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. In this column, JWR also covers hedges, derivatives, and various obscura. This column emphasizes JWR’s “tangibles heavy” investing strategy and contrarian perspective. Today, more coverage of the bullish prices for precious metals.

Precious Metals:

Gold Soars To Record High As Stocks Do Something Not Seen Since Oct 1987.

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The wild ride in precious metals prices continued this past week. Gold touched $2,488.10 on Wednesday morning. (July 17, 2024.) Prices were then slammed back down by the COMEX Shorts, on Thursday, pushing spot silver back below $30 per ounce. JWR’s Comments: We can expect more market turmoil today, and this coming Monday. Traditionally, summers have been a season of weak precious metals prices — the so-called “summer doldrums”.  But not this year! The silver and gold bull is picking up speed.  We can safely expect this to continue, at least until November 2024.

Economy & Finance:

Linked over at the news aggregation site: Traders pivot back to multiple rate-cut view, reviving one of 2024’s biggest trading themes.

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Larry Fink says America’s $35 trillion national debt will be a ‘big burden on the backs of our children’ unless the private sector is given room to grow.

JWR’s Comments: The inexorable growth of the national debt has become the great unspeakable truth. This is a l’empereur sans-cullotes situation. It took 200 years for the U.S. government to accumulate a one trillion dollar national debt. But now we have a $34.9 trillion debt and are adding another $1 trillion in new debt every 100 days.  Repaying that debt is nearly impossible without the destruction of the Dollar as a currency unit. To say that our legislators are spending like drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors.  At least those sailors spend money that they’ve actually earned. The congresscritters are spending money that doesn’t even exist.

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Reported on Wednesday: Nasdaq posts worst day since 2022, Dow gains 200 points as investors rotate out of tech.

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”

Preparedness Notes for Thursday — July 18, 2024

On July 18, 1572, the Provincial States of Holland recognized William I of Orange as Stadtholder of Holland, Friesland, and Utrecht at a gathering in Dordrecht

July 18th, 1954 was the birthdate of Ricky Skaggs, an American country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster, and banjo.

Toiday’s feature article is a guest post by Hubert Moolman, selected by JWR.  It is reposted with permission.

We are in need of entries for Round 113 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. More than $900,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. In 2023, we polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 113 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Silver is Very Close to a Sustained Multi-Year Rally, by Hubert Moolman

Gold is one of the most reliable and accurate financial measures one can use. Historically, the Dow/gold ratio has provided a very good signal for silver bear and bull market cycles.

Here is a long-term silver chart compared to a long-term Dow/gold ratio chart:




On the silver chart (the top trace in the chart), I’ve highlighted the significant Dow/gold ratio peaks with a blue line. In every case, silver made a significant bottom some years after the Dow/gold ratio peak. These were signals for the (then-coming) silver bull market.Continue reading“Silver is Very Close to a Sustained Multi-Year Rally, by Hubert Moolman”

The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods. This column is a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from JWR. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats, and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. In today’s column, we look at Canada’s restrictive new gun laws.

11 Places That Will Pay You To Move There

SurvivalBlog reader D.S.V. mentioned this article at 11 Places That Will Pay You To Move There in 2024.

New Canadian Firearms Laws

Blog reader L. in Nova Scotia, sent the link to this update at the RCMP website: Requirements for individuals and businesses to transfer a firearm barrel or handgun slide, and for individuals to import these parts, ammunition and cartridge magazines.

Here is a quote from a recent RCMP nationwide letter:

Other measures that are already in effect include:

    • businesses and individuals may only transfer cartridge magazines to an individual that holds a valid PAL;
    • a national “freeze” on handguns;
    • changes to the definition of a “prohibited firearm”;
    • “red flag” laws (emergency weapons prohibition order); and
    • new Criminal Code offences.

Additional measures will take effect at a later date.”

JWR’s Comment: They keep gradually adding their Liliputian lines of tyranny…

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods”

The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“The Promised Land was a tangible representation of God’s ultimate desire for His people, but they failed to comprehend His gift for at least three reasons: It was unconditionally promised, it was outrageously generous, and it was absolutely free. None of those make sense in the world as we know it.” – Charles Rozell “Chuck” Swindoll

Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — July 17, 2024

On July 17, 1603, English explorer Walter Raleigh was arrested by forces of King James I of England. He was executed in 1618.

