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Despite the fact that the U.S. has buried the hatchet (or Mauser) with its traditional enemies, despite the obvious truth that American consumers rely on inexpensive imports to maintain their quality of life, some gun buyers won’t purchase a firearm unless it’s marked “Made in America.” Fair enough. But are American guns better than the foreign competition? Russia, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Italy–they all make some amazing firearms. But who makes the best? I know the question depends on a farrago of unspecified variables. Design or manufacture? Handgun, rifle or both? Sport, self-defense or military? Custom or mass market? But generally speaking, who makes the best guns?

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69 Responses to Question of the Day: Does America Make the World’s Best Guns?

  1. Germans make the best Sig Sauers
    Austrian’s make the best Glocks
    Americans make the best Smith & Wesson
    Russians make the best AKs

  2. As Clint would say:

    “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one”

    What it really comes down to is giving your hard-earned money to an AMERICAN company that supports american workers so you can keep america strong!

    Screw the imports!!!!!

    • “What it really comes down to is giving your hard-earned money to an AMERICAN company that supports american workers so you can keep america strong!”

      I’m not going to GIVE my money to anyone, I’m going to TRADE it and get the best possible deal I can!

      If you only want to buy American made products then good for you, spend your money how you wish. I, having limited resources, will endeavor to make the most of them. If that means buying a Glock over a more expensive and less reliable American made handgun then so be it.

      If American companies want my money, they need to earn it. I am fully confident in their ability to do so, and I’m not saying American companies don’t make good guns, I’m just weary of the this idea of only buying American because “America! F— yeah!” It seems to me that if everyone did that, and if American companies didn’t have to worry about competing with amazing companies like Glock and Berretta, that we’d soon see quality decrease and prices increase.

      • There’s more to price than what appears on the receipt. When your neighbor can’t find a job and goes on food stamps, who pays more taxes? You do. When your money goes to your neighbor, guess who buys more of the stuff you make and the services you provide? Money that goes overseas generally doesn’t come back again very quickly.

        Yeah, buying American is a form of welfare. It’s giving your neighbor a helping hand, when he might not actually “deserve” it quite as much as some worker in Italy. But it’s a form of welfare that doesn’t get filtered through some government agency somewhere, it’s a form of welfare that teaches your neighbor’s kids that money comes from getting up and going to work in the morning, and not from a EBT card. Which means that your kids will grow up living next to a few more workers, and a few less people who are dependent on government.

        So think about the real prices the next time you look at the label.

        • If you want manufacturing to return to America you’re going to have to convince the American consumer to pay more for domestic goods vs cheaper imports, if you can’t do that than you’re going to have to convince American workers to take a pay cut to compete.

          I would love to buy American goods, but the quality is crap and the prices are to high. Kel-Tec is a great example of this. Sure they’re American, but good luck finding a KSG, RFB, PLR-16 SU-16 in a store near you. And if you do just prepare yourself to send it back at least once.

          Or you can go to a company like Springfield, the MIA is assembled here, but the parts are made in Taiwan. The XD is made in Croatia, and their 1911’s are made in Brazil. American assembled and proud of it.

        • American’s that lose their jobs to cheap foreign imports were working in an inefficient industry where America did not have a competitive advantage. The death of inefficient industries is actually good for the American economy as a whole. As the workers laid off from those inefficient industries can now be hired to work in a field where America as a competitive advantage. America, like every other nation, should strive to specialize in industries were we are the most efficient; to do otherwise is actually to limit our economic possibilities. Free trade expands outward our industrial production opportunity graph, representing economic growth. Anyone who buys American for the sake of buying American is acting illogically and probably needs to take Economics 101.

        • American made products aren’t made by American workers they are made by American capital. American uses massive amounts of capital and machinery in lieu of expensive labor. So, don’t blame the Chinese, blame R2D2 for taking all the American manufacturing jobs.

          By the way, on the Ruger employment website (http://www.ruger.com/footer/employment.html) I see openings for two engineers and two bureaucrats.

      • But what is AMERICAN a SPRINGFIELD XD,series BUILT OVERSEAS by FOREIGN workers but owned by an AMERICAN COMPANY,OR CERTAIN SIG SAUER,GLOCK MODELS BUILT my AMERICAN workers but owned by FOREIGN COMPANIES?

  3. america makes the best mass produced sporting arms for the common man in the world. and i believe we produce more pistols than any other country. and all these arms, with the occasional lemon, are perfectly functional. i have working guns in my safe, not works of art. for the most part mine are made in america.

