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Ammunition for trade: bartering instead of cash

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When a man in rural upstate New York recently had central air-conditioning installed in his home, he offered an unusual method of payment for the job.

“The owner said, ‘My father just passed away and left me some guns and ammunition,’” recalls a 63-year-old electrician named Richard, who offered only his first name. “The guy gave me 3,000 rounds of 9-mm ammunition.” The bullets are worth around . “After that, I added it to my business card that I accept cash or bartered items.”

Richard isn't alone. A new bartering economy in which ammo, not cash, is the preferred currency has been gaining ground, especially online. Websites like  and  brand themselves as firearms-driven marketplaces where you can get a  for a collection of ammo clips and a  in exchange for 9-mm or .40-caliber bullets. Similar ads have popped up on Craigslist. And boutique bartering pages have also surfaced on Facebook, some of which offer to trade .

Bartering in general is a rapid growth industry in the U.S., according to the , which estimates that the tit-for-tat economy has risen by a whopping $12 billion a year over the past three decades. But bartering for ammo is particularly popular among the survival set, who are stockpiling bullets along with canned food in case of an apocalypse.

story | by Dr. Radut