Police Trade-In Guns – What to Look for and What to Avoid

gun store counter


Every so often, a local police department, state or federal law enforcement agency will trade in their firearms for new ones. When they do, the manufacturer or the dealer/distributor of the new merchandise gets a flood of trade-in used guns. They either sell them as-is where-is, or refinish and refurbish and then sell them.

This can represent a terrific value to an educated consumer. Or, in some cases, it can lead to a terrible experience for bargain hunters. Here are some thoughts on both scenarios and how to get the best for your buck.

Guns are expensive. Ammo is expensive. You work hard for your money, and maybe you don’t want to buy a gun at full retail and take a hit if it turns out that it’s not a good fit for you.

Maybe your local firearm retailer gets in a batch of police trade-in duty guns and you’re not sure if what they have is for you. The price is right and they seem like a good buy. Should you pull the proverbial trigger?

Here are a few pearls of wisdom that I’ve accumulated over the years about law enforcement agency trades.

Not all police trade-in guns are alike

What I mean by that is a department’s decision to buy a gun in the first place — or change to a new model — is made by a police chief somewhere who’s just been taken out for a very expensive meal by a manufacturer’s rep.

GLOCK has the majority of the LE market in this country but there are a lot of Smith & Wesson M&P’s, SIG SAUER P220/226/229, FN FNS’s, and Beretta 92’s out there, too.

But just because, say, a GLOCK 19 was traded in, doesn’t make it necessarily the same as a commercial G19. Each agency stipulates exactly how their guns should come from the manufacturer.

GLOCK 19 Gen5 9mm pistol

Heather Myers for TTAG

If, for instance, you got tour hands on a former NYPD GLOCK 19, you’d have a gun with an atrociously heavy trigger pull because New York cops used to have a tendency to accidentally shoot things if the trigger pull wasn’t set at a minimum of 12 pounds.

If you do decide to pick up a PD trade-in gun, look at it closely and make sure you know what you’re getting, otherwise you might be in for a nasty surprise…and some gunsmith bills to get it the way you want it.

One thing most trade-ins have in common: reliability and standards of maintenance

Nearly every agency in the nation has a staff armorer who repairs and maintains guns to department standards. Most of the time that’s something as simple as a visual inspection every time there’s an annual firearm qualification.

Given how little most duty guns are fired, that’s usually all that’s needed. Other times it can be a more intensive examination based on the specific officer’s history of use or other factors.


The great thing about PD guns is that they have a tendency to be highly reliable. PD’s typically don’t buy guns with design issues. They tend to stick to tried and true makes and models from manufacturers that have good reputations and an ability to support the products they produce. This is why you’ll see M&P’s GLOCK 19’s in basket weave holsters far more often than, say, a Hudson H9.

Rode hard and put away wet or dropped once, never fired?

People tend to look at police trade-in guns from two perspectives. One is that all PD guns are hard-use and have had millions of rounds through them. The only reason they’re being traded in is that they’re at the end of their useful lifespan.

The other view is that all cops are really social workers with guns. They hate going to the range except when required by department policy, hence their terrible accuracy during officer-involved shootings.

My experience with guns and cops tells me that option two is far more often the reality.


You could very well get a gun that’s been riding in a holster for most of its life. It may have some surface wear, but it probably hasn’t had a lot of actual heavy use. You could also get an agency spare that was sold to the department and never issued. It will look just like a brand new gun.

Yes, you can find these diamonds in the rough out there. I don’t know any law enforcement agency that doesn’t have some spare guns lying around, but when the entire lot gets traded in – just like any other commodity, the choice stuff goes fast.

.40 S&W – The caliber of choice, for people who don’t get a choice

.40 S&W pistol

Courtesy Art Jones

For years and years, .40 S&W was the prevailing caliber choice for a large segment of the LE community. Now that 9mm ammo technology and performance has improved significantly, more agencies are buying 9mm duty guns and trading in their old .40 cals.

Does that mean .40 S&W doesn’t work? Not at all. I wouldn’t want to be shot with one. The bright side: LE trades can open the door to a price conscious consumer that wants a highly reliable pistol at a steep discount.

I would much rather see someone spend $350 on a trade in S&W M&P or GLOCK pistol that’s known to run and has a maintenance history than a Taurus, Jimenez or Ring of Fire gun made from pot metal that has a tendency not to run when you need it the most.