    • your right JWM, I forgot about the “works of art” guns that people just like to look at and not use. Silly me, I still treat my guns as tools to be used for a purpose.

      I don’t really care how you classify a product, the point is to go out of your way as a citizen to support american workers, american companies that STAY in america, and keeping our money for OUR economy.

      The list of people who help foreigners stay one up on american anything these days is so long you can’t see from one end of it to the other and if WE, as citizens, don’t take care of our own, well…., we already know nobody else is going to.

      KEEP AMERICA WORKING….BUY AMERICAN EVERYTHING AND LET IT BE KNOWN THAT IMPORTS WILL ALWAYS BE A DISTANT SECOND

      • This is economic nonsense, the very sort of protectionism that Adam Smith originally railed against. Like Lord_Platypus said, if American consumers limit themselves to only the domestic market, the rate of improvement will not be as high, and the relative costs will increase.

        Further, when American consumers buy Glocks or Sigs with dollars, the Europeans who make those guns have to either use those dollars to buy American products or debt, or trade (exchange) them with someone else who will. That money makes it back to the American economy, one way or another, and the US citizen has a superior product. He is thus better able to defend himself and his country.

        Protectionism does not make a country strong.

        • Good answer. Like it or not, we are part of a world economy. Protectionism is dead. Few companies make something from scratch anyway with many companies from many countries hands in the cookie jar. I remember crappy American autos foisted on the public in the late seventies by libtard morons and their democrat unions. Game over.

      • There was once a business owner who felt “Buy American” was pretty good. He supported that AND advertised it. After his death, his company abandoned the philosophy and pushed their suppliers to sell cheaper to them and increase their own profits at the same time: “Manufacture your goods in China.” Don’t want to? Well either they would threaten to stop carrying a manufacturer’s product or offer them a buy out from another company (in order for them to get the original proposed deal in the end either by forcing the manufacturer to cave, or sell out …errrr… I mean sell off the company.)

        Corporate America sold out America for a fast and immediate buck. Yes, we can blame American workers too (especially those who hid in unions and didn’t care about how they did their jobs… not to hard to imagine when some companies see only the expense of human resources and treat them as such.

        Here’s another example. A guy was working for a company that made products. He had an idea that would cost a few cents per unit of product, and would improve the quality and dependability of the product. But the bean counters shot it down in a heart-beat because it broke the price-point. (So instead of a few cents per product and improved reliability, they’d rather have a larger warranty budget.)

        The monster of capitalism, greed, is what has hurt us all. Apathy of employees who have no incentive to try to do the best they can, companies who expect the work of two or more people from a single person. Those who want Jesus doing the job for free, etc. THOSE are what has hurt us. And… of course corporate politicking has made it easier for corporations to do whatever they want, however they can get away with it.

        Please note that I’m not against corporations making profits, just against making those profits at the expense of others.

        • Most of what you say is incorrect. Are you a liberal?
          The 70’s auto unions are all you need to know on the subject. We are a world economy. There is no point in bitching about it. Nut up and embrace reality.

    • I am almost ashamed to admit it, but I drive a Japanese car. I can justify it as atonement for my father’s participation in our war of imperial conquest against the peace loving people of Nippon (I have his Japanese flag from Bougainville to prove it). Also, the complete failure of the transmissions/transaxles on my 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass wagon and my 1985 Chevrolet Celebrity had something to do with it, if I am honest. I like used guns, so I really don’t worry too much about the country of origin.

      • Don’t be ashamed. My ‘Japanese’ truck was built in California, and its sourced parts are 80% American. That beats 2 out of 3 ‘American made’ trucks (with no bailouts). It’s a global economy these days and while I like to buy American, hardly anything is 100% American. My Ruger SR9 has a magazine from Italy, for instance. My CMMG AR is all from right here in Missouri, though.

      • Don’t be ashamed… It could be assembled in the USA… just as American cars can easily be assembled in Mexico or elsewhere. You can’t go by the manufacturer name any more.

        i.e. the 80’s & ’90s Chevy/Geo Prism or Nova = re-badged Toyota Camry. Chevy/Geo Metro = Suzuki Swift. Geo Tracker = Suzuki Sidekick. If not a complete re-badge, it was based off the other vehicle. and borrowed quite a bit, regardless if it was assembled in the USA. (does TTAC remember this?)

  4. German guns for form and function.
    American guns for function and price.
    Russian guns for fun.
    English guns for millionaires.

