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. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at The Ammunition Drought of 2020. Gun store shelves were very well-stocked in February. But they now look barren. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Mike Gleason: “Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note

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Neils Christensen: We are watching history unfold. Here is a snippet:

“The rally this past month has been incredible; the gold market is up more than 10%, its best monthly gain in eight years.

Although the gold market is looking a little overheated analysts have noted that there are strong fundamental reasons why gold is now making its historic move. Investors should expect to see significant volatility as gold trades in uncharted territory but analysts have said that everyone needs to keep an eye on the long-term picture.

The reality is that in the current environment, where real U.S. 10-year yields are -1%, gold is the last bastion of safety for many investors.”

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: A Quarter Of All Household Income In The US Now Comes From The Government. JWR’s Comments:  Face it, folks: We’re already in an early stage of The Second Great Depression. This is just the Denial Stage.  Get ready for some serious turmoil, disruption, dislocation. The real layoffs, foreclosures, and evictions have not yet begun. But they soon will.

o  o  o

Confession Time for Big Banks in Europe: Banco Santander Reports $12.7 Billion Loss

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Also at Wolf Street: Average Age of Cars & Trucks on the Road Sets Record, Will Jump During Pandemic as New-Vehicle Sales Plunge to 1970s Level

Equities:

Why the Next Market Plunge May Be Worse Than the February Crash

o  o  o

Boeing Posts Massive Loss, Burns $5.3 Billion As Aircraft Production Slows And Debt Explodes

o  o  o

“Markets Have Turned Into The Most Astounding Circus The World Has Ever Seen”

Forex & Cryptos:

Reuters: Dollar rises but posts biggest monthly drop in a decade

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Turkey in 2nd Currency Crisis in 2 Years. Lira Hits Record Low

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With Bitcoin Gaining Ground, Is the Altcoin Season Coming to an End?

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Cryptojacking Attacks Are Seriously Underestimated, Says BlackBerry VP

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Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Explodes Past $11k, Ethereum 2.0 Nears, Cardano’s Shelley Launches

Tangibles Investing (The Ammunition Drought of 2020)

They’re rightfully calling it The Ammunition Drought of 2020. JWR’s Comments:  From all reports, it is going to get worse, before it gets better. Some cartridges such as 9mm Parabellum, .45 ACP, and 5.56mm NATO are now very difficult to find, and many others will quickly follow, and sell out. Also, be advised that “re-pricing” to reflect higher dealers’ replacement cost has become the norm. Ouch!

My advice is to prowl the gun shows, gun shops, the Internet, and yard sales, and stack it deep.  One good tool is www.AmmoSeek.com. I expect the next phase of the Ammo Drought to include most deer rifle cartridges, .22 rimfire, and reloading primers. Stock up now, while they are still available. I’d also recommend these “coping” mechanisms:

  • Do more handloading
  • Buy .22 LR subcaliber training kits for pistols and ARs.
  • Buy spare pistol slide assemblies with barrels and AR uppers in odd calibers. If you buy a spare pistol slide assemblies with barrel in .40 S&W for your Glock, then you can keep it running, even when 9mm ammo can’t be found.
  • Consider buying a couple of spare guns in odd calibers.  For example, I’ve noticed that .17 HMR  and .204 Ruger are still widely available.

Provisos:

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 closely watch specific markets. If you spot any news that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers, then please send it in. News items from local news outlets that are missed by the news wire services are especially appreciated. And it need not be only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!




61 Comments

  1. As far as common calibers go, the bus has left. Many on this blog have stashed components and will never want. I STILL have geniuses approach me and debate buying their first gun!
    You can still find 20 round boxes of 5.56 and others at high prices, but the bulk quantities are gone. There’s always food to stock up on.

  2. Our local Walmart had no limit Lysol spray yesterday. It’s not a bad investment irregardless of feeling on covid as there are a lot of other bugs. Don’t forget the classrooms, church nurseries and daycares once they open if you have kids or grandkids.

    1. A good tip, Matt in Oklahoma, on the Lysol spray. Our local Walmart alleges stock for in-store purchases only, but none available for shipping. We have seen this once before, but supplies disappeared quickly. Our hope is that supplies will increase, and disinfectant spray will be readily available once again — and soon! Since we are not going inside any store at this time, curbside access or shipping (even better) will be tremendously helpful to us.

