I know you can get a new one for $399 but by the time you deal with FFL transfers, shipping etc, $430 for a hardly used one seems fine. Question is, being used, will the warranty fallow the pistol when I buy it?
I called S&W specifically to ask them that question. The guy first told me that it was the original owner, then said that it 'depends' on the condition, amount of usage, etc. He was purposefully vague. I decided not to take a chance (and some other things didn't work out) and so I bought mine new.
How would Smith know who the original owner was? They don't require a receipt for service. Do you really think they're going to check the registry database for each return? You could always just say it was originally gifted to you, but you decided to register it later because you're such a stand-up guy.
Well this is not official, but in general firearms lifetime warranties are to the original purchaser, but the company will perform any reasonable service for the life of the firearm because it's an inherently dangerous item and they do not want to be held liable for returning to you something that is known to be defective in design or manufacture.
Unlike the firvilous lawsuits brought against firearms manufacturers, that would be flirting with a legitimate product liability suit.
How far a manufacturer will go varies. BAsically all with lifetime warranties will fix something minor if parts are still in production (i.e. broken extractor, etc). IF it is major, some may offer you a heavily discounted refurbish service rather than fix it straight out (i.e. you shot it enough to wear out the barrel). If the parts or gun are no longer being manufactured, and the damage is from normal use, they will often offer to replace it with something newer if you don't want the broken gun as an heirloom (once again possibly charging you). If you keep it they will usually issue you a letter stating it is broken and not to be used.
For something as new as the M&P, I doubt there would be any issues. THe only possibility would be a major lemon that had been back and forth between S&W and a PITA customer with a bad attitude.
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