    As a brief aside, German rifles in 9.3 x62 were the working mans rifle in Africa. A little ironic given their perception as “elitist” by some. You know what? Elitist guns kick ass!

    • Most of the TTAG crowd have very little exposure to either the “best gun” market (regardless of whether the gun was made in London, France, the Suhl region, Italy, the Basque region of Spain, etc), American “best” guns (like a Winchester 21 or a Model 12 Pigeon gun) or American guild-level guns.

      So while there are some very nice guns that are actually quite affordable compared to the London guns (like H&H, Purdey or Westley Richards), most people here haven’t a clue about things like nice German “working rifles” in 9.3×62 – partly because they don’t know the German gun industry, don’t know that there are some very nice old American guns that are both quite usable and collectable and don’t seem to care.

      This is, IMO, because too many people chase guns made in very silly “magnum” chamberings, pimped out by the various glossy gun magazines. That, and the recent obsession with “tactical” nonsense.

        • American guns are excellent overall, but there are also foreign examples that are just as effective. I definitely believe that the best ARs (POF Armory, LWRCi, Ruger, Colt, Smith, etc) are made in the US. Glock, Sig, and HK also make great firearms. Just as important, the best ammunition is made in the US (Lake City, Federal, Hornady, Silver State Armory, Wilson Combat, Buffalo Bore, Nosler, etc.). All things being equal, I will definitely buy US guns and ammo, but I’ll buy a German or Austrian piece if that fits the bill the best.

        • The number of people who actually use “tactical” weapons for-real compared to the hurricane of BS advertising such designations is so small as to be negligible.

  5. Quality?
    LMT and some other manufacturers destroy HK, FN, Beretta, etc. Also nowhere is this more true than in our custom firearms and sporting industries.

    Design? Especially with regards to military small arms, we are lagging behind. We as a nation do not currently field a home-grown design that can compete with the ARX-160 or FN SCAR. Except maybe the ACR which frankly despite the cries of fanboys is not that great.

    I really REALLY wish that wasn’t true, but it is.

  6. There’s a fine line between patriotism and protectionism…
    American gunmakers are certainly capable of making anything anyone else can make, and capable of making it as well or better…

    You seem to forget that the thing that spurs American gunmakers on for improvement is competition…whether domestic or foreign, the idea that in a free marketplace we should be rewarding those to do it better (including cheaper for a given quality level)…and if they’re foreign, that should prompt the American makers into a continuing cyclical improvement process that “buying only American” cannot generate…

    For the good of all, for now and to “stimulate” the future, buy the best value you can afford…

    That said, I’ve recently bought (new), a Ruger and a Built-in-America Sig, a Smith&Wesson, a couple of North Americans,… and for used guns, a couple of 90 year old Colts and a Smith and Wesson or two…

    To keep the market free and healthy, buy the best value in the marketplace that fills the need.

    • Actually, no. What spurs Americans on to innovation isn’t foreign competition. At least, not just competition based on labor costs. This is particularly visible in the gun market, because it’s the one market where – thanks to gun controllers – we do still have some protectionism. And it’s the perfect demonstration, because we have control groups: some types of firearm imports are banned, and some are not.

      Small, inexpensive handguns have been limited for years. You can’t get many Chinese and Russian guns. You can’t get many foreign “assault rifles” anymore, and even parts are getting thin on the ground. And which segments of the firearm industry are the most healthy? Where do you see the most innovation now that they’re not competing on price alone, and American companies can actually make enough profit to invest in R&D?

      That’s right. Ugly black rifles and pocket pistols.

      Competition only works to promote innovation when companies are competing based on who can provide the most innovative products. When they’re competing based on access to cheap labor, innovation takes a back seat to minimizing labor costs. Before 922r compliance parts, there were no adjustable AK triggers. It wasn’t worth it to anybody. Nobody was going to develop (or buy) an advanced trigger for a $300 Chinese gun. And they didn’t. But once cost was no longer the primary basis for comparison, it became worthwhile to create that new product. Sure, now we pay more, but we have options we didn’t have before. That’s true technological innovation. Before, the only acceptable “advance” was one that found a way to make the same parts cheaper.

      Competition can be good if it comes from improvements in technology. Competition that comes from the fact that a repressed Chinese laborer can be paid less isn’t. It just drags everyone down to the lowest possible level.

  7. Dollar for dollar, no. A $500 glock will run rings around a $500 just-about-anything-made-here.

    Overall, in terms of durability, serviceability and finish, I would say yes– by a slight margin. It used to be a huge margin, but then we decided to export most of our manufacturing ability, and the dark ages of the 70s and 80s didn’t help much.