  3. A lot of deer/elk cartridges are already taking hits like my 06. Even if you find it it’s not what you normally shoot or what the rifle likes. For some that’s not an issue at under 300yds but once you start stretching it that can change quickly.
    I recently did a 6.5 Grendel build and there’s still ammo and has been the entire lockdown. Soft shooting, hard hitting, accurate, decent range and fits in a standard AR platform size.
    Price gouging has begun I did notice though.

    1. I agree that the 6.5 Grendel still has a better availability then almost all other rounds. 5.56/.223 is almost impossible to find. 6.8 SPC while not very popular is hard to find. 300 AAC is no where to be found. The .458 SOCOM is still around, not so much with the 50 Beowulf or the .450 Legend. .224 Valkyrie is hit or miss if you need a long range caliber. 6.5 Creedmoor seems more abundant than .308/7.62. Anything for an AK is doable.

  4. Knob Creek Gun Range is getting totally out of the reloading arena. They currently have a 50% off all powder, primers, projectiles, and other assorted equipment. And when it’s gone, it’s gone. The former Keislers (Orions) is also terminating their reloading section. Not sure why but one clerk indicated the online sales seemed to be a big competitor for them. A local Bass Pro didn’t have any powder and didn’t know when any more was coming in.
    I managed to pick up some good deals at KCR and hopefully can make another trip before they’re totally out of product.

  5. I do not understand why most individuals I know who shoot regularly, don’t reload.

    Yes, there is a learning curve, but it’s really not that hard. Yes, there are limitations to overcome. However, shopping for supplies carefully I can assemble 500 rounds of 115gn 9mm /hour in my shop with a progressive press for target shooting at 0.12/round, and I commonly load rounds that are both more accurate and more precise than most factory ammo.

    When the balloon goes up for good, I’ll trade you some ammo for _________.

    1. For me it was too hard to keep up with in the Army then my other job because of moves and deployments etc.
      I have reloaded off of buddies splitting things even while not having my own. During the O elections even reloading stuff ran out.
      I’ll be getting back into it soon though. I’m bout done with the “careers”.

    2. While reloading is great and fun, it’s still fall prey to the same supply chain shortages that manufactured ammunition does. The components are still there currently, but every reloader will run out of powder, primers, and even bullets at some point if the supply chain does not stabilize. Reloading just buys you a little more time.

  6. I have been seriously considering purchase of a Savage Axis, or Ruger American in 30.06. The store shelves are barren of the standard top ten ammo calibers, but good old 30-06 is still there in quantity. I don’t want my shooting skills to weaken with this new ammo scarcity. I really wish M1 Garands were not $1200.00 +.

    I purchased a CZ 512 in .22 mag a few years ago. Now that 512 is one of the few firearms I take to the range, because I can still find .22 WMR on the store shelves.

  7. Since today on SB it’s Economics and Investing day, here’s something to think about.

    Fox News Story – Why this is the right age to take Social Security
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/right-age-social-security

    Here’s the ominous note from page 2 of your Social Security report: “Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2035, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 79 percent of scheduled benefits.” The Congressional Budget Office put this date at 2032 in 2018. The coronavirus will likely move that up to 2030 or sooner.

    This percentage varies each year. In the past few years it’s been as low as 76%. With all the unemployment right now, no V-shaped recovery expected, and many economists saying it will take a minimum of 10 years to return to normal, the amount of SS from payroll taxes is way lower than it needs to be, making the whole SS situation even worse than it already is. That means the 2032 date will be even sooner and the cuts even deeper. The Trustees are saying in their 2020 report that this cut will probably be closer to 27%, and occur “perhaps the late 2020s.”

    Quoting the Fox New story:

    “Moreover, once you begin drawing benefits, you’re likely “grandfathered in” and will keep your current level of benefits even if the government begins to cut benefits for future beneficiaries. This is an important point you should keep in mind, especially given the unprecedented budgetary challenges we’re seeing at the federal level.”

    The people writing this article have not done their research! All other sources, including the 2020 Trustees Report, says the cuts will be across the board. That means everyone receiving a check, no matter how long they have been receiving one, will have a reduction in their monthly benefits. If the cuts were not across the board, that would mean Congress would have to raise SS taxes from weekly checks a huge amount.

