We Shop 7 Gun Stores Seeking Better Prices

I’ve heard ammo prices are dropping and the shortage is over, but is that true? I stop by gun stores during a road trip to check it out.

I have been watching YouTube videos and reading articles online saying that the ammunition shortage is abating and gun supplies are back.  I decided to check this out myself, so I made a list of the following items I wanted to buy:

  • Premium .22LR rounds, preferably in nickel cases.  I would look for Federal Punch, CCI MiniMags or CCI Stinger rounds.  
  • Any good 9mm FMJ under $16 for a box of 50 rounds and/or a box of Critical Defense 115 grain bullets.
  • .300 Blackout rounds, preferably 110 to 120 grain or 220 grain subsonic.  I don’t want the 150 grain bullets.
  • A takedown Ruger 10/22
  • A lever action .357 carbine, preferably with the tactical set up, meaning black furniture, a rail for an optic, and a rail at the front.  Henry makes a model like this, as do several other companies. 
  • AA1680 and H110 powders

List in hand, I set out to go shopping.

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Prepper News Update July 23: COVID and Inflation Look Like they are here to Stay

I am still on vacation, but here’s a short prepper news update:

Shutdowns Begin in California as COVID-19 Cases Surge

A few restaurants in Los Angeles have become the first to close as this new wave of COVID-19 sweeps the country.  The difference between this outbreak and earlier waves seems to be thus: Before, public health officials and politicians over reacted to protect people.  This time, they are shrugging their shoulders and saying “We told you to get vaccinated.”  Nonetheless, I expect to see more mask mandates and other restrictions coming down the pipe.

Are we Underestimating how Bad Delta Will Be?

I don’t think WE are underestimating how bad this wave of the Delta variant will be, but plenty of other folks are. 

Life Gets More Expensive as Unilever will Raise Prices

Unilever joined Procter & Gamble, Conagra, Modelez International, and General Mills by announcing it would raise prices due to higher costs of ingredients, packaging and transportation.  We often talk about stocking up on food, and that advice is still good, but consider also stocking up on soap, cleansers, detergents and other household items to get ahead of these future price increases.  Check out our recent report on costs at club stores and consider making a  trip to Sam’s Club to stock up.

Here’s more info from the Wall Street Journal about inflation and companies like Fastenal who are raising prices.

Prepper Shopping Basket Inflation Report Shows Surprising Results

The CPI is up, headlines are blaring about inflation, Wall Street is worried, yet when we compare prices for prepper pantry staples now and in January, inflation seems to be missing.

Despite the hue and cry about food inflation, preppers looking to stock their pantry with staple items that have a good shelf life can do so without spending more than they would have in January. A summary of our results comparing the prices today with those we recorded 22 weeks ago on January 24 follows:

Prepper shopping basket inflation report results

Clearly, Amazon is an outlier here, with prices well above the others. If we remove Amazon from the equation, we get the following:

Results minus Amazon.com

Note: full details on our methodology are at the bottom of this article.

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Is it Just me? Or is the World Falling Apart?

Danger zones, hot spots, and red flags seem to litter the global map. When things go wrong, they seem to go wrong everywhere, all at once.

Some days, the world just looks like it is falling apart. This is one of those days, and it’s hard not to be pessimistic.

Here are a few things going on in the world that make me feel this way:

Inflation

According to data released today, consumer prices rose 5.4 percent from a year ago, the biggest leap in 13 years. We’ve covered the dangers of inflation and how to protect yourself here, here and here, so I won’t go into too much detail today, other than to tell you the rate of increase is speeding up and to remind you that every dollar in your pocket buys 5.4 percent less than it did a year ago.

Upward pricing pressure is not relaxing. Drought in the West is expected to result in more food price inflation and shortages of coffee because of a low harvest in Brazil will cause coffee prices to rise.

Protests in Cuba

Cubans are protesting against their government, the lack of food, medicine, and high prices. They want liberty and freedom. The Cuban government showed how little of each they have as it took down the Internet to prevent protestors from posting photos to social media or live streaming the event.

Here in the U.S., Senator Ted Cruz and Miami Mayer Francis Suarez, both sons of Cuban immigrants, railed against the communist nation and socialism, which has been embraced by many on the left.