What to look for: Condition, Price, Suitability

Just like shopping for any other used gun…be careful. If you don’t know much about used cars, you’d be wise to approach buying a used car with caution. The same goes for a gun, a tool on which you might stake your life some day.

The condition of police trade-in guns varies widely. If your dealer has a good selection, don’t just look at the one he pulls out of the case. Ask to see a few of them. Otherwise, you might get stuck with one that’s worse for the wear.

Keep in mind that a lot of the grading is done by the dealer or distributor so when you see guns that are described as GOOD or VERY GOOD, that data point is subjective. However, some guns are graded when they’re inspected at the factory and repaired/refinished.

SIG does a decent job of this by putting their guns in a red box and marking them as EXCELLENT or VERY GOOD or GOOD, etc., so as long as the box, grade and serial number all match up – you can get a pretty good indication — assigned by the factory — about what you’re buying.

See our post on How to Buy a Used Gun here.

Prices on trade-in guns vary, of course. I’ve seen them sell at retail for hundreds less than new and in some cases only than $50 less than a comparable used firearm. Where you can find some value is that they usually come with a handful of mags, and if you’re like me and have to have 5+ magazines for every pistol – that can factor into your dealmaking decision process.

In terms of suitability, make sure the gun fits your desired application. Whether it’s home defense, concealed carry, or just turning money into noise, the gun needs to fit you. I’m not a fan of some guns like the Beretta 92 due to the slide-mounted safety lever. It’s not suitable for me, but you might love it.

What to Avoid: Condition, Price, Suitability

Like I said earlier, if you don’t know how to evaluate a used firearm – this might not be for you. I personally love scuffs, dings, scratches, etc. on used guns because it lets me buy them cheaper and honest wear is a sign of character.

I am more than happy to buy guns that have run into lots of doorknobs or door frames. However, I’m usually able to tell if they’re structurally sound.

As long as there are no glaring issues like barrel damage, cracks in the frame or frame rails or the slide, since those aren’t easily repairable or a DIY project you should be good to go.

If you don’t have the experience necessary to assess a firearm, look at guns that went back to the factory for inspection and refinishing. In some cases they will come back with a ‘CPO’ or ‘Rebuilt’ sticker and a warranty. That can remove a lot of worry and guesswork.

Of course, if this isn’t exactly your forte, ask your dealer to compare the price with a new gun. Some SIG CPO guns sell for $500 regularly whereas a newer model pistol with two fewer magazines goes for $925. Those cost savings are very clear.

Some rebuilt GLOCKs sell for $425 where a new one can be had for $500. It just depends on what’s available and what’s out there. If you’re not comfortable buying used and saving $75, by all means consider going with a new pistol.

There’s an old saying in the pits of the Chicago Merc — when in doubt, palms out. The direction of the palm indicated buy or sell, meaning if you’re in doubt, be a seller and not a buyer.

There’s an analogue here in that if you’re not sure if this avalanche of .40 S&W pistols coming to market is for you, just don’t buy one and stick with what you know. It could save you from making an expensive mistake.

Have you purchased police trade in firearms before? How was your experience and how did you enjoy your purchase?


  1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    I have purchased 2 LE guns in my life a S&W Model 38 and 66. My advice is test fire them. Both of them had reliability issues and they were revolvers. The 66 had the main spring screw way loose and light primer strikes (I’m guessing to drop the trigger pull) and the 38 had the front spring loaded pin that pushes against the ejector crane and locks the cylinder in jammed up. I fired 2-3 rounds and it solidly locked up. Both work well now but I had to do a bit of work to make it happen and would have been in a heck of a spot had I needed to use them.

  2. avatar Bitter says:

    I purchased a Glock 27 and absolutely hated it, traded it for an M&P.
    I’m now currently considering a Sig P229 in 40 S&W, don’t know much about 40 but the gun itself looks amazing and is under $500.

    1. avatar Dan says:

      You could always get a 40 to 9mm conversion barrel. That way you can shoot 9 and 40 with just a barrel and mag swap.

