Prepping for the Next Cold War
Kevin Felts 02.26.19
Russian leaders have been accused to violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF). As a result, President Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement. What was Russia’s next move? President Putin said if the United States deploys nuclear missiles in Europe, Russia would point their new hypersonic weapons at U.S. targets.
Let’s pause and think about that for a second. What’s to make us believe the hypersonic missiles are not already programmed to hit targets in the United States? After all, what purpose does a missile sitting in a silo without a target serve?
For the sake of discussion let’s say tensions escalate between President Trump and President Putin; how could this directly affect us?
Ammunition and Components
Let’s say another Cold War does happen, the United States military (all branches) may place orders for massive amounts of ammunition. Those orders could cause shortages in the civilian market. Not shortages in just loaded ammunition, but also smokeless gun powder, primes, and new brass for reloading.
In the 1990s when the U.S. government would buy massive orders of ammunition, shortly thereafter supplies of primers, powder, and loaded ammunition would take a nose dive. There were a few periods in the 1990s when primers were almost impossible to find, and the same for certain types of smokeless gun powder. Sometimes the shortages would last a few weeks, while other times the shortages would last months.
If we see another Cold War on the horizon, someone may want to grab a few more boxes of ammunition than they typically do. This is especially true if they shoot oddball calibers which are already in short supply.
Over the past few months it seems prices of 22 long rifle have been on the decrease. While prices are low whomever is sitting on the fence may want to grab a few extra boxes.
Chances are there are more Communist Bloc surplus rifles in the United States than anyone will ever know. In the mid-1990s someone could walk into a gun show with $200 and walk out with an SKS and a case of 1,440 rounds Russian made 7.62×39 ammunition. Back in those days the case was made out of wood and had three sealed battle packs.
Then there are the unknown number of Mosin Nagant rifles which have been imported over the decades. Even though the Mosin Nagant is still being imported, prices have crept up over the decades.
If President Trump wanted to, he could impose an import ban on certain types of firearms, just as presidents before him have done. This means Communist Bloc surplus firearms and ammunition would not dry up, but prices would probably increase dramatically.
Access To Lead
In 2013 an event happened which may not have gotten the attention it needed. Under the Obama Administration the last raw lead smelting plant in the United States closed. Currently, our only way to smelt raw lead ore is through overseas companies.
We can process recycled lead, but we as a nation do not have the ability to take raw lead ore and smelt it into a usable product. From the Firearm Blog – Last Remaining Lead Smelter In The USA Closing After 120 Years.
If the government were to start ordering, or plan on order massive amounts of ammunition, demand may exceed supply. The only way to break our dependence on overseas lead suppliers would be to open our own lead smelting plant.
Let’s keep an ear to the ground for any mention of the Doe Run lead smelting plant reopening.
During the last Cold War people were urged to conserve food, fuel, electricity… etc. We have come a long ways since then. Today, a great number of people think nothing about throwing away a plate full of food left over from a buffet bar.
Having grown up in the 1970s and 1980s, my first grade teacher explained what to do, and what not to do if we saw a flash and a mushroom cloud outside the school.
A lot has changed since the last Cold War, and I honestly do not know if the currently generation are willing to make the sacrifices like our parents and grandparents made.
Let’s hope tensions between the United States and Russia do not continue to rise.