    Here’s a review of the SS Trustee’s Report confirming the across-the-board cuts policy: https://www.crfb.org/papers/analysis-2020-social-security-trustees-report

    Now the important numbers:

    Using numbers from a sample Social Security report, here are the retirement benefits for each age you begin drawing SS:

    62 – $1,543
    67 – $2,166
    70 – $2,715

    If you wait until you are 67 to begin collecting instead of 62, before the coronavirus it was going to take you until age 73 years 4 months to catch up.
    If you wait until age 70, before the coronavirus it was going to take you until age 82 years 10 months to catch up.

    The average life expectancy of males is 76.1 years, females 81.1 years.

    Based on these averages, nobody benefits by waiting until they are 70.
    Males will lose $24,300 by waiting until age 67 to retire, and lose $94,900 if they wait until they are 70.
    Average females will gain $14,300 if they wait until age 67, lose $24,600 if they wait until age 70.

    BUT, when you factor in the across-the-board cuts, anyone who does not start their benefits the day they turn 62 will loose a ton of money. The CBO has the SS running out of money in 2032. Next year’s report will have a sooner date when the current economic crisis is factored in. A year from now the SS Trustee’s Report number of a 21% reduction of benefits will be much higher based on less money being paid into the system in 2020 and beyond.

    Don’t listen to Fox News or anyone else saying all is well, run the numbers yourself.

    When Reagan tried to make changes to future benefit payouts, both parties in Congress had total meltdowns. The only mathematically workable solution is to begin TODAY taking more taxes out of weekly paychecks and an immediate reduction in today’s SS checks. Since politicians care only about votes in the next election, does anyone believe they are going to do anything until the last minute? They can’t offend working-age voters and they can’t offend retirees, so they will procrastinate it until the iceberg is dead ahead and it’s too late to turn hard to starboard. The problem gets worse with each passing month that they wait. Do some research in this area and run the numbers yourself, it’s a losing proposition and the numbers say to start drawing as soon as you are eligible if you want to get the most out of your SS. If you have a high-paying job at 62 that will offset some of the losses, of course that needs to be figured in.

    Plan your prepping accordingly.

    1. The question is; can you live on your SS if you take it at 62? My SS more than doubles at 70. I’m working @ 68 years old) and making a good living, if I had taken it at 62, I would still be getting $890/month at 70 years old and not $2300/month. I have two years un till I call it quits. If I had taken it at 62, I would have been penalized a dollar for every two dollars of my income until this year. That means that $890 check (that I have to pay tax’s on to boot!) you’ll be much less. Your scenario just doesn’t fit everybody

      1. “Your scenario just doesn’t fit everybody.”

        Hey TexasScout, for someone who is already 68 years old, you are correct, the argument doesn’t apply to you. I think you missed the two big “if’s” at the end of my comment:

        “…it’s a losing proposition and the numbers say to start drawing as soon as you are eligible IF you want to get the most out of your SS. IF you have a high-paying job at 62 that will offset some of the losses, of course that needs to be figured in.”

        If someone has a great-paying job and they would be bored silly in retirement, (I have friends in that category) then of course it makes sense to keep working. For all those people who love to work but hate the idea of a job, and there are many of us, and they are still trying to make the decision of when to retire, then they are much better retiring at 62 as far as the total money they will receive from SS. They’ll have made $150,000 already in benefits before their twin brother who retired at 70 even gets his first check.

        The main thing however, is that in 10 years when there is an across-the-board cut of 27%, the numbers change and now the twin brother who retired at 70 won’t catch up until they are almost 84 years old, well past the average life expectancy for men, and by then they both will have made $346,000. When the cut comes, your $2,300 will be reduced to $1,679.

        I think one of your numbers is off as well, $890 vs $2,300. Typically, you get 75% more money by waiting, your numbers are saying you’ll get 160% more by waiting.

        Best wishes in your retirement in two years, it’s great to get up every morning and have the entire day to do whatever the heck you want. 🙂

      2. The math is the math. I’ve run the numbers with varying rates of inflation (cost of living adjustments), and St. Funogas is about right. Everyone’s calculator will wind up slightly different based on the starting point and cost of living adjustments, but the math bears out.

