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. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at Mosin Nagant carbines. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

It is Friday the 13th, but I’m not superstitious.  In fact, I’m wary of any day, in the frenetically-paced 21st Century global markets! Things can go badly very quickly, so keep your investments diverse, hedge into tangibles, set some firm stop loss orders, and be ready to move funds very quickly!

Precious Metals:

Main Street turns bullish on gold while Wall Street remains cautious on prices

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Barron’s: Gold to Surge in 2020 After 15% Rise This Year

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Arkadiusz Sieroń: This Is What First Lagarde’s Speech Means For Gold

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At Zero Hedge: Fiat’s Failings, Gold, & Blockchains

Economy & Finance:

Be prepared for the greatest depression, things to get uglier and very serious in 2020 warns Doug Casey

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At Fortune: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? What Happens if Trump’s China Tariffs Go Into Effect Dec. 15

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At Wolf Street: Fed Goes Hog-Wild with T-Bills, But Repos Drop from a Month Ago, and MBS Shrink by $22 Billion


Derivative Risks Rising: Sell-Off in Interconnected Mega Banks and InsurersJWR’s Comment: I advise folks to watch the unfolding crisis at Deutsche Bank and its insurance company partners very closely. This could very well prove to be the model for what will happen to American banks and insurance companies with large derivatives portfolios. As I’ve warned my readers since 2006: Everyone worries about stock market collapses, but the much greater threat would be if global derivatives were to implode.

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SEC Proposes Requirements for Funds’ Use of Derivatives and Other Transactions – December 2019


Silicon Valley giants accused of avoiding over $100 billion in taxes over the last decade

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Seven Ways Your Income Taxes Will Change in 2020

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IRS Releases 2020 Tax Rate Tables, Standard Deduction Amounts And More

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Here Are the 2020 Estate Tax Rates


Election results: Boris Johnson to win biggest Tory landslide since Thatcher as poll claims 86 majority. JWR’s Comment: I just heard on Sky News that the Labour Party will now hold their smallest number of MP seats since 1935! This of course will make Brexit almost a certainty, so we can safely expect to see a jump in the value of British Pound on the Forex markets. I hope that some of you readers took my advice and hedged into Pounds.

Tangibles Investing (Mosin Nagant Carbines):

One gun category that I should mention for both investors and practical shooters is Mosin Nagant carbines. Chambered in the powerful 7.62x54r cartridge–on a par with the oft-touted .30-06–these handy bolt action  guns are still moderately priced. The once huge supply of military surplus ammo in sealed ComBloc spam cans had dried up. But there is still a sufficient supply out there, making these carbines relatively affordable to shoot. It is noteworthy that both Winchester and Privi Partisan (of Serbia) both make non-corrosive 7.62x54r ammo with Boxer primers that it is reloadable.

Gun vlogger Hickok 45 produced a good video primer, showing the most common Mosin Nagant Carbines.  And don’t miss seeing Jerry Miculek shooting a Mosin carbine at 300 yards.

Tula Mosin Nagant Tang MarkingMy personal favorite Mosin carbine conversion is the Czech 91/38. This is because the post-war Czechoslovakian carbine conversions can often be found built on pre-1899 Czarist-era hexagonal receivers–making them Federally exempt! Another great one–although now sadly getting over-priced–is the Finnish Model 39, which is slightly longer. (One of these is pictured, at the top of this column.) These too can sometimes be found built on pre-1899 hexagonal receivers. Note that you will have to disassemble a Mosin to check the date stamped on the tang, to be certain that it is pre-1899 production.

Because these are hard-kicking guns, I highly recommend adding an inexpensive slip-over-recoil pad. By using one of these, you will save your shoulder, but you won’t ruin the carbine’s collector’s value and hence the eventual resale value.  (Please don’t saw your stock, to install a standard recoil pad!)


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 closely watch specific markets. If you spot any news that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers, then please send it in. News from local news outlets that is missed by the news wire services is especially appreciated. And it need not be only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!


  1. With all due respect for your great articles urging us to arm up, I have to say that I would take a Ruger American bolt action in stainless steel anyday of the week over the mosin. I may have got lucky but every one I have shot and scene shot groups 1 moa or better with federal blue box ammo. They did a great job with the engineering and while more expensive than the nagant by a little bit they are much more accurate and enjoyable to shoot. And they are becoming easily upgradeable.

    1. Big Mike:
      I’m NOT claiming that antique guns are superior to modern ones. Obviously metallurgy and design have advanced considerably. But I cannot give a modern sell or even gift a post-1898 to a niece, a nephew or a friend who lives across state lines. That has been Federal law, since 1968. Pre-1899 guns represent the Last Bastion of firearms privacy. Owning a few of them may prove to be crucial, in the next few years. Just think about the current leftist demand for “Universal Background Checks”, nationwide. Pre-1899s will most certainly be exempt. So they will become the ONLY practical cartridge guns that can freely bought and sold intrastate without a paper trail. And if the Chuck Schumers and Nancy Pelosis of the world do get their “Universal Background Checks”, I predict that the market prices of pre-1899 cartridge guns will double or triple, overnight. So they represent a great investment. Consider them a Hedge on Legislative Tyranny.

