Caveat Emptor: Not Every Pawn Shop Pistol is Such a Bargain

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Cash America pawn shop GLOCK switch
Texas Gun Rights via Twitter

We’ll assume this isn’t a Photoshop job or some other fake intended to get clicks. And no, we don’t know which Cash America pawn shop had this G23 for sale in its case. But we’re more than willing to believe that the average pawn shop employee has no idea what that little box on the back of the GLOCK’s slide is. Or the fact that they’re offering an illegal machine gun for sale for the bargain price of $480.

If you don’t know, that’s an illegal “GLOCK switch” that converts a standard semi-automatic pistol into a .40 caliber full-auto bullet hose. The switches are all the rage these days — virtual status symbols — among urban criminal types because they’re easy to buy and even easier to print.

Since the one in the photo above actually says “GLOCK” on the back, it’s probably one that’s sold through Chinese knock-off sites like and others. But be warned…if you buy or make one, you just may get an unexpected knock at your door from people you’d really rather not have anything to do with.


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  1. donut operator posted a video last week, the thug was shooting back during a police pursuit with an auto glock, zero accuracy, just spraying. It’s worth watching the police cam.

    • Back in the late 1990s, when Usenet was still a ‘thing’, on the newsgroup rec.guns (a heavily-used group, about 500 posts a day was typical) a guy in the Philippines presented his ‘project’, a reverse-engineered G17, but in a Glock G26.

      I swapped a couple of emails with the guy. The TL;DR was, he said it was an amusing novelty, as his gunsmith did a direct copy, (selector switch on the slide and all) he said it was impossible to control, as the muzzle flip kept pushing the firing hand higher…

    • He showed Hickok 45 firing one. Now, that guy is 7 feet tall with hands like a catcher’s mitt, and HE couldn’t control it.

      • got a converted Tec-9…can’t hit anything with that either…just bounces all over the place…main advantage is it looks scary…..

  2. Is that the serial number of a store stocking bar code on the bottom of the tag? Either way the DEA may have a clue to follow up on….

    • My experience with the Cash America pawnshop chain down here is, they don’t hire gun people to run the gun counter. (My local Cash America shops stopped carrying guns about 10 years back, after a string of ‘Drive a stolen vehicle through the wall’ late night robberies. They were too lazy to put the guns up at night in safes. I can kinda see why they didn’t, as daily handling will inevitably ding them up.)

      They tend to not hire people with *any* pawn shop experience, and that can (and has) led to some insanely high prices on some things, and occasionally, in the realm of high-end audio, great deals on the ultra-high end, like Pass Labs.

      For me, it’s worth dropping from time-to-time, as I might find something to flip for 3 or 4 or more times the price I paid for it.

      (Edit – A family friend had a local pawn shop, in between jobs I helped them out behind the counter. The pawn biz is a bizarre biz, at times…)

  3. My former favorite pawnshop was trying to sell a pristine Sig 320 awhile back. After the kerfuffle of them being found not drop safe. My used but never shot rifle has been great. Caveat Emptor!

  4. Just because a used firearm looks new does not mean it is a deal. Say the owner dry fired 10,000 + times while watching football and the firing pin protrusion increased due to the striker hammering the inside of the breach face. To fix that count on buying a new slide and striker assembly. To slow dry fire wear apply grease to the striker nose or better yet use a snap cap.

  5. I put a switch on one of my Glocks, the guy at Home Depot had his doubts but said to give it a try. So a little duct tape and got it attached, every time I try to use it the patio light comes on. Oh well.


    (stop groaning, thats the best ‘possum’ imitation I can do for a Glock switch)

    • It’s totally legal as long as the switch is smaller around than your thumb. That’s ye olde English common law.

  6. “Either way the DEA may have a clue ”

    Not likely. BATFE is the acronym you are looking for. DEA appear to be in charge of keeping the cartel/mafia system healthy, prices up, and disabling the 4th Amendment…

    “My former favorite pawnshop was trying to sell a pristine Sig 320”

    I feel certain Bidenistas are considering a mandatory safety recall on Glockstas, for being too easy to be made auto. Probably not draconian enough for them tho. Umm, do they still have the Sig? Asking for a friend.

    “the thug was shooting back during a police pursuit”

    I wonder if he had to post bail.

  7. I wonder is anyone had the cojones to inform the seller of the illegality of that? Seems to me that a law abiding gun owner would step up and let them know. But that’s just me.

    • Shhhhhh. Snitches get stitches and wind up in ditches.

      A wicked smaht gun person would buy it. On paper it’s just another semi auto pistol.

    • I wouldn’t have said a word about the Glock switch as I filled out the paperwork and handed over the cash to buy it.

      • How does the ATF know it has a glock switch?? Answer is they don’t know. And they will never know.
        To the uneducated this is just other ordinary handgun.

        • “How does the ATF know it has a glock switch?? Answer is they don’t know.”

          Uhm, the photographic proof at the top of this article?

          I would have been sorely tempted to buy it, remove the switch and bury the switch somewhere not near me in anticipation of the select-fire registry being eventually re-opened… 🙂

  8. Not only are they offering an illegal machine gun for sale but they already have been involved in an illegal machine gun transfer by obtaining it in the first place. In addition to that, they can’t just take the switch off and get rid of it, that is a crime too. Some uninformed pawn shop, well, pawn could be in a world of trouble.