    • Hey, its a free country still (for now), so buy whatever you like.

      My point is that americans have been shat upon for decades now and the only help we are going to get is from ourselves, period.

      Keeping competition alive between AMERICAN companies is great because all the generated stuff stays here, in america.

      Having to compete against the rest of the world with an unfair trade imbalance, bought & paid for politicians, greed and corruption, mountains of red tape & pure BS, it is a wonder we have not collapsed yet.

      WHY is it so goddamn hard for people to support the country they live in?

      • I purchase, train with and use serious defensive weapons. When the FREE MARKET brings me an American design (many “European” weapons for American consumers are actually made in America now) built by an American Company that can compete in terms of quality, accuracy, design and reliability with my SCAR 17/16 I will be happy as a clam to buy it and will be the first person in line. I do own some amazing American firearms, but combat pistols and rifles are not among them. This is of course with the obvious exception of direct gas impingement rifles of which I own several. DGI is fantastic for DMR (LMT 308) and home defense (light, quick, soft shooting) but would not be my choice for a suppressed or high-round count rifle. DGI and 1911’s are great, but how much farther are we really going to be able to lazily float on those designs? Have you seen the ARX-160? I’m pretty sure that thing streams Netflix, makes you a cup of coffee and gives you a hand job all while shooting sub-moa groups.

        I get the equipment and tools that work the best for my intended purposes. The result: Japanese truck, Belgian rifle. My vehicle has gone eight years without a mechanical problem. My buddies’ Fords, Chevys and Dodges? Not so much. Buying something for nationalism’s sake at the expense of results is rewarding lazy companies for putting out inferior products and allowing them to continue to get away with it. That does not help American manufacturing. Demanding good products and making capitalism work for the consumer does. Competition is competition. Only giving American companies consideration when NONE of them offer a product I want is anti-capitalist nonsense. As for red tape, a lot of these foreign companies have invested a lot in America. They have built factories here and created jobs and deal with retarded import restrictions and STILL bring superior products. Do Colt, S&W or Remington deal with those types of red tape? No, and they still get sh*t stomped because they aren’t bringing their A game and frankly from a market standpoint they deserve it. As long as we permit governments to meddle, unions to strangle and companies to stagnate I foresee competitive, innovative foreign companies continuing to dominate our consumers’ attention.

        • im sorry but on the hand gun end of things your argument is BS, S&W M&P’s, Ruger SR and Kahr series pistols compete just fine and are equally priced in most situations with Glock, HK, and FN Pistols.

          in terms of Revolvers S&W still makes some of the best all around guns.

          and Clearly you are ignoring rifles like the ADCom BEAR, most of LMT’s Piston driven systems, the Robinson arms XCR, and Ruger’s piston driven AR’s.

          simply put i dont think you really know the depth of the options that are out there in the USA made field or you just dont care cause you may just be crafting examples around a predetermined fandom.

        • Most of the weapons sourced to the DOD are supplied on anything but a “free market” basis.

          Bids for DOD RFQ’s are rigged all the time, either by gaming the bid process, inside access through the agency, Congress, etc.

          Further, the weapons acquisition process is complicated by NATO agreements and logistics.

        • Dan,
          The BEAR, LMT and LWRCI are just repackaged ARs.  Nothing new, and I have owned the LWRCI M6A2, Ruger SR556, and LMT pistons.  All short stroke monstrosities that had severe carrier tilt and cam pin strikes inside the upper and the Ruger wore so unevenly on the bolt lugs that one broke off.  I sold all with the exception of the LMT that I converted to DGI because I love LMT.  My issue with our military rifle fieldings (none of the above would cut it) is that they’re just converted ARs.  This is with the exception of the ACR (and ROBARMS XCR… yuck) and that fantastic design has been ruined by freedom group manufacturing.  The issue is not QUALITY as I stated earlier, we produce excellent arms with great fit and function.  The issue is engineering, and our inability to pair a winning design with a company who can make a superior product.

          As for pistols, I’m afraid I’m calling BS on your claim of BS.  Kahr = overpriced for pistols that need a “break in” period to work and often have quirks that need to be fixed at factory.  Smith… Come on dude.   I know the M&P is an ergonomic masterpiece but the first gen strikers were so bad you couldn’t dry fire the thing without breaking it.  Aftermarket strikers are STILL a smart buy for good operation.  I was so enamored with the ergonomics that I was considering buying one anyway until I noticed it had RUST on it.  RUST… On a brand new gun.  3 of the 7 pistols on the shelf had the same thing.  Who does that? Ruger, I think the fact that they have never been adopted by any LE agency I know of pretty much speaks for itself.  Can anyone here point to a single department that issues a Ruger Auto pistol? The only area smith and ruger dominate are wheel guns.