    2. a standard, no frills ruger american retails for 489 .
      I paid 79 for my mosin (over 10 years ago).
      So the ruger is significantly more expensive.
      I got 400 rounds of surplus ammo (in a sardine can) for 49.00, I picked up 3 cases.
      So 30-06 ammo (similar ballistics) is significantly more expensive.
      Mine shoots under 1 MOA.
      The ruger is not more accurate (let alone “much more accurate”.)

  2. Y’all are missing the whole point. These perfectly serviceable rifles have one attribute that no modern bolt-action has… the F-Troop doesn’t even regard them as firearms. No paperwork, ship them yourself, receive them from out of state… no form 4473. Perfectly legal.

  3. One should use a bit of caution when disassembling Finnish MN rifles. Often times they have sheet metal shims between the stock and receiver, held in place with the action bolts. The shims were meticulously placed to ensure accuracy. The Model 39 is the cream of the Mosin Nagant crop. The largest Black tail deer I’ve harvested (19″wide x 17″ tall)was with a 91/59 using Winchester white box (Prvi Partisan) ammo. I typically use a Marlin .30-30 for my hunting. An accurate MN rifle or carbine is more than capable.

  4. Unless proven otherwise in the field, I would not put a modern bolt action made for hunting in the same league as a rifle made for war. The modern rifle can be a total different animal even though it uses the same cartridge.

    I know folks who bought very expensive modern rifles that are known to be extremely accurate, yet when run hard, they fail to cycle the ammunition. A Winchester Model 70 could be an example of an exception, but as a rule, I would choose a rifle that is first stone cold reliable as can be made for war. All my rifles are given a test. Take your favorite rifle that you already have, and run it hard and hot as you can and see what happens. A light weight barrel on a rifle that desirable for hunting will get hot faster, and will not remain as accurate as it heats up, and a case might get stuck. Although I’ve never been in combat, I’ve listened and learned. I’ll take the weight even on a semi auto, as it will run longer than the guy with the pencil barrel on his AR. I have the heaviest barrel on one rifle, because the rifle will not be used to maneuver, but it will provide fire superiority, because it will keep going longer than the other guy. Better yet, would be a second rifle. Barrels do bend, or sag under their own weight when they get hot enough.

    I’ll take a fine Mosin, or a Mauser that will likely stay accurate, or be more consistent after the rifle is good and hot, because it be less likely fail as they have strong extractors, and larger chambers. Semi auto, or bolt, or whatever, all those new to you rifles in the box are unproven, and a few of them, even brand new, will have problems that you are not aware of. And if you got a great deal somewhere, test that one first. Many persons will sell their problem child to you at a discount. Or not. I have fixed many of those, and recently 2 brand new rifles, one an AK and the other is an AR. Do you really know what is in that box?

  5. Perfect Friday the 13th timing with the Deep State vote for impeachment this morning.

    I’m not superstitious but am re-reading Jeremiah this month.

    I suggest two critical items get added to you stockpiles soon:

    1) More food growing capacity or even just getting seeds for your sprouting container

    2) Shelf-stable long term fuel storage using PRI-G for gasoline and PRI-D for your diesel.

    Annual treatments, and tightly bunged containers full of gas with little remaining airspace, will remain viable for years. Shift your thinking from running full vehicle tanks of fuel to depletion, and consider critical things like running chainsaws, wheat grinders, garden tillage tractors with five gallons of fuel per year!

    Our fuel supplier sent a notice pointing out that while the US is producing oil for export, refinery limitations are a concern. They are vulnerable.

    One-liter containers of fuel will be very valuable.

    1. The impeachment thingy seems to have no teeth, but it could be a part of a asymmetrical strategy. It does not need to appear sensible. In the least it keeps their useful moronic minions spun up, and more likely willing to commit to extreme actions, even violence.

      So this is political theater that can serve a purpose that is not obvious. Matt Bracken was talking on InfoWars last night about false flags in this environment. And we have what is going on in Vermont. It is heating up, and Bracken would agree that this could be a “flash point”. Many are talking on the boards about taking a vacation to Vermont this time of the year. In proportion or not, once there is the appearance on instability, confidence in the financial system, and markets will decrease.

