Tips On Buying Used Black Powder Firearms
Used Equipment Can Be The Best Buy
But "let the buyer beware"
Since the modern muzzle loading era started some 35 years ago, there have been several million muzzle loading firearms sold in this country. This makes buying a used one a real possibility. First, try to find a company that is still in business so that parts and service will be more readily available. Even with a company such as C.V.A. that is still in business, it may be difficult to find parts for their early models.
As always when buying a used item, "let the buyer beware." A detailed examination of the external surface is easy. Look for signs of neglect or abuse, rusted or pitted steel surfaces, cracked stock, missing parts, etc. Check the function of the lock (one of the parts most likely to fail in any muzzle loading rifle) and the trigger.
The factor most difficult to check, and the most likely to be a problem, is the condition of the bore. A very great number of shooters fail to do proper maintenance on their rifles, so the bores become rusted. While a moderately rusted bore may still be safe to fire, it will be more difficult to load and clean, and will usually be less accurate. The resale value of a rifle with a heavily rusted bore is nearly zero, a little pitting in a bore can quickly cut resale value in half. Several companies make "bore lights," small battery operated lights that will slide down a muzzle loading barrel, allowing a fairly effective examination of the bore. A clean bore in good condition will show a bright, almost polished surface. Rust may show as anything from a smudge to dark pits.