a small percentage fee.

    As for transfer fees, I have seen flat fees range from $25 to $50. Anymore than that and I take my business elsewhere. For percentages, I would look for something around 5%- and bring your receipt to prove value.

    Without a good FFL in your back pocket, buying firearms online can cost way more than they should.
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