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Defining the condition of airguns for sale

June 22 2006 at 11:54 AM
Quackenbush  (Login DAQ)

The NRA has a standard for the description of used guns, which I’ll list, with commentary of the experience of going to firearms and airgun shows for 36 years.

NEW: not previously sold at retail, in same condition as current factory production. (This gun has not been handled or test fired other than at the factory. In Shotgun News and Gunlist this condition is sometimes abbreviated as NIB, New in Box.)

PERFECT: in new condition in every respect. (This short definition describes it as “new”, but has not been handled or test fired other than at the factory. But is being sold by a private individual who purchased it from the supplier.)

EXCELLENT: new condition, slightly used; no noticeable marring of wood or metal, bluing perfect, except at muzzle or sharp edges. (If a scope has been mounted there’s nothing or little to indicate that it was done because the scope was mounted properly to begin with. This would be like a gun that you bought, tried out, didn’t suit you and put it up for sale so you could buy a different one.)

VERY GOOD: in perfect working condition, no appreciable wear on working surfaces, no corrosion or pitting, only minor surface dents or scratches. (This is the condition of most people’s airguns because they use them and the use them a lot and they take care of them. Any modifications or changes to the gun should be noted.)

GOOD: in safe working condition, minor wear on working surfaces, no broken parts, no corrosion or pitting that will interfere with proper functioning. (This is a gun that has seen a lot of service, it might be 10 or 20 years old, or a newer gun that an owner didn’t take quite as good care of.)

FAIR: in safe working condition, but well worn, perhaps requiring replacement of minor parts or adjustments, which should be indicated in the advertisement, no rust, but may have corrosion pits which do not render the gun unsafe or inoperable. (This is the condition that you find many older Crosmans and Benjamins, etc., in. Not being taken as a valued object and not cleaned after use or stored properly. The stock will show that it’s been mishandled.)

There are guns that are below the NRA standard “Fair”. A lot of older guns are in this condition where they’ve been left in basements or garages or leaning up in the corner of an outbuilding. They’re no longer blue, they’re brown. And many of them will show buggered screw slots from people attempting to fix them. To put a gun like this up for sale, where the buyer cannot examine it, requires the most wording in the description to convey the condition of the gun.

This is just for insight into how I see the condition of guns when it comes time for selling them.

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(Login sonnysan)

It is far more effective to tell people

June 22 2006, 12:10 PM 

you will find all this infomation and more in the blue book of gun values. Pictures are critical, and the book has them that aren't available here:


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(Login shootistinsocal)

I just read it for FREE and so will thousands, Now that is most effective...nt.

June 22 2006, 1:49 PM 


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(Login MDriskill)

Excellent info

June 22 2006, 5:28 PM 

Your additions equating the NRA descriptions to real-world use are most helpful! Thanks.

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