Forget The Economist's famous "Big Mac" index -- at least if you're trying to get a bead on the economic and political direction of certain Middle Eastern countries. This article suggests that a forward stability index won't be found in the prices at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) but in the price of a machine gun. A Kalashnikov, to be exact.

If the reported numbers are true, it represents 600% appreciation in the price of the world's most popular assault weapon since "when the instability and fear index was low." That's the kind of pricing power U.S. firearms producers like Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR) or Smith & Wesson Holdings (NASDAQ:SWHC) could only dream of.

Unfortunately, this is serious business. A civil war in Lebanon won't do the country, or the region, any good. And U.S. investors could quickly feel a pinch. There are dozens of Israel-based companies trading on U.S. exchanges, from Aladdin Knowledge Systems (NASDAQ:ALDN) to LanOptics (NASDAQ:LNOP) and Zion Oil & Gas.

That's why we track these developments at Motley Fool Global Gains, our new international investing service. (A free trial is available here.)

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At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had no positions in any company mentioned here. See his latest blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.