          Also as previously stated, I would KILL for a great American assault rifle design built in house by Americans.  That’s what the ACR should have been.  The only “predetermined fandom” here is blind patriotic protectionism.  The “depth” of the options out there are the ACR and short stroke ARs, guy.  The only exception is PWS, of which I am quite fond and is the only piston AR that does away with the aforementioned problems.  Namely because they went long stroke instead of short stroke which is a much simpler much less violent action.  

          Exactly what “depth” of American fieldings am I missing here? And don’t say XCR… 

      • WHY is it so goddamn hard for people to support the country they live in?

        1) Cost, in terms of production and labor. It’s pretty expensive to build things here. If you’re shopping for a utility firearm, it’s tough for a lot of people to justify an extra few hundred bucks for essentially the same hole-making device.

        2) Competition. The US gun industry has only very recently caught up with the ergonomics and quality control offered by ze chermans and others for decades. Why buy a clunky, rattly Ruger (P85 era) or a heavy S&W (full-metal semi era) when a Glock works better and is cheaper? Again, hard to swallow for the average consumer.

        If someone comes to me who’s new to the gun thing, and they want a pistol, I tell them to buy a Glock. They’re cheap and they work, both are very good things for the newbies.

        Now, with that said, I like my Glock 29. It always goes bang, is light, and checks all the boxes I need checked for a utility firearm. I won’t cry any tears if it gets scratched, or destroyed entirely, I’ll just buy another one.

        The relationship I have with most of my US-made guns is quite different, though. I’d be cheesed if something dinged up my Colt Defender. I’d blow a fuse if something happened to my Dad’s old service 1911. I really enjoy making sure my 629 is clean as a whistle after a range session. Those guns have a history I cherish, and an origin I’m proud of.

        Bottom line: There’s plenty of space for guns made here and abroad in the safe. So long as it gets filled up, everybody’s happy.

      • If we look at the classic gun makers, many of them started and were run out of states which have had a labor union presence after WWII. Until the last 20 years, the US gun industry’s center of mass was in New England, but the cancer set in back in the 40’s and 50’s when unions took over those shops.

        The center of mass for auto, machine tool and other manufacturing used to be in the midwest, also a hotbed of labor union greed.

        The labor unions have basically killed US manufacturing in these two geographic regions, with the exception of some companies that have broken the power of their unions (eg, Cat). If you’re a gunsmith as I am, you can’t even buy a new US-made manual lathe for gunsmithing any more. The unions have killed off most of the US machine makers. South Bend is a great example of labor union stupidity in machine tools. In firearms, USRAC’s final demise in 2006 and closing of the classic Winchester New Haven plant is another example of a union driving a company into the ground – but the die was cast decades ago, in 1979, with the union struck Winchester for 14+ weeks, attempting to extract more money and concessions from a company that was already losing money.

        Gun manufactures that are starting or moving to right-to-work states are able to compete, but most of these states have very little of the “manufacturing ecosystem” that the legacy states of New England and the midwest had. Without that ecosystem, there are logistics issues that have to be addressed. As an example, when I want to order machines for my shop, they’re shipped in from over 500 miles away – or the left coast. If I want tooling, it’s at least a two day delivery time just to get a batch of end mills, twist drills, etc. If I were located in the midwest, I could probably drive in any direction for 25 miles and get everything I need in an hour. This is true in many places in the US west, where the “new gun industry” is starting to locate in increasing numbers.

        The US gun industry will come back, eventually, just as other manufacturing industries in the US will, but it will take time. Capital has to be found, engineering talent has to be recruited, people have to be trained, etc.

        One place I’d keep my eye on for the future of the US gun industry is Rapid City, SD.

