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· Registered
12,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I guess I have hung around here too long..I have been bit.. I have the shotgun bug!!!

Don't know what it is about them but they CALL TO ME.. the look and feel of them.. ALSO probably that they seem to be DIRT CHEAP(at least compared to handguns and AR-15's that is). CHEAP< CHeAP!!

Went down to the local Gander Mountain and was amazed that they sold used guns.. but [email protected] when I saw these two, I drooled and shoot I kid you not, I must have spent 20-30 mins just oggling and handling them..

I really want them.. do I need them, no, can I afford them, no, but will I somehow come up with the cash $$ for them, YES!!!

Anyways I am not quite sure what to look for in terms of condition and worth. I'm assuming since they are for sale at a national BIG CHAIN, that their condition is "good", i.e. they are SAFE and operate as they should.. i can fire them w/o fear!!

IS THAT A SAFE ASSUMPTION? Since Gander is selling them, I can TRUST in Gander that these are vetted for?

Anyways here they are..

$100 JC Higgins 20 - 2 3/4" chamber, 12ga Pump...

I googled for it and saw some on gunbroker.. I would say the one in Gander is in a lot better condition than what I'm seeing on this website..

visually, this is the EXACT match - JC HIGGINS Model 20 12 Gauge High Standard for sale (902928804)

but condition wise I woudl say its closer to this one:
JC Higgins Model 20 12ga : Pump Action Shotguns at

let me know what you think.. I am BLIND to all things shotgun.. HONESTLY I just want it cuz its ONLY $100!!! That and it does look pretty NEAT..

The 2nd one is as follows, a MIGHTY MIGHTY MOSSY

$200 - Mossberg 500, 3" chamber, 12ga Pump, 1-12/in RS" b <-- no clue what that means..

NOt sure if it matters, but its the "older" style I think.. i.e. the black metal with the brown wood stock and brown wood pump.. not the nifty new EVERYTHING BLack models that I see at the gun stores..

I think this one is it..

Mossberg 500AB 500 A 12 Gauge 12ga Ga Pump Shotgun : Pump Action Shotguns at

Honestly, I have no need for them and I think these are more of collectors pieces for me.. as I've been wanting one of the "ol skooL" shotties, i.e. the brown wood furniture... and as for the Higgins.. well it jus looks cooL!

So I guess what I'm looking for is reasons NOT to buy them.. or barring that..

Tips and INFO on what to look for when buying them!

Thank you in advance!!


· Registered
44 Posts
Well, no, never assume anything when buying a used gun, no matter who is selling it or where it is for sale. Some folks behind the gun counter are pretty sharp and some are not - same as any other business. Just because they work at Gander's or Cabela's is no guarantee they know their stuff.

You can ask if the gun has been test fired, but the majority of used guns taken in on trades probably haven't been. The most important thing you can do is ask if you can return the gun if it doesn't fire and function. I wouldn't buy a gun if the seller refused this option.

Moreover, there are some things you can visually check, yourself, and there are some things you won't be able to check until you load the gun and fire it. Lastly, there are things that may develop somewhere down the road and may not be something you'll find out about until later. That's the used gun biz for you.

On shotguns, I usually start with the barrel. Shotgun barrels are fairly soft and easily bent and/or bulged. Look down the barrel and check for obvious bends. Run your hand over the barrel, especially near the muzzle, and check for bulges. If it has a rib, check to see that the rib is not loose.

On the stock, check for cracks, especially where the buttstock joins the action. Small hairline cracks are not a big deal, but anything that extends down into the pistol grip area is cause for a serious price reduction.

On pumps, check the action bars for wear and tear. Open the action and check where the bars slide in the frame. Loose and sloppy, grooves from wear and tear are bad signs. Make sure the safety functions as it should.

The biggest unknown when buying any shotgun, new or used, is how it fits you. You'll shoot better with that Wal-mart special than a $3000 imported double that doesn't fit. Pick a spot on the wall, keep your eyes on it as you raise the gun to your shoulder. The gun should be pointing at the target on it's own. If you have to fight it to get it lined up on target, it's not worth buying, no matter what the price. That's a lesson I've had to learn and relearn many times and so have a lot of other shotgunners.

On the plus side, those old High Standards were well made, functional pump guns, underrated in their day. The Mossberg 500s have been around, forever. if you're looking for fine fit and finish and something to impress others in the duck blind, forget it. That's not what a Mossberg 500 is all about. On the other hand, if you want a solid, very functional utility grade shotgun, be hard to beat a Mossberg 500.
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