Recently had a reader email me and ask where I go to find the good gun deals online. Tried to find a previous article to send to him. Then I realized I haven’t wrote one yet and couldn’t believe it: This should have already been covered.
But I’m here to correct that mistake. Here’s The Smart Online Gun Buyer Protocol:
The Protocol To Find Good Gun Deals
- Research extensively to find the exact gun to suit your current needs.
- Be patient and watch for special deals on previously researched gun (IE: Don’t buy during temporary COVID price hikes).
- When you find a good deal: cross reference the price with bulk price-finder websites.
- If the deal still looks good, purchase.
I can’t help you with the research part. You need to figure out what gun you want on your own. Usually this is done through testing guns out in store, spending some time on gun forums to narrow down your options, or simply looking at pictures of firearms that make you want to cry tears of happiness.
After you’ve done your research it’s time to scope for current market prices.
If you have ever done any type of gun search on the internet then you already know about gun.deals. They are good but are really just an introductory website to do a quick search. They aren’t my favorite and I use them only to begin before I dig in deeper. This should be your first stop to monitoring prices.
After gun.deals you’ll want to take a look at other manufacturer websites to cross-reference the current price. Look up the gun itself in numerous search engines and find different seller sites or use gun dealers that you personally like to find current prices.
If you have guns you probably already have some main websites you like. If you haven’t ever bought a gun online I recommend you check out the following three: KyGunCo, CheaperThanDirt, and BudsGunShop. In that order. Gun enthusiasts usually get a favorite site to use. All three of these are worth your time.
Next up, you should have r/GunDeals bookmarked. Reddit is a liberal cesspool but that subreddit is a gold mine. If you follow it frequently you’ll find amazing deals there that you will be hard-pressed to catch elsewhere. Keep an eye out for every gun you have researched that you would like to add to your stockpile at some time.
As an added bonus, they are great for watching ammo prices and upgrades as well.
This is the “be patient” part. If you’re looking for the best deal, you won’t find it the same day you decide to buy a gun. Get a feel for the market using the above tools then wait for them to drop.
Now let’s say you have found a deal or a price you are comfortable with. Now it’s time to make sure it’s actually the best deal.
First, figure out that ‘great deal’s’ price along with shipping and any applicable fees. Make sure to take it through the entire cart or they may stack extra BS on top of the front-facing price. You’ll use this price point to compare. Make sure to mark down any upgrades, new/used status, or any other applicable price-changer for consideration.
So you’ve already made sure you watched the prices for awhile and found a great deal compared to the normal market. Now, it’s time to head over to GunWatcher. It searches the web for the lowest price it can find. It has a slight learning curve but is well worth learning how to navigate it and ignore the false positive results. Really, it’s not that difficult. You already know the gun you want so type in the gun in the search engine and sort through the ones that aren’t legitimate or that require you “add to cart” to view the price (almost always more expensive).
After GunWatcher you should have an exact gun along with the exact model in mind. You should have the best deal around so far. Now we’re going to cross reference to make sure there are no other guns matching that description for cheaper than wherever you found it on GunWatcher.
To do that we use WikiArms and RiverOfGuns. First, search WikiArms to make sure you’re in the clear as far as price goes. They act like gun.deals but are significantly better and less “featured” oriented.
There will likely be plenty of guns under the price you found but many may be used or otherwise not exactly what you are looking for. Make sure there are no major price deviations among the gun considering the features yours has. If there are, considering restarting the protocol with that deal instead.
So, you searched WA and you have the best. How do we finish this thing?
After this we go to our final boss RoG. This one is more of a safety net. It checks a significant amount of firearm forums for gun deals: which means it can catch user input you wouldn’t find through other means. It rarely will make a difference when you’ve already followed the protocol but it will cement your victory in the price-hunt.
If there are no red flags or other cheaper options then give yourself a pat on the back:
You just found the best deal for that gun on the internet.