  8. I’ve owned/traded/inherited/used quite a variety of firearms in the course of my life and my personal favorite and best-of-the-best list (from my sample of ONE) goes like this;

    Best out-of-box pistol:
    CZ-75B .40 S&W (Czech)
    VERY close second, SIG P229 (technically American )

    Best out-of-box revolver:
    Smith & Wesson 686 .357mag (pre-lock)

    Best out-of-box shotgun: TIE
    Amberri Y Sons 12ga SxS (tiny Spanish company, long gone, true craftsmanship)
    CZ “Redhead Deluxe” over/under (Czech)

    Best out-of-box Rifle (hunting) TIE
    Remington 7600 pump action (mine is in .243 Winchester)
    Remington 798 (bolt action in 30-06)

    Best out-of-box Rifle (SUR sports utility rifle) TIE
    K31 (Swiss)
    Panther Arms AP4 LR-308 (US)
    HONORABLE MENTION: Alexander Arms 50 Beowulf (US)

    So in summary, I don’t think the US makes the best over everything, but I do think we make some damned fine guns (especially hunting rifles). Then again, there are an awful lot of guns out there I’ve never had the opportunity to use.

  9. For the price point, I have been extremely pleased with everything that I have used from Ruger. Granted, I haven’t used all of their products, but what I have handled has been exceptional.

  10. Are American guns better than the foreign competition?

    Depends. They certainly used to be. In Winchester’s heyday, I’d put the top-of-the-line Winchester up against almost anything from almost anywhere, with the possible exception of the London best bespoke guns. Winchester’s top-of-the line guns in the pre-WWI to mid-1950’s were wonders of craftmanship. Even when Winchester was on death’s doorstep in 1930, they brought out one of the finest US side-by-side guns ever made, the Model 21 – the gun that could not be blown up, the gun that fired over 2,000 proof loads without any detectable change in chamber or barrel dimension and it was still on-face when done.

    Since the 1960’s, however, US gun buyers have been motivated by price first, quality second, and this has resulted in a race to the bottom in mass-produced American gun quality. Today we see more and more product introductions in what I call the “Walmart” class of guns and very few product introductions at the high end of anyone’s product line.

    There is money being spent by American gun buyers of higher-end guns, tho. Look to the shotgun market for excellent examples. Why do our Olympic competitors use Perazzi shotguns? Why do trap competitors use Brownings that are made in Japan? Or consider a newer entry into the US shotgun market – Caesar Gureini. Their guns begin in the $4K range. They’re doing rather well in the sporting clays and other clay markets. Why couldn’t a US gun maker be serving that sporting gun market?

    Because they don’t want to. They’d rather make low-brow crap, like Remington’s “new” rifle, the 770.

    And so today, I’d say that mass-produced, US-made guns aren’t top-of-line, with a very few exceptions.

    • I’ll reply to your earlier comment here because my iPhone sucks.

      Your comment that the tactical market is miniscule could not be more wrong. America builds the best AR’s, one of the most popular weapon designs in the world. LWRCi and POF armory make excellent AR-15’s. So do a host of US manufacturers. The ARX-160 looks to be an excellent design, but I don’t see how it makes the AR-15 obsolete. Particularly the self – cleaning short stroke piston designs. There are good reasons why Ruger, Smith, and Remington are making huge sales.

      Additionally, the ammo used makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of the design, and the US home to Federal / ATK which makes the excellent MK 318 Mod 0 . Plus there’s the exceptional ammo from Gunwerks, Nosler, etc. as well as the others I mentioned. I don’t see Germany or Austria making any better ammo than the US. Russia and China aren’t even close.

  11. I own about half and half domestic and “furrin'” guns. Everybody makes good stuff. Including our erstwhile enemies and including places you would never expect for manufacturing prowess or innovative engineering.

    (And bad. The “ring ‘o fire” guns (bryco/jennings/lorcin/whoever they are this year) are an American product.)

      • Way to not be up with the times. Do you not buy British products either due to the sting of 1812?

        YUGOSLAVIA DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE.

        Do you think Yugoslavia had any choice in their political alignment?

        Please feel free to enlighten us all.

        China is our enemy more than Yugoslavia ever was.

        • tito was communist, but he went his own way to the consternation of moscow. yugoslavia was never a threat to western europe like the other countries behind the iron curtain.

  12. Well I will speak from my experiences.
    Glock makes a fine pistol. It is relatively inexpensive, and works great. However for me the ergonomics don’t fit my hand well. I prefer the S&W MP line.
    There are some other imports I think work well to, but then again it depends on what the function is.
    For hunting / sporting rifles that won’t break the bank, i.e. something you are going to use, the US hands down. Sure there are some rifles out there, mainly from Europe that are beautiful. I just could see actually using them.
    Europe also makes some nice rifles, shotguns etc but most that are worth getting seem to push the price limits of what I am willing to pay.
    I am thinking the weatherby vangaurd line, or savage xps. Those are great rifles, and you don’t put a ton out of pocket at first. Then you can modify to your hearts content later.

