NSSF Releases Most Recent Firearm Production Figures

The NSSF (the firearm industry trade organization) has just released its Firearm Production Report for 2020. Including manufacturing data from 2018 and 2019, the report breaks down how many of each type of firearm was manufactured and imported, and approximately how many are in civilian possession. Here are the highlights:

  • In 2018, 11.4 million total firearms were produced or imported in the United States (less exported firearms).
  • Approximately one-half (48%) of all rifles produced and imported (less exports) in 2018 were Modern Sporting Rifles.
  • Since 1990, there are an estimated 19.8 million Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in circulation today.
  • An interim 2019 estimate showed a total of 6 million total firearms were produced in the United States. Of those, 3.6 million were pistols and revolvers, 2 million were rifles and 480,000 were shotguns. Those are interim figures that will be updated when complete reports become available from the ATF.
  • In 2019, there were approximately 3.3 million firearms imported into the United States which included 2.3 million pistols and revolvers, 301,000 rifles and 678,000 shotguns.
  • From 1991 to 2019, nearly 214 million firearms have been made available to the U.S. market.
  • According to reports such as: ATF Firearms Commerce in the United States, ATF AFMER and Congressional Research Service data, there are an estimated 434 million firearms in civilian possession in the United States.
  • There are approximately 71.2 million pistol magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, and 79.2 million rifle magazines capable of holding 30 or more rounds in circulation.
  • Firearm and ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $3.9 billion in goods shipped in 2018. An estimated 8.7 billion rounds of all calibers and gauges were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.

The complete report, and many other firearm industry studies and reports, can be found and purchased on the NSSF website.

comments

  1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    What is known at the current time is the arms manufactures are not able to keep up with the demand for arms nor ammunition for said arms.
    Arm up and Carry on America

    1. avatar arc says:

      No one wants to tool their shops back up then get hit with a Trump slump. If we get four more years, who is going to buy more guns when people will be selling off excess?

      Supply can’t keep up with demand because supply was never increased due to past lessons learned.

      1. avatar WARFAB says:

        With the way Antifa has been acting, if Trump gets 4 more years people will continue buying every gun available.

      2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        Yup all the scarring squirrels are in search of nuts,I didn’t suggest that manufactures should expand, just the simple fact that there are nut enough nuts for all the squirrels.

      3. avatar Phantom30 says:

        “Trump Slump” unbelievable, you should be glad you are not going to get a total economic wipe out from Biden and His female beagle. Oops sorry, sleepy Joe is supposed to be lights out in the next 30.

      4. avatar Miner49er says:

        In other news:

        “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled against the Trump campaign in a case centered on whether election officials provided campaign observers “meaningful” access to monitor the counting of mail-in ballots.

        The court, on a vote of 5-2, found that election officials followed the law in providing the Trump campaign sufficient access to the opening of mail-in ballots. There are simply no requirements that say how close the observers need to be placed to watch the process, the court found.“

        1. avatar sound awake says:

          In other news:
          the more they recount and canvass the georgia vote the more they find memory cards that havent been counted yet with more votes for trump on them than biden

        2. avatar Montana Actual says:

          Sir… This is a Wendy’s…

        3. avatar Ing says:

          So the law that protects access for observers doesn’t mean that observers must be close enough to see what’s happening? This doesn’t prove there was no fraud; it only proves that one judge would rather take refuge in the letter of the law than protect the integrity of the vote.

          If there was no cheating going on, why fight all this so hard? You’ve got nothing to lose if you won fair and square, and if the margins are anywhere near what’s been claimed. Let the observation and recounts commence. Then, when it’s proven AGAIN that you won, the other side has to admit that they did in fact lose in a fair election, and everyone goes home with faith in the system intact.

          But instead, nobody is allowed to discuss in public whether a challenge or a recount or even simply having both sides closely observe the process might be a good idea.

          Simply raising the very real possibility that some of the voting may not have been legal or counted correctly gets you either adversely labeled, limited, or outright deleted by the people who control the platforms of public discourse.

          It’s the worst possible way to go about defending an election, and it’s guaranteed to destroy faith in the system for millions of people. The official Democrat/establishment line is simply “you don’t deserve to know.” This isn’t isn’t helping.

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          I replied to your suggestion of a wager, Miner. Waiting for your answer…

        5. avatar Billy says:

          The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will probably be reversed.

        6. avatar Craig in IA says:

          ““The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled against the Trump …”

          And this surrised WHOM knowing the makeup of the Penn Court?

      5. avatar Miner49er says:

        Hazy, sorry I missed it!

        I am willing to wager a bottle of a tasty bourbon or corn liquor that Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated on January 20, 2020.

        Yes?

