Infographic - Are Guns And Ammo The New Gold?

Tyler Durden's picture

There are those who contend that when fiat dies, gold and precious metals will take its place. Then, a smaller subset out there, claims that it matters not who owns the gold or silver. All that matters is who is in charge of the lead. The following inforgraphic from may shed some much needed light on the topic, which as recent Thanksgiving record sales indicated, more and more people are starting to lock in on (and load).

Is Ammo The New Gold? Full Infographic


The threat of a U.S. double dip recession coupled with this summer's debt debacle in Washington - and the subsequent failure of the so-called "debt supercommittee" - has many ordinary Americans looking at gold as a safe store of value.  However, there's another commodity that historically has risen in price along with gold - and is potentially more useful in the event of a global crisis: Ammunition.


Some of the fear-based psychological reasons for gold's popularity in times of economic crisis appear to be similar to the reasons cited for purchasing guns and ammunition.  Michael Thompson, a small business owner from Virginia, had this to say about why he recently purchased 2,000 rounds of 223 ammunition to go with his growing collection of AR-15 assault rifles: "Since ARs are so well-known & widespread, quality ones don't really go down in value.  I don't trust what's going on in Washington and a reliable firearm that'll hold it's value plus ammo that I can always re-sell later if I don't use it up seems like as safe a place as any to put my money in these uncertain times."


One prominent factor which customers at cite as one of their primary reasons for stocking up on guns & ammo now is the uncertainty surrounding U.S. firearm regulations.  Many wonder if President Obama's official position on firearm regulation will change if he wins a second term. Others point to recent actions taken by President Obama's appointees in the EPA and the Department of Justice, citing the EPA's recently proposed ban on lead ammunition due to health concerns about the lead seeping into ground water supplies and the on-going debacle surrounding the Deparment of Justice's failed Fast & Furious sting operation.  Several states have also enacted anti-gun legislation recently, such as California expanding their controversial gun registry to now include purchasers of new rifles and shotguns.


Dustin Ramsey, a 28 year old self-proclaimed "realist" from Tennessee who says hunting and fishing are two of his favorite outdoor activities, counts the 5,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition he keeps on-hand as one of his investments along with gold coins: "I'm a hunter so I know I can use my guns & ammo to feed my family if something happens to our usual food supply and there's a run at our grocery store. Plus, it seems like somebody on Wall Street is always getting bailed out nowadays and my faith in the stock market has been gone for a long time. Look, I've seen what happens when times get tough and I figure I can always barter a popular caliber like 9mm for other supplies like I would with gold if push comes to shove. And if a crisis never materializes where I need my stash of ammo, I still love to shoot so those bullets won't go to waste. Given the uncertainty in our world, ammunition seems more practical to me than gold, whether there's an economic crisis or not."


Whatever their reason, Americans are purchasing firearms and ammunition in record numbers.  USA Today recently reported that the FBI experienced on Black Friday their single largest number of background check requests ever in a single day, smashing the previous record by 32%.  Background check requests are processed by the FBI according to federal law.  Gallop also reported that gun ownership is at an 18 year high, with 47% of Americans admitting to Gallop they own a gun.  These statistics coupled with customer feedback at indicate more Americans are taking advantage of their constitutional right to own a firearm - and are arming up in increasing large numbers.

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Hugh G Rection's picture

Well there's no 100% guarantee, all I'm saying is you can increase your chances.  

Don't know anyone that can throw a bottle more than 50yds, just have to focus on the guy carrying the molotovs first.  He can play with 55 grains going 3200 fps

woolly mammoth's picture

Ignore the 15 guys. Go after the one that send them. Go on the offensive.

MonsterBox's picture

hell.  invite 'em in.  pour 'em a drink.  open the CO bottle and leave to take a leak.  something like that.  the back ups will be wondering soon enough.

oh, and leave town.

if they're zombies, just bury them deep while you air out the house.