        Everyone’s personal situation will be different. Anyone attempting to live exclusively off of social security is definitely in a tight spot. If SS is your sole means of retirement, that means you effectively can’t retire. No indictment, it is what it is.

    2. The earlier I take SS, the longer my own retirement savings will continue to grow and last. Since none of us know how long we will live, taking SS earlier is the best bet. If you rely solely on SS as your income in retirement, you truly are screwed.

      Also keep in mind who gives the advice to wait until Full Retirement Age or even to 70 or beyond to take SS. What is their vested interest in advising you to wait? The truth is: THEY HOPE YOU DIE!

    3. I think at this point any plan for the future that relies on Social Security is going to be planning to fail. Even as little as 5 years from now, and maybe less, if you get anything at all, AND it has any value, count it as a supplement to Plan A. Don’t be relying on it.

  8. What I find so odd about ammo shortages is that the handwriting has been on the wall for decades, and that people act surprised. Well, for those out there that have little foresight, food is next. It’s a little late to become a self sufficient prepper but with diligence you can make some headway.
    As for using ammo for barter if things go wrong it only takes one round being returned to ruin your day, something to think about.

  9. Well Heck! As long as the Fed doesn’t run out of paper,ink,and lubricating oil for the printing
    presses we’ll be alright won’t we? Jerome Powell said so didn’t he?

    1. Spot on. Actually a few key strokes now creates trillions, cost of production of dollars is now reduced to almost nothing. A Thought on Social Security: It is now impossible to run it out of money, as new money is created out of thin air, only problem will be no mater how much they send you it will be worth less than you get today, due to inflation of the American ( Zimbabwean) dollar.

  10. I saw on the local Armslist a post for $45 per 50rd box of magtech 9mm ball- unreal. No thanks, glad I don’t NEED any ammo. I did take Tunnel Rabbit’s recent advice and ordered a case of Tula 7.62×39 124gr SP from sgammo.com for only $0.26/rd plus shipping. May do it again at that price, why not.
    At some point I plan to get setup for reloading, but right now the spare time just isn’t there.

    1. HP,
      Thanks for the feedback. It helps keep me posting. Even if one does not have the rifle, the ammo is drying up at unprecedented rate. Look at Palmetto State Armory’s PSAK-47. I see one 16” barrel model in stock at this time and day. https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-ak47-gf3-forged-moekov-rifle-plum-no-cleaning-rod-5165450211.html.

      Also pickup the best flash hider you can afford, but before buying, look a side by side comparisons of flash hider performance on You Tube before you buy, and make sure that it will thread onto the rifle you buy. AK’s put out a huge fire ball at night. With pistol length barrels lengths, it would be almost impossible to find a flash hider that would work adequately. You do not want to give your position away. The muzzle flash from my 23” barrel is easy to control in comparison, There is no one rifle that does it all.

      I would have both an AR and an AK, and others if I could afford it. An AR-10 would be the best for night work, but an AR-15 is a good second choice because the flash is easy to suppress. Get an AK with a scope mount on the receiver, and that would work best for NV, and the best flash hider possible.

      Here is video demonstrating the Smith Enterprises Vortex Flash Hider I use on a AR with NV. It is much better than the popular A2 bird cage type, and demonstrates the best that I am aware of. I can use the same flash hider on a bolt gun:
      Smith Enterprise Vortex AR-15/M16 Tactical Flash Hider
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxSPgn0e1z8

      A flash hider for the AK is must have. Don’t worry about a muzzle break, but get the device that suppresses flash the best. My 23” barrel soaks up the unburnt powder and is easier to suppress, so the Vortex is good enough. The common 16” barrel needs a better suppressor. Unless as a diversion, you do not want to give away your position with a massive fire ball that gives away your position and takes away your natural night vision.

      Shop around and get the best you can afford. This is the last of a series, and 1 of 3 videos that, at the end includes their list of the top ten best they tested. :
      AK Muzzle Device Testing – Flash Reduction – Episode 3
      https://youtu.be/OpkbuCjvbJk

      1. Does anyone make a decent flash hider that would replace the grenade launcher on the Yugo SKS? I think its threads are right-hand, and the AK threads are left-hand, so an AK flash hider won’t work.

