Reviews BEST ONLINE GUN STORES [NEW & USED, 2023] Megan Kriss May 1, 2023 Join the Conversation I always encourage people to support small businesses, including their local gun shops. But unfortunately, we can’t always get what we’re looking for at a local small business, and gun shops are no exception. When that happens, our best bet is to turn to online shopping, and despite what you may think, you can actually buy a gun online, with relatively few legal loopholes to jump through. Sure, you can’t just get a gun shipped to your home. You do need to get it shipped to a local shop with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) who will still need to run a background check and whatever other procedures your state and local laws require, but that’s just an opportunity to support your local gun shop even when they don’t have the gun you need. And, of course, they don’t exactly carry firearms on Amazon. So, where do you buy a gun online? Well, here are a few of our favorite places: BEST ONLINE GUN STORES Brownells Brownells is like Walmart for gun stuff in that they’re a one-stop shop for basically everything in the world of firearms, from gunsmithing tools to ammunition to upgrades to, of course, firearms themselves. They’re not going to be the lowest price a lot of the time, but their prices aren’t outrageous either, and they frequently run sales. Plus, they have a handy page on their website that consolidates rebates to help you ensure you get those savings when available. And even if you do pay full price, they offer their own lifetime warranty that applies on top of whatever warranty is offered by the manufacturer, so it can be worth paying a bit more for the peace of mind. But where you can really benefit is with Brownells Edge. Edge costs you $49.95 but gives you free 2-day ship and lower-cost overnight shipping, plus Brownell's waves their FFL processing fee, saving you an extra $10 per gun. Edge members are also eligible for certain members-only sales and discounts, including access to some sales and products before the general public. Whether you’re an Edge member or not, Brownells is partnered with Credova so you can finance your purchases, which is great when you want something higher priced but don’t want to have to put down all the money at once. Oh, and when so many sellers have shortages, it’s especially handy that Brownells allows you to filter for only items in stock. In the event they don’t have something in stock, Brownells still often allows you to backorder so you can get the item when it does become available. Finally, Brownells has a really great customer service team staffed by experts who actually know guns, and you can communicate with them over the phone or via live chat. Palmetto State Armory The big name in budget AR-15s, Palmetto State Armory, has grown to offer just about everything you can think of. From optics to ammo, AKs to PCCs, if you can buy it – PSA has it. While PSA runs some great deals in their Daily Deals and on their holiday says, the best deals come from PSA-branded guns, mags, and accessories. Looking past the great deals and huge selection, PSA is one of the rare companies that puts their money where their mouth is. Palmetto State Armory commonly donates huge amounts of money to organizations like FPC and helps fund the lawsuits that fight back against anti-2A laws. They also prioritize shipping to states that are about to undergo bans or have limited windows to buy things, like California in 2019 for magazines or Washington with their magazine and assault weapons ban. That means the rest of us might wait for a little extra when we order, but I like a company that supports their customers like PSA. BassPro & Cabella's What used to be two brands is really now just the same store. BassPro bought out Cabella’s a few years ago and since then they’ve morphed into just two names for the same thing. If you need anything hunting or camping-related, this is a great place to stop. A national chain with stores in almost every decently sized city, finding a local location is pretty easy. You can buy online, have it shipped to the store near you, and avoid any of those pesky transfer fees And if you have one near you, you’re in luck. Not only are the stores HUGE and really cool, they also have good deals on many gear. Personally, my favorite is their BassPro t-shirts for $5 each. By volume, the majority of my closet is $5 BassPro t-shirts. Their customer service is also some of the best in the business. BassPro was where I bought my first gun and they really helped me out. GunBroker.com To make it short and sweet, GunBroker.com is eBay for guns. An auction site that hosts firearms, accessories, and everything in between, GunBroker is the place to find everything. Old, new, rare, common, it’s always on GunBroker. A blessing and a curse, buying off of GunBroker is as good as you make it. Due diligence and careful reading of the fine print is mandatory if you want to come out ahead. Because GunBroker is an auction site, your prices might be a steal for you or highway robbery with you on the short end of the stick. Don’t let your ego get sucked into a bidding war your wallet can’t handle. You’ll also deal with a wide range of sellers (or buyers if you want to list your own). Some will be stores ranging from major national chains to tiny local gun stores in the middle of nowhere America. Many will be normal people that are just trying to sell their goods. Basically, it’s just like eBay. Rainier Arms Based in Washington, Rainier Arms is a huge retailer with a more high-end selection. If you’re into any competitive shooting, Rainier Arms can help you. They have the rare and very expensive stuff you can’t find just about anywhere else. And they’ll ship it to your local FFL. They also have a huge selection of everything else, but their prices tend to run a little higher than average. When it’s something rare and you can’t get it anywhere else, it makes sense to bite the bullet. For everything else, you might want to shop around before hitting “Place Order.” EuroOptic For more high-end shooting gear, EuroOptic is a great choice. Based on the name, you can probably guess that EuroOptic specializes in scopes and the like. High-end optics, in particular, are their jam. With that said, EuroOptic carries far more than just optics. Their high-end precision rifle selection, in particular, is excellent, but they have a pretty diverse inventory, including both new and used