      Most visible would be a huge, and overdue correction in the stock market, a drop so dramatic that prices may blow past stop losses. I would not be on margin in this, or any market. Been there done that. I’ve done the high stakes gambling thing, extreme investing some may call it, buying on margin, plunging stocks right down to the bottom. That is either insanity, or courage to buy what you cannot pay for because you believe there is a bottom. There always is, but can you afford it? If not, you lose it all. I therefore know why Max Keiser can get excited. Markets are war by other means. Running around with your hair on fire is understandable to those who have been in those trenches. My biggest single loss would shock most people. But now I am penniless, and do not have to care.

      This market is not natural, it is not the same as I once knew. It was highly manipulated back in my day, and in ways few knew. It was corrupted by big money, hedge funds and whales who perpetrated enormous pump and dumps with huge naked shorting and contorting, and all other kinds of unmentionable obscenities going on everywhere. It was not only technical, and financial, but also as important, were other coordinated and sophisticated means, are the tools of the trade needed for the purpose of instilling, either greed or fear. Bottom line, it was mostly psychological warfare. Now running totally unabated, to frothing heights, an addicts dream, there is nothing honest about this market. It is machine driven, and something I do not understand. In my day, if you were feeling like a genius, it was time to sell. With prices this high, most are feeling good, and it has been a long time since they felt fear.

      So this impeachment thingy, the confrontation building in Virginia, the possibility of a false flag to set off an actual conflict, a stock market set to plunge during a time when the banking system is increasingly unstable, doesn’t look good to me. I was once a high stakes gambler in the biggest casino, and a participant on the greatest psychological battlefield on the planet. I would not be distracted by greed, or other cares of this world, but instead, getting right with God, and be preparing for real battle. It is going to be very messy.

      1. A market collapse and a Greater Recession are certainly a possibility, but as long as the U.S. Dollar is the LEAST UGLY OPTION for the foreign investor, it will not collapse. Money will continue to flow into our economy. ‘Least ugly’ can look pretty good at times. A better vehicle for foreign wealth to get into must come along before the dollar, which has spent a long time on the life-support system, will die. I believe that crypto-currencies or going cashless would lead to a complete lack of trust in the whole financial and money system because they can be so easily gamed. The only answer is using precious metals as a currency, or a 100% precious metal-backed currency. Until that day comes, the dollar-based debt system will continue to be used. The banksters likely will attempt to replace the dollar a few times unsuccessfully before they are forced to accept gold and silver as the new system. This is MY THEORY. Tell me why I am wrong.

          1. Hey T.Rabbit- thanks for your reply. I DO NOT understand derivatives. I will re-read the article you linked to- I read it years ago but no longer recall the facts presented there. Be that as it may, I skimmed the article and did it not recommend holding tangibles- specifically gold and silver ? I agree completely- after of course obtaining food, water, shelter, and the means to protect one’s holdings. So- we end up at the same place, notwithstanding my ignorance about derivatives and my skipping a step or two. Agreed ?

          2. Hi Nathan,
            Your post was the end of that thread. Hope you find this reply.
            Yes, agreed. You can’t go wrong doing what you are doing, but even if you do not understand all that derivatives stuff, just remember that the banking system that operates on a system debt/credit, can over night, stop functioning as a result. There will little or no warning unless you know where to look. Keeping an eye on the Deutsche Bank implosion would be helpful. Banker’s confidence in another bank’s ability to pay is key. And confidence within the system is decreasing. Been keeping an eye on D Bank before last spring, and it gave me a gauge and warning. The Repo market problem was no surprise….. the two are probably related…it is falling apart, and we determined that without knowing any of the what is really going on in the ‘back room’. The situation could be much more dire than we can see from the outside…

        1. You are 100% correct! Too many people are fascinated with pieces of paper that have no real value.
          You can tell them until you’re blue in the face but they won’t believe until it’s to late.Its hard to feel sorry for igits.

        2. Nathan, FRNs are quickly becoming undesireable to hold as Europe and Asia build payment systems other than SWIFT. The gold builds by Russia,China,central banks as a acknowledged post crash restart medium(only if in possession(Poland just repatriated its gold from London and many others are following,especially after London refused to release Venezuelas gold)). The lesson is the markets can be used for short term gambling but long term savings and insurance are in tangibles.

          1. Thanks TunnelRabbit and VT. I agree with you both. I have one other theory to ask Survivalblog readers about. WHEN not IF the price of PMs rise (or the currency collapses=same thing) the price of everything else tangible will rise proportionately- at least everything that is considered necessary like food, water, and ammo. Therefore if you are not able to buy a lot of precious metals, buy food, warm clothing, and other needed items. Their prices will be shooting up also. You will at least beat the cost of inflation or hyper inflation on them. And keep in mind that at current low prices of ~$17 per ounce, MOST people could scrape enough funds together to purchase at least one ounce of silver per month.

      2. @Tunnel Rabbit

        The reason for the impeachment is to save the Democrats from going to jail. Remember they have placed Michael Flynn, Micheal Cone, Roger Stone, and other Republicans in jail. There are many investigations underway now centering in on HRC, James Comey, Lisa Page, Peter Streich, and other FBI members for gross negligence up to and including TREASON.

