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 time o’plenty for ammo! The .22 Long Rifle was available in late February at my Northern Indiana Cabela’s store by the thousands. Today at a Minnesota Cabela’s it was not quite as plentiful, but still on the shelves. My friend from Texas said that his neck of the woods the supply of .22 … Continue reading

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Letter: Bullion Silver Coins Versus Pre-1965 Silver Coins

Sir,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. So if you hand one of them to someone in the midst of a power failure with no access to the Internet for reference, 1-ounce silver rounds from any mint are likely to be mistrusted as potentially counterfeit.  It is likely that the first words that your trading partner will say are: “How … Continue reading

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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 $6,000 per Troy ounce.  It is currently slumbering down around $670 per Troy ounce, and you can buy a serialized one Troy ounce Baird Mint Rhodium bar for around $850.  (The minting premium for each bar is high because so few bars are produced, and because it is fairly difficult to … Continue reading

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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 outcome, right? Gun Show Arrival Get to the show early on the first day, so that you will have the most inventory to choose from. If you decide on going to the show on the second day you will find that everything has been picked over, so don’t waste your time. … Continue reading

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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 only our spare time and creating some additional income for our family as well. Below, I’ll share with you some basic information on essential oils. I will also tell you about how the business opportunity works. Essential Oils Essential oils play an important part in supporting your body. They are … Continue reading

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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 a useless piece of jewelry. Even if it did still work, it would prove worthless after the battery life ends, and unless you have the proper tools and a modicum of experience, good luck in changing your own watch batteries. What then? How will you, your group, or your family be able to coordinate … Continue reading

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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 gold would become an accepted method of trade and most non-preppers will not have silver or gold or may be leery of accepting it. You and I will need a form of trade or bartering to obtain the needed items or services or to increase your future silver and gold … Continue reading

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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 protection or for providing, will you know how your rifle performs? Will you know how to care for it? Perhaps most importantly, have you ironed out all the potential problems that use in the field can throw at you? This is a complicated piece of equipment and the chances of … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Storing Ammunition

JWR, 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 selection was smaller, so they must be expanding to meet demand. The best part about these boxes is that they hold the ammo tightly. No loose or sloppy ammo rattling around. And as such they pack tight in the green surplus ammo cans for storage. And these boxes are very sturdy. No cheap … Continue reading

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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. James, 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 2) live in a part of the country where licensing fees, FFL fees or the like are huge, then completing a ‘80%’ receiver is not worth the time. Even with the new polymer 80% blanks will take 1-2 hours to finish unless you have a real machine shop to work with. Just … Continue reading

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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 AK74 clone, chambered in 5.56×45 NATO, starting at around $675 , is the more attractive financial option at first blush. But again, taxes, background checks and licensing fees will still put you well in excess of $800. Further, this entry-level rifle’s supplied magazine is limited to ten rounds, with the inferior thirty round … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Advances in 80% AR Lower Receiver Technology

James, 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: EP Lowers JMT Polymer 80 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 individuals are allowed to manufacture firearms for their personal use without paying any Federal taxes or completing any Federal paperwork. Check your state and local laws to be certain, in your locale. Also, although I wouldn’t recommend it for OPSEC reasons, 80% lowers and parts kits are available through Amazon. Here is an example. Merry Christmas! – R.L.H. from Ohio

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