        1. HP,
          That 4 piece is an excellent flash hider, but that is out of stock.
          See this video for a actual testing and recommendations for 10 excellent flash hiders. Your AMD65 is Hungarian, and likely uses standard Russian threads as does the vast majority of AK’s, except Arsenal and few others, but please verify.
          https://youtu.be/OpkbuCjvbJk

  11. Went to Home Depot and Lowe’s last month and couldn’t find any 4×4’s treated or not! They still had some real wet 2×4’s and treated plywood but they curled up like snakes when I laid them out to dry.
    Also, wondering how long my Social Security and small aerospace company pensions are going to hold out. Bought a small house on a couple acres in the country last year and would like to keep making the payments so I’ll still have a place to live!

    1. That’s cause I bought them all! He he! Many are doing home improvements as they have nothing else to do. I bought a metric Schiff-ton of wood (3 pallet loads) for the raised bed garden I built since lockdown. Menard’s has been packed since lockdown! It was real hard to find exterior treated screws at times. One time I had to travel 50 miles to get the length of lag screw I needed. Things will probably come back in the fall/winter due to less people being outdoors.

    2. This is a concern… We just ordered more pressure treated lumber as we expand our raised bed growing area for the fall and next spring and summer. We sourced ours successfully from a local company with plans for immediate delivery. We may see this abate as the summer season passes, but maybe not. We’re not taking any chances.

    3. BigD Any, even small, amount you can add each month to your principal payment makes a HUGE difference in how fast you can pay off your place. You sure don’t want to lose it. We are going like gangbusters on ours and are almost done! Good luck.

  12. Re: JWR’s thoughts at the introduction to the current news reporting: “Get ready for some serious turmoil, disruption, dislocation.”

    The stresses already affecting the economy have been exacerbated by the chaos and dangers of recent rioting. Now the Democrats are said to be war gaming the November elections:

    https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2020/08/02/democrats-war-game-for-election-includes-west-coast-secession-possible-civil-war-john-podesta/

    It’s nothing short of sinister.

    Meanwhile… Confusion about the COVID-19 numbers will be on the rise. CDC guidelines no longer require testing to release patients from the active case status. This is outrageous, and we called our area health department to ask the pointed questions. Clearly we’re not the only people asking because they had a detailed answer confirming this at-the-ready. It may be that there is a practical component to this decision, and that the testing (even with the capacity of our labs) cannot keep up. It may be a matter of how those tests are funded. …but this is also manipulative, and gravely irresponsible. None among us can make a reasoned assessment of risk without the TRUTH.

  13. I love these two quotes from Maine Prepper:

    “Don’t get discouraged”

    and

    “Don’t let fear that you are starting to late keep you from starting…”

    Even 2% a day is progress! Focus on the positive. This is a marathon.

    Krissy

    1. Really true, Krissy! …and a great encouragement for everyone who is just getting started, believes they are late in doing so, or is discouraged for any reason. Progress — even small steps forward — is progress!

      1. Ditto. One box of ammo, one of food, one can of beans, one of soup.
        Just keep going.
        “Every family that stocks up now is one less rushing to the store at the 11th hour.” — to paraphrase JWR.
        Be part of the solution.
        Godbless

        1. It’s true and JWR is right! BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. Thank you, Tom!

          We saw an excellent example of this at the time people were becoming increasingly aware of the pandemic. Almost over night we went from watching most other shoppers casually browsing the aisles to most other shoppers emptying the shelves. It happened fast, and it happened in an area with a significant per capita count of people aware of and participating in preparedness lifestyles (fair to say mostly prepper lite, but certainly more prepared than most of the population). By the time it was all unfolding, we had been — for a long time — mostly prepared. There were areas in which we wish we had done more, but generally speaking we were rock solid and ready. Even so, it was quite the experience to see emptied shelves right before our very eyes.

  14. Local ammo suppliers are pretty much wiped out. No 9mm, no .40S&W, no .45ACP, no .22LR. I did find one store with a lot of 12ga and 20ga ammo but not a wide selection. I ended up with six boxes of 12ga and will be heading back to that store in a few weeks. On-line ammo sources are pretty much wiped out in common calibers. Those who have been stocking up since the Obama mis-administration are still doing pretty good, but the wait-until-the-panic folks are pretty much up the creek for now.

