Letter Re: What Are the Best Magazines for Investment?

Dear JWR:
I took your wise advice posted in the blog back in October and stocked up on magazines for all my guns. I ‘ve even bought some mags [for other guns] that I just plan to buy, such as M14 magazines for my eventual super match M1A buy. But what I’m thinking is, I should also do is by even more magazines just “on spec”, knowing that with Obama coming in[to office, that] a ban of some sort is more likely that not. What types/model high capacity magazines would be best to invest in, for the most possible gain?

I love your blog. I read it almost every day. I recently “did the honest thing” and became a Ten Cent Challenge subscriber. (I’m the one that sent you a roll of silver Mercury dimes.) Thx, – Pat H.

JWR Replies: First, I must mention: I refuse to use the term “high capacity” magazine. As our friend Boston T. Party correctly pointed out, “High capacity” is a political term, designed to foster dislike and distrust by the Generally Dumb Public (GDP). The correct term should be “full capacity“. What is being foisted upon us by the Barbara Boxers and the Chuck Schumers of the world are 10 round reduced capacity magazines. A limitation to anything less that full capacity is a diminution of our full and proper right to keep and bear arms. Further, from a practical standpoint, speaking as someone that lives in grizzly bear country, don’t ask me to carry just a 10 round magazine in my XD .45, when I could have 15 or more cartridges. It conceivably might take more than 10 rounds of .45 ACP to stop a charging grizzly. And I have serious doubts that Mr. Ursus A. Horibilis will stop and wait patiently if I yell “Time out, while I reload!”

For investment, I recommend that you concentrate on magazines for popular European high capacity pistols, such as Beretta, Glock, SIG, and HK. The greatest gains will be seen in magazine prices for models that have just recently been introduced and for which there is now just a scant supply in the country. Magazines for the new Springfield Armory XDM (“M” as in Mega capacity–this latest model holds 19 rounds!) would be another good choice. Although Springfield Armory is an American company, their XD series pistols and magazines are imported from Croatia. If there is an import ban enacted early in Obama’s first term, I expect all XD magazines to at least triple in price, and XDM magazines to perhaps quintuple in price. I’m not kidding.

The SIG P250 is another perfect example. Here is a gun that was only recently introduced. Its magazines do not interchange with pistols from other makers. The majority of new P250 owners presently have just one or two spare 9mm magazines, and no spare .40 or .357 SIG magazines. (The pistol is modular, allowing it to be quickly converted to other calibers.) If and when an importation ban is enacted, these owners will be screaming for magazines. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the price of spares to jump to $125, or more. If you think that P250 magazines are currently scarce and expensive, at $43 each, just wait a year. If a ban is indeed enacted, these magazines could be a tremendous investment. But even if there is no ban, even as a commodity these magazines will be a good hedge on future inflation. (Under those circumstances, don’t expect them to gain value, but as a practical tangible they will at least hold their value, even in the blistering heat of mass currency inflation.)

Another good example is the 31-round “Glockamole” magazine made for the Glock Model 17, 18, 19, and 26. These magazines jumped from $30 each to a whopping $150 each during the 1994-to-2004 Federal magazine ban. Three months ago–when I bought my pile for investment–they were $27 each. They’ve just recently jumped to around $50 each. I expect them to at least double again in price, if a new ban is enacted. In fact, even standard magazines for Glock are likely to at least double in price, and probably go even higher.As evidence, I can cite that when the last ban was enacted, the price of 17 round Glock Model 17 magazines jumped from $18 to $75 each.

Again, IMHO, at present your investing emphasis should be on imported full capacity magazines, since an import ban could be put in place with nothing more than an an executive order.