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Platinum Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After spinning my wheels at work, I quit early and visited a local pawnshop. There was nothing of great interest misurp wise and the prices I saw on everything were high. I was let out of the firearms area to find a young lady letting the counter clerk go over some guns from her family that were either being pawned or sold outright.

OMG! There was a mint M1 carbine of some sort, probably commercial with a metal handgaurd, no mag but spotless. Next to that was a fair to good 1952 or 53 (CRS again) Indian No1 MkIII. She also had some rather intriguing air rifles along with a sadly chopped Mauser of some sort in a commercial stock.

As I wish to be welcome in this store again, I had to leave before I said something or made an offer there and then while the clerk was still sorting the stuff out. If only she had put and ad in the local paper.
 

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Platinum Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What's to hate? Most gunshops, since I don't have pawnshops locally, will just tack on twenty to fifty bucks depending on niceness and launch it right back out the door for a quick and certain profit.
If it was $20-50 markup I would not mind. But this is Las Vegas and I can guarantee the markup will be $100 plus.
 

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Gold Bullet member
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That's the trouble, Vaarok. Some shops do that. Still others think they have the holy grail of milsurps and will surf Gunbroker until they find a listing that justifies their desired price (even if the auction has no bidders).

LVSteve, that was a Plainfield Machine version, probably. Considered one of the better commercial variants.
 

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Trick is finding a pawn shop owner that's not necessarily up to speed. I found one such dude. He really had the handle on hand guns, but didn't know squat about shotguns. The day I wandered in, he had just received his license to sell the previous week, and I didn't see anything that interested me. I was looking for a shotgun for my son. There were several cases of handguns but nothing of interest to me. I was about to leave when I asked if he had anything else, and he responded "I did take in this Frenchy thing, its a shot gun but doesn't work." That got me... Shotgun that doesn't work?

The guy goes in back brings out a really nice Italian Franchi... How much I ask. Hundred bucks and its yours... Hold that thought sez I.. and I couldn't get to the ATM outside the door quick enough.

Long story short, it was filty with heavy automotive oil, I'm talking 10W40 slopped all over. This was all cleaned up, and the autoloader was given to my son, who absolutely loves it and has never had so much as a hiccup out of it. Actual worth is somewhere between 400-600 bucks. What it looks like....
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=118841772
Doubtful this story is repeated very often... but it does happen.

KKKKFL
 

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Diamond Member with Oak leaves and Swords
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2,955 Posts
The rule of thumb at a pawnshop is to give 1/3 of value for anything. Do the math, they always have (wiggle) room. Now is not the time to try and get any deals, wait until late Jan. to early Feb. when their inventory is high. That is how I picked up my '29 Dragoon and my N0.4 MkII in the mummy wrap. $100 and $200 respectively.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Pawn shops are a gold mine for what I collect - most of the pawn brokers have their "blue book" of pricing and can put a value on the Winchesters/Remingtons etc., but the old Spanish handguns they think are junk, and just sell them cheap.
 

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I have to agree on Pawn Shops being potential gold mines.
The majority of my best buys have come from pawn shops, with a
much smaller percentage coming from gunshops. The added bonus
is that if you pick a category or two (tools, digital cameras, video games for me)
and learn pricing and how to evaluate these other items, you can increase
your chance for a score. In that last few years I probably spent $500 on supposedly
broken XBox 360s, and fixed and resold them for twice that amount, with
lots of extras for me and friends left over. Also, a few years ago I was on a digital camera spree in ATL pawn shops where I'd buy one, use it 6 mos or so, sell it for a profit
and buy another, then repeat.
I've been working on and off with another board member on a guide to pawn
shop buying. Maybe I'll post it one of these days...;))
 

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Gold Bullet member
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544 Posts
I have gotten very good deals at pawn shops. I have also passed by used modern guns with an asking price well above new retail. You have to know what you are looking at when you shop and be willing to let the overpriced ones go. You have to dig through a lot of dirt to find diamonds.
 

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Copper Bullet Member
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FWIW: My last visit to several N CA pawn shops was a real suprise . No guns or anything close. Sign on door saying "no guns" Lots and lots of used, overpriced, tools from out of work contruction types. Was almost reprimanded by one salesjerk for even asking about firearms or related stuff. Guy looked around like I was gestapo when I asked as well.
 

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Gold Bullet member
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Pawn shops are almost invariably the best deals. We have some shops in NC that are sort of hybrid gun/pawn shops. It's hit and miss.
 

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A local area chain of pawn shops (two states) has a collector guy at the top of the firearms section. He gets first dibs on anything that comes in. Customers get sloppy seconds...or thirds, after the other employees pick over things. Nothing goes out for sale w/o his personal approval. I've never seen anything but bubba'd milsurps on the shelf there.

I've seen other shops where the owners have absolutely no interest in firearms other than making a quick profit from a commodity. DDR
 

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Gold Bullet member
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Even worse, DudleyDR... some shops have taken to the practice of putting every firearm on gunbroker. I basically write them off at that point.
 

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Platinum Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Pawn shops are almost invariably the best deals. We have some shops in NC that are sort of hybrid gun/pawn shops. It's hit and miss.
This place is similar. His milsurp prices were too rich for my blood on this visit. For example, I am not about to pay $250 for a standard M48 even though it is in good condition. After taxes and Brady, I'm out $300. Then there was the power washed Romanian M44 for $150. I appreciate that the man is in business, but come on.
 
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