  13. America is the biggest firearms market in the world. American manufacturers deliver wonderful guns for the mass market. Small specialty markets for high end shotguns and combination guns have their best examples in other countries.

  14. I generally prefer firearms from countries that have a friendlier stance towards civilian firearms ownership. Mostly own American guns and will never buy Chinese or Russian. Do Americans make the best guns? It depends on the individual company and gun model. I prefer a LRB arms M14SA built with SEI and GI parts over a Springfield Armory M1A for example. As for handguns, German if 9mm and American if .45. Irregardless, quality comes at a price.

  15. I think the US makes the best quality firearms, but only because of our huge custom marketplace, where highly skilled individual artisans hone old designs to perfection.

    Overseas guys take the cake when it comes to innovation. Glock was not American, The HS2000 is probably the latest and greatest thing to hit pistol designs. US gun makers don’t innovate much anymore. And no, I don’t count the million AR15 differences. Yes it is modular and adaptable, but so was the VW Bug. I want new innovations! >.<

  16. So when Beretta, Glock, FHN or Sig manufacture a gun in the US is it American made or foreign? The Accord is an American made car by a Japanese corporation. Honda is now exporting US made vehicles. I’m not sure that where the company is headquartered necessarily has any real bearing on where it is made.

  17. Not going to get drawn into the “best maker” argument. But, the argument that the “country’s going to hell because you don’t just buy American” is BS. I don’t know anybody that just buys a gun and then that’s the end of it. I take my Benelli pheasant hunting in SD. The ammo I buy is American made. We fly there on an American airline. We rent cars from an American company. Our guide/outfitter is American. The folks we pay to dress our birds are Americans. I take my Glocks & Berettas ( & my S&W’s) to the range. I buy steel targets that are American made. Again, I’m shooting American made ammo. The range is owned and staffed by Americans. Don’t tell me I’m not supporting the country just because some of my guns originated outside our borders. Like it or not, it’s a world economy now more than ever. Deal with it. Be thankful we have so many choices. Others aren’t so lucky.

  18. The handguns that US army uses are mostly, Beretta, H&K, Fn Herstal & Sig. More than 75% of US police carries Glock.
    The M4 and the M24 are still the used in the US army but not because there is nothing better, this is only for budget reasons. Pretty much every other NATO country uses the far superior Accuracy international or the Sako TRG as a long range precision rifle. And lets not even start about the M4.
    Shotgun; Benelli and this while the use has two huge native shotgun producers.
    Machine guns; FN Herstal.
    Why has US SOCOM contacted and even funded H&K to design better pistols and rifles for them? because there is no American firm up tot he job?
    Americans take a lot of pride in buying ‘American made’, yet your government is mostly armed with European guns.
    I think that Americans guns on average are cheap and to turn them into decent shooters you need to buy tons of aftermarket bits and even then it is not as good. For example I own a Ruger 10/22 and a 77/22 they are great guns if you are willing swap just about every part. Ruger GP 100 great sturdy gun if you are willing to send it to gun gunsmith straight after purchase. Remington 700 great gun after tuning, I could have bought a new Steyr or Sako that shoots better out of the box for less. Super expensive target 1911; awesome, many euro guns will do the same for a fraction of the cost.
    Some guns that Americans like to think of as American really are not. Many classic American names are foreign(Browning/ Winchester). And many others are made abroad; Springfield armory pistols are largely Brazilian (Imbel) and Croatian ( IM metal). Mossberg (Brazilian and Chinese). Weatherby guns are largely Japanese and the ammo is Swedish. And how many manufacturers of the American icons the Ar-15 and 1911 source parts abroad, of guns they claim are made 100% in the USA?
    I think that the American shooter is no were near as discerning as the average European shooter. There are some exceptions such as Savage, they make excellent state of the art bolt guns for a very good price. And some smaller manufacturers such as Freedom Arms, Volquartsen, Les Bear etc. But in general American guns are not very innovative and the quality is not great. After John Moses Browning how many truly innovative has America had? Stoner? Ruger? They mostly made improvements on existing designs.James Sullivan himself admitted that the Ar15 M4 family is a substandard rifle compared to other designs on the market.
    But I do think that the USA is the uncrowned King of aftermarket bits and parts. If it fits on a picatinny rail on a tactical vest or if it has anything to do with zombies America makes it. Pouches, flashlights, knives, slings, belts, holsters it is all great but guns no thank you.

