Letter: Ammunition Versus Silver for Barter

Dear Editors,
So here is my ten cents worth… I believe in buying silver bullion now, but dumping it when spot silver hits $30, $40, or $50 per ounce. If you are buying now, then a $20 per ounce (or more) gain per ounce is far better than most any other investments. In fact, I would be happy to sell my bullion at $3 below spot, when silver is $40 an ounce! Remember, if things get really bad, you can’t eat gold or silver. In my estimation U.S. pre-1965 silver coinage is apropos for what I would call the intermediate breakdown. But later, brass and lead will become the dominant currency. 
Ammo you buy and store [in proper ammo cans] will most likely be fine long after you who are reading this have passed away.

It depends where you are, but in my recent experience it is … Continue reading

Letter: Bullion Silver Coins Versus Pre-1965 Silver Coins

I understand the need to have silver [available for barter] for the coming economic problems.  I have been obtaining silver Maple Leafs rather than pre-1965 US coins, mainly because they are less expensive [per ounce of silver].  However, many people I know and and bloggers say that people should have pre-1965 coins.
To me when things get bad and the silver is used, it will be harder to explain the value of pre-1965 coins to normal people versus a 1 ounce silver coin.

Is there a reason I am missing that pre-1965 coins are best? – JES

JWR Replies: For anyone who lives in the United States, pre-1965 mint date 90% silver coins are still the clear choice for barter in the midst of an economic collapse.  To your average middle class suburbanite, a .999 fine silver round is a novelty.  Most people are not familiar with them. … Continue reading

Rhodium: The Overlooked Precious Metal

The recent re-emergence of precious metals in the public eye has been underscored by an unprecedented divergence in the spot prices of gold and platinum. Traditionally, platinum has sold at a premium above the price of gold. But in today’s topsy-turvy financial world, platinum now sells at a deep discount below gold. (This is in part because platinum is considered more of a industrial metal, whereas gold is both an industrial metal and a monetary metal.)  As I’m drafting this, I see that gold is selling for around $1,200 per ounce, while platinum is just $915 per ounce. This disparity has led some to shout: “Forget gold, buy platinum!”  This approach has merit, but I’d take it a step further, and say: “Forget gold and platinum, buy rhodium!”  (Rhodium is more rare than platinum, yet is currently priced lower.)

As recently as seven years ago, rhodium was selling for … Continue reading

Gun Show Tips and Tricks, by Prepper Ray

By now, many of you reading this should have attended a few gun shows. If not, you should go to one. All across the country these shows are meccas for shooting enthusiasts, survivalists, and gun collectors. Gun shows are great places to pick up items that you just can’t find anywhere else. But be warned, you won’t always get the best deal at a gun show unless you have the right tools and information before arriving at the show.

Here are a few tips and hints along with a little insider information so that you can get the most out of your next show. I have worked the gun show circuits in the Southeast for six years as a dealer and I have learned that the customers that are best prepared usually get the best deals. Of course you should already know that being prepared always has a better … Continue reading

Taking Control of Your Health and Your Pocketbook at the Same Time, by RWL

[Editors note: This article contains information about a multi-level marketing system. There are generally two ways to look at these programs. If you like the products, you usually get a discounted price if you are a reseller. If you are looking at some sort of income, understand that marketing is a skill and not everyone excels at it. There is generally a “buy-in” to a sales program and if you are not motivated, you will lose your investment. Multi-level marketing in particular depends on people selling below you. If you don’t recruit sellers, you have to work harder for your money. For some, it works well, for others, it is a dismal failure. Consider yourself warned.]

About a year ago my wife and I got started using essential oils. During this time, we have enjoyed countless benefits and improvements to our health. In addition, a home-based business also emerged using … Continue reading

Time “OUT”, by K.T.

Any serious survivalist has thought through numerous scenarios and situations, right down to the most seemingly insignificant minutiae. I have been engaged in various stages of “preparation” for over 40 years now. Over the last 20 years or so, I have noticed that the vast majority of the public, in general, counts on assorted digital gimmickry to keep track of time. As a result, many people now do not even wear a wristwatch; they just pull out their ever-present cell phone to see what “time” it is.

Of those who do wear a wristwatch in the traditional style, an ever-increasing number of watches are of the quartz variety and dependent on a battery to operate. For those of us who consider the possible consequences of TEOTWAWKI, such as an EMP event caused by nature or by man, one’s battery-operated watch would eventually, if not immediately, become … Continue reading

Cottage/Local Manufacturing After SHTF, by S.T.

Post-SHTF America will see the end of the current modern centralized-style of mass manufacturing and all of the poor-quality foreign imports. However, it will also see the rise of the new, local, home-based and small-scale manufacturing of local, functional, non-electric, and reusable items that will replace all of the electric, disposable, and toxic items that are purchased and used now.

Unless you have a group that includes two doctors (a doctor cannot operate on himself), two dentists (a dentist can’t fill his own teeth), a nurse, a pharmacist, and a herbalist, as well as the teens to act as apprentices, you will need to provide some things in the future for you and your family or mutual aid group through the outside world of your homestead. Your paper dollars will be worthless as will all of your bank accounts and paper investments. It will be some time before silver and … Continue reading

Firearms: Understanding the Performance of Your Rifle Through Trials and Tribulations

Many times, we get so caught up in buying our toys and getting them out of the package to play that we don’t pay attention to the fine details that really matter. It’s no surprise that prepping has generally been all about more, bigger, and better firearms and ammunition. Yet, there is so much to be learned about the proper use and care of your firearms that becomes lost on the average person. Many times we buy the gun, we get it out of the package, throw all of our tacti-cool stuff on it, maybe shoot it a few times, and then we lay it in a closet without another thought. We check off the box for “protection” and move on. Yet, this is the piece of the puzzle that we rely upon to save our lives and protect our families and belongings. When the time comes, whether it’s for … Continue reading

Letter Re: Storing Ammunition

I’ve been reloading for almost 30 years and have tried many solutions for boxing up all the ammo including bulk in zip lock bags as well as just filling ammo cans and of course hard plastic boxes. If it’s made, I’ve tried it and nothing really worked well nor are they very compact. Until now. I have stumbled on RepackBox.com and found their cardstock boxes great. So far I’ve loaded 5.56, 7.62×39, 9mm and .45 ACP. 

