In a recent e-mail, SurvivalBlog reader Mike the Blacksmith mentioned two articles that confirm what I've been saying for several years--that the US Dollar is headed for further significant collapse in foreign exchange: Jim Rogers quits dollar after declaring US recession, and IMF chief warns dollar may suffer 'abrupt fall'. The latter article is frightening. It is noteworthy that since the first month that SurvivalBlog went live (in August of Aught Five) I have been warning readers to minimize their exposure to dollar-denominated assets. Instead, invest in tangibles, tangibles, tangibles!
Other than silver, and productive rural land that could be used as a survival retreat, my personal favorite tangible investment at present is full capacity magazines. I'm talking about the kind that hold cartridges for firearms--not Architectural Digest magazine. You should buy only magazines that either original military contract, or from original factory makers. (No aftermarket junk!) Not only will these shelter you from further declines in the dollar, but they are also likely to zoom up in price if and when another Federal magazine ban is enacted. (This is very likely if the Democrats win the White House.) During the last Federal ban, which ran for 10 years before thankfully expiring (due to a "sunset clause" in 2004), the price of Glock pistol magazines jumped from $15 each to $75 each. Even relative "commodity" magazines like USGI alloy M16 magazines doubled or tripled in value. Magazines would also, of course, be very desirable barter items WTSHTF. I expect that if and when a new Federal ban is enacted it will have no sunset clause. Thus, it will have the same effect as the civilian transferable machinegun "freeze" enacted in 1986. With no end to that ban in sight, prices have skyrocketed.
Keep in mind that several states and localities have enacted "high capacity " magazine bans, so research your laws before purchasing. (I prefer to use the more accurate terms "full capacity" versus "restricted capacity.") OBTW, I am pleased to report that Ohio recently enacted state preemption of local firearms laws, so the bans in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo, Ohio are now null and void.
If you have any extra room in your gun vault, then stuff it full of what are commonly called "high cap" (11+ round) magazines. Specifically , after buying a large supply of magazines for your own battery of guns, I recommend buying the following varieties rifle and pistol magazines as an investment: M16, M14, M1 Carbine, FAL, L1A1, Mini-14, HK, Glock, SIG, Browning Hi-Power, Beretta M92, S&W 59/69 series, Ruger P85, ParaOrdnance, Springfield XD, Beta C-MAGs, Steyr, AK family (magazines from former Soviet Bloc countries only, not Chinese) Galil, and Valmet. Buy whatever you can find at reasonable prices. Since there are also semi-auto pistols and carbines out there that take submachinegun magazines (such as Uzi, Thompson, MP5, M3 Greasegun, Ingram M10 and M11/9, Sten, and Sterling), you might also buy a few of those.
To summarize, my guidance on full capacity magazine purchasing is:
1.) Buy only magazines that either original military contract, or from original factory makers. (No aftermarket junk!) Beware of marketing terms like "GI Type" and "top quality." If it isn't original, then don't buy it, or you will be buying grief. Not only will they have poor feeding reliability, but they will also only have marginal resale value.
2.) First, buy extra magazines for the guns that you already own.
3.) Next, buy extra magazines for the guns that you definitely plan to buy. If a ban is enacted, then all semi-autos may be like Valmet rifles are today: where the guns are easier to find than their spare magazines. The law of supply and demand is inescapable.
4.) Next, buy extra magazines for the guns that you hope to buy, or expect that your children might need someday.
5.) Next, buy extra magazines for both the pistols and rifles that your local police and sheriff's department issues. (If they don't carry their long guns in visible racks, then ask them what model they carry in the trunks of their cruisers.)
6.) Next, buy a fairly large quantity of ubiquitous magazines that will serve well as barter items.(Mostly M14, M16, Mini-14, M1 Carbine, Glock, and Beretta M92.)
7.) Buy a smaller, but carefully selected supply of scarce European magazines. (Steyr AUG, HK, SIG, Valmet etc.) The day may come when not even large wads of cash buy you any full capacity magazines, but some owners will be willing to trade for magazines that they want or need.
8.) Once you have your supply of magazines in hand, divide them in three co-equal piles and store them in three separate locations, to protect yourself against burglary or other unpleasant future circumstances.
If you do decide to stock up on full capacity magazines as I have advised, then please buy from our paying advertisers, first: Gun Parts Guy (who, for example currently sells slightly used Imbel FAL magazines for under $8 each), Green Mountain Gear (who, for example currently sells new G3/HK91 20 round alloy magazines. for under $5 each). Then consult our Affiliate advertisers: US Cavalry Store, and GunBroker.com (auctions). If they don't have what you are looking for, then some other magazine vendors that I can recommend are CDNN Sports, Cheaper Than Dirt, and Midway USA. (OBTW, if you buy from any of them, please recommend that they become SurvivalBlog advertisers. Thanks!)