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 nationwide shortage of guns, ammunition, magazines, and reloading components. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Election countdown: Sell U.S. dollar, buy silver, and other advice from analysts

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Podcast: This Gold Bull Market Won’t End. (A hat tip to H.L. for the link.)

Economy & Finance:

A recent piece by Wolf Richter: Stimulus & Debt-Deferral Economy: Americans Splurged. Huge Price Increases Boosted Auto Sales. Liquidation Sales Pumped up Department Stores

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At Zero Hedge: A Q4 GDP Contraction Will Soon Become The Base Case In Europe

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Dennis Miller, at The Burning PlatformThe Perils Of Inflation. JWR’s Comment:  The included charts speak for themselves.

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Another at Wolf Street: Disney Struck. Cinemas, Landlords Face Nightmare in Brick-and-Mortar-Meltdown Series as Movie Debuts Shift to Streaming

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The Australian newspaper The Age reports on trouble for Peter Schiff’s bank: The day the international tax authorities came knocking.


At Seekling Alpha: Natural gas inventory build misses analyst forecasts

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OilPrice News reports: How Long Will China Continue To Prop Up The Oil Market?

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CNBC: The next wave of the global recovery could send commodity prices soaring


OSB: Standardized Approach for Counterparty Credit Risk; Correction: Final Rule.

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FSB updates on work to address market fragmentation

Forex & Cryptos:

Euro Forecast: EUR/USD Outlook Bearish as Second Wave of Covid-19 Hits Europe

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Reuters: Dollar set for best week in three weeks on stimulus uncertainty, virus concerns

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US Dollar (DXY) Forecast – Picking Up a Bid as Stimulus Deal Hopes Fade

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China’s Digital Yuan Blurs the Lines Between CBDCs and Crypto

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Cryptocurrency Is Just a Minor Threat to the State

Tangibles Investing:

The nationwide shortage of guns, ammunition, magazines, and reloading components has palpably worsened. Every time that I walk into a gun shop, hardware store, or a farm & ranch store, I now see the same thing: Shelves that range from sparse to bare. Here is the litany:  Primers: gone. .22LR and .22 Magnum: gone. 9mm: gone. .45 ACP: gone. 5.56mm: gone. Most other rifle and pistol calibers: severely depleted. PMAGs: nearly gone.

I predict that if Trump is re-elected then the shortages may persist until the summer of 2021. But if Kamala Harris is elected, then the shortages will shift from acute to chronic. The shortages may last until 2024 or beyond. And my mention of Harris was not a typo or a faux pas. Let’s not kid ourselves: A vote for the “Biden/Harris” ticket is in actuality a vote for a Kamala Harris presidency. If elected, the countdown clock will immediately start ticking on Joe Biden.  He may not even make it to inauguration day. I’ll be so bold as to presage that he will either suffer some medical condition that will cause him to bow out, or he will be rolled out on a draped stretcher, at room temperature. I firmly believe that the Democrats have it all planned.

Invest in practical tangibles, accordingly.

As a post-script: You might consider buying a .17 HMR rifle. That seems to be the only rimfire ammo that hasn’t sold out, in most stores.


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!


  1. One local gun store still has quiet a few PMAGs for $14 which isn’t unreasonable, the Academy is still getting some in every week but they sell out quickly, another gun store has metal AR mags but has jacked up the price some.
    I’m still seeing .243, ’06 and a few other deer calibers here and there. There’s all the .350 Legend you want for the taking. It isn’t popular here as we don’t have straight wall case laws like some [restricted] deer hunting states.
    There is still stuff you can order if you live in a free state that allows it.

    1. Here in Central NC it’s pretty much the same as you say- PMAGS are still pretty easy to find, surplus USGI mags can be found pretty easily for under $10, and about the only ammo that is still fairly easy to find is .270, .243, 30-06, and 7mm mag. Some of And like you said, 350 legend is plentiful because we also don’t have straight case laws and it hasn’t caught on around here.

  2. What’s funny is we all know Joe is just the prop and everyone thinks Kamala will be it. What I’m not sure of is why she and the rest of America thinks they will stop at removing him only. She’s not the smart of an individual and I think there is an underlying cutthroat waiting to remove her as well.
    Some folks are led to believe they are the puppet master but they’ve never looked up to see the strings they have attached to them.

      1. You left out Nazi Pelosi, as speaker she is #3 on the list. Oh wait, she all of a sudden has a stroke. or she’s declared to have Alzheimer’s, then Hillary as Secretary of State (or Nazi’s VP pick) takes the reigns. Oh and Lizzy (Borden) Warren as newly appointed VP. A completely unelected government, free to do anything they deem necessary (to secure their positions). I seem to remember something about “a boot stomping on a human face, forever.”

