This is our grading guide to explain the condition of guns we sell. It also applies basically to firearm accessories such as pouches, stocks, bayonets, etc. When we say a gun is "good" or "very good" condition, you should refer to this guide to see what that means. Grading guns is a very subjective process, hopefully this guide will help to eliminate some disparity between people's opinions. This guide is developed using a combination of NRA grades, Blue Book grades, Shotgun News guide, the "percentage" grades, and current standard industry practice. We distinguish between modern guns, and older surplus guns. (Antique collectible guns are in a different category and are graded differently than the below guide.)
NEW - unused, same condition as factory production, 100%
UNISSUED / LIKE NEW - unused, but may not have box or factory accessories. May have been sold at retail before, but never used. Unissued surplus guns are unused, but are still often several decades old, and thus may sometimes show small handling marks. 99-100%
USED BUT IN LIKE NEW CONDITION - may have been used slightly, but shows no wear, perfect condition. Modern guns = 99-100%
EXCELLENT - may show slight use, no easily apparent defects, minimal bluing wear, mainly slight at edges and muzzle, little scratches on wood or metal. Shiny bore. Modern guns = 90-99%, Old guns = 80-99%
*VERY GOOD PLUS - shows slight wear, only minor defects or dings / scratches. Nice looking bluing but worn at edges and muzzle.
Modern guns = 85-90%, Old guns = 70-80% (*SEE NOTE)
*VERY GOOD - Everything works, some wear on finish and working surfaces, minimal or no corrosion, but maybe some light freckling. Could have minor dents and scratches. Bore may not be shiny but should not be dark.
Modern guns = 70-85%, Old guns = 60-70% (*SEE NOTE)
*GOOD TO VERY GOOD - Working condition, but finish more worn than Very Good grade. Some wear on working surfaces but fully functional. Could have some light freckling, and dings or scratches, but they do not interfere with function. May have frosted bore. This condition is a step up from basic Good condition.
Modern guns = 60-70%, Old guns = 50-60% (*SEE NOTE)
*GOOD - Working condition, but finish may be quite worn from sustained use or carry. Wear on working surfaces. Could have some pitting or light corrosion / freckling, and dings or scratches, but they should not interfere with function. May have dark, worn bore. This is the usual condition that surplus guns are graded.
Modern guns = 50-60%, Old guns = 30-50% (*SEE NOTE)
*FAIR (or ABOUT GOOD) - Still considered working usually, though minor adjustment may be needed Well-worn finish, perhaps no finish left. May have corrosion or pitting that does not render gun unusable. Bore may be shot smooth and be dark. Wood may have cracks but is usually still usable.
Modern guns = 20-50%, Old guns = 1-30% (*SEE NOTE)
POOR - Adjustment or replacements of parts need, may not be functioning. Worn out or rusty, sold for parts or for repair only, no returns
"GUNSMITH SPECIAL" - These guns are broken or missing parts, and need to be repaired and checked by a gunsmith before using, however they are not necessarily in worn condition, and though not-functioning, they may sometimes be in very nice condition. No returns.
**NOTE**: The grading of surplus guns in the middle grades (fair to very good) is also influenced by the overall average grade of the shipment we receive. If a shipment of guns is overall very good, the advertising will state that grade, however some guns in the shipment may be on the low end or high end of the stated average grade. Hand select fee gets you a nicer gun of the current shipment, it does not guarantee that your gun will be a grade higher; hand select is relative to the current shipment in stock. Also, a refinished or arsenal rebuilt gun is judged based on its condition after refinishing, being refinished does not automatically lessen or increase a gun's grade.