  15. Just because you can’t find the ammo you want … the local farmer’s market is doing a booming business, toilet paper is back in stock, as are essentials like sugar, salt, flour, pepper, canned goods, rice, etc. Might put those greenbacks into things that you know you’ll need at some point.

  16. In a world of scarcity, one must be pragmatic. Break completely out of the denial paradigm, and make hard cold choices. This ammo drought is not occurring because of a recent scare, but because war has already been declared while we were sleeping. Here are some options.

    Buy 7.62×39 cheap now, and trade for rifles in 7.62×39 later with leverage as the price for this ammo will also double and triple, and become the ammo of choice once 5.56 becomes un-obtainium, as it nearly is now. Or simply take a profit. Reloaders can buy components. That is of course if you find you have too much ammo. That will likely not be the ‘case’ however. 6 cases minimum per semi-auto box fed rifle, 10 cases would be much better. If you do not like AKM rifles, look into Palmetto State Armory’s PSAK-47 rifle, a hybrid or a Ruger Mini-30 and others in 7.62×39.

    For personal consumption and investment, in descending order, flat shooting factory cartridges such as .308 Winchester and 7.62 NATO, that are the second most popular cartridge after 5.56, then there is .30-06, .270, .243, .25-06, and 6.5×55 would also be on my list. Reloaders buy all the 5.56 bullets and small rifle primers, and .308 bullets you can justify. Good powders that work well in most rifles are IMR 4064, IMR 4895, H4895, Varget, IMR 4320, and even IMR 3031, and BLC2 for common, and most uncommon caliber ammunition. There are others of course, but these are some of those powders that will be the first to go, and listed in most manuals. IMR4350, H4350, IMR4831, and H4831 for 165 grain bullets, and up for .30-06, will be the first to go as well. H7828sc will work too. Don’t forget to check your manuals, you will find loads for less popular powders, such as RL19, RL15, RL22, RL23 (improved RL22) etc. If it is on the shelf of your local store, look it up and see if you can use it. .308/7.62 NATO and .223/5.56 can share these time tested powders: RL7, H322, IMR4198, H335, Varget, IMR4064, IMR3031, IMR4895, BLC2, and even IMR4320, and others. IMR4320 was last to leave the shelves during the last drought, but it now has attained a limited reputation as surprisingly accurate in 7.62 NATO and was used for making Palma loads by some shooters. 39.1 grains of IMR3031 with 168 grain bullets was the old Navy match load for 7.62 Nato. It is accurate in most 7.62 rifles including mine, and it is listed as a starting load in some manuals.

    I have this shopping list in my head, but make your own list based upon your reloading manuals. Being flexible is the key. One can them map out how they might utilized these various powders and load accordingly. Every ounce of power I own is already allocated for certain bullet weights, and rifles. Nothing will be wasted.

    1. Well said, Tunnel Rabbit: ” Break completely out of the denial paradigm, and make hard cold choices.”

      I would add…

      Remain focused and forward moving.

      Reassess periodically and adjust as needed.

      Do not get caught up in denial.

    2. Tunnel Rabbit: What recommendations would you make for 7×57 Mauser ammo? That would be manufactured, not reloaded (I don’t have the equipment or the room). I see a lot of SELLIER & BELLOT on sale at good prices and readily available, but don’t know anything about the brand. Any help and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

      1. Hi Charles K.

        Sellier and Bellot is good quality. Generally speaking, heavy for caliber loads will be the most accurate and of course buck the wind better, and take a wider selection of game. Stick with 160 grain and heavier if you can find it. I really like 7×57, and do have an old Spanish Mauser carbine in that cartridge.
        To find the most accurate factory ammo, buy 5 boxes of the 160 grain — each from different manufacturers, and compare 3 round groups from each. I would also buy reloading dies for each of the different cartridges I owned and a Lee Hand Loader, large rifle primers, powder and bullets that Chuck Hawk mentions in the article linked below, if the supply of that ammunition was limited. It would be best if possible, to buy a lifetime supply of the ammunition that shoots best in your rifle and set up the sights for that load.

