Letter Re: Controlling Your Inner Gun Nut–Balanced Preparations are a Must

Hello Jim,

Like many readers I have always been somewhat of a gun nut. Back when I was young and single I spent a lot of money on guns and ammo including items I didn’t really need that have since accumulated over time. I was single and had money to spend. Fast forward to the present with wife and kids and money is tight. There is not much left for prepping. So I decided to take stock of what I really need for my core battery of weapons/ammo and sell the rest and use the proceeds for prepping. Here are some lessons learned:

It’s important to have balance in your preparations between weapons and everything else. An M1A battle rifle is no more important than a Troy-Bilt tiller or a good pair of Danner boots. Ammunition has appreciated greatly in value and been an excellent investment (although [that was] not my original intent). My stocks of 7.62x54r, 7.62×39 and .303 British have at least doubled or tripled in value. A friend recently stated that Portuguese 7.62 NATO [ammunition in sealed battle packs] would have been a much better investment than gold. It would be nice to hold onto this ammunition longer and allow it to appreciate some more but there are other critical supplies that take precedence. You are correct when you state “tangibles, tangibles, tangibles” as a store of value. Hope this provokes some thought. – Jeff in Ohio

JWR Replies: Your observations are spot on. Prioritizing and logistical balance are crucial.

I can personally attest that Portuguese 7.62 NATO battle packs were indeed a great investment. Because of the Memsahib’s recent large hospitalization expenses, I’ve been forced to liquidate many of my tangibles. For example, I recently sold two cases of “Port”. (Each wooden case has 1,000 rounds, packed in 200 round battle packs. Each case weighs about 65 pounds.) These cases cost me $180 each in 2001. I just sold them for $475 each, and I’ve seen them recently sell for as much as $500 each. It is notable that there are very few bonds, stocks, or other investments that have appreciated so well in four years. My only regret is that I couldn’t afford to buy 30 or 40 cases at $180 each! As some of the characters in my novel often lament: “Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20.”