Suarez added that socialism provides people a “false promise” and in practice means the government takes away peoples’ property and freedoms. 

“[It] has failed not just in Cuba but in the history of humanity—this is an ideology that promises to create equality. The only equality it has delivered is equal misery for all of its citizens in every country that it’s been tried….The truth of the matter is, it’s never worked and never going to.”

The socialists in Congress and on Twitter were largely silent in the face of more first-hand evidence that socialism does not benefit the poor and downtrodden, it just creates more of them.  I expect this Cuba story will stick around the news cycle for some time.

Watch our Video of the Day from the Wall Street Journal for more.

Wild fires Sweep Western U.S.

After months of drought and weeks of three digit temperatures, Mother Nature added insult to injury as lightning strikes have caused wide-ranging wild fires in not just Arizona, California and Oregon, but also into Idaho and Montana, home of many preppers. There are 67 wildfires reported across 10 Western states. Some of these fires cover consumed hundreds of square miles. Here’s some more bad news: There’s more fire season ahead, and there is no end in sight for the drought.

Haiti Slides Further Down the Drain

The recent assassination of its president has thrown Haiti even deeper into anarchy. Haiti is already a failed state where gangs hold as much sway as the government. Fifty percent of the population cannot find enough food to eat. This attack undermines what little stability they had. Expect things to get even worse before they get better.

Afghanistan is Going to Hell, and we Helped Send it There

I’m in favor of peace, but I can’t help thinking maybe we should have left 10,000 troops in Afghanistan just to keep the Taliban from taking over the country, and hung on to Bagram air base. I think it is especially ironic that the Biden administration pulled out in the dad of night over the Independence Day weekend. While we were out celebrating, millions of Afghanis raised under the protection offered by American and other NATO troops were fleeing the country. Now the air base is being looted and the Taliban is acquiring much equipment that cost U.S. taxpayer’s millions, if not billions.

The Taliban is rolling over Afghani troops and claims to control 85 percent of the country. I’ve heard they control a third and are fighting for another third. Whatever the numbers are, that’s not good news for people who do not want to live under their barbaric system.

COVID-19 Cases on the Rise in Almost Every State

You knew this one had to be in there, and we warned you. The Daily Mail reports that cases of the coronavirus are on the rise in 43 states plus Washington, D.C. The New York Times reports cases have risen 94 percent over the past 14 days. Deaths continue to decline, but we know they are a lagging indicator. We may be at the beginning of that next wave. My questions are: What percentage of positive cases are being hospitalized and dying in this new wave; how many cases are in the young who are asymptomatic; and are we at the stage where we can treat this like the flu.

My daughter is getting married in October. Some of her guests have already RSVP’d that they will attend as long as there isn’t another COVID-19 outbreak. That just shows it is on people’s minds. Hopefully it is on your radar screen and you are prepped and ready for rising COVID cases, new closures, and more shortages.

There’s More…

You’ll note that I have left out the rapid spike in murder and violent crime, China’s recent threats to Japan, problems with Iran, riots in South Africa, the OPEC crisis, the illegal aliens pouring over our borders, the backlog of containers off both Chinese and U.S. ports, the shortage of truck drivers, the rising unemployment rate, the millions of people who do not want to work, and I could go on.

I’ve written several posts this week about how to survive an economic collapse and a failed state. Most of that applies to a societal collapse as well. I can’t help but think the entire world is going downhill. I just can’t tell if we’re leading the charge or being dragged along. Either way, I am not counting on a soft landing.

Prepper News Update July 12

Wall Street Journal says Higher Inflation Is Here for Years

Economists surveyed have raised their expectations for inflation lasting through 2023, but not by much. Of course, their data didn’t include food and gasoline, two of the items that have seen the highest rate of inflation over the past year.

Some Folks Never Learn

After the diaspora cause by COVID-19, enough people are moving back to some cities to drive up rent prices.  I can only assume they are moving for work as remote work polices end.  Analysts say that rents are up 7.5 percent and should keep rising, “a warning sign that higher inflation could linger far longer than the White House and Federal Reserve keep predicting.”

What is Hyperinflation and How to Survive it

Are you prepared for runaway inflation? Is anyone? We discuss what hyperinflation looks like and tactics to survive it.

The Bank of America recently warned of “transient hyperinflation.” That sounds bad, but how bad depends on how you define hyperinflation.