      1. avatar Rincoln says:

        9mm and .40 cannot be converted with just a barrel swap. The case head is different, and thus requires a different slide. You would have to replace the entire “upper assembly,” to have a different caliber. However, .40 and 357sig are interchangeable with just a barrel swap. If you’re actually set on 9mm, don’t fret, the conversion kit exists.

        1. avatar Concoursal says:

          Both Bar-Sto and EFK Fire Dragon make drop in .40 to 9mm conversion barrels for SIG P229 and others. Nothing else required beyond the barrel.

        2. avatar pblanc says:

          Nine millimeter “conversion” barrels like those made by EFK Firedragon and Bar-Sto, are made to work with .40 S&W slides, although they are not available for all pistols. The outer diameter of these barrels match that of the generally larger .40 barrels. It is true that because of the difference in case head diameter, the extractor gets .0225″ less bite on the case, but this does not seem to impair their extraction and ejection.

        3. avatar jack daugherty says:

          You are an idiot.

        4. avatar jack daugherty says:

          Sorry, Autocorrect strikes again! Your ideal is great!

      2. avatar William kafig says:

        I picked up a pair of police trade-in M&P .40s. I swapped the 40 barrel for a 9mm and swapped the 40 cal mags for 9mm mags.

        No problems what so ever!

    2. avatar TruthTellers says:

      It’s those subcompact .40’s that are the best police trade ins to buy as, yes they have snappy recoil, but have otherwise barely been shot because of that recoil. I shoot mine just fine, slower than I can shoot 9mm, but I’m accurate with it and I can shoot it all day unlike the LCP that I can barely shoot 20 rds without having my hand start shaking.

    3. avatar MechAg94 says:

      I have a Sig pre-owned P229 in 40 cal I bought years ago. I recently pulled it out to shoot again and I think it handles the recoil better than the G22. One day I will get a 357 Sig barrel and see how that feels.

  3. avatar Aaron says:

    Around 15 years ago , I bought 3 92FS’s from local PD for $205 each. still have one and love it.

  4. avatar Mister Furious says:

    I bought a couple of M&P trade ins in 357 Sig for $325 shipped, apiece. A little holster wear is all, and the night sights still glow. I’ve put a thousand rounds through one of them without an issue; I’m all for LE trade ins.

    1. avatar Hippi says:

      I picked up the same here mine wasn’t fantastic but I knew what I was getting into so I did a thin blue line trigger from apex(see what I did there) and a 2.0 grip now thing are all good.

  5. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    And here in CA, the only way you can legally acquire an “unsafe roster” gun is to buy it from a LEO, such as a G43. Which begs the question…if they’re so unsafe and unfit for sale, then why (1) can a cop own one and then (2) sell it to you so that you can own it? If it’s unsafe, then it’s unsafe, yes? Or no?

    CA is so screwed up.

    1. avatar Dan says:

      You can also purchase from a private party that is selling the gun. Look on Calguns and you’ll find a bunch of G43s. You’re going to pay $800-900 for it though. If you want a G48 or Sig P365 expect to pay over $1000. I know some people move out of state and buy these handguns just so they can move back to California and sell them for double the price. There’s a booming black market for off roster handguns.

      1. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

        A black market for banned stuff people want, you say? Un-possible.

        1. avatar JPD says:

          EXACTLY! Everyone knows (in Sacramento) that no person in California would EVER break any state law concerning firearms. That is why California can BRAG about how there is NO ONE EVER killed by a firearm in their state……oh wait………

      2. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

        “I know some people move out of state and buy these handguns just so they can move back to California and sell them for double the price.”

        I’m calling BS on that one. I highly doubt you or anyone here knows people who actually move their residence to another state, buy some guns, and then go through the trouble of formally moving back into CA just to sell them for profit. Unless they’re selling dozens at a time – which qualifies as a gun runner – the money gained would be cancelled out by all the moving expenses and inconvenience.

        Besides, a person can build an 80% frame G43 at home now anyway within a couple of hours, which negates the need to go “black market”.

        1. avatar Dan says:

          It’s not as hard and expensive as you think just to get an ID from another state and buy from a private party. To me the problem with the G43 80% lowers is that it’s still more expensive to build it than to buy a new one and you also have to pay the state a $35 fee and wait a few months until they assign you a serial number before you can even build it. Then it’s yours forever and you can never sell it.