    Note: I think it is stupid and offensive that so much trouble could come to someone(s) because of something that shouldn’t be illegal anyhow but, here we are.

    • quote————Note: I think it is stupid and offensive that so much trouble could come to someone(s) because of something that shouldn’t be illegal anyhow but, here we are.———quote.

      Yes full auto pistols would make road rage so much more fun and effective wouldn’t it. If that sounds insane it’s because your post is even more insane in regards to your wanting every nut case having legal access to a full auto pistol or rifle. No one but a nut case would even want one.

      • the main problem with these gadgets is that in a street shootout…their most likely use..a lot more innocent people will be shot…ATF has been making busts but it’s usually after the fact….

  9. last night cpd picked up a pair of repeat felons (multiple previous felon in posession convictions) one of whom had a switch and the cute little 50rd drum.
    go big…

  10. People often use pawn shops to dump off guns they are having problems with or have completely wrecked because they feel too ashamed to pawn them off on their friends (pun intended). That is why you have to really check out a gun at a pawn shop before you get burned when buying a used gun.

    Not that you cannot sometimes get good deals on used guns if you are willing to fix them yourself.

    Sometimes you can run across old guns that were never famous but are real sleepers but then again you have to have a vast knowledge of early 1900’s guns.

    Other times you may be looking for that old gun you had as a boy and may have went out of production decades ago, not many people may want it except you for nostalgia and that can turn into a good deal.

    Several years ago I ran into a real wreck of a well worn Winchester model 1906 pump .22. I had wanted one of these for years and usually some yo yo had a basket case he wanted a king’s ransom for. I just laughed at such green monger fools. I wanted one because in days of old when I was just a lad I used to always stop at the shooting gallery at the amusement park, those old Winchesters probably had a million rounds each fired out of them testifying to how well made the guns of yesterday really were.

    One day at the pawn shop they had a 1906 Winchester there and joy of joy’s it was not just the run of the mill .22 short only gallery special but was chambered for shorts, longs, and long rifle’s. It was in very sad shape but I knew I could get the parts I needed so I bought it for a song and a dance. I restored that wreck with new parts and spent over a month polishing off rust and replacing parts and a buddy of mine after I begged him for a year finally agreed to re-blue it for me and no it was not cheap but way less than a shop would have charged me. The result was a Winchester .22 that would knock your eyes out with new gorgeous walnut wood and a mirror bluing job way above what was encountered on the original factory guns that had satin bluing and plain jane gum wood stocks.

    I ran into other guns there at the pawn shop that I had been searching for years for such as an FN 1906 .25 acp in excellent condition, like my father brought home from WWII, a Polish Radom damn near mint that actually sat at in the shop for months before I succumbed to buying it, and a nice Japanese 7.7 Arisaka that was damn near new, except for a defective trigger which I fixed in about 1 hour and an unfired Browning 10/70 .380. No, these deals do not happen often but this is what makes me haunt the pawn shops. I have picked up quite a few knives there as well, many that were never used.

    • dacian, you need to stop sniffing your moms soiled panties. The yeast infection bacteria is infecting your brain and causes you to make up these tales about you knowing something about guns.

    • All those classic firearms owned by a dedicated anti gun person? Bullshit. You just posted how dangerous it was to have a handgun in the home. You truly are disturbed.

    • So you should be allowed to keep firearms ( and knives! Oh my!) in your home but the rest of us ” naked apes” or ” far right hillbillies ” can’t? Dude, you are really sad.

    • You must know that no one takes you seriously? You are the biggest anti gun voice here, but you love to spout all your bullshit about how knowledgeable you are with all things related to them. It’s like a soccer mom breaking down the NFL playoffs. Just stop.

  11. I use a pawn shop as my transfer ffl, partly because they are about half gun shop and half pawn shop. I don’t live up the street any more, but they know me and are good guys. A visit there is pretty much like a visit to any other locally owned gun shop punctuated by the occasional pawn shop inquiry about a guitar or amp for cash. They would not dream of pawning a glock with a switch and definitely know what they are. Frankly, I am amazed glocks of any sort are legal given how easy they are to convert to full auto given the pistol brace rule, so I imagine glock is somehow paying ATF for protection or has much better lawyers!

    • The ability to modify a firearm, under the law has no standing against the manufacturer. Just like being able to add a chip or bigger engine to a vehicle to make it go faster. Once the modification has been made to the product or it is used illegally. All responsibility falls away from the original manufacturer. Due to the modification from the original product. Much like a warranty. For reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

      • used to hear the same argument about AR-15’s…as one of the reasons to ban them…never really got anywhere….

    • “I use a pawn shop as my transfer ffl, partly because they are about half gun shop and half pawn shop.”

      That’s what I use, a local guy I worked for in decades past. Only charging a 25-dollar fee makes it all the sweeter…

    • I think there are so many Glock pistols out there and a large number used by police and government agencies that it would be impossible to ban them.

  12. I once found a single shot 410/45 Colt pistol at a pawn shop with a vertical forward pistol grip on it, so I politely explained to them that there was a major felony sitting in their gun case. They had no idea until I showed them the NFA rule.

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