        Get to know your cartridge and have confidence in it. Chuck Hawks usually provide the best overview and high points.
        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjSoY7unYDrAhWFt54KHaCQD_cQFjAAegQIARAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chuckhawks.com%2F7mm.htm&usg=AOvVaw2s_GlmCXEMh_i1fqK4eVvJ

        1. Thanks TR. There are several manufacturers and there is no lack of stock from the sellers. I’ve even found some in bulk. As far as hand loading, well, I need more room. Literally I just don[‘t have a place to set up the stuff to do the work. Workin’ on it.

          1. Hi Charles K.
            I do all my handloading in just 5 square feet… If 7×57 is all that you load for to make precision rounds, a Lee Hand Loader and basic hand tools, scales etc all that are needed to produce MOA ammo. Put the money into components. You’ll have plenty of brass . According to Chuck Hawks, use H414 powder for all bullets. H414 is not in demand, lucky you. I would prefer 160’s. If it is an 1893 or 95′, keep the pressure below 46,000 c.u.p.. Put a scope on it if you can. The reason for handloading is to ring all the accuracy possible out of the rifle. Shoot a few rounds when you get the factory stuff and see if you need more accuracy. Insist on 2 MOA. My old Swede does 1.25 MOA, but the barrel is only good for thousand rounds with these low-pressure loads, but it is free-floated, bedded and has a trigger. I think it could do better, but I was limited to second choice components when I stocked up for that rifle, but it still made the cut.
            Recoil is LESS than a .243 Winchester and it is more capable than I am.

            It is good to diversify. I also have rifles in .30-06, and .308. Keep an eye out for one in .308 Winchester, but a .30-06 might be a better choice as the wildly popular .308 is flying off the shelf. .30-06 brass would easier to find at this time, and a reloader can make .308 brass from the parent .30-06 case.

  17. Here’s an article well worth reading for anyone concerned about the coming Grand Solar Minimum, and the risk of widespread starvation.

    The Anthropogenic Global Warming Scam and the Grand Solar Minimum by JR Nyquist

    https://jrnyquist.blog/2020/08/03/the-anthropogenic-global-warming-scam-and-the-grand-solar-minimum/

    Infrastructure (and skill building) related to food production should be considered very important. Unlike Bloomberg’s suggestion that one simply puts a seed in the ground, and it grows, experienced gardeners understand differently.

    As you consider your financial priorities, please consider water, shelf stable food supplies, long term supplies, and the ways in which you can renew your food supplies. Think also about vitamins and your preferred nutritional supplements. In addition to survival should cold come quickly (or even relatively so), this may also be helpful to everyone concerned about the risks of additional inflationary pressures (which could also hit without much additional warning beyond all the signs we’ve received thus far).

    Also… Think “cold survival” more broadly. It’s our belief that everyone should have wool blankets, socks, hats, scarves, quality winter coats, sleeping bags rated for severely cold conditions, and safe ways to provide for winter heat.

    We may not see these conditions this year, but they are coming. We hope everyone will consider these risks in their preparedness planning.

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

    1. Your food preps are sound for all. Winter preps are important for nuclear exchanges and asteroids. You can skip the warning about the solar minimum. The science behind global warming was first proposed in the 1800’s based on physics, heat transfer, thermodynamics and other studies that most engineers take. Just proposed. Not much warming going on back then. Humanity has since added a blanket to the atmosphere which is keeping us warmer and I don’t see it going away yet. The preps are still sound though.

      1. Mmm. I am struggling with the idea that carbon dioxide gas, which is at such a low level as far as earth history goes that plants (which take up carbon dioxide) are literally starving, yet is warming the earth’s climate, while the sun, which drives 99+ percent of our weather, and has gone through a warming period since the turn of the last century, isn’t.

        The sun is going to sleep. As it does, temps will continue to drop. Many factors are at play, mostly from the sun, some from beyond the sun, but our climate on earth is not affected even remotely in any measurable sense by human activity. This is not conspiracy, it is simply part of the cycle of our solar system and the universe we live in. If you live in the northern part of the country, and haven’t started building your below-grade greenhouse yet, you probably want to start.

  18. I sure am glad some of you are experiencing back in stock items, because they still haven’t gotten back on the shelves where I live. I have been to several Wally Worlds in the last week and still no Lysol. Hand sanitizer and toilet paper are stocked, but flour, sugar, rice and some canned goods still limited. So glad I am not out of that stuff, but looking to restock my supplies for days ahead.Speaking of hand sanitizer be aware there are FDA recalls on about 70 brands. Some of the ones that I picked up at the beginning of Covid are in this recall. Mine were the pocket size ones that I picked up in the dollar stores.

