FFL is a person who handles a firearms transfer when the firearm has to cross state lines. Typically you send the seller the money for the purchase, they send the gun to your FFL (a local person) and then your FFL gives the gun to you once you have passed the required background checks. The typical price for this service can vary from $15-25. FTF means face to face, meaning if you can meet the seller in person it's easier/cheaper to do the weapon transfer that way, because in person you don't need an FFL.1. When buying a used gun how does the shipping process work? I've figured out FFL means Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, but what does FTF mean? If I have a gun shipped to my local FFL will they charge me for this process? If so, what's a good rate?
The best thing to do when considering different sizes/styles of guns is to go to a shooting range that has rental pistols. You can then rent several of them and try each one out to see which one you like the best. You may find that the compact frame doesn't fit your hand very well, or that the full-size frame is too large. Also, you may find that the .40 round has too much of a fast snap and prefer the 9mm or .45. Rest assured though that as you own and get more familiar with whatever USP you choose, that any problems you have hitting your target are not the pistol's fault . So pick the one you are most comfortable with and then go from there.2. I'm leaning towards the USP .40. I'm undecided on full size or compact. Right now I have my grandfather's M1911 .45 government issue that was his service sidearm when he was a Provis Marshall in the army. It's quite heavy and a monster of a gun but I love it. The gun will be mainly used for personal protection and sport shooting at the range. Any big pros and cons to consider when deciding?
Safety position and also single-action/double-action are the two main things that the variants change. Here's a fantastic picture that shows all the possible variants and their specifics:3. What's with all the variants? Is it just the position of the safety switch?
There are any number of online retailers that sell pistols, all you really need to do is spend half an hour checking various websites that you can find via Google. Here are a few to get you started: Buds Gun Shop, The Armory, Impact Guns.4. Where would I find retail listings? A good friend of mine said he can get HK guns for nearly half off from his work. Would it be ok if he purchased a gun and then transferred it to me, assuming we did the correct paperwork?
Having purchased a handgun at a retailer recently, I was surprised to hear them ask me if I was buying it for another person (edit). I guess some criminals use people who can pass background checks to act as their proxy when purchasing a weapon, to get access to a weapon that they otherwise would not be able to. You may be able to get around this by having an FFL act as an intermediary, that way your friend would not be liable in the event that he sold the gun to you face-to-face and that was how you bypassed a background check.
I'm not saying that you are a criminal but if he really can save you a good bit off of the retail price of the pistol you end up with, it may be worth the $15-25 for an FFL fee to make the whole process as legal as possible.