What I like is their boxes are made so the quantity will fit most standard magazines…i.e., the 5.56 box holds 30 rounds as does the 7.62×39. The 7.62×51 holds 20…just right to fit your FAL, M1A or PTR91 Their pistol boxes hold 50 rounds.

The only limiting thing is that they only make .223/5.56, 7.62×39, 7.62×51, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. But when I first started buying them they … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: Building Your Own No-FFL AR From an 80% Complete Receiver

Dear JWR,
Regarding the recent article by “Nomad”: I strongly urge all AR-15 owners to get an 80% complete lower receiver, even if you do not finish it now.  [Under American jurisprudence,] if gun confiscation comes, the only thing that must be turned in is the stripped lower receiver.  The BATFE recognizes that the stripped lower receiver constitutes the firearm as it contains the serial number.  The rest IS NOT a “firearm”, by their own regulations.  With the non-registered (as per regulations, again) lower receiver, you can build a fully functioning AR-15 that is not on their books. – Carl X.

The letter on building your own AR-15 with a 80% receiver prompted me to write. I work for an FFL, and have lived through the four panic buying periods since Bush the First’s”Assault Weapons” import ban.

First: Unless you 1) work a sub-minimum wage job, and/or … Continue reading

Building Your Own No-FFL AR From an 80% Complete Receiver, by Nomad

We live in very uncertain times. For some people, myself included, those times of uncertainty include anything from some financial hardship, to total economic ruin. In knowing this simple truth, I am inspired to share my knowledge and expertise concerning firearms preparedness: in particular, the AR-15 platform and a truly inexpensive option to owning one that is on-par with buying a much less versatile bolt-action rifle.

For many of us struggling to make ends meet, an entry-level AR-15 is priced far beyond anything we can hope to afford. Starting at around $800 before background checks, taxes and licensing fees, the total might as well be a million dollars. Add to that the burdening need to oftentimes add some type of reliable optic or sighting system that many entry-level rifles do not include, and most of us are priced right out of the building.

Of course, the Saiga Continue reading

Letter Re: Advances in 80% AR Lower Receiver Technology

There have been some interesting developments in the world of 80% complete AR lowers. The following are some companies that are producing beefed up AR-15 carbon fiber or polymer lowers that can be completed more easily than their older generation aluminum relatives:

Another innovation is a jig that allows a hand router to be used to mill out the control pocket of an AR-15 80% aluminum lower.

As many of your readers already know, the lower receiver is the part with a serial number that the BATF considers a “firearm.” However, an 80% lower is not considered a firearm by the BATF. As a result,[in most states] anyone who can legally own a firearm can purchase an 80% lower without going through an FFL, and unencumbered … Continue reading

Letter Re: Firearms Selection for Times of Ammunition Shortages

Dear JWR,
Last spring, with the ammo shortage clearing the shelves everywhere, I found myself in a position to expand my collection.  I decided on a Ruger .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk, with the 7" barrel.  Legal for whitetail in my state, you see.  Having neglected to actually check the retail supply, I assumed that the shortage would be primarily the military calibers (9mm Para, .45 ACP, 5.56mm NATO, .308, and 7.62x39mm) with the civilian calibers being readily available.

Experienced wheelgunners are already laughing.  Took me a month to track down 100 rounds of basic .44 Magnum.  Eventually, diligent checking at Wal-Mart (I work nights, what else is open at 5 AM?) landed me another 200.  Over the rest of the summer.  Usually buying the one remaining box of 50 rounds.

Things started to loosen up a bit here, and I picked up a S&W in .357, as … Continue reading

Letter Re: Which Ammo to Stockpile?

Dear Sir,
When stockpiling ammo, should one focus on FMJ and soft nose/hollow points or FMJ only?  FMJ is a better value per bullet, plus it’s supposed to be a lot more accurate and reliable than SP/HP, but of course, it sometimes comes at the cost of stopping power.

I’m packing a semi-auto in 308/7.62×51, and to my knowledge, there haven’t been many complaints about the stopping power of the 7.62×51 ball cartridge in military circles; many complaints come mainly from the kick and weight.  Add to that the fact that after TEOTWAWKI, shooting through cover and mass fire will become the norm and FMJs look pretty appealing.  Not to mention the fact that most bulk sizes of ammo only come in FMJ.

I’ve been stocking both so far, but with money getting a bit tight, I’m looking at switching over to just FMJs, so … Continue reading

Cleaning and Lubricating Your Lead Launcher, by Keith H. in Ohio

In the course of most firearms related articles there is the usual debate over caliber, brand names, action types, magazines, super-duper sights, LED lasers/lights, savvy slings, hot holsters and of course the great rail debate. Very little is written on the after effects of all that lead launching other than the firearms needs cleaned. In reality most shooters should spend as much, if not more, time cleaning and maintaining their firearms then they did actually tripping the trigger. The vast majority of shooters I see at public ranges and gun clubs do not even bring rudimentary cleaning and firearm maintenance gear with them to the range.

Countless times I have been at the range where someone brings their new or “kit” AR and they under lube it and have an extraction failure of a spent case or it bogs down with a dry bolt carrier group. New ARs are usually … Continue reading