        2. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

          @ Dan,

          You referred to a black market, so I was assuming you weren’t going to think anyone in that market would care about paying fees or applying to CADOJ for the assigned serial number (which they claim is *not* registration, ahem).

        3. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:


          Oh, and the ATF has confirmed that you can indeed sell a completed 80% gun. You just can’t assemble it with the *intention* of transfer, but you can sell or gift it at a later time.

        4. avatar Dan says:

          Grey market I suppose. Another way to get an off roster gun is to have a mother, father or grandparent transfer one to you as a gift if they happen to live and purchase it out of state. You can do that a few times a year with no problems. There’s always a loophole because the politicians are just as stupid as the laws in California. That’s good to hear about the 80% lowers too.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      We both know the reason behind the whole safety roster thing is that they don’t trust YOU (or me). We’re unsafe, not the guns.

      Any freedom you still retain is just a loophole they haven’t closed yet…for your own safety, of course.

  6. avatar jwm says:

    S&W model 10 with pinned barrel. -6 I believe. Lot of holster wear. But locks up tight and shoots like a dream. Only mod I’ve made on it was replacing the ‘ one size doesn’t fit all’ skinny wood grips with a neoprene grip. Overall the gun looks ugly. But it shoots better than I can.

    But these days there’s too many budget guns made by reputable companies for you to have to settle for used. If all you’re after is a reliable self defense gun you can buy a new glock, s&w, sig, etc. striker fired plastic gun and they will work just fine.

    1. avatar MAGA says:

      That’s awesome! It’s hard to find a pinned barrel Smith and Wesson these days.

      It’s especially awesome if it’s a pre-Hillary-hole model.

      1. avatar El Duderino says:

        It’s really easy to find pinned barrel S&Ws without a Hillary Hole.

        No pinned barrel S&Ws have an internal lock. These two features are separated by almost 20 years.

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    Ehhh…you had me until you ragged on Taurus. I’ve has 5 that ran perfectly. Inept writer and/or second hand “knowledge”. I would get a Glock Po-leece trade-in but ALL the gunshops nearby put insane prices on them. Oh well…

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Never owned a Taurus revolver, but my first hand experience with 6 Taurus rifle and pistols is that none of them functioned well and a couple were unsafe (Taurus autoloader 22 would fire out of battery.

      If I were to own a Taurus, it would be an 85. They seem to run pretty well. The G2 loo,ed promising but the 3 friends that bought them all sent them back. Too bad, they were certainly priced right.

      1. avatar WJW says:

        PT92 is a good gun and basically a Beretta 92 with a frame mounted safety. The TH series looks promising.

    2. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      “I would get a Glock Po-leece trade-in but ALL the gunshops nearby put insane prices on them”

      This very much. *The* loosest most rattletrap gun I’ve ever seen – the way Hollywood guns rattle whenever they move but in real life – was a G21 Gen 2 police trade in, and they wanted $450 for it!

    3. avatar Travis Jones says:

      I agree, not sure what with all the Taurus hate? I managed a gun store for over a decadeabd Taurus was def one of the highest selling guns and during that time sure I had to send a few taurus’s back for repair. Less than some and more than some others. I think for the most part Taurus builds a descent gun for the price. I do however think they could be more thorough on some of their fit and finishes.

  8. avatar GS650G says:

    Got a .38 colt official polive with very little use. Mostly holster marks. For 240 dollars I was very happy with it

    1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      Years ago, or recently? If recent, that’s a damn good price!

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        10 years ago actually. Was still a good deal at the time. I still have it.

        1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

          Nice! I’ve never owned a Colt revolver, and I think the supply of reasonably priced used examples has dried up…

  9. avatar LKB says:

    A great place to shop for LE/security trade-ins is GT Distributors (cop shop with retail locations in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kansas).

    I scored a Gen3 G17 from them a few years back that had been issued to the private security of a nuclear plant. Grip and slide showed clear signs of years of holster wear, but after a basic cleaning the innerds appeared to be pristine — I doubt that gun had had a few hundred rounds put through it. Got it for $300.

    At one time they were swimming in .40 cal Glock LE trade-ins that you could pick up dirt cheap, and that similarly looked to have been rarely fired. Pick up a Lone Wolf conversion barrel (and the appropriate 9mm Glock mags), and you’d have a solid 9mm / .40 cal Glock package for a very reasonable price.