Ignatius J Reilly's picture

David Koresh.  All I'm saying is he was heavily armed and they did in fact go after him.  Ignore everything else about the story.  Also remember, human beings listen to authority as proven by the Milgram experiment.

Chuck Walla's picture

Koresh made the mistake of relying on stick buildings as self-defense. Oh, and believing that the Feds wouldn't kill women and children. I guess he never heard of the 7th Cavalry.  They killed plenty before meeting the end.

There is no fixed fortification that can't be breached and destroyed. Is your home a fortress? Survive is the first rule, Don't be stupid is #2. Don't go look for a fight is #3.

Hugh G Rection's picture

#4 Have an exit

Maybe dig a 50yard tunnel off of the wine cellar

DaveyJones's picture

has your theory been tested on a citizenry this armed?

ClassicalLib17's picture

You're assuming they(police?, etc.) will continue to work without getting paid, and in the meantime, who will protect their family while they are out violating the peoples sovereign rights?

Cathartes Aura's picture

if it comes to not being paid, we're talking collapse, and most will work for food, rest assured.

and then there are the ones who do the work. . . for fun.

carbonmutant's picture

Actually you could ask, "Why, do you work for the ATF?"

...helps put things in the proper perspective...

Henry Chinaski's picture

Gallup estimate has to be low.  Who would tell some clown on the phone about their gun ownership? 

achmachat's picture

Not from a country where we have access to these things, so this is a question for the US folks:

why would you possibly need ammo with jackets? aren't those to pierce "light" armor?

If somebody attacks you and you shoot that person with a lead-slug, won't the wound be just as disabling?

Y2JPD's picture

What is the attacker is in a car?

Mad Marv's picture

I have heard that a .50 round fired into the vicinity of the engine compartment would probably put the passengers on their feet.  Then just a matter of picking them off.

mayhem_korner's picture

.50 round fired into the vicinity of the engine compartment would probably put the passengers on their feet


...and the trigger-puller on their backside.  .50 is a special round that is only really useful for well-trained individuals.

MachoMan's picture

There's a lot of kick taken off by a really, really heavy barrel and a properly tuned muzzle brake.  Shooting exceptionally long distances is only really useful for well-trained individuals...  but within 500 ish yards, you don't need anything but a steady hand.

Sabibaby's picture

Well it's good to know we can pick up a brand new Barret .50 at the gun store if we're feeling adventurous...

Hugh G Rection's picture

Not really... Anyone with knowledge of rifles can shoot a .50. The biggest difference I see is the $12K it's going to cost you. (If you go with a Barrett)

Watch a 12 year old send a .50 downrange no sweat.

mayhem_korner's picture



I stand corrected.  Too many Vince Flynn novels, I guess.  I tout two Remington model sevens for hunting, an 870 shotgun and a .38 handgun (plus enough ammo to keep me company for a long, long time).   

MsCreant's picture

Denpends on who is shooting at you.

SemperFord's picture

Have you never heard about the Hollywood bank shootout??? It's not just the good guys wearing bulletproof vests ;)

Sabibaby's picture

You mean.... the banksters are too!!!

RobD's picture

A copper jacket(most common but other alloys can be used) on bullets do a number of things in regards to ballistics and terminal performance but piercing light armor is not one of them. One example is that some of the new rifling groves cut into the barrels do not function well without a jacketed bullet. The rifling in glock barrels will fill up with lead and cause dangerous pressures to build up if unjacketed bullets are used.


Edit: typically pistol rounds are not capable of penetrating "light armor" as that is what the bullet resistant vests are designed to stop. Rifle rounds on the other hand will penetrate light armor unless a steel or ceramic plate is installed. Also high velocity bullets need some kind of jacketing to keep them from deforming or coming apart from the forces produced by the spin of the bullet. Older slower rifle rounds did not have these forces so many of them were just plan old lead. Not sure if they would penetrate light armor or not.

achmachat's picture

thanks! the rifling argument makes sense!