July 17th, 1889 was the birthdate of Erle Stanley Gardner. He was an American lawyer and author. Though best known for the Perry Mason series of detective stories, he wrote numerous other novels and shorter pieces, as well as a series of nonfiction books, mostly narrations of his travels through Baja California and other regions in Mexico. The best-selling American author of the 20th century at the time of his death, Gardner also published under numerous pseudonyms, including A.A. Fair, Kyle Corning, Charles M. Green, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenny, Les Tillray, and Robert Parr.

July 17th, 1897: The first ship arrived in Seattle carrying gold from the Yukon mines.

On July 17, 1917, a Royal Proclamation by King George V changed the name of the British Royal family from the German “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” to Windsor. This was nearly three full years after Brtain’s declaration of war against Germany, on August 4th, 1914.

Today, in lieu of a feature article, we are posting a lengthy letter, from reader  M.M.

There are just two weeks left in Round 113 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. Get your article in to us, soon! More than $900,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. In 2023, we polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 113 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Letter Re: Prepping and Squaring Away Rifles

Reader M.M. sent this letter, in response to the two-part article titled Prepping and Squaring Away Rifles, by Tunnel Rabbit:

I would like to add my opinion to the recent article by Tunnel Rabbit (TR):

I do not know how anyone [in the U.S.] can live on $5,000 per year. I understand that the purpose of the article was for an example of “getting by” on low income. He is making the best quality equipment he can on a low budget which shows that it can be accomplished.

Let’s start with the AR rifle design. It is not perfect but we must use the best tool available for battle. Yes, Battle.  Let’s not beat around the bush, ARs were designed as a battle rifle to replace the fabulous Garand. Stoner designed this to military specs and the first ones were horrible. Many GIs died with cleaning rods in their hands trying to repair them in a battle with the enemy. After a couple of years, they became battle-worthy.

As TR mentioned you should look at the numerous articles on ARs on YouTube. I recommend School of the American Rifle. These are gunsmiths with quality gauges and tools for building rifles. It will show you how the difference of cheap rifles versus quality rifles are built. I would rather have one quality rifle over three inferior ones. You will spend about the same amount of money. I hear someone saying “…my AR is a cheap model and I have never had a malfunction”. Really? How many rounds have you fired through it? I have a veteran friend who was in Afghanistan and was in a firefight one night and he fired 1,800 rounds that night. So use that as a starting point on reliability and how many rounds you should stock up. He was defending his outpost so he did not have to carry the ammo.  Go fire about 5,000 rounds through your “cheap” AR and see what happens. TR is right about [the importance of] quality equipment.

A quality AR M4 design with a carry handle (sights enclosed in steel) is a must-have first rifle. With proper practice a person can hit a man-sized target at 100 yards consistently. Even the worst city boy made it through boot camp with training. (See Paul Howe, CSAT way videos, a Blackhawk Down Veteran.) No scope of any kind can consistently and RELIABLY hit a target in battle like iron sights. Remember, you are in the field, and no gunsmith is there to adjust your sighting apparatus or repair your gun. There are no “do-overs” in battle.  Do not think your sidearm will save you at that distance. Its not like movies where they hit someone running at 100 yards. Now I have read that Elmer Keith hit an elk at 400-500 yards with a S&W Model 29, 4 in barrel .44 magnum. I can hit [a target] at 100 with the right pistol, but doubt that I can consistently with my police sidearm.

Moving on to option #2. The AR carry handle has a hole in the top of it. You can buy an AR scope mount which secures it on top of your carry handle. I prefer a small scope like a 1x5x20 or 24 objective.  They are lightweight and easy to remove in the field. I use Aero Precision mounts because they are durable and the lightest mount available. (3 ounces)

Option #3. If your budget can afford it buy an extra AR upper. You can change an upper out with 2 push pins ( using a bullet tip or a Leatherman). You can place whatever scope, red dot, or reflex sight you want on this upper. (Buy quality.)

