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. 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, we look at investing in scarce M1 Carbines. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

To begin, there is this at Seeking Alpha: Gold Likely To Soon Be Lifted By Rising De-Dollarization Surge

o  o  o

Gold Maginot Line Broken – Time to Buy Insurance

Economy & Finance:

Some demographics analysis, over at Zero Hedge: Meanwhile, Over On Planet Japan… (Thanks to H.L. for the link.)

o  o  o

The State of the Canadian Debt Slaves, and How They Compare to the American Debt Slaves

o  o  o

New Airbus Jet Spells Trouble For Boeing

o  o  o

Inspired by Deutsche Bank Death Spiral, European Banks Sink to Dec 24, 2018 Level – First Seen in 1995

o o o

Italy proposes tax on savings hidden in safety deposit boxes

Federal Debt & Deficit

Fed Balance Sheet Drops by $42 Billion in May, Sheds MBS at Fastest Pace, Starts the Reverse of Operation Twist

o  o  o

At The New York Times: Can Congress Avoid a Debt Default and $125 Billion in Spending Cuts?

o  o  o

The FRED figures: Federal Debt: Total Public Debt

Privacy and Financial Records Security:

Stefan Gleason: Three Steps to Making Your Personal Finances More Private in a Digital Age

o  o  o

Top Five Cyber Security Breaches of 2019 So Far

o  o  o

Reader DSV suggested this: Cash makes a comeback

Forex & Cryptos:

China’s May forex reserves rise unexpectedly to $3.1 trillion

o  o  o

Euro at Risk as the ECB Sets Up for a Dovish Policy Trajectory

o  o  o

The Economic Times (of India) reports: Euro’s global usage rises as geopolitics stokes dollar nerves

o  o  o

Bitcoin (BTC) Soars Past $9,300 in Massive Weekend Pump: Bulls on Parade. JWR’s Comment:  I noticed that the cost of 1 BTC was briefly above $11,000 USD on Saturday. I hope that folks took my advice, a couple of months back…

Tangibles Investing (M1 Carbines):

Nearly all gun collectors know that original, unaltered U.S. M1 Carbines are worth buying. But some are more valuable that others, simply by virtue of the production numbers from particular makers. In all, there were more than 6 million made. The most common ones found were made by the Inland Division of General Motors. They had the biggest contracts, producing nearly 2.4 million M1 Carbines. They were also the only maker of the M1A1 folding stock carbines. Keep in mind that pricing is an “all other factors being equal” issue–so condition is still crucial. However, those from the two smallest-production makers can fetch a premium that now exceeds $800!

M1 Carbine Receiver Makers (in descending order) Number Produced
Inland Div.  (Inland Division of General Motors) 2,394,510
Winchester 828,059
Underwood (Underwood Elliott Fisher Company) 545,616
National Postal Meter 413,017
Quality H.M.C. (Quality Hardware and Machine Corporation) 359,666
I.B.M. Corp. 346,500
Saginaw SG (Saginaw Steering Gear Division of GM, Saginaw) 293,592
STD PRO. (Standard Products) 247,160
Saginaw S’G’ (Saginaw Steering Gear Division of GM, Grand Rapids) 223,620
Rock-Ola 162,194
Un-Quality (Union Switch and Signal ) 4,010
Irwin-Pederson 3,576

Note:  Roughly half of IBM-marked receivers were actually made under subcontract by Auto Ordnance, of Bridgeport, Connecticut — well known as a maker of the Thompson submachinegun. Those ones have the letters “AO”  stamped on the bevel below the serial number.

Clearly, if you ever find an M1 Carbine with the receiver marked “Un-Quality” or “Irwin-Pederson”, then you should jump on it!  The serious collectors of Rock-Ola jukeboxes often look for Rock-Ola marked carbines, so those also carry a substantial premium.


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 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!


  1. I have been collecting WWII Carbines for almost 30 years now. Some are most definitely worth more than others. I would say on average if you can pick up any GI carbine that is not shot out or refinished for around $700 you will do well. HOWEVER, when you start to get into the big money, ie all original (down to the extractor), not refinished, not import marked, highwood I cut stocks, open up your wallet because those will cost upwards of $3-$4K in todays market. If you were contemplating buying an all original WWII carbine you had better know what you are looking for and I don’t mean you bought a book so you now you think you know everything. Carbine collecting is a very challenging task due to all the fakery that has taken place as prices have continued to go up. I have spent tens of thousands just trying to learn the difference between real and fake. I consider that money spent to be the cost of carbine education. Carbines are cool weapons with a huge place in history buy and enjoy but be very very careful of fakes and restorations! Good luck….

  2. I bought an M1 carbine, matching ser nmbrs from an old WWII Vet almost 50 yrs ago with the name Universal stamped on top of the receiver group. That’s all I know about it & I didn’t see it on your list in your article. Can U tell me anything about mine?

    1. I’m sad to report that Universal brand was a commercial copy of the M1 Carbine, made in the 1960s. They only have a few parts that interchange with the originals.

  3. Ironic that a web article giving tips about privacy ( requires a user name and password. This must be an invitation only website, because I can’t even get to the main page – – without a username and password.

    One of my pet peeves: webpage links to another site that requires a subscription or that I disable my privacy settings.

    1. Those were mostly refinished USGI guns that came back from South Korea. Many of these had poor bores. They don’t have much collectors’ values.

  4. Re: Canadian Debt Slaves

    I work up in Canada on a frequent basis and am always surprised by the houses and cars and toys the Canadians have vs. the advertised income they have.

    I asked a US friend who was up their full time and married to a Canadian woman how they pulled it off. He said the underground economy is big. Lots of people have underground businesses, particularly construction but many other things as well.

    So the ratios the article speaks of may be skewed by a lot of unreported income.

    Don’t know if this is true or not, but could explain things.

    I do get the feeling that Canadians are pretty good at making rules and not so good at following them. Which may keep the country functioning. Again don’t know if this is true but it is an observation.

  5. I recently came into possession of 2 m1 carbines 1 is an un-quality [Underwood] with a round top bolt and barrel marked Underwood
    the other is a National postal meter with a flat top bolt and Underwood marked barrel with a late adjustable rear sight
    Both of them are very good condition with visible cartouches and arsenal marks on the stocks as well as good metal condition…

    Can you tell me anything about them?

    1. IF those are both truly original, then they are worth at least $2,000 each, even in fairly rough condition. They are possibly worth even more. They are worth keeping in your family collection. If you decide to sell them, then it is probably best to get some great quality close-up photos and then list them on

Comments are closed.