We are having an excellent year selling bearings (made of very precious "52100 steel") in Peru. Bearings earn us money, and so are precious! They even might have a Relative Value... As of last week, August was our best selling month ever:
August will likely close out at some $195,000 (Friday and Saturday are holidays there), August looks like it will beat our previous best month by around 25% (see the two months highlighted above).
Even though steel is essentially ubiquitous, in bearing form it generates income for us, we bring these needed pieces into Peru, and our customers buy them. Peru being slightly more capitalist than the USA (yes, I argue that it is), our customers have the option of taking their business elsewhere... But, they buy from us. Why? Because our quality:price ratio is favorable to them. Here are the most popular pieces from August only:
All pieces highlighted in yellow are KBC pieces that went on sale last week, and almost all of them are our bread & butter pieces for the Daewoo Tico. The two pieces highlighted in orange are KBC as well, but very few makes these special pieces (for Korean vehicles).
The pieces highlighted in purple (and with prefix "50") are our recently arrived Delfu pieces (see my containerload of bearings piece here: http://robertmixblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-containerload-of-bearings.html) that are special pieces that they made for us, we asked them to make them, and they did! We did not have to offer to buy 5000 pieces either... Delfu piece 50-E100A (third best seller in August) is a new piece for us (for Nissan) and Delfu piece 50-S11-3301030 is a new piece for us for a Chinese car called the "Zotye" (think "sautier" in French). Our company is venturing into new territory, we are bring surpise to Peru, new pieces that no one else has done. (I will likely have more to write on the notion of NEW and SURPRISE in business when I finish George Gilder's new book: Knowledge and Power, review coming as soon as I can finish it!)
A picture of some products made of precious 52100 steel:
Top left piece is a "Third Generation" wheel bearing ("Hub and Bearing Assembly", for rear wheel of Hyundai Sonata), if you look carefully you can see two flanges with holes. Top right is a "Second Generation" piece (rear wheel Hyundai Accent). Both Hub & Bearing Assemblies are Iljin (Korea). Lower right is a ball bearing, by careful inspection you can see a groove around the outer surface (transmission of a Hyundai car). Bottom in the middle is a "Generation One" wheel bearing (a "double row angular contact" type, this one for front wheel of Hyundai Accent). The lower left is a tapered roller bearing ("Timken" type), it is two pieces: a "cone" and a "cup". Here is a more detailed look at that last piece:
The narrow end of the "cone" fits right into the cup. This type of bearing, for reasons I do not fully understand, are often harder for us to get than any other type.
In addition to the unfortunate boating accidents and other tragic losses that many of us have read about losing precious metals, there is one other consideration: defending our precious! Guns & ammo are owned (and used!) by some 80 million Americans, with about as many firearms here as there are people (300 million plus).
Ownership of firearms is protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Woe be unto you, confiscators! Molon Labe! CATIYMF's!
Yesterday a friend and I went "training" with our weapons (this had absolutely nothing to do with entertainment or fun or anything, NOTHING!). We both brought an "assault weapon" (mine an AK-47"semi-auto and he brought his Bushmaster AR-15 clone) and a sidearm (my a 9 mm Beretta, he brought his .38 Special). I shot some low quality (but cheap!) Russian ammo, Russian AK bullets are made of steel (not lead). Steel is cheaper... Steel, however, offers one property that lead does not: it is (almost) armor-piercing! But shooting cheapo Russian ammo makes a gun dirty fast, and it was time to clean my AK anyway (I have shot almost 2000 rounds through it, this was the third time cleaning it).
Here are my two "precious metals delivery devices" (note genuine Russian sling on the AK and brown rubber recoil reduction sleeve at the butt-end):
My AK "field-stripped":
Some things to note:
1) It is a lot easier to strip the rifle than put it back together...
2) I could not have done this without the instructions (upper right)
3) It took six gun patches (and gun oil) and four napkins for me to get everything clean
4) There are seven pieces, that includes the cleaning rod (left)
It took me about an hour to strip, clean and re-assemble the rifle. Check out this video of Russian high school kids who do it much faster (a part of their HS curriculum):
And what do our high schoolers learn?
My Beretta, field-stripped:
Any well prepared gun owner knows that it is important to have a lot of rounds loaded up and ready to go (you do not even have to be from Texas to know that, but it helps!). So every time I go to shoot (and afterwards clean my weapons), I try to reload magazines...:
The bottom five magazines ("clips") hold 10 rounds each of my 9 mm Luger rounds, the capacity of each magazine is 13. The top two "banana magazines" at left hold 7.62 * 39 mm ammo, "Fiocchi' brand (made-in-Hungary), if you look closely you can see the cartridges are made of brass (yellow color). The upper-right two magazines hold Russian steel-cased (and steel bullets w/ a copper coating) ammo.
The total number of rounds loaded into the above magazines is 130. I have a few more loaded as well, but I would be in "last place" among red-blooded Texas guys, I used to live in Texas (long ago) so I would know, and my Texas friends tell me that not having thousands of rounds loaded up makes one suspect...