  10. avatar BusyBeef says:

    There is currently a monstrous glut of .40 caliber duty guns flooding Gunbroker right now.
    Of course, there’s a reason they’re so cheap . . . . while the 9mm guns go for a substantial premium.

    1. avatar Roh-Dog says:

      I wouldn’t call an approximate 20% reduction in price from a new to a VG graded gun ‘cheap’. Especially if you take into account a basic parts replacement set will make up that difference.
      IMHO, the ‘40 glut’ is a myth, along with the ‘science has made 9mm sooooo awesome it’ll replace the AT-4’ nonsense.

  11. avatar Jim from LI says:

    Broward County Sheriff guns are great deals. Never fired, only dropped once.

    1. avatar TruthTellers says:

      Never dropped because you can’t drop what has never been touched.

      1. avatar Roh-Dog says:

        They shook af though

  12. avatar DW says:

    Scored a silver spoon 870 wing master police gun a few years back. The wood was beaten to hell, but the action was typical wing master smooth. Threw a magpul stock and grip, plus a side saddle on it. It’s my favorite for home defense and 3gun.

  13. avatar cgray says:

    The comment about Taurus is a joke, lumping them with Jimenez and pot metal guns. I don’t know where this “Hank” guy’s gun shop is, but I’d never buy a gun from him, ever. This blog was bad with Farago, and it’s gotten noticeably worse since he left.

    1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

      “This blog was bad with Farago, and it’s gotten noticeably worse since he left.”

      Then why do you continue to stick around, then?

      Bye, Felicia…

      1. avatar cgray says:

        So I can enjoy all those clever and original put downs like “bye, Felicia”.


  14. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    I bought a Model 10. This gun shoots so accurately I almost don’t believe it. When I was younger I could notches in a cigarette at 25 feet without breaking it. It happened accidentally the first time and I then discovered it could be done deliberately. That was 4 decades ago. My eyes aren’t that good now. The bore was superb but as others mentioned there was noticeable holster mostly at the end of the barrel. Grip checkering looked virtually unused.

  15. avatar El Duderino says:

    The days of interesting LE trade in pistols is over. It’s just a sea of plastic fantastics with a few alloy-framed SIGs and such thrown in.

    Colt friggin’ Pythons used to be LE trade ins. S&Ws galore, including oddballs like the CHP/LAPD 68 and the CS-1. Beretta 92s so you could run around with your pants off and pretend you were Mel Gibson (not that I ever did that, but I digress). SIG P220s. The list goes on and on. I only own one LE-marked gun, a Colt Detective Special from before WWII.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      You have heard of the internet. They are out there.

  16. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Bought several. No Glocks though.

    2 Sig P6. Great deal. Walther PP from German police dept. Excellent gun.

    Host of model 10s, 15s, and 64s over the years.

    My suggestion. Dont wait around …. the best ones go first.

    When I ordered the PP32 from AIM, it took 2 days to come in. When I saw it, I called to order another….they were gone.

    So I ordered 2 P6s from AIM when they came around. Pristine , excellent pistols. I couldnt shoot them well though and ended up selling them for double what I paid a couple of years later.

    Its also an opportunity to get a gun that you normally cant afford…like a Sig. AIM and Classic firearms seem to have the most right now. Sigs from the Ohio Highway Patrol, Beretta 92S, Beretta Brigadier, S&W 59s and 69s.

    I look at them more as an opportunity to expand my accumulation than my first defensive gun. And if you hesitate to buy a 40, this is a way to get one cheaper to see if you like it. Shoot it a while and trade or sell it later.

    I wish I had bought a couple of thousand dollars worth of Smith model 10s when they were 125 apiece.

    Great chance to have something neat.

  17. avatar Rokurota says:

    The link to the used guns article is the wrong one. May want to check it.

  18. avatar MGD says:

    I try to buy test and evaluation guns. (T&E) I have a friend who’s a dealer who sells police surplus weapons on Gunbroker. He evaluates the guns very carefully via a gunsmith and puts a very accurate description on the auction site. I’ve gotten T&E guns at a huge discount and they were NIB. They still had all the tags and stickers attached that you would probably have to remove before firing. He told me that the makers will send T&E guns to departments and often, the department never even fires the gun, but sends it straight to him for auction.