        That is the reason for the impeachment! They all protect their own unethical behavior because, let’s face it, the Democrats dating back to the Civil War, all run on unethical behavior.

        1. Jefferson Davis,
          Yes agree, this is part of it, and why Trump must go, and at any cost, or any way they can pull it off! I seen this a coming before Trump was elected. These are extremely desperate, and therefore dangerous people, who have no limits. Literally. It is do, or die time for many reasons. They would destroy this county to avoid losing their power, not to mention that they would be prosecuted if Trump could. Trump is basically unable to get much done, but give him 4 more years, and he might get that and much more done. There is much more to discuss, but that would take all night…. What would they not do to get rid of Trump and avoid prosecution, or loss of power? Would they kill the economy somehow, if they could not assassinate, or otherwise remove him? Is it Article 25? Could they claim he is mentally incompetent? They had no problems railroading Roger Stone. I am sure they are considering their options, and stuff we cannot know about… I do know that it is a dangerous thing to become complacent.

  6. I bought three M44s from a shop that had 40 of them in a crate. I got to hand select my choices. One was a Tula arsenal copy. I laid it away but came back the next day with cash in hand, and the Tula copy was gone. Staff just didn’t seem to know where it went. I picked out another and that was my last purchase from that store. The rifles looked to be unissued. All were sighted in. With Polish ammo they hit the steel every time at 300 meters. I passed it around to all my friends when we finished shooting our serious rifles and even the skeptics were duly impressed….all could easily hit the 300m steel. I was very satisfied with my $179 per copy rifles. I don’t think you can buy a Ruger .22 for that price. The folding bayonets add atmosphere to the room when company comes, especially the ladies from the church auxiliary. I have to admit, I am blessed with a tolerant wife! Good ammo was only $.010 a round back then, but prices have risen in recent years.
    The whole point here is that “Quantity has a quality all its own”, a quote left to us by Uncle Joe Stalin. The clueless brother-in-law that shows up empty handed during hard times isn’t going to be issued a $3000.00 rifle. He gets an M44 or SKS…..after some serious instruction. Maybe.
    When I was about 14 years old, my Scout leader, an Army Sergeant Major with two combat tours in Vietnam, loaned me a 91/30 equipped with the PU sniper scope….a battlefield pickup he dragged home. He gave me two boxes of Soviet copper-wash steel core ball cartridges. My father took me shooting, a custom enjoyed every time we visited my grandmother out of town. When time to fire the Mosin, i selected a very large Hickory tree which was at least 58 inches in diameter…I couldn’t get my arms half way around it. One shot required immediate inspection of the tree and I discovered a nice exit hole on the far side. My first impression with serious .30 caliber rifle cartridges lead me to believe that war is very dangerous. Say what you will about the 7.62x54R, but it is not lacking in penetration or battlefield accuracy. It’s still bedeviling us in Afghanistan today.
    Most reading this blog know that Simo Haaya, a Finnish sniper, retired over 500 Soviet soldiers with it in a single year of service…using iron sights. It’s the operator, not the machine.

    1. The forgotten virtue of moderate speeds and a tough high sectional density bullet and subsequently, the unexpected penetration of just about everything you’d like to hide behind, is an advantage for those whom rediscovered the secret. Getting to know what the rifle can, or cannot do is very important information. Modern hunting ammuntion using 180 grain bullets would likely be the most accurate in the old 7.62x54R rifles. It is a dead ringer for the .308 Winchester 180 grain loading. There is little new under the sun and Mosin Nagant has been do it longer than anyone else. It is the best balance of accuracy, and trajectory in those rifles. Yes, it will kick harder, but it will do the best job it, and is excellent for big game. Sellier and Bellot 180 grain SP are popular for M39 shooters, yet for best results, get a sample each flavor with 180, or 200 grain soft points, and test fire them for accuracy in your rifle.

      The FMJ will be more reliable in the action, and are best for denying cover to those unaccustomed to the surprising ability to blast through barriers. Especially those weened on intermediate battle rifle cartridges. The heaviest load are the best loads for this purpose, and are usually the most accurate loads as well. A 150 grain 7.62 bullet of the same construction, does not compete with a 200 grain bullet in the penetration, or accuracy department. The FMJ are not allowed to be used for hunting as in comparison to soft point ammunition, will tend to wound, or kill inhumanely, that is slowly. Yet these are excellent for denying cover.

      Results from my quick and crude redneck penetration testing, involving pine tree stumps:

      .30-06, mild steel jacket HXP M2 ball (FMJ) a 150 grain bullet at 2,700fps (near duplication of 7.62 Nato) = 16 inches.

      7.62×39, Wolf ammunition, a 123 grain mild steel jacketed FMJ at 2,300fps = 14 inches.