  3. Mr. Rawles (Jim) – I recall your admonition that among the many virtues that believers in Christ Jesus one must exhibit is charity. For those of us who have for whatever reason have a goodly stock or (using your words) deep larder in ammunition, I also would consider making sure my trusted friends and good neighbors would not lack for shootable provisions with an eye also toward encouraging new gun owners who are getting discouraged by not finding anything to train and carry in their new firearms. I seem to recall in your first novel that your main characters gave ammunition to passing strangers along with some provisions as they fled to a safer area.

    What good will pallets of ammo (half joking here) in your storage building do you when you know you cannot shoot it all up in your lifetime? For those of us who have no children but wish to pass on our blessings and don’t need to sell our ammunition or barter it, what better way is there? Keeping it for your children and grandchildren is a good thing, but there are also blessings to be had in helping those you are not related to. It is not the guns and ammunition that is the blessing but the relationship you establish to others through your charity/kindness. Barter is good, but charity is better. best, redclay7

    1. Ammunition is much like any other fairly compact form of tangible wealth. It HOLDS VALUE, when the value of a national currency is inflated away. Whether or not YOU will personally use it is inconsequential. What is important is: A.) Can it be preserved in a readily re-marketable form for an extended time. B.) Will there still be a market for it. and C.) Is it easily divisible? Dividing it is only slightly problematic. If you divide a 50-round box of .22LR into four barter transactions, only ONE of the recipients will end up with the original box. So that obviously must be reserved until the last transaction.

  4. The Reichstag fire awaits it’s moment to establish the Deep States Puppet Candidate.

    The Puppet must be allowed to feel important but is but a bit of painted, propped up wood to be fed to appease the angry mobs while keeping the Deep State in charge.

    Machiavelli would be proud.

    Winter is coming. It’s Beans first, then bullets, then bandages. Shelter, water (you do have many ways to get safe water yes?) food, self defense. All the ammo in the world will not help if your dying of thirst or frozen for lack of shelter.

  5. Picked up some p-mags the other day, looking to get a few more, prices here are or were $19 for 20 rounders and $15 to $18 for 10 rounders. and the local gun store ( a different one ) has 30 round ar mags for $35 ( yup, he went up too ). Looking to get a few more before I have a medical problem taken care, as I’ll be out of the loop, so to speak.

  6. Gun mag warehouse has a sale on Hexmag brand mags right now, for AR-15(30-round $12.99) and AR-10(20-round $16.99). They are an affiliate of, and you can select their link from the Affiliates list link at the top of the page [or click on their ad].

  7. As Mahbub Ali said to Kim, “of what use is a gun unfed?” Even shotgun shells are in short supply at the local WM. Bass Pro much the same. There was plenty of ammo at the last show I attended, but prices had tripled. If you don’t have at least 1K rounds per caliber you are behind the curve. After Nov. 3 may be too late.

  8. About the only ammo I see in quantity is 7.62×39. So, if you don’t have an AK variant, now would be the time to get one, along with a CZ bolt action or a Ruger American bolt gun chambered in it. That ammo has gone up quite a bit too, but it is available, unlike most other calibers.

    1. Or get a barrel, bolt, and some 7.62 X 39 magazines, and you can have an AR that shoots it in about half an hour. No having to relearn the manual of arms – everything stays the same, but the caliber.

    1. No sir (or ma’am) the comparisons are appropriate. Hitler started his political life as a Marxist (as did Mussolini) but recognized a government needed to have something the vaguely looked like capitalism to have an economy. Nazional (intentional) Socialism is a product of the hard left, not of the hard right. Now even the Chi-coms have a fascist economic system. They are the new Nazis. The Democrats just love the Chi-coms. It’s also why the Democrats just HATE modern Russia and Putin.

  9. On Friday at the bank, I explained that I’d be having my students practice making change this week [technically also true] and asked for two rolls apiece of nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies. Sure! No problem!

    Across the street at Home Depot, there was a large sign posted outside, declaring that due to the national coin shortage anyone who wished to pay cash must have exact change.

    File under “Things That Make Ya Go ‘Hmmmm…'”

  10. Michael,
    You got it right. WATER is KING. All the other stuff is nice to have. Of course, if you can’t hang onto it….

    SITREP here in Utah. 5.56 M193 FMJ, Frontier, $1.50 per round. yep! $1500.00 a thousand. But available if you search for hours. 12 gauge 00 buckshot, in stock in many places. Slugs are spotty. 20 gauge buckshot….nah. Less expensive FMJ pistol calibers, extremely scarce and costing more than business ammo. Or the same. Last price I saw at a gun show for 9mm ball (Blazer Brass), $600 per 1,000. Federal HST in any duty caliber, about the same! High is $800 per thou. But that was two weeks ago.
    Our more infamous gun shops are picked over pretty hard on reloading supplies…but some primers are available. Sometimes you can find components if you work the entire circuit of stores. One for example has all the 62 gr M855 bullets you want for ten cents each. Not optimum, but it’s better than a green umbrella.
    Other brands of defense pistol ammo is available, at their usual confiscatory prices. But I stick to Federal HST. Where pallets of cheap pistol FMJ sat on the shop floor, there is….floor. The staff at one shop always light right up when I come through the door. It’s almost like a neighborhood bar. Sometimes I bring my own hand truck.