  19. avatar James A. "Jim" Farmer says:

    American law enforcement commenced the mass conversion from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. That is now at least 25 years in the past. I suspect the ex-police revolver trade ins have been largely grabbed up in the last several decades and possibly now depleted?

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      A lot of them are still being held. Maybe as backups? Or for corrections duty?

    2. avatar Rocket Raccoon says:

      That’s what I did. Back in the ’90s, I scored a purchase of a spanking new full-frame .38 special. According to the dealer, a batch had been special ordered by our local LE Dept from the manufacturer, complete with specialized stamping of the department’s name into the frame. Just as they were shipped, the dept cancelled the order due to their upgrade to modern semi-autos, and the dealer was stuck with them. I got one for fire sale pricing, brand new and never used. Kinda wish it was a .357 Mag, but knowing my hands were going to be the only ones to ever touch it (not ever dropped on the ground, thrown into a locker, harshly holstered, or insufficiently cleaned) was worth it.

  20. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:

    TTAG must be reading my mind again (and here comes another Rookie Question of the Week)

    I’ve been looking at some police trade in SIG P226’s in .357 SIG over at AIM Surplus. Great prices, but I’m unsure about them because they have the DAK/Kellerman trigger.

    Anyone have experience with DAK triggers? Is it basically just a DAO system, or is there more to it than that?

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      It is. It has a very light DA pull of about 6 pounds from full stroke.

      If you fully release the trigger, the next shot is 6 pound pull.

      If you short stroke by only releasing half way, the pull is about 8 pounds.

      I guess it was designed to help prevent negligent discharges when shooting fast.

      It is different but pretty easy to master if you have shot DA revolvers.

      If you had a Glock-tilian upbringing, you will be pulling 8 pounds most of the time.

      No terrible, just heavier.

      I like em pretty well.

      1. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:


  21. avatar Philip Twiss says:

    Yep, bought a gen 4 GLOCK 22 for 300.00 from Aim Surplus… Its got holster wear, but the gun was only 3 years old (based on label for the fired case package). It came with the police metal night sights, matching case and a single magazine. No back straps, but I found the gun to be a perfect fit for my hand size without any additional plastic. I replaced the springs, polished the trigger and added a 3.5 connector. I got to know my gun down to the base parts and replaced the only things that wear out on a GLOCK at the same time…

  22. avatar Ken says:

    Have obtained a number of them over the years. They’ve all been great guns with no issues. A couple of Sig 226’s in 40 and 9, a Sig 225, a G23, and some Smith K-frames. All were very low round-count with just a few dings here and there. Got a couple directly from officers who were given first opportunity to buy their duty guns when the agency did a trade for the latest/greatest.

  23. avatar Nanashi says:

    I bought a trade in M&P9. Regret that due to
    1: Hillary didn’t manage to steal the election, so no threat of standard capacity mag ban (AKA I should have gotten a smaller pistol first)
    2: M&P2.0 announcement soon followed
    3: It seems to have belonged to the one officer in the department who actually fired his gun regularly and the front sight insert was missing.

    I recognize this was pretty unusual and wouldn’t let this turn someone off from trade in guns. Especially so if you get to view it before buying it.

  24. avatar Ken says:

    As soon as I saw the gun snob writer bash Taurus with his comparison, I discounted what he had to say to junk mail status. I guess he did that to encourage other gun snobs to make up horror stories that agree with him. I wouldn’t trust anything he ever says. I still have 4 of the 5 Taurus handguns I have owned and they just keep working. Hard to beat the PT-111 G2 semi-auto pistol or the 605 and 856 revolvers.

  25. avatar Josh says:

    I spent about $450 on a police trade in H&K USP45 Variant 1 with the tritium sights and three mags. The mag base plates were pretty chewed up but the mags were otherwise solid, and new ones are EXPENSIVE. The sights were advertised as dark but they still glow about 50% as bright as the ones on my brand new USP slides, so I can still see them plenty at night. The frame and slide have very light holster wear and it’s internally flawless. Runs smooth as butter. When I picked it up, I realized I’d made a terrible mistake, I should have purchased two of them!! Of course by then, they were all sold out.