And night vision (NV) on an upper is a must. You can get straight NV or buy one that fits in front of your scope. (I use a red ACOG sight.). NV is a whole chapter, so study up on that aspect. In case you are not familiar with Ars it is possible to mark your location of your scope on the Picatinny rail, removing your daylight scope and placing NV on at night. It must be precise placement or your scope will not hit the same point of impact that you are sighted in for. This is another reason to buy extreme quality. All rails are not milled the same, they must be precision-made.

Scopes are fragile pieces of equipment, so never rely on them 100%. I saw a picture of an ACOG with a bullet hole through it. It still functioned. I have purchased Zeiss scopes on Internet gun sites for half price used. I had to send one back to Zeiss for repair and they sent me a new scope. That’s one fine warranty. Zeiss and Swarovski in my opinion are the finest scopes made. The clarity is outstanding. I was elk hunting many years ago and walking in with a friend. We spotted an elk in a meadow. I estimated it was 500 yards. My friend had an expensive USA-made scope and said he could not tell if it was a bull. I had a lightweight 3x9x36 Zeiss. I said it is a cow. He looked through my scope and could not believe the difference in clarity.  If you are going to scope one of your uppers buy one with the BDC reticles. An example is the ACOG. It is designed to kill people. The hash marks represent the size of an average man, 18 inches in width. Each hash mark down equated to this at 200,400 yards etc. Learn to use them and you can judge distance from the target with the width of the hash marks. There are numerous new scopes on the market that are fantastic so shop around. I cannot recommend any brand mentioned as I have not shot them all, only the ones mentioned.

TR’s article mentions sniper rifles. Use what’s available to you, hunting rifles are fine because you are 300 or more yards away and you have killed numerous game animals with your favorite gun. Buy plenty of ammo. You may not have time to go home and reload 100 or more rounds. I love reloading but don’t think that you are going to get components shipped to you [post-collpase].

I have been blessed to have served my local police department and retired twice with law enforcement. I still maintain contact with many of them. Two years ago, a training officer showed me what they had gone with for sniper rifles. They purchased street rifles in 5.56 caliber and for their snipers they chose .308. They met the man building these guns and were sold on them. They are the Battle Rifle Co. in Houston, Texas. The .308 is the most accurate AR-design rifle I have ever shot. My friend is hitting a 6 inch plate at 600 yards with match grade 168 gr ammo. At 100 yards it is sub-MOA. It even shoots cheap NATO rounds, about 1 in groups or less. I do not think they sell to the public any longer, but you can look at their website.  The 5.56 does not have the horsepower of a .308 and is subject to wind drift. I would never shoot at big game with this bullet unless it was a neck shot or in the ear area.

Let’s talk ammo for a minute. Buy whatever is available for plinking with the exception of steel case ammo. I believe, but cant say with certainty that the lacquer-coated bullets will gum up your chamber if you are in a fire fight and have a hot barrel. Steel case ammo is also extremely hard on an extractor. They were designed for AK pattern rifles and not Ars. As for cleaning in the field, I would carry a small can of Ballistol. This was invented by the Germans in WW2 and is the best all-purpose lube I have used. NEVER use WD40 in any weapon. It will get into your primers. We learned this when carrying revolvers, years ago. Ballistol is hard to find in stores but is available online or gun shows. Please research it.

Ballistol will even clean black powder guns.

And all that said we come to the tank of battle rifles. It is not accurate but it shoots like a GI 1911  45. (the greatest handgun ever made) Mud, water, sand, dirt, whatever will not stop it. Yep, the AK47.  Ballistically, is basically a .30-30. About 150 yard gun. Now, I am talking the good AKs, not these cheap copies. The Chinese Norinco is hard to beat. The Polytech is unaffordable. They stopped importing Norincos under Clinton administration and the Norinco ammo.  It is one of the few things the Chinese built that I will talk favorably about. They also made the SKS, both Russian-designed weapons. I believe that once magazines are banned the SKS will be valuable because of the fixed magazine. You can buy adapter kits to use 40-round mags but I have heard different results on them of reliability. The SKS is an accurate weapon, especially those made in Russia. A Norinco SKS is around $500 and the Russian made starts around $800, but accurate at 400 yards. There are some good AKs being built in USA and they are supposed to be as good or better than the Norincos.