guns. They’re a great place to look for items that are hard to find at other retailers. Like Brownells, EuroOptic has great customer service staffed by actual experts, so they should be able to answer just about any question that you have. Also, like Brownells, EuroOptic is partnered with Credova so you can pay for your purchases over time instead of all at once. OpticsPlanet Some people love OpticsPlanet, and some people hate them. I’ve always had a pretty good experience with OP, but you need to look at the small print. OpticsPlanet loves to have a product look like it is in stock, but the small green writing actually says it is back-ordered by weeks at a time. Stick to the “In-Stock” items, and you’ll do just fine. What I like about OP is that they have a huge inventory of things that can be hard to find in other stores. From older inventory to discontinued items, OpticsPlanet tends to have much of it on hand and ready to ship. They also have an outstanding clearance section with some crazy good deals. Guns.com As I said, EuroOptic carries both new and used guns, but for an even better selection of used guns, you need to check out Guns.com. Guns.com is perhaps better known for their reviews and news, but a few years back, they stepped into used gun sales too. They’re not your generic gun classifieds site though, where anyone can list anything with zero vetting. Anything sold on Guns.com falls into one of two camps. First, there are the guns sold by FFLs. Those are straightforward enough, allowing small gun shops to sell online without having to deal with the hassle of eCommerce directly. And they’re a great way to support small gun shops around the country without limiting yourself to just what your local shops have in stock. Then there are guns sold by individuals, but what makes those different from other used gun sites is that those individuals aren’t selling to you. They’ve already sold the gun to Guns.com. Then Guns.com inspects and vets the guns before listing them for sale. That gives you a level of quality assurance you won’t get buying directly from an individual, and you even get the inspection checklist with your gun when you buy. And for any gun you buy, you get a 3-day return window if you don’t like it or 14 days if there’s a malfunction during normal use. Prices are sometimes a little hit and miss, our editor David Lane has gotten some crazy good deals on milsurp rifles, but we’ve also seen some eyebrow-raising high prices on average guns. Rock Island Auction Company Interested in some truly unique firearms? Rock Island Auction Company is the leader in antique and collector firearm auctions, including some of the highest price gun sales in history. While other auction houses sell antiques and collector items in general, and that happens to include some firearms, Rock Island specializes in firearms, other weapons, military paraphernalia, and other related items. Otherwise, it operates like any other traditional auction house. The high-cost items are sold through Rock Island’s Premier Auctions, of which there are up to three a year. These auctions do allow online building, as well as in-person, by-phone, and absentee bidding. I love browsing the catalogues for these sales just to see what they’ve got this time around, even though the items are generally well out of my budget. But hey, I’m just a writer, maybe you’ve got more to spend than I do. And not everything is outlandishly expensive anyway. For the more affordable items, you’ll want to check out one of the up to seven Online Only Auctions that Rock Island Auction Company hosts each year. These auctions will have more common guns, but they only sell guns in excellent condition, so you while you won’t get the selection you do with Guns.com or classified sites, you won’t have to pour through listings for guns in bad condition. Sportsman’s Warehouse Sportsman’s Warehouse is a little less firearms-specific than the other sites we’ve discussed. They sell gear for outdoor recreation in general, including hunting and shooting, so they’re a great one-stop-shop for shooters who are also looking for camping, boating, or fishing gear. And they don’t exactly have a shortage of hunting and shooting gear either. It’s not uncommon to find guns in stock at Sportsman’s Warehouse that are out of stock most other places. When they do sell out, they seem to get new guns back in stock pretty quickly compared to other retailers. And, if you happen to have a Sportsman’s Warehouse brick-and-mortar shop near you, you can generally just get the firearm you’ve purchased delivered to that location rather than having to deal with a separate FFL (or pay a transfer fee), so you can get your new gun even faster. You won’t find as many rare or high-end options at Sportsman’s Warehouse, though. For those, stick with EuroOptic. Sportsman’s Guide Sportsman’s Guide is kind of like Sportsman’s Warehouse, in that they’re more of a general outdoors website with a great all-around selection, but with particularly good hunting and shooting sections. I especially enjoy browsing their extensive military surplus section, which always contains some really cool gear and apparel. Like Brownells, Sportsman’s Guide has a membership program, which they call the Buyer’s Club. It costs $49.99 a year and gets you some great perks. For one, you get up to 5% off when you buy guns and ammo, and 10% off on gear (and if you also have the Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club Reward Visa, you get an extra 2.5% off on top of those savings). When you spend more than $49, you also get free standard shipping. Plus, Sportsman’s Guide also offers some exclusive members-only deals. Buyer’s Club members are also eligible for payment plans on large purchases, breaking the cost down into four payments. And if you’re not sure that you want to commit to a whole year, Sportsman’s Guide lets you try it out for three months for $9.99. That can easily pay for itself in just a single order. LOOSE ROUNDS There are loads of great online retailers out there, but these are the ones that are our first stop. Something to keep in mind is that there are also as many scam websites these days as there are legitimate ones. Good rule of thumb, if they only take cash apps like Zelle or Venmo and/or only take cryptocurrency, there is zero chance they are legitimate. Stay frosty out there and look for reviews if you’re not sure a place is good to go. 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