    1. avatar J says:

      I did the same thing on a USP45 Stainless Steel Slide and an original M2 UTL weapon light with 3 mags for 550. I eventually traded it for a 1994 German made P226

  26. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    Does that mean .40 S&W doesn’t work? Not at all. I wouldn’t want to be shot with one.

    I think the consensus is that the .40 S&W is indeed a more effective round than the 9mm Luger, but somewhat less pleasant to shoot, so of course you wouldn’t want to get shot with one, but you might rather shoot a 9mm. 🙂

  27. avatar Scooter says:

    KCPD S&W 4026 with laser engraved 1992 badge, CHP 4006TSW, Missouri State Trooper and Park Ranger gen 2 Glocks, Spanish National Police Star BM, police issued S&W 3000 12 gauge “riot gun,” police marked CZ82… I dig old duty stuff. Oddest? S&W Model 10 .357 magnum. Not a conversion, factory, per NY state I think.

  28. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I bought some great revolvers that were trade ins during the great migration of L.E. to the semi-auto. One of my best friends recently bought a trade in Sig P220 w/rails for a song. He asked me to look it over as I had been through Sig armorer school. It was new unfired. (Except factory test of course.) Looking forward to the surge of .40 S&W. This shift to 9mm is being pushed by the bean counters, not the gunfighter. Yeah, modern bullets make 9mm better. You’ll even catch me carrying one once in a while. That’s because of the pistol. Not the caliber. I’m afraid L.E. is going to have to relearn the lesson they were taught in Miami 30 years ago. Nothing new under the sun. Bigger, deeper holes!

    1. avatar Mike says:

      In the ten year long Ellifritz study of actual shootings, the 9mm had a failure to stop rate of 12% while the .45 had a failure to stop rate of 13%. The 9mm tied with the .40, .357, and 44mag. The big .45 was bested by almost all the popular defensive calibers when it came to stopping the bad guy. But, 1 per cent isn’t that big of deal. If you like .45 and shoot it well, by all means, carry one. But the stopping power of the .45 is a myth. In fact, if anything was learned from this study is that all the defensive calibers perform the same as long as you stay away from things like .25 acp. If you want true stopping power for home defense, use a rifle.

  29. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

    Couple years ago I bought a trade-in M&P40 (1.0) from Aim. I already owned a Firestar M40, I like and reload for the caliber, so the only thing new to me was the platform. Some wear on the slide ‘rails’ and dings on the mag baseplate, but otherwise it looked nearly new! Paid $300 (they were asking $25 more for M&P9’s), and I consider that a steal given the gun’s condition!

    They were also selling ‘used’ spare mags for $11 and some change, so I picked up 3 extras with it… well, one of the mags appears untouched, brand new, with a deep, high-polished bluing like the old S&W or Colt revolvers! I don’t even want to use that one, it’s so pretty.

    Strange thing about it, though… The barrel absolutely refuses to drop out of the slide – as far as I can tell, there’s no way it’s ever left the slide because it simply won’t clear! I have no idea how the factory got it into the slide in the first place, and it’s not all scratched or gouged up, so I know Bubba didn’t work on this unit. I tried lightly stoning the interfering surfaces, which brought it closer to slipping out,, but didn’t want to remove too much material, so I stopped. It can still be cleaned thoroughly, so not concerned… It’s just strange.

    1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      I forgot to mention that mine has no police markings, but the night sights had very little glow left at the time I bought it, and are virtually dead now. Need to replace them, but it was still a good deal.

  30. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

    I bought a police trade in S&W M&P .40 years ago. It was a great deal for me because it had night sights that still glowed, 3 mags, 3 grip inserts and after inspection the dealer I had it transferred to and I agreed that it had been fired VERY little. I had it for about a year and then I traded it in for something else but the “deal” itself was a good one.
    For the record, I have a PT111 G2 that has been excellent with zero failures and I owned a Taurus model 66 in .357. I traded the 66 in to help by my first GP100. The 66 shot more accurately than my first GP. Always went bang and felt good in the hand. I shot upwards of 3000 rounds through it while I owned it with nary a complaint. I know they are hit and miss but mine were hits fer sure.