    And NOW, for all you folks who stuff .308, .30-06, etc…..IMR 4064 is available from Powder Valley at around $190.00 / 8 lb jugs. It’s pretty good propellent for 5.56 too, but the long powder grains tend to bridge in the .22 caliber neck. Tedious, but a good choice if you are patient. IMR and Hogdon 4895 is not, and will not, be available for…..who knows? Why? Because I use it in every rifle caliber (except .300 Blackout) I load for.
    Powder Valley has other powders as well. Check them out!
    I’m down to 80,000 primers, though. Bought years ago, after the Great Primer Shortage.

    9mm seems to run out first when the well goes dry. Maybe having “the most popular pistol caliber on the planet” is not always a good thing.

    1. Paul:

      Re: “Maybe having “the most popular pistol caliber on the planet” is not always a good thing.”

      True, true. Ironically, it is the “obsolete” and “semi-obsolete” pistol ammo such as .38 S&W, .41 Long Colt. 44 S&W Russian, and .44-40 that are presently much easier to find than .45 ACP, .38 Special, .357 Magnum or the unobtanium 9mm. So folks who diversified into pre-1899 revolvers are still having fun at the range, while folks who just bought “another” 9mm are without ammo. Of the “Old Fogey” calibers it seems to be only .45 Colt that is scarce. I attribute this to the popularity of the Taurus Judge, et al.

      1. James,
        You are quite right, and I’ve taken your line of thinking to heart. You mentioned the Spanish Mausers in 7x57mm caliber lately. My first center-fire rifle was an M95 that had been “sporterized” (mauled). But I foolishly sold it to move up to a Marlin 336. I was 16.
        Mr. Jack O’Conner’s wife has killed more African plains game with a 7×57 than I’ll ever see in another lifetime. Pray tell, what is the going price for one of your M95s?
        But I would like to own a 6.5×55 Swede someday. Such an efficient round.
        Today made the rounds looking for propellant and case cleaning supplies. All I could get was a 4 lb can of Lil’Gun, useful in the Blackout. Primers were very thin, but reasonably priced at about $42/thousand. No Remington 9 1/2s in my area except downtown, 20 miles away. They did have a good supply of the cowboy calibers, including .45 Colt, .44-40 Win, .44 Special. Scheel’s was out of almost all propellent. Sportsman’s Warehouse had very slow burners useful in the big magnums or pistol powders, but the medium burners useful in 5.56, .308, .30-06 were zeros….but there was some IMR4064 to be had. I have a bunch coming tomorrow via UPS so I left it for someone else.
        I have a very old book written by Phil Sharps, last publication was 1945, I think. The pages are of superb quality, though the binding is looking tired. In it is a ton of history and information about calibers, brass, propellents, and reloading practices. The chronograph back then was a huge contraption that might not fit in a car trunk today. How we have progressed, at least technologically. But the propellents developed way back when like the IMRs….4895, 4350, 4064, and many others…..are still very much with us now.
        The .45 Colt in the S&W Model 25 is a marvelous thing.
        John Farnam has what he calls the “Walmart Rule”. If the caliber will not likely be found on the Walmart floor in the rubble after the store has been looted out, he doesn’t want it. And in some fast-evolving scenarios, that thinking makes sense. But this has been a slow, gradual storm, and the masses have had plenty of time to react and clean off those shelves. The prudent are smiling right now.
        The insurgents have been very quiet lately. Probably regrouping for the main event, soon.

        1. RE:
          >Pray tell, what is the going price for one of your M95s?

          They range from $400 on up. The most expensive ones are either very minty, or very rare. (For example, I have a Boer War vintage one that is marked “OVS” for “Orange Free State”.) I recently sold all nine of the batch of restored Model 1895s. But I still have a few 7x57s — mostly Chilean short rifles. I also have 3 or 4 Swedish Mauser (6.5×55) carbines remaining. All of my inventory is Federally exempt (pre-1899 production, so no paperwork is required for me to send them to folks in most States.

        2. A reader who prefers not be identified in any way wrote to mention:

          “When common caliber ammo is scarce, it’s worth purchasing something in a less common, but not quite a boutique caliber. My wife has a revolver in .327 Federal Magnum, which will also shoot .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W Long, and .32 S&W Short. I have several options, such as an Astra 400 in 9mm Largo, a CZ52 in 7.62X25, a Makarov in 9x18mm. For rifles, we have both Swiss K11s/K31s, British rifles in .303, Mausers in 7mm and 8mm, and uppers in multiple calibers for AR platforms.