Hugh G Rection's picture

typically pistol rounds are not capable of penetrating "light armor"

If you can still find it at gun shows I recommend Aguila IQ.  I have seen an IQ 9mm penetrate both panels of a BP vest, (no trauma plate).  Not sure if they are still available commercially?

Socratic Dog's picture

You've sorta answered your own question.  Yes, light armour.  Such as certain individuals are known to wear.

Also of note, if you use military calibers, then military rounds are cheaper.  And military rounds are jacketed. 

Why use military calibers?  Because they're good calibers.  And because surplus military weapons come in military calibers, even if they're 110-year old military calibers, and surplus military weapons are good and also cheap.  Mosins and Mausers and Enfields are great weapons.  Just ask the taliban, who beat the russians wit them. 

Uber Vandal's picture

Another reason for the use of military calibers is the ability to use your opponents supplies against them if things really get out of hand.

Spigot's picture

I prefer lower velocity, hollow point rounds, they transfer a lot more energy into the target and make a much larger exit wound. I also prefer single shot semi-autos or even bolt or lever actions to autos since it forces you to make a better first shot. Autos are useless after the first round exits the muzzle. I'm not a believer in "spray and pray". My motto is "Shoot&Scoot", catch me if you can.

Agent P's picture

"I'm not a believer in "spray and pray". My motto is "Shoot&Scoot", catch me if you can."

Many a youngsters apply this same philosophy to teen pregnancy.

Killtruck's picture

"Autos are useless after the first round exits the muzzle."

Anyone with trigger time on an M249 SAW will disagree with you.

Jonas Parker's picture

I prefer 30 cal AP myself...

Lednbrass's picture

Jacketed ammo fouls barrels alot less then straight up lead does, it doesnt really penetrate armor much better.

For that you want steel core ammo which is legal to buy and possess in most states.

navy62802's picture

The jacket on the bullet isn't there to increase armor penetration, it's there to decrease friction with the barrel as the bullet travels down it.

Don Diego's picture

what are you talking about? Luxembourg has the least restrictive gun laws in Europe after Switzerland......

aerojet's picture

We like to keep our bullets warm, most US states are fairly cold in the winter.


Seriously, the copper jackets allows for higher velocities and won't foul the barrel with lead.  Technology and all that.

disabledvet's picture

Having been disabled by a "plastic jacketed slug" it is true "one not need a full metal jacket." I believe however the heat generated by the explosion calls for a full metal jacket. Not that there couldn't be a plastic alternative of course.

Hugh G Rection's picture

I only shoot copper jacketed ammo.  Shooting lead ammo (no jacket) dirties the shit out of your gun and can lead to failure to fire.  Not to mention it makes cleaning more of a pain in the ass.

As far as "piercing light armor" I think you might be thinking of teflon...

Refering to your comment about the lead slug, that is exclusive to shotguns.

Chuck Walla's picture

Jacketed bullets keep the bore cleaner(no leading) and perform better.  A copper jacket in no way imbues an ability to pierce anything that plain lead would not. Armor piercing are another thing altogether.

Frankie Carbone's picture


Not from a country where we have access to these things, so this is a question for the US folks:

why would you possibly need ammo with jackets? aren't those to pierce "light" armor?

If somebody attacks you and you shoot that person with a lead-slug, won't the wound be just as disabling?



The copper skin serves several purposes achmachat. First, it prevents lead fouling of the barrel, and dramatically increase accuracy. Second, for Geneva convention purposes it holds the rould together so that it does not expand (expanding rounds are illegal in warfare under the convention - which is ironic because they are actually cruel to use, see below). Third, when used in hollowpoint ammunition, it causes controlled expansion, which keeps the round from fragmenting - fragmenting can be extremely deadly. 


