Over and over again, a potential gun customer is bombarded with gun magazines and websites advertising brand new firearm models.

However, the used firearms market records increasing trade for multiple reasons. 

First, many gun enthusiasts are looking to save money or acquire a model which is no longer in production.

Second, handguns aren’t like cars, because they age well and hold their value very well, particularly if taken care of, and will last to serve even your grandchildren.

And finally, buying a used handgun can be a rewarding experience on most occasions.

Of course, before purchasing a used gun and investing your hard-earned money, you should do your homework to make a more informed decision.

When you purchase a new gun you will likely be paying full price, but you will get a variety of benefits such as the manufacturer’s warranty and additional accessories. The new gun package usually includes a trigger lock, a cleaning kit, the owner’s manual, and disassembly tools.

If you decide to acquire a used handgun, you will probably not get a warranty or accessories, but you can expect to save between 20-40% or more when compared to the cost of a brand-new handgun.

The handgun category encompasses everything from pocket pistols to full-sized sidearms. As for the action type, there are revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, single shot, and even derringer pistols.

Besides the overall condition of the gun, you must make sure it is in good working condition of the firearm. Whether you are buying a used pistol or a used revolver, there are two critical components:  the action and the barrel bore.

After you have inspected the action cycles properly and the bore is in good shape and if you are satisfied with the condition of the bluing and the overall wear, you are good to go.

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5. Colt 1911

After 110 years of service, does the venerable Colt 1911 Government, better known as simply “the 1911”, still have a place in the home defense? In a world of polymer, striker-fired handguns like the Glock, does John Moses Browning’s all-steel masterpiece remain a viable option for defense, even when stacked up against its lighter, higher capacity competitors?

With over 4 million pistols distributed to the militaries and civilians worldwide, the M1911 and M1911A1 are ubiquitous handguns that can be found everywhere on the planet Earth.

Along with M1911A1 which served as the standard-issue sidearm, you can find several derivative variants like an aluminum-framed 1911 with a 4+1⁄4-inch barrel called Colt Commander. The civilian models known as Colt Government Mk. IV Series 70 and 80 are extremely popular in the commercial market.

All of these 1911s introduced further improvements in safety and accuracy such as an internal firing pin safety, split barrel bushing, and a new half-cock notch on the sear.

I can tell you if you want a Colt very close to the authentic M1911A1 you should opt for the Model 70. This model`s appeal is strong and romantic like the venerable 1911, but at the same time superior in every way to the original.

If you are lucky to purchase a preserved Colt Series 70, you’ll be delighted with excellent fitting, solid barrel bushing, improved sights, and very well-turned-out grips.

The Colt Series 70 is the favorite semi-automatic pistol of many Colt aficionados like us, as it features a Government profile and 5″ National Match barrel. This classic single-action pistol sports an elegant steel slide with a blued finish, and single-sided manual safety installed on a black carbon steel frame. Your aesthetic experience would be complemented by the double diamond checkered rosewood grips and G.I style spurred hammer.


As standard, the Colt Series 70 comes equipped with a full-size single stacked 1911 magazine available in two calibers.  This single action .45 ACP Colt pistol can hold up to 7 rounds when chambered in .45 ACP and has 9+1 capacity when chambered in .38 Super.

Even though the original design is well over 100 years old, many handgunners like us think that the M1911A1 pistol is the best fighting handgun in the world.

4. Glock 19

Speaking strictly technically, modern pistol designs like Glock have made the legendary Colt 1911 obsolete in its role as a combat handgun.

The Glock semi-automatics are arguably the most popular pistols in the world. In terms of reliability, accuracy, quality, and almost every other measurable data point.

Up to these days, the Austrian gun manufacturer launched Glocks of 5th Generation, but these newest offerings are strikingly similar to the older models.

With largely unnoticeable differences between the old and the new striker-fired guns, many average shooters decide to buy used trade-in Glocks.

The main reason for buying second hand Glocks is their reliability and durability. These handguns continue to perform well even after they have passed the 10,000 and 15,000 round marks without common malfunctions in semi-auto pistols such as Failure to Eject Or Failure to Feed and similar.

If you are looking for a versatile, compact 9mm pistol equally suitable for concealed carry and comfortable for shear shooting strings at the range, the Glock 19 or G19 for short would be the number one choice.

A used Glock 19 is one of the most sought-after handguns on the market since it is a gold standard in concealed carry or backup use.

As you probably know the Glock 19 is basically a slimmed-down version of the full-size Glock 17, chambered in 9mm, with a 15+1 capacity. Weighing in at 30.16 oz. loaded and boasting an impressive magazine capacity the compact Glock 19 is serious firepower sized to carry.


The polymer framed G19 sports standard Glock`s safe action system and streamlined design with no gimmicky features or external safeties getting in the way.

Like all Glocks, the Glock 19 is designed for lifelong use and durability, even in the most adverse conditions. The original striker-fired G19 was introduced in the late 1980s and has become a popular choice for duty service and home defense, as well as for personal protection and concealed carry,

Though Glock 19 has undergone 5 generations with over 20 design modifications it retained an iconic square shape with the bottom frame crafted from treated steel, which is quite difficult to damage in any meaningful way.