  31. avatar Will Drider says:

    Depts often offer Officers the opportunity to buy their “current handun” at Factory or Distributor trade in value. The Trade in Compact and subcompact models normally ride in the holsters of Brass or Detectives. Plan on night sight to be weak/dead. Some resellers strip all but one mag from the box and sell them separately. These are “Tools” your paying less due to condition and qty on the Market. Some will have Dept name/logo: might be desirable or tolerable.

    Know exactly what the sellers condition actually mean to “them” not what you think it means. If buying “Good or very good”condition: do it in person! LE trade-ins get a lot of exposure to the elements and very few get daily care afterwards: pull slide/barrel from frame and inspect.

  32. avatar Chris Brosnahan says:

    I bought an LEO trade in (Glock 19) from AIM in early 2018…IIRC the base pistol cost me $400 and shipping was, again IIRC, $15…the FL transfer fee (including the call in) was $25 – no tax – the end price was $450…and it included night sights (which weren’t mentioned in the on line ad)…it came in the blue label black Glock box with one magazine – it belonged to the LA State Bureau of Corrections…prolly only fired for mandated yearly quals…I bought the 3.5 lb connector and reduced power spring sets from Brownells, but since I’m considering using it as one of my EDC guns I haven’t installed them yet…I picked up a number of spare KCI magazines from GunMagWarehouse….I’ve also noticed that a majority of LEO trade-ins are .40 cals – Glocks, Sigs & M&Ps…I just can’t warm up to that caliber although I bought a Glock 35 from a friend whose S-i-L is a Miami cop and wanted the 35 for police competitions, but had to use his issue Glock 22 rather than a dedicated competition gun…I’ve bought two conversion barrels for that one…Lone Wolf barrels in 9mm & .357 Sig…I have no problem buying LEO trade ins…for the most part they’re little used but well maintained holster queens…

  33. avatar "keep yur paws off my dead guy" possum says:

    I bought a , , , once with the help of my tacks for the officers to use. Now upgraded Nowthe gUmn should he a free lotto draw for any tacks player in that city, county, state, or Country.,if it was purchased for the use by the milka diary, or fed Raul,.How many times do We have to Buy these things?.

  34. avatar Troger says:

    Just picked up a PD Trade In Sig P226 40 with the dreaded DAK trigger in Good+ condition for $329. For a truck gun it will work fine and was in better condition than expected.

  35. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    “I would much rather see someone spend $350 on a trade in… that’s known to run and has a maintenance history than a… gun made from pot metal that has a tendency not to run…”

    buy good proven stuff, not unreliable inferior material products. (t)hank you. y’all see the veil lifting?

  36. avatar Mr. Nebby says:

    I bought a police trade in Remington 870 Police Magnum. It looked almost brand new internally. A lot of scuffs and dings on the outside but it has functioned flawlessly.

    I can’t remember what I paid for it, but at the time I remember thinking I should have went and picked up another one because it was so affordable.

  37. avatar Dan USMC/NYPD says:

    “…because New York cops used to have a tendency to accidentally shoot things if the trigger pull wasn’t set at a minimum of 12 pounds.”
    Is this comment based on fact or something you heard?

  38. avatar Travis Jones says:

    These pre owned Sig P229’s for less than $450 are an AMAZING FRIGGIN deal! Don’t think there’s a higher quality firearm on tge market within 200 bucks of that! Go get yourself 9mm and .357 sig conversion barrels and you are set! Set of crimson trace laser grips to top it off, YES PWEASE!😢

  39. avatar GEORGE BILL says:

    Buy a Glock used, the parts are cheap as shit. Barrels are 60 bucks and the entire trigger assembly was 12 dollars, a year ago. There isn’t much else to change. The entire lower parts kit is 50 bucks.

  40. Hi All, I am a Glock 22 fan, Just love them, I have a few and have one on my hip right now. Why you ask, Why that caliber and why a Glock, Ah I was a 1911 officers carry guy for years, But the Glock platform got me out of 1911,s. They are in the safe. I have put a Glock 22 to the test and it’s called Zero value, Why, The test I have put it thru, A Steel or alloy frame gun would not hold up to what I have put that Glock 22 thru Fact FACT.. And the first parts to break were Ah the steel ones, Not the well designed frame. Plastic reinforced frame. The steel and alloy frame guns will bend and stay bent, Yep, Zero value still working. And some words on the 40 S&W. Great cal for the ones that can shoot it.

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