This is a discussion on Bullets As Currency within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Internationally recognized. Canadian Maple Leafs, U.S. Gold Eagles, Rands, etc. Save for Diamonds over 1 CT - Gold is the most concentrated easily portable "wealth" ...
I always figured the ATF would be the defacto currency..Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms (and related goods). Alcohol can keep a while, tobacco, I'm not sure, but ammo can last a loooong time...and worst case, you get to shoot it up over time anyway.
Oh, I also figure toilet paper would eventually become quite a popular item as well, once the main supplies ran out...
From a little studying of history, I think that at first barter would be the only form of trade. After a while, months or maybe a couple of years, we would start to use some form of currency. Gold and silver are the first obvious possibilities, but one couldn't tell. Shells have been used as currency at several points in history, as have other metals. Copper, bronze, even and even tin have been used. Some alloys have been more valuable as currency than in producing items at various points in history, just because they were rare and difficult to produce.
IIRC, salt was even currency at one time.
I don't remember it being currency, but it was literally worth its weight in gold. Salt was traded on par with gold for quite a while through the middle east due to it's rarity, and the necessity to biological function.
Remember when we could go to the local hardware store and buy ammo?Those were good times.
22LR will likely become the "Coin of the Relm". Me I have several Bricks of 22LR and tons of components to build lots of other common pistol rounds. If you have strange calibers you may be out of luck cause what is common will win out. Rifle rounds will not get you much.
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Society/the market will always choose a preferred form of currency after a certain point, if that is allowed to happen. As has been mentioned, gold and silver were not the preferred forms of currency in all parts of the world. However, in much of the world, it was. Fiat currencies and currency inflation aren't anything new; and indeed, the only thing all societies that have tried it have in common is that every single one of them have failed and utterly collapsed after a certain point. Those who haven't, will - just give it time.
If we were to abandon fiat currency and allow the market to choose whatever form of compensation it wanted, we would indeed most likely see gold and silver make a comeback, since most people on the planet recognize it as a legitimate form of money.
In a SHTF situation, things like ammunition and long lasting food supplies would certainly be a form of currency, IMHO.
I think .22LR would be a safe bet as a currency. It is common enough that people could be expected to have it, and also plentiful enough that it could be used for small transactions.
How do you give someone $5 worth of gold? Unless you are filing down coins you need assayers and accurate scales. I think it would eventually go back to gold and silver bullion but they are rare enough that for common daily transactions they just wouldnt be practical. One way of doing gold that worked well historically was gold chains. I think chains of common fourteen carat would be good. It then would come down to how heavy the chain is. Fine chain would be by the inch or centimeter, heavy chains historically were done by the link. Gold bullion would be problematic for buying anything under a couple of hundred dollars. Silver would be useful but again unless you are dealing whole ounces you need assay and scales.
I have some graded and slabbed silver American Eagles. Right now, because of the grade they are worth significantly more than spot price. I have one that according to one company has a collector value of about $350. If I had to use it in commerce after a collapse, I could probably expect to get about $12 for it. I can't depend on the guy with the bag of wheat caring what grade and mint mark it is. It is just an ounce of silver.
Even with gold and silver we would have to wary of conterfeits. How many people know the difference between a real gold coin and those ones from various "mints" you see advertised at three a.m. on cable? Does the guy looking to buy that gun from you have an ounce of gold or a one ounce coin electroplated with .1 gram of gold?
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Last edited by Ram Rod; September 19th, 2010 at 03:02 PM.
Don't they use .22 on livestock? That makes it even more valuable (and might also explain why they had it at the feed shop). I wish more places around here sold ammo. However, at least our Wal Marts do. Some areas don't sell ammo, let alone guns, like ours do. Downside is that I haven't seen any 45 ACP at my local WM for over a year. It's just never there - but they always seem to have plenty of WWB 9mm.
I think that hydra (water) as it's called in Waterworld, food, seeds, fuel and ammo make much more sense as barter tools. Think about it. Go camping in a remote area for 4 weeks, and see what items make your life tolerable. Did the gold coins in you pocket do any thing for you when there is no store for 100 miles?
Water, food and firewood though do allow you to survive.