          Obviously, it is ideal to build up a good ammunition stockpile during quiet times and keep it on hand, but circumstances may not always allow that.”

          One thing that he did not mention is that in extremis the Astra 400 can also shoot both standard 9mm Luger (Parabellum), .38 ACP, and .38 Super–but the latter is considered unsafe. There were also some conversion barrels made to allow an Astra 400 to shoot .380 ACP. But since it is a direct blowback gun, I suspect that a lighter recoil spring would be needed for one to reliably function with .380 ACP.

    2. Still need ammo? Use SGammo still has plenty of 9mm and 5.56, but is now running out of 7.62×39 at .36 cents/round. If someone could please spare 1,000 small rifle primers, I’ve got enough IMR4064 for another case of 5.56. IMR4064 is just about as versatile as IMR4895. That is a good price for IMR4064 at Powder Valley.


      5.56 is $850 a case. I’ve noticed the cheap steel case stuff is gone:

      9mm hollow points and 5.56 M193 is about the same price, or .85 cents a round, or $850/case. 5.56 can be reloaded for about $200 per case if you have primers…. $850 – 200 = $650 savings per case at this time. I’m shopping for small rifle primers soon as I’m done with additional NV. NV is more important, even if one only has a few cases. If it were legal to hunt at night, I could have had a buck tonight.

  11. What’s interesting here in OR is that all the proposed measures on the ballot I received all have the requirement that a new (forever) government agency has to be created to “administer” the funds. More make work government employees so I voted no, no no and no..

  12. Here in NV, we have a Scheels. They seem to be out of all the standards, 9mm, 45acp, 308, 223, 7.62×39… however, I have noticed quite a lot of 6.5 creedmore that doesn’t seem to be moving. (Maybe it’s not as popular as believed)
    They do have quite a lot of pmags in stock.
    By contrast the local Walmart Is completely out of all centerfire or rimfire. Literally bare shelves. They did have a fairly large amount of shotgun ammo though.
    Someone I know said he had heard from a Walmart manager that Walmart plans on stopping the sale of all ammo in 2022, however they will continue to sell shotguns (?) This of course is an unverified rumor.

    What I find disturbing is the continuous reporting on “militias” and “white supremacists” in the news. Even as Antifa and BLM are burning down cities, we’re getting scare stories of Neo-Nazis apparently behind every bush. This of course is part of the media propaganda campaign to whip up anti-Trump voters, but long term I see it as a potential tool to justify more gun control by a future Kamala administration.
    My pet peeve has always been the vulnerability of the Civilian ammo supply. I maintain that since most of these companies that manufacture primers and powder are Government owned Contractor Operated (GOCOs) the President probably has the power through executive order to shut down or severely curtail commercial non-military sales with a “pen and a phone” as Obama once said.

    Tip: download a copy of “Primers for Small Arms Cartridges”
    Formulas – Suggestions – Theory
    forHandloaders and Experimenters
    – M.J. Albert & H.F. Oelberg

    If you dig around you can find a .pdf copy. These guys published a DIY manual when there was a primer shortage, around the time of the Korean War, I believe…

  13. Kamala Harris huh!..
    I’d be worried that if there’s no clear winner (by inauguration day) due to the slew of lawyers on both sides, then Nancy Pelosi becomes the President.

  14. .30 – 06, .270, .243 seem to still be prevalent in most stores in my area. That and all the birdshot you can carry. You have to drive more than 60 miles to shoot an animal. So, there’s hope for anyone with a deer rifle or a shotgun.

  15. So strange… last summer and early spring, before shortages, I stocked up on 9mm 124 grain JHP, then FMJ, at great prices. And I’m not a regular shooter, so who knows why I bought so much other than I had a sick feeling about how things were going (#beans, #bullets, #bandaids). I pray I never have to use it.

    Lord be with us.

  16. Mr. Rawles, I’m curious: I first heard you on the radio with Laura Ingram years ago. When was that first interview with you?

    Thanks to you I now have an awesome Airedale, Rawles knife or two, two 4wd suvs, Berkey water filter we use everyday and “several” guns & “some” ammo along with some other stuff ……

    Thank you sir for turning a concerned citizen into a prepared one!

    May God protect and Bless you & your family.

  17. A couple of LGS’s keep getting 100ct boxes of PMags in each time I stop by – pricing them @ $11ea. I have over 500 already – ALL loaded – but I can’t stop buying 6 or 7 each time – mainly because, I still have ammo to load ’em with.

    I’ve also seen boxes of Amend & MFT mags in stock, around $9 – $10 each. I buy 6 or 7 of them, too. Can’t have TOO many!

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