      6.5×55 Swedish Mauser, original military ball (M94 Prykskytte) 142 grain copper-nickle jacketed FMJ at 2,500fps = 28 inches. It was difficult to find a stump this large. The average was 14 inches.

      Because the sectional density of the 6.5×55 142 grain is the same as a 190 grain .30, or 7.62 caliber bullet, and is launched at similar speeds ( 2,500 fps), the 180 to 200 grain 7.62x54R FMJ ammunition should perform in a similar way. Perhaps better. Those accustomed to the penetration ability of their intermediate cartridges, will likely not appreciate what a full power heavy for caliber FMJ cartridge can do. Having someone on your team who can blast though cover that was not removed from the field, could be valuable. Perhaps it could be some old and slow like myself. Aiming dead center is the best way to make the bullet travel the straightest line between point A and point B through trees.

      The bolt action is no match for semi auto’s, but it has it’s place if the table is set up correctly and it is supported. It should be deployed first for accurate long distant fire. This is where it will shine, and the ability to deny cover makes it shine some more. Employed correctly, the full power bolt gun, is superiority tool. Depending on your terrain, you’ll want either the fastest lighter bullet that is also accurate, or a the heaviest and slow bullet . In my case, because I only have 150 soft points, I’ll run them as fast as I can, or speeds approaching 3,100 fps out of another old war horse, the 03A3, using 65 grains of Superformance. But I’d rather have the slower 200 grain at 2,500fps. It’s the wind that get ya….

  7. Thank you, Tunnel Rabbit, for that observation. True indeed, slow, heavy .30 caliber bullets penetrate far more than one would expect, something I have re-learned in my experience with the .300 Blackout. Using 147 grain M80 ball bullets (steel jacketed, lead core) launched at a modest 2075 foot seconds, penetration in 3/4″ plywood was 17 thicknesses with boring regularity. Pine trees, up to 18″. Change the bullet to any species of expending types and the penetration was easily reduced by up to 50%. But then, that’s what sporting bullets are supposed to do…deposit kinetic energy into tissue, not preserve it.
    Loading a pulled .30-06 AP bullet into the .300 BLK was an eye opener. It would glide through a 28 inch pine stump or through 3/8″ mild steel plate at 100 meters. Any other bullet out of the Blackout would not significantly ding the same piece of steel at any range.
    Also, penetration at 100 meters seems better than up-close because the bullet has “gone to sleep” and is spinning on its true axis.
    The trick to super-penetration of trees is having a non-deforming core. And that’s where the 7.62x54R really shines, because most of the east European block mil-surp ammo is steel core, even if it isn’t true AP. A mild steel core, rather than a heat-treated tool steel core (real armor piercing) is surely better at the penetration game than any soft core bullet. Once the lead core FMJ turns into a banana, the game is over.
    Having seen many gun fights on TV, particularly westerns, where folks hid behind overturned buckboards and wooden doors as a kid growing up in 1960s America, the Hickory tree vs Mosin with Soviet ammo was a stunning epiphany leaving me bug-eyed for several minutes. “Ho-Lee-Cow!”
    Tunnel Rabbit’s exhortation to those used to intermediate military cartridges, particularly those most suitable for woodchucks and crows, was timely and spot on. Yeah….those “old” cartridges are still very potent and should be given great respect. Be nice to old people with old guns! They can be crabby (the old people) and their guns probably work better than yours.
    All good things must come to an end, and i had to return the scoped Mosin to its rightful owner. But i never forgot that Hickory tree so 45 years later, when I saw the nice Mosin M44s in the crate calling my name, I had to give them a loving home.
    I was gifted at a private military academy with many advisors returning from Southeast Asia, some with serious dents and scars. Some had fought in Korea, too. Their observations with the 5.56 round of the day (M193 ball) held that it rarely exited enemy KIA, and often spent bullets were heard rattling around in empty canteens. At under 150 meters, the M193 shattered on soft tissue and bone. But they usually went down and stayed down. Beyond 150 meters, they would go down, but would get back up.
    With the 7.62 (M60, M14) beyond 500 meters, they would go down, and they stayed down. A single round would easily penetrate two or more enemy. Most of my young peers didn’t pay much attention to the veterans, but I believed a free trip to Vietnam was in my future so I paid close attention to the grey hairs.
    American involvement in Vietnam ended during my senior year, and a loud cheer went up from the cadet corps when it was announced at evening mess formation.
    Love all the information sharing here.

    1. 16 inch verses 20 inch barrels and M193. M193 in today’s carbine, is not the same round when shot at full speed that it was designed for, and therefore does not penetrate nearly as well, nor tumble and fragment for effect as reliably, or as well it does in the 20 inch barrel.

