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 SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today’s focus is on Iver Johnson Revolvers. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)
John Rubino: Three Things That Will Definitely Happen In 2019
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Economy & Finance:
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At The Economist: The return of gleaning in the modern world
In the past three months, the Dow stocks have dropped more than 14%. Just on Thursday (January 3rd) the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 2.8%, the S&P 500 fell 2.5%, and the technology-heavy NASDAQ was off 3.0%. Ouch! There has been great volatility all through the past month. I expect this to continue. In the next rally, I recommend getting out of any stocks or mutual funds that are part of your retirement nestegg. Only gamble with what you can afford to lose. At this stage, nearly all American stocks are a gamble.
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Tangibles Investing (Iver Johnson Revolvers):
Often dismissed as a “cheap brand” by antique gun collectors, Iver Johnson revolvers are finally being recognized for their good quality and practical reliability. Far from being cheaply-made, they were simply more plentiful than Colt and S&W’s small frame revolver offerings.
One difficulty for collectors is knowing which Iver Johnson revolvers are legally antique, per federal law in the United States. (That is, with 1898 or earlier frame production.) With Colt and S&W-made guns, it is a simple matter of knowing a “cut-off” serial number for each model, to precisely know the 1898 to 1899 transition. But Iver Johnson revolvers were made in batches with non-sequential groups of serial numbers. I’ll quote from my FAQ on Pre-1889 Guns:
Thanks to Ben Sansing for the following Iver Johnson (IJ) information:
There were three main models of Iver Johnson “Safety” top break revolvers. 1st & 2nd Model revolvers were built for black powder cartridges only. Continued use of higher pressure smokeless in these revolvers will result in them shooting loose, getting out of time, and parts breakage.
[JWR’s Note: So if you want to shoot smokeless in a pre-1899 IJ revolvers, you must hand load cartridges to match the lower black powder pressure. Use extreme caution and err on the side of lower pressure when working up a load.]
The 3rd Model was especially beefed-up, redesigned, and “fortified” for use with smokeless powder and is fine for modern factory ammo. Alas, only 1st (all) & 2nd (some) Model revolvers fall into the legal Antique category.
1st Model (1894-1896): SINGLE-POST top latch; leaf springs; cylinder “free-wheeling” when at rest
2nd Model (1897-1908): DOUBLE-POST top latch; leaf springs; cylinder “free-wheeling” when at rest
3rd Model (1909-1941): DOUBLE-POST top latch; COIL springs; cylinder locked when at rest
If you’ve determined, from the above characteristics, that you have a 2nd Model IJ revolver, here’s how to determine whether it was made before 1899 (and thus a legal antique) or not. Fortunately, Iver Johnson built revolvers by the “batch” system, and only changed & upgraded their guns once a year, so it is quite easy to determine whether an IJ is antique or not, just by cursory examination. In only *one* case (.32 small frame *hammer* model) does the serial number need to be checked. In other cases, you can “tell at a glance” once you know what to look for.
Pre-1899 2nd Model guns will exhibit the following characteristics:
Large frame (.38) HAMMERLESS: Separate hammer shroud on frame (shroud not integral with frame)
Small Frame (.32) HAMMERLESS: Separate hammer shroud on frame (shroud not integral with frame)
Note: Integral frame with shroud introduced start of 1899 production
Large frame (.38) hammer: Patent dates on top rib of BARREL.
Small Frame (.32) hammer: Patent dates on top rib of BARREL, *AND* must check serial number prefix (left side of grip strap underneath grip – Yes, you must remove the grips for this one): A = 1897; E = 1898; F = 1899. The easy way to remember: If it has an ‘F’ it FLUNKS the Antique Test.
Note 1: Patent dates were moved from top rib of barrel at start of 1899 production.
Note 2: All .22 rimfire IJ topbreak revolvers are post-1898 (The .22 chambering began in 1901).
All in all, Iver Johnson revolvers are worth collecting. And now that both antique Colts and S&Ws are getting priced up to the stratosphere, it is nice to know hat Iver Johnson revolvers are still affordable, for shooters.
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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!