Skip to main content

Surplus Guns

High value carry guns don't have to be high price.

Surplus Guns

A friend gifted me the October 1960 issue of Guns & Ammo a few weeks ago. I thumbed through the pages and was intrigued by an advertisement for Klein’s Sporting Goods in Chicago, Illinois.

Klein’s list would make any gun collector want to invent a time machine. An M1 Garand costed $79.95. A Webley Mk. VI revolver was only $14.95, and an Enfield No. 4 Mk. T sniper rifle, with the original 4X scope, was $49.95! My personal favorite — the Smith & Wesson M1917 — could be bought for just $29.95.

Today, knowing that many can’t afford to purchase a new self-defense gun in such uncertain times, I began my own search for surplus bargains. After surveying the market, these are my top three used-handgun choices, in-stock and at different price points, making time travel a thing of the past.

Star BM 9mm

A compact version of the Model B, the Star BM 9mm is a slim, all-steel, single-action handgun that fires from an 8-round magazine. It’s also a serviceable pistol that resembles a Model 1911 Commander in 9mm, but lacking the 1911’s grip safety along with a few other design differences. Some 217,682 Modelo BM pistols were made by Star Bonifacio Echeverria, S.A., from 1972 to 1992. Initially sold to Libya, Rhodesia, South Africa and Spain, they were used in the Rhodesian Bush War, the Libyan Civil War and the South African Border War. There have been a number of BM importers, and Star reworked many of the trade-ins. Also interesting to note is this pistol’s popularity with filmmakers due to its resemblance to the Model 1911 and ease to convert for shooting 9mm blanks.


jgsales.com, $199.95



Cugir TT Tokarev, 7.62x25mm

Fedor Tokarev’s TT-33 pistol was designed and tested in 1930 as a replacement for the Nagant M1895 revolver. Its platform was based on John Browning’s FN Model 1903, and its design based around firing the powerful 7.62x25mm Tokarev — a cartridge based on the 7.63x25mm Mauser used in the Mauser C96. (Historical footnote: It’s been written that during World War II, the Wehrmacht used their own 7.63x25mm Mauser ammunition in captured Tokarev pistols.) The TT-33 served the Soviet Union through 1952 but went on to be produced (in one variation or another) by most Soviet-Bloc countries. Today, the 1950’s-produced Romanian variant of the “TTC” is the most common example for sale in the U.S. More than 75 years later, surplus Tokarev variants and new-production ammo are still widely available from online retailers at reasonably inexpensive prices. Although some are crude, these TT’s have a reputation for delivering great performance by collectors who enjoy shooting these guns.

aimsurplus.com, $219.95


Smith & Wesson Model 64-7, .38 Special

Like many surplus handguns offered today, these 64-7 revolvers are police trade-ins, and as is often suggested, were carried often and shot little. The S&W Model 64-7 is based on the robust and reliable K-frame, and the stainless-steel models were introduced in 1981. These revolvers wear a fixed ramped sight and grooved rear notch, and are chambered for .38 Special. The model number’s suffix “-7”dates the manufacture period after 1998, which means these guns are not very old. The 64-7 use of several metal-injection-molded (MIM) parts and maligned internal locking system prevents its collectability potential. However, with new Model 64s having the suggested retail price of $693, surplus examples are a very affordable alternative.

aimsurplus.com, $399.95



Going, going, gone!

The surplus gun scene is constantly changing. I procrastinated and missed the opportunity to purchase a police trade-in P226 and P229 in .40 S&W for $379.95 because I thought they might come available in 9mm. Friends, the lesson I learned is that if you think you might want it, don’t wait too long. 

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

Guns & Ammo TV: Wheelgun vs. Pistol

Guns & Ammo TV: Wheelgun vs. Pistol

In this segment of “Pros vs. Joes,” we put competitive shooter and author James Tarr against Guns & Ammo TV cameraman Nathan Wilt. With handguns, they see who can knock down plates the fastest on two Revolution Targets Heavy Duty Plate Racks. Here's the catch: Tarr has to use a Colt King Cobra in .357 Mag. while Wilt shoots a Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 in 9mm.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm has a unique and versatile multiple-­zero system and an erector assembly unlike any other on the market. The Z5(i) is an excellent choice for an all-­around hunting scope.Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm Scope Review Optics

Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm Scope Review

Tom Beckstrand - September 09, 2020

The Swarovski Z5(i) P BT L 3.5-­18x44mm has a unique and versatile multiple-­zero system and...

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review Reviews

Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review

Eric Poole - May 23, 2019

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.

The Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope is the first-ever riflescope to combine a BAE sensor, onboard recording, automatic & manual calibration options, multiple color palettes, and manual focus.Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope - First Look Optics

Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope - First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 02, 2020

The Pulsar Thermion XG50 Thermal Riflescope is the first-ever riflescope to combine a BAE...

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions. Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light Accessories

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 24, 2020

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick...

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

Langdon Tactical Technologies (LTT), a custom Beretta 92 gunsmithy, which has worked hand-in-hand with Beretta for years, released a red-dot optic (RDO) modification for these pistols.Langdon Tactical: Beretta 92 Red Dot Mod Handguns

Langdon Tactical: Beretta 92 Red Dot Mod

James Tarr - July 22, 2020

Langdon Tactical Technologies (LTT), a custom Beretta 92 gunsmithy, which has worked...

CZ is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the CZ 75 in 2020 with another limited-edition CZ 75B. As before, only 1,000 pistols chambered in 9mm will be offered. Commanding $1,720 apiece, this year's version wears a very reflective, high luster bluing over the artwork of Master Engraver Rene Ondra. Deep-vine engravings appear around the slide, frame and on both maple wood grip panels.CZ 75 Celebrates 45 Years Handguns

CZ 75 Celebrates 45 Years

Eric R. Poole - September 01, 2020

CZ is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the CZ 75 in 2020 with another limited-edition CZ...

The Ruger Super GP100 9mm revolver is a purpose-built revolver suitable for competition use. It's a race gun. It has a great trigger, high-visibility sights and fast loading capability. It would be an excellent choice for practical shooting disciplines.Ruger Super GP100 9mm Revolver Review Reviews

Ruger Super GP100 9mm Revolver Review

Keith Wood - August 07, 2020

The Ruger Super GP100 9mm revolver is a purpose-built revolver suitable for competition use....

The SIRT (Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger) Training Pistols offer realistic laser training.SIRT Training Pistols Handguns

SIRT Training Pistols

Richard Nance - September 30, 2020

The SIRT (Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger) Training Pistols offer realistic laser training.

See More Handguns

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now