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Buying guns from auctions

PUBLISHED: 12:23 08 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:16 10 November 2015

Picture: Diggory Hadoke

Picture: Diggory Hadoke


If I buy a gun in an auction, do I have any comeback if it is found to be out of proof?

DIGGORY HADOKE replies: Auctions can be tricky places to buy guns, as mechanical problems hidden inside can be disguised, bodged and sold with deceptively nice exteriors, only for issues to arise later. For this you have no comeback as guns are sold ‘as seen’ without guarantees. However, if the barrels are out of proof, the gun may not be offered for sale without the vendor falling foul of the law. If you find a gun you bought at auction is out of proof, the auctioneer has technically committed the offence of selling an out of proof gun. Sometimes, this is easy to establish, as bore measurements will identify if the bores are in proof, according to their size. However, assessing serious damage, which may render a gun out of proof can be more subjective. Just what degree of pitting or bulging, etc. renders a gun out of proof may lead to arguments between you and the auctioneer. Should this arise, I would suggest you ask the proof house to assess the gun and accept their verdict, assuming the auctioneer will do likewise.


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