      Having energy down range is also important. Because I not capable of much maneuver, I found a Norinco with a 21 inch heavy barrel ( MAC 91), a RPK clone. This provides several advantages, one being that there is huge gain of 200 fps, making it a sort of magnum 7.62×39, that spits out a much flatter shooting 123 grain bullet at nearly 2,600 fps, or a 154 grain SP at 2,400 fps. It also has a longer sight radius, and stabilizing weight that together improve the accuracy of the flatter shooting round significantly at 200 and 300 yards. It is also a game changer in that it can sustain the same rate of fire longer than the other guy. And it will remain more accurate while it does it. Every little advantage one can pile up, adds up. We do not want the same capability as the next guy, we want to do better, and have better. M193 out of a 16” barreled carbine will, according the Army, will half the time just zip on through. That is why the Army now advises to double tap as a result.

      The shorter barrel is more maneuverable, yet requires more ammunition to achieve the effect of a 20 inch barrel even inside of 150 yards. It is less efficient, and less effective, and there will be no resupply. Using soft points would be a huge improvement, but be choosy about which expanding ammunition would be best. Same goes for 7.62×39. Don’t play fair, and you might live.

    1. Granted, I am only an arm chair commando, but I do like to learn from others…a lot. I’ve found in my youth, that the time tested principle of ‘monkey see, monkey do’, is a great way to get started. And then I learned to read. In adult hood, I ran into the folksly wisdom from that oft quoted commentator who said to rave reviews: ‘some learn by reading, and some learn by watching. All others must pee on the electric fence.” Who was that author guy? I avoid electric fences.

      Design defenses to compensate, and favor your capabilities. Exhaustive battle field preparation will greatly improve the odds of success. Never stop improving. After the basic sculpting of the battle field to deny and channelize attackers, think Home Alone kinda of contraptions that keep them off balanced. I would find everything J Mc Donald ever wrote, but particularly the last two articles about security measures. Security will be job one, and it can get done even with inferior tools, because your mind is your best weapon.

      The most fire power for the money is a 12 gauge shot gun shooting 00 buck. I might go for a Mossberg with an extended tube with a flashlight that has a momentary switch. All I have is a late 70’s Remington 870 Wingmaster, but it does have modifed choke, and decades of muscle memory behind it. A riot , or cylinder bore barrel is okay, but I’d rather have a longer barrel with a modified choke to extend my range out to 50 to 75 yards depending on the ammunition. Regardless of what the tube holds, even with the longest extended tube under it that can hold up to 8 rounds, ammunition management is the most important technique to master when using a shotgun. Get Ghost Ring, or rifle sights if you can, and slugs will do fine out to 200 yards. However the least expensive pump 12 guage will do 80%, or most of what is most likely needed for about 200 bucks. A shotgun supported by a rifle is the best way to deploy a shotgun.

  8. Wheatley Fisher is right. Increase your food production capacities including seeds, shelf stable plant food (or food supplementation), and tools. Means of production are critical to long term survival. Be sure to bolster as well your long term food storage. We do not know when the next catastrophe will be upon us, but we can look out across the horizon and see many, many risks. It is wise to be as fully prepared as we can be.

  9. We are overdue for another recession (and for another depression). Will it happen in 2020? Maybe, if anyone really knew they could become the richest person in the world. Most likely anyone telling you tha the next big one is next year has done this their entire career. But there is something different now (actually lots of things different). The big thing still hanging over us is they never fixed the underlying problems of the 2008 crash. They pumped money into it and lowered interest rates to historical lows to keep the ship of state afloat. It succeeded more or less but the interest rate is still too low and that is because the damned problem is still there and if they bring interest rates to normal levels they fear the entire economy will convulse. The problem/solution/effect is that the only way to fix this is to let all the bad stuff go belly up, bankruptcies, losses, selling assets for pennies on the dollar and all of this over time, a few years at best, a decade or more at worst. If that happens it will be 1929-1941 all over again.
    Will this happen in 202? Not if the fed can help it BUT maybe if the Democrats can engineer it because it will get them back in power.

