Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today we have an update on the prices of registered machineguns. (See the Tangibles Investing section, near the end of this column.)

Precious Metals:

First up, some analysis by Christopher Aaron: Silver Price Forecast: Continued Lagging Signals Caution


Stocks Rise as Trump Shakes Up Trade Landscape: Markets Wrap

Economy & Finance:

Several readers sent me this frightening headline: US Deficit To Soar Over 40% In 2019, Exceed $1 Trillion By 2020: CBO

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Next, over at Fortune, some commentary from Gary Shapiro: We Need a Reset With China, Not a Trade War

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Reader J.F. suggested this: How the Cult of the Colossal Imperils American Agriculture



Forex Trading: EUR/USD still sideways April 12, 2018


Tangibles Investing (Registered Machineguns):

Courtesy of the folks at Midwest Tactical, here are some current retail prices on fully transferable Federally-registered machineguns and auto sears. (Typical of what they have for sale.):

  • Registered FNC autosear $12,000 (Just a few years ago, they were $7,000)
  • Steel AR-15 Drop-in-Auto-Sear (DIAS) $39,000 (The days of a $25,000 steel DIAS are long gone. Even alloy ones now sell for $35,000+!)
  • M1918 BAR $ 28,000
  • M1 Thompson SMG $18,995
  • M1 Carbine (converted to M2) $7,250
  • MP5 Registered Push Pin Receiver $33,950
  • HK21E Belt Fed LMG by Terry Dyer $39,900  (Presumably a 21 that has a registered sear that could be used in other HK 9x-series sear host guns, as well.)
  • Ruger AC556 Folding stock model $11,900
  • M2 Carbine w/extra Stock, with all Winchester parts $10,995 (I was offered one that was even more scarce–made by International Postal Meter–for $2,100 in 1998. Alas, hindsight is 20/20.)
  • H&R M50 $6,495
  • Reising M50 $7,250

These figures show just how inflated Congress has made the Class 3 market. When they passed the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) in 1986, it included the last-minute Hughes Amendment. This part of the law froze the number of transferable registered machineguns in private hands. The only ones being made now are what are dubbed Dealer Samples–and those can be only possessed by Federally-licensed machinegun dealers. So there are now dozens of models–developed after 1986– that American private citizens can never own. I’d love to be able to buy an IWI Negev LMG. That will probably never happen. How sad.

The Law of Supply and Demand is inescapable. Unless the Federal NFA machinegun registry is re-opened, the prices of transferable Class 3 guns can only continue to escalate. I predict that in another 10 years, a steel  AR-15 DIAS will sell for $45,000 or more. That is a lot of money for a 2-ounce piece of steel!

New Jersey Democrat congressman William Hughes–a claimed “friend of the working man”–probably didn’t intend it, but nowadays the only people who can afford to buy transferable registreded machineguns are rich doctors and lawyers. So with the help of the Law of Unintended Consequences, Mr. Hughes ended up writing and promoting elitist legislation.

By the way, I described the economics of such legislation in detail in a March, 2007 SurvivalBlog article titled: How Federal “Bans”, “Freezes”, and “Price Controls” Spread Economic Chaos.


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. So please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often “get the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. In John Ross’ book “Unintended Consequences” the protagonist writes an essay while in college on the subject of how gun laws have distorted the economics of gun prices. The complete essay is in the book and it is a very interesting read. Brilliantly written.

  2. Silver buyers beware according to article? Silver prices right now are at wholesale or below if you figure what it takes to get it out of the ground and smelt it into some transferable form. If it’s goes lower it’s still a buy. I still like pre65 junk silver, or even the 40% 65 to 70 halves.

      1. “….not sure which years they were minted.”

        That’s kinda the trouble with those oddballs, isn’t it? Nobody can remember when they were made, how to distinguish them from 90%, and even when you find one, good luck finding someone else who understands its ‘fair value’.

        Personally, I wouldn’t go near those things.

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