Dear Mr Rawles:
I was wondering how you felt about having a few trade guns on hand? Over the years of horse trading and estate sales et cetera, I have picked up a couple of [M1] Carbines, Mini-14s, old Model 1911 pistols, and so forth. Should I dump them now or hang on to them to barter with in bad times? Or even give out to friends and family when needed? Thank you and please keep up the good work. I’m an every day reader.- J.H.
JWR Replies: I highly recommend that unless you are severely short on key logistics (such as storage food) that you retain most of those spare guns. Keep all of them that are in common, man-stopping calibers. Sell off (or trade) any that are in marginal calibers (such as .380 ACP or .30 U.S. Carbine), or any that are in obsolete or oddball calibers that are not commonly available. For determining what constitutes commonplace, I use the “Wal-Mart Test”: If it is a caliber that they have on the shelf at your local Wal-Mart, then consider it commonplace.