  10. Tunnel Rabbit makes an excellent point on barrel lengths and the 5.56. This round lives or dies on velocity, and while the 16″ barrel shaves about 200 ft seconds off the M193, the Army’s M4, with its 14.5″ tube reduces velocities even more. Add to this, the Army’s newer M855 round with its heavier jacket and heavier weight, fragmentation is greatly reduced. Although Dr. Martin Fackler claims the M855 is still capable of yawing and fragmentation, field experience casts a lot of doubt on this. The M855 was designed for the M249 light machine gun’s longer barrel, not the M4. Sandbox veterans tell me that double taps are often not enough.
    A friend of mine is well acquainted with a logistics specialist working out of a stateside logistics center. He received a request from a unit operating in Afghanistan for a pallet of the older M193 ammunition. Arrangements were made and the lighter, faster rounds were dispatched as requested. About a month later, he received an email from the requestor in theater stating that the ammunition had arrived and that the recipients could definitely tell the difference. I suspect the quicker twist of the M4 may have aided the thinner jackets in rupturing despite the slower muzzle velocity. I’ve had light bullets disintegrate within the birdcage flash suppressor on 20 inch 1/7 twist barrels that remained intact in 1/12 twist barrels of the same length. Flash and blast are obnoxious in short barrels.
    While the 5.56 is velocity dependent and quite sensitive to barrel length, the .300 Blackout is not. Whether used in an 8 inch or 16 inch barrel, its performance is much the same and easily out-penetrates any loading in the 5.56 on multi-layered barriers and tissue. The Barnes TAC-TX 115 grain all-copper hollow point, when fired from an 8 inch barrel, penetrates 22 inches of gel and expands to .60 caliber…at 300 yards. For a light, short carbine or pistol, it is ideal. It does not replace the battle rifle.
    As Tunnel Rabbit says, every little advantage helps give you and edge. Since all my direct descendent are girls, the .300 BLK offers a .30 caliber solution they otherwise wouldn’t have. it’s also a caliber that is easy to mass produce cartridge cases for with minimum effort, converting 5.56 brass. Say, 1000 cases in 3 hours. Any 5.56 case I pick up can be loaded for either caliber at my discretion. What’s not to like?

    1. Paul,
      That was some very important information. The Army advises that the carbine, on average, one needs to hit the target 5 times to stop the fight. I’ll be reloading 69 to 77 grain soft points with fast powder for a carbine length AR set up for night work. Because it has the excellent Smith Vortex flash hider, it is impossible to see now, and this package is easy to roll with from one position to another at night. But I would like better. The .300 Blackout would be better, yet this rifle might be also used for 500 yard shots, and possibly pressed into service with iron sights. 5.56 is the most popular ammunition in the U.S.

      For kids, or the fragile, the light weight AR-15 is great, especially if loaded with something potent. Looks like you’ve found it in the .300 Blackout. The problem with specialty loads it that it is either time consuming, or beyond the ability of most folks. If I was a hand loader or not, for a special purpose, or a rifle dedicated to a role that requires less ammunition, yet has the option of using affordable factory fodder, I would go with that cartridge. It’s a tough compromise and why handloading is good idea if one can get to it.

      Another option is to consider of the beaten path option. A Norinco SKS with a 16 inch barrel shooting either the Wolf brand subsonic 7.62×39, or the 124 grain SP’s, is an inexpensive second choice. Yet reloading is difficult for some. The more appealing ‘turn key’ option might be a near collector grade or knock off, M1 Carbine, that shoots the 110 grain .30 caliber bullet. That is unfortunately not affordable for most folks. For special applications, I could certainly go for a .300 Black Out in a short barreled AR-15 that leaves some room for a can or flash hider in the future, or a 16 inch barrel that soaks up muzzle blast, with a life time supply of this commercially made ammo:

      Problem solved. I like your solution. I would not want Grandma, or my kid to be without.

  11. I think everyone who believes distant bureaucratic decision making will translate into differentiation of a 1898 and a 1899 may also believe they could adequately defend their beliefs with either. We know for certain their goal is ~ “no evil” smoke-poles makes for a pliant people.
    Get in the Hive or left Bee-hind

