Observations on City Life in Brazil, by P.R.

I recently vacationed in Brazil. Whenever I’m abroad, I always keep my eyes out for things that may be of interest to you fellow preppers. Brazil presented a lot of opportunities for this.  I do like theoretical discussions, but I really like to see how people in the real world cope with problems and issues that we may have in the future.  Looking at these real world examples can greatly help out own plans and preparedness. Although a fairly developed country, Brazil does have a larger economic disparity than the US, especially in the larger cities like Rio de Janiero …




A Sure Gain of 10% in 10 Days: Forever Stamps

There are very few investments that can earn you a sure 10% profit in one year. But what about one that will earn you 10% in just 10 days? That’s not just wishful thinking. It is a certainty that the cost of “forever” U.S. postage stamps will increase in cost by 10% on January 27, 2019. The cost of a First Class Forever Stamp will go up from 50 Cents to 55 Cents. This is one of the largest rate increases in the history of the USPS.  (The largest in Dollar terms and one of the largest, in percentage terms.) …




Making A Living As A Reseller- Part 4, by BIF

For those of you wanting to make the move towards self-sufficiency in a career, or for those who are just looking for extra income, I am writing about buying and selling as a source of income. I think with a little practice, anyone can learn to make money by reselling things. This is the final part of the article series where I have gone over my experience with various resources and techniques for reselling. Let’s continue with a few more steps in my sample. Another Tag Sale It’s another tag sale. This time it was a bank foreclosure on a …




Making A Living As A Reseller- Part 3, by BIF

For those of you wanting to make the move towards self-sufficiency in a career, or for those who are just looking for extra income, I am writing about buying and selling as a source of income. I think with a little practice, anyone can learn to make money by reselling things. So far, I’ve provided some background information and given some insight into pawn shops as well as ways to acquire inventory with no money or very little. Stihl Concrete Saw and Wheeled Carriage (continued) Let’s continue to look at an example of one ways I made money reselling through …




Making A Living As A Reseller- Part 2, by BIF

For those of you wanting to make the move towards self-sufficiency in a career, or for those who are just looking for extra income, I am writing about buying and selling as a source of income. I think with a little practice, anyone can learn to make money by reselling things. So far, I’ve provided some background on reselling from a theory perspective and information on my experience reselling, too. Now let’s get started with details. Let’s compare your efforts buying and selling to that traditional institution, the pawn shop. The Pawn Shop Over the years, I have spent a …




Making a Living as a Reseller- Part 1, by BIF

JWR is a proponent, with good reason, of living at your retreat and living your preps. He has also pointed out from time to time that it can be a challenge to obtain a job in the American Redoubt. They are available, but sometimes a job require special skills or a willingness to take a step down in your salary or career path. One thing he suggests is finding a way to make a living that is compatible with your lifestyle and available at your retreat location, whether it is in the American Redoubt or not. Buying and Selling As …




Gunsmith Training: Pistolsmithing- Week Four, by R2

This week I finished up the AGI Gunsmithing course on Pistolsmithing. There were a few surprises. Time I’m finding that the ten hours of video per week just isn’t going to be feasible for much of the course. If I’m dealing with firearms that I am already pretty familiar with, a single pass through the video is usually enough to get me going on the finer points. However, if the course is covering a firearm that I am not all that familiar with, and especially if I can’t find that model (or a similar model) of firearm to put my …




Gunsmith Training: Pistolsmithing- Week Three, by R2

This week, I continued in the AGI gunsmithing course, focusing on pistolsmithing. I’m really enjoying the course, though it is considerably different that what I had expected. Call From Gene Kelley Interestingly enough, I received a call from Gene Kelley, the president of AGI, to talk about the past articles and where I was going with the article series. Gene is a really nice guy, though obviously a driven person. The conversation only lasted a few minutes, but it’s worth noting that I did not receive pressure from him to say nice things about the course. One thing that he …




Tips On Buying Used Handguns, by Pat Cascio

I am no longer teaching NRA firearms classes, though I did that for more than 25 years, mostly giving classes for folks wanting to get their concealed handgun permit. During all those years teaching handgun classes, I had quite a few students ask me about buying used handguns. What To Look For When Buying Used Handguns They wanted to know what to look for. More often than not, I’d accompany them to the local gun shop and help them in selecting a used handgun and talk with them about what to look for in a good used handgun. I’m a …




Gunsmith Training: Pistolsmithing – Week Two, by R2

Last week was primarily learning about the Colt 1911, as much of the the design and function aspect of it can be found in nearly every gun designed. This week, I finished up the 1911 with tips for solving common problems and issues with it. With the 1911 being one of the most popular handguns in America, they are always there to work on (and fix problems caused by others as well.) Browning Hi-Power Immediately after the 1911 section, AGI covered another one of Browning’s masterpieces. While not completely of Browning’s design, since Dieudonne Saive, Browning’s apprentice had to finish …




Gunsmith Training: Pistolsmithing – Week One, by R2

Design, Function, and Repair This week I started on the core of the course. One of the things emphasized heavily in this course, according to the introductory material that I reviewed last week, was the essential of design, function, and repair (DFR). Design, Function, and Repair (DFR) To be anything more than a rudimentary parts swapper, you have to have a complete understanding of how the firearm was designed to work, how it functions, and what your courses of action are to make any sort of repairs or changes to it. Without understanding the design, it’s just a black box …




Gunsmith Training: Starting the Class, by R2

This week, I officially started the program. The first disc in the course is the student orientation disk. I realize that this is kind of an obligatory meeting, but I’ve always wondered why colleges and universities do this sort of thing. New Student Orientation When I went to college, the university had a “New Student Orientation” for every incoming student, and it always seemed like a waste to me. The new student is so overwhelmed that they will remember virtually nothing from the meeting. The paperwork handed out is what will be referred to. Even if you look at it …




Gunsmith Training: Unboxing and Familiarization, by R2

I started with AGI’s Professional Gunsmith Course – Level 1. This base course is listed at $4,997, but I have seen it with significant discounts on sale. I’m currently looking at a catalog that has pretty much everything in their inventory at a 30% off price. However, this catalog and its prices has already expired. How You Find Deals So how do you find out about these deals? Well, you have to get on their mailing list, for starters. Fair warning though, AGI is excellent at marketing, and they very seldom let a sales lead slip through the cracks. I …




Gunsmith Training, by R2

I recently began to wonder about retirement. I’m in my 50s, self-employed, and middle-class. My father worked for the same company for 45 years and retired on a comfortable pension, but I don’t see that happening to me. Unlike years past, there isn’t any real loyalty between employers and employees anymore and retiring after long years on the job is more of an exception than the rule now. To add to this concern, there is the reason I’m self-employed. I’ve never performed well under the thumb of a boss. However, I have been able to excel when working for myself. …




A 21st Century Tangibles Investing Rationale

I often have people ask me: “Why do you stress tangibles investing, Mr. Rawles?” In my estimation, tangibles always trump intangibles. I have three primary reasons why I distrust intangibles:: First: Nearly all intangible investments are denominated in fiat currencies. Because of this there is an underlying currency inflation, revaluation, or repudiation risk. Even when buying stock in the safest, most secure and impeccably-managed company it still has some risk when the investment is denominated in Dollars. Ditto for Dollar-denominated bonds. Ditto for redeemable life insurance policies and annuities. Ditto for business investments. Ditto for money market funds. Ditto for certificates …