The definition of hyperinflation is “inflation at a high rate,” as “uncontrollable inflation,” or “when prices raise uncontrollably,” all of which are not very precise.

What is hyperinflation? Is it double digit inflation? If so, does it start at 11 percent, or closer to 50 percent? Does 100 percent annual inflation count as hyperinflation? Or do you have to reach absurd levels of annual inflation, like 7,000 percent?

Hyperinflation appears to be like art: Economists know it when they see it. And so will you and I, because with runaway inflation, we won’t be able to afford anything.

Continue reading “What is Hyperinflation and How to Survive it”

Double Digit Inflation Causes Pain in my Wallet

Its pretty shocking when things I bought in March and April cost more just two or three months later. Inflation is here, and its far more than 4 or 5 percent.

Maybe you haven’t been keeping track, but inflation is all around us. Here are some examples or rising prices from my life:

Bee Supplies, Up 17.5 Percent

My beehives are doing well enough that I decided I should purchase a few more deep hive boxes in case I need to split the hives in late summer or early next year. I logged into my favorite supplier’s website and found that the prices were noticeably higher than when I made my last purchase in April. Here are some examples:

  • Unassembled deep hive bodies increased 17 percent.
  • Unassembled frames increased 37 percent.
  • Foundation, which is plastic and does not use wood, was up only 3 percent.
  • Telescoping lids went up 14 percent.
  • Inner lids were up 20 percent.
  • Bottom boards were up 14 percent

Average those figures together and you get an average price increase of 17.5 percent. That’s some serious inflation in just two months.

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Is Inflation Transitory? Some, Yes, but Most is Not

The government and the Fed keep telling us that inflation is transitory. Don’t believe them. Some inflation is transitory, but too much of it is not and that will keep prices rising.

I spoke to a smart guy in the financial industry whom I have known for more than 20 years, and I asked him, “Do you think inflation is transitory?” His answer: Yes and no. Some of it probably will be transitory, but some of it definitely is not.

Here’s a boiled down version of his explanation:

Examples of Transitory Inflation

When prices rise because plant closures lead to shortages, because shipping costs escalate or for other reasons that we can expect to be cured in the next year to 18 months, then it is fair to call those transitory. For example, when more microchips reach the market, car and truck production will return to their traditional rates or better, and the number of new cars on dealer lots returns to a reasonable number. If supply and demand is the only reason for the increase in care prices, then car prices will stabilize.

Continue reading “Is Inflation Transitory? Some, Yes, but Most is Not”

Costco Shopping Trip Shows No Sign of Inflation, Yet

I visit two stores known for low prices and I found no signs of inflation. But its there at the gas pump.

As I mentioned yesterday, I came down from my mountain, drove hundreds of miles to visit an elder relative who needed my help, and ended up in a small city. It’s not a bad city, but the drone of the highway and other constant city sounds seemed loud after the quiet of the mountains. The trip was another reminder that about the only benefit of my occasional returns to society is access to shopping that isn’t available in the country.

In other words, I went to Costco for the first time in more than six months.

Other than the store layout in this distant town being sideways compared to what I am used to, it wasn’t much different. I bought Spam, spaghetti sauce, beans and other canned and dried goods for the pantry, bags of sugar for the bees, and paper towels for my wife. Unfortunately, this store did not have canned roast beef, which several bloggers and vloggers have reported on. Too bad; I was planning to buy at least a dozen cans, maybe two dozen.

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Transitory Hyperinflation is Here and More Bad News

I head down the mountain to revisit society and the news isn’t good. Gas is more expensive, food is costly, and the word “hyperinflation” is no longer just used to describe other countries,

I am on the road today, and after spending seven hours in the truck, I don’t think I have an original essay in me and I really need to get some sleep. So, instead I am giving links to important stories and adding a few comments.

Hyperinflation

The Bank of America’s new Inflation Meter is pointing to transitory hyperinflation, according to this article in ZeroHedge.  I have been writing about inflation or months, but this was still a “WTF” moment for me.  If we have already moved from inflation into hyperinflation, transitory or not, things are pretty bad.  Read their article and if it freaks you out a little, read these recent posts of ours:

Continue reading “Transitory Hyperinflation is Here and More Bad News”