  19. The best gun for me I already own. It is the Ruger SP101 357 revolver 4″ barrel kit gun and I couldn’t ask for more. Then again, I wouldn’t say no to someone sending me a Dan Wesson Revolver for my birthday. hint hint.

    • Aharon: I doubt anyone will send you a Dan Wesson, but who knows? with the way Amazon is operating these days, you could very well end up with an accidental one waiting for you when you get home…

  20. My Beretta’s made in the USA, my buddies Springfield is made in Croatia, I’ve seen a S&W with German parts, and some of the best quality AK’s are made in the USA. Springfield 1911’s are from Brazil, some FN’s are made in the USA, John Garand was born in Canada, and H&K makes the M416…

    I don’t really know anymore.

  21. Well I believe the question was who we thought made the best guns so I will avoid the free trade discussion and stick the question.
    Hunting Rifles-USA. That goes from top end custom guns to high end production guns such as Dakota. Down the price line is Kimber and in the working gun price range is the Winchester Model 70 which of course is now Belgium owned but still made in the US.

    Military Type Rifles- I have no idea. I can’t think of a use I would have for them and so don’t really care.

    Shotguns- Italy hands down. Whether it is high end doubles or production auto loaders from Beretta or Benelli (same company now) Italy has the market on the best. The Benelli auto is the standard in the dove fields of Argentina for a reason. When they first came out they were almost jam proof but then the USFW demanded they change the design so that four rounds could not be loaded. This made them less dependable but it can be easily remedied to bring the gun back to its original design specs. Beretta gas guns are really nice too, I think none better. Italian doubles can’t be beat unless you’re talking about side by sides where the top honors would go to England or Spain. Not many serious shooters in the US use side by sides anymore though. It is more of a tradition thing than a serious hunting gun. But hunting doesn’t have to be serious all the time. I have to admit I have a fondness for side by sides but if hitting the targets is the most important thing for the day I will take an O/U.

    Handguns- Again not my thing but if it is revolvers it would be the USA with S&W. I have had a Model 29 since the 70s as an Alaska bear gun (better than begging) and it is dependable and accurate. I did have to have re-timed but that was after I don’t know how many rounds. As far as auto loaders go, well I don’t actually use them as in I don’t carry a gun although I have many and had many more. I don’t like Glocks because there is no real safety. When they were first issued to police in Seattle we had many ADs. I believe if you Google Washington DC accidental discharges you can find an article that talks about 110 ADs in the first 10 years after issuing Glocks. That’s by memory so the figures aren’t exact. I am not in a place where I can Google easily at the present time, as in very slow satellite Internet. I admit part of my problem with Glocks is Herr Glock himself having read the article in I believe it was Forbes about him.

  22. Two reasons, if all else is relatively equal I will go with the American company almost every time, The more important reason is that firearms rights are under constant attack worldwide, by buying American we help to keep the industry alive and well here, where our votes can help preserve our rights.
    Imports are always an executive order away from ceasing.

  23. I won’t get into the economic issues as that is a whole other question. As to who makes the best guns in the world? There are so many variables to consider. Are we talking the “everyday” mass market type guns available in places like Walmart? I’d say the US is holding it’s own. Companies like Savage and Remington are making rifles and shot guns that are totally reliable at very reasonable prices. Ruger and Smith & Wesson make handguns that are reliable and affordable. If we are talking high end production guns, then I’d still give the nod to the US with companies like Les Baer, Wilson Combat, and others. Total custom guns? Hard to beat the British stuff, like Purdy, Holland & Holland, etc. Cheapest thing that still goes bang most of the time? That would be imports from former communist bloc countries and third world (I’m sorry, we call them “emerging markets” now) countries. But hey that is just my own opinion, your milage may vary.

  24. I like Berettas a lot in American guns. My PX4 and CX4 are the original odd couple as far as I’m concerned. My PX4 was my duty weapon when I was working for Dunbar armored. I never got robbed. Having an extended 17 round 40 caliber magazine + 2 more might’ve helped.

    Still, the best all around guns are AKs. My SA-93 AK has never once jammed or failed.

    Most awesome is of course my Zastava M76 8mm. Like the SA-93, it’s a milled gun. The difference between them is accuracy and recoil.

    Having the biggest AK, Serbia’s sniper rifle, is the pride and joy of my collection. Is the M76 American made? According to 922r, yes. Common sense says otherwise.

    The AK is the most popular and most reliable semiautomatic rifle on earth. In 1996, my SA-93 saved my life from a masked intruder into my apartment, which was on the ground floor. No shots were fired.

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