Should I Sell My Gun?

By Suzanne Wiley published on in Firearms

Every time I am on a forum or talking with a buddy and the question, “Should I sell this one gun?” comes up, I always say, “No. You’ll regret it.” I’ve heard so many regret stories that it makes me sad to think some people may spend the rest of their days mourning the loss of their old Winchester .30-30.

Well… to be honest with you, my time has finally come. For about a month now I have asked my trusted gun friends if I should sell one of my guns. No one can actually answer this question correctly for me, it is something I have to decide myself, and after weighing all the pros and cons, I have decided to sell it.

GunBroker.com is a great place to start if you need help pricing your gun.

GunBroker.com is a great place to start if you need help pricing your gun.

First, I hate shooting this gun. I’ve shot less than 100 rounds through it and I’ve had it for a little over half a year. Next, it is just a tad too big to carry in the summer in my Flashbang bra holster. I like my guns to be multi-purpose and this particular gun is not. And last, quite frankly, I need the money.

There are thousands of reasons why people decide to sell their guns. Two of the biggest ones I hear are “I need the money” and “I have no use for it.” Both are very valid reasons. Before you run off and do something rash, you should evaluate just exactly what gun you want to sell and the reasons behind selling it.

For example, my particular gun is a dime-a-dozen gun. It’s fairly new on the market, plus you can find plenty of used ones online for a decent price. If I ever felt the need to purchase one again, I won’t have a problem finding one. If you have a gun that is high in demand or is very difficult to find, you might want to rethink selling it. The hardest question you are going to ask yourself is, “Will I regret this sale?”

You will regret the sale of a gun that holds sentimental value, one that you inherited, or one that someone gave you. Especially if the gun isn’t worth much. You might not ever shoot the Mossberg 500 you bought yourself at 18, but since a Mossberg 500 retails new for less than $300 are you really going to get that much for one used? It will mean a lot more to your son or daughter one day than the $100 you will get for it on the used gun market.

If you have an old gun, you might want to hang on to it because it will increase in value as time goes on. If you aren’t desperate for money, I’d keep it.

Believe me, plenty of us gun nuts have made poor decisions in purchases and had to suck up a loss by selling these bad purchases. If you hate the gun, don’t shoot it, it no longer serves a purpose, and it has no sentimental value, then go ahead and sell!

Gun sales laws differ from state to state. In Texas, I can sell a gun to anyone who can legally own a gun without anyone else involved. An individual sale requires zero paperwork. The ATF’s website reports, “When a transaction takes place between private (unlicensed) persons who reside in the same State, the Gun Control Act (GCA) does not require any record keeping.” However, if you are going to sell your gun to a person who lives in another state, the gun will need to go through a FFL transfer. Remember, even though the ATF states that an individual sale is legal, each state has their own laws apart from this. Before selling your gun, check your local laws.

Selling the rifle you inherited from grandpa is probably not a great idea.

Selling the rifle you inherited from grandpa is probably not a great idea.

Before you sell your gun, do research on how much it is worth. The Blue Book of Gun Values is an excellent resource and the perfect place to start. Just like the Kelly Blue Book for cars, the Blue Book of Gun Values is going to give you the gun’s worth, not its actual street value. Unfortunately, we cannot expect to get exactly what the value is worth. It just doesn’t work that way.

Second, look on GunBroker.com or GunsAmerica.com and see what the average rate your gun is going for. It is fair to expect about the same amount. The gun I am selling is going for around $400 on average on GunBroker.com, so I should not expect anymore than that. Like anything, you decide to sell, decide on the lowest price you will take and go from there. In Texas, selling at a gun show is also a viable option. People are there to browse and buy and you might just have the deal they are looking for.

Do you have any gun-selling regrets? Tell me about it!

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (13)

  • Matthew evans

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    Hello,
    I know this is old post, but if any of y’all are still active I could use some advice. I recently won in a raffle a Remington 700 model sps varmint .308 and i am not sure if I should sell or keep. I already had 4 people tell me they are wanting to buy it if I end up selling it. This is the first rifle I have owned and I have never been hunting, not that I haven’t wanted too, but never had the chance. I have always liked shooting guns with friends, pistols at the range and would like to go to an outside rifle range too shoot it. However, I would have to put more money into it like a scope and maybe a few extras, but don’t know if I would use it all that much. I don’t know what the average use of a rifle is and it probably varies on person and purpose. Plus I could use the money if I sold it to buy something else I have been wanting like a handgun of my own or say wheels and tires for my truck that I could use the money to go towards. These are just my thoughts and they probably seem very scrambled. I just don’t want to keep it and have it depreciate after using it a few times then always say I could’ve gotten more money for it and used it for something else. On the other hand say the opposite I should’ve never sold it, it’s one chance that I could’ve had to own a rifle that I didn’t have to put all my money into.

    Reply

    • Dave Dolbee

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      Matthew,
      Like you said, which gun you own matters on the person and purpose. For me, it is hard to beat the Remington 700 for the price and the caliber would be good for short- or long-range shooting. The caliber is also big enough to take any animal up to a bear in a survival situation. You said this is the first rifle, so I take that to mean you already have at least one handgun. Why not invest in a reasonably-priced scope and take it to the range a few times. If it is not for you, you’ll still be able to get your money out of it. The scope will only enhance the price, and the few boxes of ammunition you will have put through the rifle will not detract from the price, it will only break in and season the barrel. ~Dave Dolbee

      Reply

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