That’s a brief summary of my knowledge of battle weapons. Please do your research on all weapons and be cautious about who is giving advice, you never know who is on the keyboard stating they are an expert.  I agree with TR and commend him for writing his article. He actually said in print what many of us are thinking. War is coming folks, maybe this year. Don’t be someone who says it can’t happen in America. This may be a battle between other nations or from within if Trump is elected. Only the good Lord in Heaven knows and I pray he will give us guidance. Be like Solomon, the Lord asked him what he desired. Solomon said: ‘Wisdom’.”

SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets

This weekly Snippets column is a collection of short items: responses to posted articles, practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. Note that we may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

Here is a very useful video, especially for folks who live in gun-deprived states: An Alternative to Cap & Ball For Self-Defense.

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US Coast Guard patrol spots Chinese naval ships off Alaska Island.

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Continue reading“SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets”

The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“He that doth not as other men do, but endeavoureth that which ought to be done, shall thereby rather incur peril than preservation; for whoso laboureth to be sincerely perfect and good shall necessarily perish, living among men that are generally evil.” – Walter Raleigh

Preparedness Notes for Tuesday — July 16, 2024

On July 16, 1790, Congress declared the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, the permanent capitol of the United States.

July 16th is also the anniversary of the first successful atomic bomb test near Alamogordo, New Mexico in 1945.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 113 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2,000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A Peak Refuel “Wasatch Pack” variety of 60 servings of premium freeze-dried breakfasts and dinners in individual meal pouches — a whopping 21,970 calories, all made and packaged in the USA — courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $359 value),
  4. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  5. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  2. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC.
  4. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. A Berkey Light water filter, courtesy of USA Berkey Filters (a $305 value),
  2. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  3. A $200 credit from Military Surplus LLC that can be applied to purchase and/or shipping costs for any of their in-stock merchandise, including full mil-spec ammo cans, Rothco clothing and field gear, backpacks, optics, compact solar panels, first aid kits, and more.
  4. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $900,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. In 2023, we polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 113 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

The Bugout Trailer (BOT), by Tunnel Rabbit

This Bug Out Trailer (BOT) as it is presented here is intended to be a concept rather than a set of building plans.  This is a low-cost structure that only requires only common tools and materials. The photos provided can say more than I could describe in a multi-part article.

The BOT can be a single-purpose utility or a multi-purpose platform that is lightweight and inexpensive to build. In essence, it is a modern version of the horse-drawn wagon trailers used beginning around the 1860’s that became the modern RV.  It is an example, of what the Marine Corps advocates: That we should improvise, adapt, and overcome a problem in the best way we can with what we have, and where we are located.  At its heart, it requires a can-do attitude that allows us to use our ingenuity.

During World War 2, the German high command was intimidated by the ability of American troops to create solutions in the field that allowed us to continue to fight even though the Nazis had destroyed our equipment. That is the kind of American we need to be today: tenacious, ingenious, and unstoppable.
Continue reading“The Bugout Trailer (BOT), by Tunnel Rabbit”

SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. (Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Wyoming.) Much of the region is also more commonly known as The Inland Northwest. We also mention companies located in the American Redoubt region that are of interest to preppers and survivalists. Today, news coverage of several large wildfires.


Arson investigation ongoing in Army Surplus fire.

And here is an interesting Twitter string. Note the mention of the store’s owner as “…a notorious Redoubter” by a liberal who seemed happy to see the store burn.

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Idaho Town Bans Crosses in Parade, Residents Disobey.

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Terry sent this news: Man killed in accidental shooting at Nampa gun range.

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Lawsuit alleges constitutional rights violations in the officer-involved shooting death of Pocatello man.

Continue reading“SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt”

The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Criminals are never very amusing. It’s because they’re failures. Those who make real money aren’t counted as criminals. This is a class distinction, not an ethical problem.” – Orson Welles

Preparedness Notes for Monday — July 15, 2024

July 15, 1410:  The Battle of Grunwald (First Battle of Tannenburg, Battle of Žalgiris), one of Medieval Europe’s largest battles during the Poland-Lithuanian Teutonic War. Polish King Władysław Jagiełło and Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas defeated the Teutonic Ulrich von Jungingen. The painting of the battle (above) was rendered by Jan Matejko.

On July 15, 1799, the Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon‘s Egyptian Campaign.

Today’s feature article is a review written by SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Tom Christianson.