    Regarding social security withdrawals, I would have to say that I side with TexasScout on that one. It was a hard choice for me. Thank goodness I have no debt and am prepping for the day when the financial crash happens. I must say that I don’t understand the argument regarding catching up on payments or loss of payments. Where I am going at that point I have no need for money or earthly things.

    1. If any readers find that they bought any methyl alcohol hand sanitizer, it will still work fine as a fire starter. Tuck those bottles in with your packaged cotton lint and fatwood sticks — for your outdoor survival kit.

    2. I’m finding plenty of hand sanitizer. Problem being, the manufacturers seem to think it needs to smell bad. When I could buy Purell brand, it didn’t have a smell at all. Now the cr*p I’m able to find has a sickeningly foul odor. I just tossed one I wouldn’t attempt to use even as a fire starter, the smell is that bad.

    3. Hi sewNurse,

      “I must say that I don’t understand the argument regarding catching up on payments or loss of payments.”

      What that refers to is many people who want to retire at age 70 to get that bigger monthly check don’t figure into their plan how much money they would have received from SS between 62 and 70. Using the same numbers in my post, ($1,543 at 62, $2,715 at 70) if you retire at 62, and your twin sister retires at 70, you’d collect $150,000 before she even gets her first check at 70. At 79 years 4 months, she will have finally caught up to how much you have made from your social security. By that point, you both will have received $320,000. For men, this is 3 years past the average life expectancy for men, so on average, men will die before they can catch up to their twin brother who started receiving benefits at age 62. Women live longer than men so for women, it’s almost break even: by the time your sister catches up to you, you will both be less than two years away from the average life span of women.

      The other huge point that many are missing, is that when everyone’s social security gets cut 27% in ten years, then those who wait until 70 will never catch up, or even get close. My comments were for people still trying to make that decision. For someone like TexasScout who is already 68, and has a good paying job, the choice isn’t relevant as this point.

  19. My YOUNGEST vehicle is my wife’s; 12 years old. The oldest; 23; my Jeep Wrangler; still my daily driver. The middle child; a 2004 F-250 TD. Take care of them, and they’ll just keep on going. And when it comes to the Jeep wrangler, as long as parts are being made, I’ll not have issues finding parts for that thing. I guess the same would go for the F-250.

    For most, buying a new car is about the most unnecessary debt that can be incurred!

    1. A great point, Tom MacGyver. Both our vehicles are very nearly 20 years old, and we’ll be driving them probably forever. Good maintenance along the way makes a whole lot of difference, and we’re driving sturdy Ford trucks. The savings we have enjoyed by virtue of an absence of car payments has been nothing short of spectacular.

  20. The unfortunate truth is that the seeds of the current ammo shortage were sown during the Obama administration. DHS bought somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion rounds, and that is only one of the alphabet agencies. The Obama administration shut down the last lead smelter in the country; in Oklahoma I believe. Government agencies used to sell their fired brass for companies to reload; now they shred it. I would love to see Trump start off loading that stocked up ammo.

  21. UP-DATE
    Just went to big gun show Saturday and it was packed
    Guns were selling fast Saw a lot of handguns walking out the door and black long guns
    Ammo was priced high but was there
    AR uppers price was a few $100 higher
    Dealers had 10 people filling out paperwork at one time
    Lots of cash was changing hands for the private sales
    Semi-auto shotguns — not that many there
    I sold a shotgun spent 1k on mags and stuff and still came home with money
    Also now is the time to Refi that house loan
    Talked to the Banker and rates are:
    2.5% for 30 year
    2% for 15 year
    That is pretty low if you need a loan You have closing with that around 3k so make sure it is worth it for you to do
    We were looking at the 150 acres beside us up for sale but do not want to get back into debt even at the low interest rate
    Lots of fake news out their
    Friend told me he was watching woman on channel 4 main stream news said hospital is overrun Bodies are all over the place well his daughter is a nurse at that hospital so he called her
    She said no dad we have 4 people in ICU and they are all from the jail

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