3. Walther PPK

It seems that concealed carry weapons is all the rage these last few years, but not all of you know that the German Walther PPK inspired that entirely new category in the firearm industry. While the pocket pistols are booming in the United States, among modern polymer pistols there is one old-school gun that shows superior engineering and unparalleled performance.

Only a few handguns have withstood the test of time like the superbly designed Walther PPK. At the time of its invention over 90 years ago, Walther PPK was the first successful double-action semi-automatic pistol that operated using a simple blowback action.

The Walther PPK is heavy by today’s standards especially compared to the new breed of polymer-frame guns. It translates into very light recoil that combined with a smooth and crisp trigger pull at just under 4 pounds makes the pistol very accurate and most useful at the conversational range.

As the weapon of choice for James Bond, the Walther PPK differs from its predecessor Walther PP in size shorter barrel, grip and magazine size.

You can find used original German PPKs in several variants and calibers (including .22 LR and .32 ACP versions), but the most popular is one chambered in .380 ACP.


However, the seven .380 ACP rounds, with one more in each chamber and the timeless design of the PPK provide all the power needed in a self-defense pistol.

2. Smith & Wesson Revolver

Nowadays, with the overwhelming flow of high capacity polymer frame “wonder nine” pistols, possessing a classic, all-metal constructed wheelgun is a desire and an unfulfilled dream of every gun enthusiast.

It is hard to beat a revolver for reliability and among many respectable and well-known brands, Smith & Wesson has set the bar high with their revolvers that have been a mainstay of the shooting world for a century.

Designed more than 130 years ago under the name Hand Ejector to be changed later to M&P, the S&W revolvers were used extensively by police and the military. But when Smith & Wesson adopted the convention of using numeric designations in 1957, the M&P was renamed the Model 10.

The Smith & Wesson Model 10 brings a dependable design up to date offering almost perfect ergonomics, accuracy, power, and feel. In fact, the timeless, no-nonsense design of S&W 10 would probably easily survive you and your children and grandchildren.

In Smith & Wesson’s lettering system, Model 10 is built on a standard K-frame (Medium) which is ideal for the hand of the average adult male. The Model 10 primary caliber is a .38 Special, but there are small production runs chambered in .357 Magnum or .22 LR.

As one of S&W’s oldest guns, the .38 Special Model 10 is still in production, but you can also stumble across a used six-shot Model 10 that offers handcrafted American quality, utter reliability, and comfortable ergonomics.


With all steel construction and substantial weight (2.4 pounds unloaded), this revolver lover’s dream is a great way to get beginners accustomed to shooting double-action.

This sixgun is a tack driver and usually, it is more accurate than you are, though it comes equipped only with rudimentary sights integral to the frame and a heavy trigger. While the heavy, but so incredibly smooth pull will keep your gun from firing unexpectedly, it will also allow you to develop solid trigger control and excellent sight alignment fundamentals.

Featuring a 4” heavy profile barrel, a hammer with a fixed firing pin, and a battle-worn finish, the Smith & Wesson Model 10 is one of the classiest revolvers to ever be produced.

1. Ruger Revolver

The first revolver was created as the most basic form of a repeating arm in the 18th century and hundred years later first commercial “revolving guns” were released to the market.

Many firearms companies come and go, but there are still three big names in the American handgun industry offering reliable and commendable revolvers. One of them is Sturm, Ruger & Company of Southport, Connecticut, founded in 1949.

It is a fact that Samuel Colt and Horace Smith and Daniel Baird Wesson invented their first revolvers in the mid-1800s, so they have played the revolver game longer than the Sturm, Ruger, and Co. however, the Ruger is the only American gun maker of comparable quality who can match the price with Smith & Wesson and Colt.

Ruger has a wide product line with some models manufactured in such high numbers that only a few gun makers can match.

One of Ruger`s classic series is the GP100 lineup of double-action revolvers released in 1985. It soon became very popular as a durable and serviceable double-action revolver and has seen widespread use among law enforcement.

As the mainstay of the Ruger’s large-frame .357 Magnum line, the GP100 became a popular choice for personal protection capable of shooting both high-powered .357 Magnum and lighter .38 Special ammunition.

While Ruger doesn’t have as refined a trigger as a Smith and Wesson, the introduction of the GP-100 brought a few improvements in the gun mechanism such as a coil mainspring and a triple-locking cylinder that is locked into the frame at the front, rear, and bottom for more positive alignment and dependable operation shot after shot.


The standard GP100 has a 4.2-inch barrel, with an underlug shroud and weighs 40 ounces unloaded. With the Ruger’s hand-filling grips and well-distributed weight, you have an excellent all-around lifetime gun.

These well-priced and well-made weapons are among the most comfortable shooting revolvers available at an attractive price either for a new gun or a used gun.

The GP100 is built like a tank and will outlast the majority of its owners and sold or passed on from one generation to another down the years.

Whether you choose a used pistol or revolver, as earlier mentioned, almost any firearm can last for multiple human lifetimes.

Searching for used handguns at the websites or purchasing a firearm from a private seller requires you to do a little more homework, and read similar guides like ours.

After you have checked the handgun for condition and safety and found one that has been kept in working order and properly maintained it would be probably the best deal you can possibly get. 

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