Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news 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’s focus is on investing in antique Winchester rifles. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)


Precious Metals:

Gold Bounces As Fed Chair Powell Caves

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Love. Fear. Inflation…A Precious Metals’ Trifecta


Economy & Finance:

A fair assessment of America’s present-day financial pickle, by Gary Christenson: The Approaching Storm

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John Mauldin: A Worldwide Debt Default Is A Real Possibility

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At Zero HedgeThree More Strikes Against Social Security’s Already-Dismal Batting-Average


Stocks & Bonds:

Next, over at Seeking Alpha: Why I’m Selling Tesla Shares

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Treacherous Times for Bond Funds Ahead


Real Estate:

New-Home Prices Drop Nearly 7%, Supply Spikes to Highest since Housing Bust 1

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BREXIT May Lead To UK Property Crash And Depression



$4.6K: Bitcoin’s Price Revival Has a New Target. JWR’s Comment: Apparently hope springs eternal with some die-hard crypto investors. I’m not nearly so optimistic.  I trust in God, guns, and silver, and very little else!

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Renowned Israeli Crypto Entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg Accused of Misusing ICO Funds

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ICE Founder: ‘We’re Kind of Agnostic’ on Bitcoin’s Price


Tangibles Investing (Antique Winchester Rifles):

I’ll begin today’s discussion of tangibles with a general observation: In our modern age, all national currencies are fiat currencies. And nearly all bank deposits, stocks, bonds, ETFs, sovereign debt, and other financial instruments are denominated in those fiat units. That makes them all inherent liabilities or dependent on underlying liabilities in one way or another. Therefore, it is tangibles (including precious metals) that are the only assets that you can buy that do not represent a liability for any party.

With nearly any other investment, you are either dependent on someone else’s continued employment, a business remaining profitable, an ongoing crop yield, a bank or government remaining solvent, or some other positive performance. And even if there is tip-top trustworthy performance by those entities where you invest, we all face the systemic risk of most “assets” being denominated in currencies that are now backed by nothing. That makes most  assets also liabilities! In the face of that, the mainstream Financial Talking Heads are still obsessed with Dollar-denominated intangibles and they seem convinced that the markets will remain perpetually rosy. Lord help them when the system inevitably implodes!  As for me, I’ll stick to my guns. Speaking of which…

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I’ve mentioned Winchester-made firearms in this column before, but today I want to narrow in on the significance of antique Winchester rifles–that is, those with receivers made in or before 1898. An important distinction: Here in the U.S., guns made on or after January 1st, 1899 are legally considered “firearms”, but those made any earlier are Federally “antiques”. That puts them outside of Federal jurisdiction.  And that means that at least under Federal law, they can freely be bought and sold across state lines with no Form 4473 paperwork. (Your State and local laws may vary. Be sure to research those before you buy!)

If a Winchester is antique, it will usually command a 10% (or more) premium in price over an otherwise identical rifle that was made after December 31, 1898.

Here is a brief extract from my Pre-1899 Cartridge Guns FAQ, describing how to determine if a particular Winchester is antique or modern. In using the data below, for example, a Winchester Model 1894 with serial #147,685 is Federally “antique” whereas a Winchester Model 1894 with serial # 147,686 is classified as a “firearm.” Such are the whims of Congress…:

Winchester Rifles and Shotguns.   See:  for exact dates of manufacture on 12 different models.

Winchester Model 1866, all are pre-1899

Winchester Model 1873  (serial # below 525,923)

Winchester Model 1876, all are pre-1899

Winchester Model 1885  (serial # below 84,701)

Winchester Model 1886  (serial # below 119,193)

Winchester Model 1887  (all were produced before 1899).

Winchester Model 1890  (serial # below 64,521)

Winchester Model 1892  (serial # below 165,432)

Winchester Model 1893  (serial # below 34,204)

Winchester Model 1894  (serial # below 147,685)

Winchester Model 1895  (serial # below 19,872)

Winchester Model 1897  Shotgun (serial # below 63,633 — some sources say 64,668, but better to use the lower number as your guide).  That is a just a small fraction of the total of 1,024,700 M1897s produced!  A TAKEDOWN Model 1897 that is pre-1899 is VERY rare, since they were a factory special order item.  They command a big premium in price.

Winchester-Hotchkiss Bolt Action Rifles, all are pre-1899

Winchester-Lee (U.S. Navy) Straight-Pull 6 mm (serial # below 20,000)



SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. 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. I have never been crazy about Winchesters, but I have always done well buying and selling old guns. Of course you can’t be stupid about…buy low and sell high, otherwise you’re going to get skinned.

  2. Washington State law has no real exemption for antique arms, if it has a serial number it must be transferred through an FFL. Were I not in my mid sixties, I would be escaping to a more Liberty minded area. If there ever is a split , they should use the 509 area code line and liberate all of us outside the I-5 corridor.

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