  12. Tunnel Rabbit,
    There are things you can do to improve the poor performance of the 5.56, and you are doing some of those things. But no matter what is done, it’s a fragile .22 caliber bullet lacking the mass of a .30. The Army has been trying to make the 5.56 into a military caliber for 50 years, and has failed. I’ve shot a lot of vehicles from various angles, with many different loads and from different barrel lengths. Like Clint says, “a man’s got to know his limitations.” Surprisingly, even the 55 grain SP gets through windshields AND almost through 1/4″ mild steel plate sitting in the front seat! However, car doors are the nemesis of the 5.56, the first layer of steel causing bullet disintegration. Picture a thin jacketed copper bottle of hot (probably on the verge of being molten) lead with scored walls (rifling grooves), spinning at around 180,000 to 250,000 RPM. It’s just begging to come unglued before it even reaches the outer skin of the car door. Upon contact, the jacket ruptures and the core fragments inside before it reaches the inner panel. I’ve used plywood inside the doors to catch whatever gets through the inner layer of the door, and sometimes I’d catch a piece of copper glitter on the plywood. That’s it. The newer bonded LE rounds are better, but I’ve not fired them at vehicles- no one has volunteered one lately.
    But the 300 BLK, with 147 gr FMJs, particularly the M80 machine gun ball slugs by Winchester, zip right in unless they hit window crank assemblies dead-on. OK, shoot twice! The 7.62 NATO zings through both doors and whines off into the desert. Trunk areas….the Blackout doesn’t notice much. Through-and-through every time.
    I’ve set up three AR carbines in the Blackout, both 16″ with useful accessories. And then I loaded 12,000 rounds of 147 to 150 grain FMJ in my “lab”, and a few specialty rounds for game. Bought 3,000 factory 115 grain Remingtons that are OK, but they sure don’t perform on trees and utility poles like the M80 slugs. Since my property is dotted with Juniper trees, I want to deny sanctuary to trouble makers using them. Penetration is the sole reason I went to the Blackout in the AR rifle. Sure, I have six more in 5.56, mostly for training courses and other chores.
    MY go-to number is the M14. I’ve had a relationship with it from the age of 15 at school, and all serious rifles revolve around that caliber at my house. Standardization. i abandoned having a multitude of designer calibers around in the 1980s. .308 kills everything I need to kill, and further away than i have legitimate need to.
    One of my trainers, John Farnam, once remarked, “I’m sure you can hit your man at 800 yards with a .308, but you’re going to have a tough time convincing a prosecutor, a detective, a judge, and a jury that your target represented a direct and immediate threat to you.” The man had a point!
    So the Blackout, in my mind, is a superior brawling carbine for a fight in a parking lot, or anywhere out to 400m. The AR is adaptable to light, average girls, or normal people wearing heavy winter clothing. The M14 is not. It’s a man’s rifle.
    As a police beat car carbine, the 5.56 is pretty good BECAUSE it fails to penetrate very many walls. At normal police engagement ranges, it’s pretty effective if Goofy isn’t hiding behind a vehicle or tree.
    Inexpensive 147 grain “training ammo” for .300 Blackout is readily available on the net for anywhere from $.30 cents to $.45 cents a round in bulk, if you don’t hand load. I set up a single stage RCBC Rockchucker with a Dillon electric form/trim die to convert 5.56 brass to Blackout. A vacuum cleaner draws off the chips (most of the time). You can make a ton of cases in an afternoon. A Dillon RL550 progressive press does the rest.
    Remember those girls I mentioned? They often help with the chores at the bench, too. I just have to make sure one of them doesn’t run the powder measure dry during a run.
    I do have copies of the Kalashnikov and Simonov carbines, and I train with them in case I find myself having to use one, but they’re not my first choice. As my armorer says, “An AK is a great weapon if your first weapon was a spear.” Same with the Mosin Nagants. It’s not my immediate choice, but they have their place and I respect them for what they are.
    It makes no sense to stockpile a lot of ammunition, magazines, etc for a single rifle. Lose, damage, that rifle, and the expensive ammunition is a paper weight. So several copies of that rifle….ie, four or five M14s (you can call them M1As if you like, but it’s still an M14), and a few bolt action rifles…and you have some depth in your program in case gear gets damaged or lost. Same with the AR. Multiple copies for redundancy.
    Like you, TR, I’ve gotten long in the tooth, and have had 45+ years to acquire a lot of things. One of the reasons I can afford this is because I save a LOT of money avoiding smoking, drinking, gambling, spectator sports, golf, and other silly activities. Did I mention drugs? And, as I expected from an early age, all the guys I knew that used dope are DEAD. Just an observation. YMMV. At 64, I wake up in the morning and nothing hurts!
    I might add that my experiences with the 7.62×39 led me to dive into the Blackout. It’s a nice round, probably the perfect 300m infantry cartridge, but the Blackout works in the Stoner rifle. It also performs better than the Soviet round beyond 100m.

  13. VT,
    You may have access to better documentation on Simo Haaya than I have seen, but the commonly available sources have Simo taking over 515 “documented” Russians with the rifle, and something like 235 with the Finnish issue SMG. He used both, depending on the mission and terrain. Who knows how many weren’t “documented” or witnessed? The Kola River engagement, where they held positions on the bank and fired down on the enemy would have been a ghastly scene. He struck his victims from 25 to 500 meters and never used a scope. High maintenance and would require him to stick his head up much higher. Not much future in that.
    Somewhere around 1979, I met a “mature” couple in my church congregation who spoke what I thought was Swedish. They corrected me, and said they were Finnish. We were having a spaghetti dinner at the time. I did the math in my head, and figured he was the right age to have participated in the war. So I asked…..”What do you know about the Winter War?” His wife put her head in her hand as her husband started relating his experiences in a ski unit. I’ll spare the readers on the details, but it was a rich conversation. Fortunately, my 3 year old daughter was very focused on dealing with her spaghetti.
    History accounts allege that Stalin poked his head into Trotsky’s office to see how the Finnish campaign was going, and asked, “Comrade Trotsky….how goes the war?”
    Trotsky: “Oh, it’s going, Comrade.”
    Stalin: “When will we take all of Finland, Comrade Leon?”
    Trotsky: “Comrade Stalin, there are not enough Russians in all of Russia to take all of Finland.”

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