Hollowpoints are used in self defense and law enforcement because they are more humane and often less lethal believe it or not. Plus they prevent overpenetration which is when the round goes through someone and often strikes a bystander. Full metal jacket rounds, those that do not expand, are like stabbing someone with an icepick the diameter of the bullet. Unless you hit the nervous system, they're not going down right away. Which means that you have to shoot them multiple times to stop them as a threat. This is the deadly part. Multiple wounds, all bleeding out at once, very difficult for surgeons to treat. With a hollowpoint, a single round hits the assailant, expands, and dumps ALL of its energy into the attacker. That energy dump is extremely potent at knocking them down in often a single shot. Then that single wound can be treated the the person saved from death. This is the humane part. You're not shooting him full of a half a dozen holes to stop him from harming you, which often leads to an agonizing, drawn out death. Instead, you're thumping him with a single, hard-hitting shot that puts his ass on the ground like right now. 

Just lead alone is cruel in my opinion. They fragment way to much and produce horrible wounds. 

KK Tipton's picture

No to the armor piercing. Wikipedia is good for some things:

"The next important change in the history of the rifle bullet occurred in 1882, when Major Eduard Rubin, director of the Swiss Army Laboratory at Thun, invented the copper jacketed bullet — an elongated bullet with a lead core in a copper jacket. It was also small bore (7.5mm and 8mm) and it is the precursor of the 8mm "Lebel bullet" which was adopted for the smokeless powder ammunition of the Mle 1886 Lebel rifle.

The surface of lead bullets fired at high velocity may melt due to hot gases behind and friction with the bore. Because copper has a higher melting point, and greater specific heat capacity and hardness, copper jacketed bullets allow greater muzzle velocities.

European advances in aerodynamics led to the pointed spitzer bullet. By the beginning of the twentieth century, most world armies had begun to transition to spitzer bullets. These bullets flew for greater distances more accurately and carried more energy with them. Spitzer bullets combined with machine guns greatly increased the lethality of the battlefield."


A lead bullet up close might be more deadly due to easy expansion/fragmentation. But it will not fly faster for longer distances.
They drill out tips of jacketed bullets, "hollowpoints" so that the bullet reliably expands inside the "victim" causing maximum damage. These are used for self defense/hunting mainly. Armies don't go to war with them.

Bullets and the damage they do is mostly about mass and velocity.
Big slow bullet...big damage....short range.
Small slow bullet...tiny damage..short range.
Small bullet accelerated very fast...medium/big damage...long range.

It's all engineering tradeoffs.

yogibear's picture

Stock up now before the prices go up and there are shortages.  Iraq is falling apart after the withdrawal. Everything he does fails.

Next Afghanistan. Drones are being rendered useless by enemy hackers in several nations that hate the US including China and Russia.


economessed's picture

If guns and ammo are the new currency, I'M GOING TO BE RICH!!!!!

Irish66's picture

Northeast better catch up

OpenEyes's picture

Northeast can't catch-up.  Gun ownership laws are onerous in most NE states.  I live in NY City and I can tell you that, unless you are a cop or work for the G'ment, it's practially impossible to get a permit to even own a gun, much less carry one.  And the penalties for not complying with registration laws are really severe including mandatory time in the big house.  

Irish66's picture

I'd tell you what state to go to but I'd be shot

Xanadu_doo's picture

Another good reason to get out of NYC!


Although Zombie Rockettes might be an interesting sight...

clymer's picture

I live in MA. Just go for legal long guns and spend time at the range. a .22 is better than nothing (and the ammo is cheap)

chubbar's picture

Er, Vermont & New Hampshire ring a bell? Both are OPEN carry states. Just hang a gun on your belt and walk around town. New Hampshire you just trot down to the police chief or sherriff and have them sign your conceal carry permit. Vermont I don't think they even need the permit! I'm not sure about Maine but I don't believe the gun laws are onerous (it's definitely not open carry though).

DaveyJones's picture

many states are open carry, unless you have a felony or DV conviction