When Your Portfolio Is Packing Heat

Some people invest in stocks, others invest in lobbyists. Still others, The Wall Street Journal reports, are investing in assault rifles. Just as Slate laments spring as the start of gun season, Freakonomics readers might find more to worry about with the start of swimming pool season. [%comments]

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  1. Mike says:

    I’ve always said to invest in hard goods that have utility. Worst case scenario, my guns are worth now what I paid for them 5 years ago. But if things go bad, their value skyrockets. It’s my hedge against the economy. But that article is right. I’m having trouble even getting more ammo because of people stocking up faster than me :)

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  2. spoon says:

    Mike, so there are no bubbles in goods with utility… like houses? The value of guns & ammo will only go up or stay the same.. like houses?

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  3. Joel says:

    Spoon, they could…just like a house. A house will not immediately depreciate in value when you buy it…like a car. So firearms and ammo are the same as houses in that respect, that don’t depreciate as soon as you walk out the door. It takes time for both to depreciate, if at all.

    With firearms, the more use and lack of maintenance done on them will bring down the value. And sometimes, certain firearms will go out of style and that will bring the price down. The only things that really make a firearm go ‘out of style’ are either bad reputations about the gun (inaccurate, unreliable, shoddy workmanship, etc.) or the manufacturer going under, making it harder to maintain or get replacement parts.

    Ammo does have a shelf life, and therefore will lose near complete value at some point. I guess even after the ammo becomes unusable, it could still be sold for scrap metal. However, with today’s manufacturing process, the shelf life can exceed 50 years, if the ammo is stored properly (kept at correct temp. and moisture.)

    Overall, both firearms and ammunition are decent investments. You won’t see nearly the return on investment that you would realize from other investments, but it is a reliable investment that will almost always guarantee a positive return.

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  4. Fred says:

    I shoot military surplus ammunition manufactured in Yugoslavia in the mid ’50s on a regular basis and have no problems. However, keep in mind that the primers used in non-corrosive commercial ammunition are not as stable as the corrosive primers used in the older ComBlock ammunition.

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  5. Kevin P. says:

    I have been shooting surplus Greek .30-06 ammo with the headstamps on the cartridges dating back to the 1960s – older than I am.

    I have gone through about 500+ rounds so far with not a single misfire.

    The cartridges were in sealed metal boxes, but I doubt that they were treated much more gently than that.

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