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          As things stand (and as they appear to remain) that’s a sucker bet.
          When courts today are willing to subvert the law (as in PA where the word “observe” in relation to voting and vote counting are concerned is determined to mean that someone is allowed to observe that people voted, and votes were counted, and not to watch the method of voting and counting), then the people lose trust in the systems involved.
          Why the necessity to fight so hard against proving the system worked as intended?
          Why the obvious push by the media to declare Biden the “President Elect” when he isn’t (this is a matter of fact, not opinion: the media has indeed declared Biden the president elect, and the Electoral College has not yet made that determination. While it may well turn out that way, and IMO it will, that doesn’t mean it’s true yet.).
          Why are the Dems/left are fighting tooth and nail to keep the process secret instead of open, as intended.
          Regardless of whether or not there were irregularities, the current situation stinks, and it’s the Dems who are refusing to clear the air.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Since we cannot be sending things to each other IRL, please refer back to my acceptance of your offer for a wager. Here’s what I wrote in my reply:

          “How about a gentleman’s wager? If Joe Biden ends up being formally inaugurated for the next term, I will congratulate you the same day for winning the bet, and will refrain from any posts on TTAG for the next three consecutive days to allow you free reign of the forum for the duration. If Trump is inaugurated, you instead will do this.”

  2. avatar WARFAB says:

    “From 1991 to 2019, nearly 214 million firearms have been made available to the U.S. market.”

    “there are an estimated 434 million firearms in civilian possession in the United States”

    Anyone else thinking those numbers don’t make much sense. If 214 million firearms were “made available” in the most recent 28 years on record, that is supposed to account for half of the guns in civilian posession?!? 28 years of gun manufacturing and sales is about equal to the previous 100+ years (depending on service life and destruction)?

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      That’s it,know body including uncle sugar knows foe sure, isn’t that grand.
      Between boating accidents and home builds it maybe safe to guesstimate it’s 10’s of millions more arms in the hands of the citizenry.

    2. avatar James Campbell says:

      There have been some studies done that show US citizens are currently in possession of around 600,000,000 (600 million) firearms, and 25,000,000,000,000 (25 trillion) rounds of ammo to feed those firearms. That works out to over 41,500 rounds for each firearm.

      If the BS the demoKKKRats/leftards spew about legal firearm owners being the problem were true, they would not have the time to make the claim. All their time would be spent dodging projectiles.

      Trump/Pence 2020

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        An average of 41,667 rounds in private hands for each and every gun? I respectfully disagree.

        I know only a couple of people who have that much for their entire inventory (and that’s a lot of ammo). I also know people who have only a few boxes at most. I’d say a broad average of 500 rds per gun might be a better representation of what’s actually out there.

      2. avatar Shire-man says:

        Every time I read some article or hear some report about how violent, intolerant, oppressive and uncivilized the right is supposed to be my automatic reaction is without fail “I wish.”

        Meanwhile they run around burning down buildings, assaulting women and children and killing seemingly at will.

        At this point if the right ever did become what the left claims they are it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy and the left would get everything from the right it has always been fantasizing about.

        1. avatar WARFAB says:

          If the right were as violent as the left claims, there wouldn’t be a left.

      3. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Many non-gun people think a thousand cartridges would take a semi-truck to move and large storage space to hold.

        They often can’t believe a thousand full power rifle cartridges can be carried by one person and stored on a shelf in a locker.

        A thousand rounds of .22LR is much smaller.

      4. avatar Matt says:

        I’ve seen a range of 420-600 million firearms. The lower figure seems a bit more likely with more data to back it up the 600 million is closer to “all firearms ever made available in to the US” and does not account for any lost (and never recovered), destroyed, exported, etc.

        As for the ammo, no way it is in the trillions. Ammo production has been increasing overtime for civilian ownership. The latest figures is still shy of 9 billion rounds (that includes military production BTW, which is about a third of that). Even if you figure in maybe another billion or two for hand reloaders, and I’d bet it is more like hundreds of millions, trillions would assume more than 100 years of ammo manufacture at the current level. Let along the thousands of years for tens of trillions.

        Considering most use the ammo as the acquire it or soon afterwards, ignoring any military stock piles (which are probably only in the billions, maybe low tens of billions of rounds), it is likely only in the 20-30 billion round area.

        Most gun owners I know in my rural residential area own 2-3 guns, a couple own 4-8. A couple own 9-15. One guy I know owns probably 50+ (out of about 40 neighbors I know who I’d guess at or have discussed with, probably 2/3-3/4 own guns). Most of them probably don’t own more than 100 rounds per gun. One or two own probably 2-3x that per gun averaged out over their collection. The well rounded gentleman though probably does own ~1,000 rounds per gun on average.

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    arc, you are exactly right. When the “Assault Rifle Ban” expired there was no way foreign manufacturers were going to begin to manufacture and import semiauto versions of full auto military rifles. Once burned, twice shy. And that’s what they are; semi-automatic versions of full-auto military rifles. Unless you consider designs that are 50-60 years old modern. The left spins. Let’s not.

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      They pulled millions of them out of storage, cut the receivers to ATF ever changing specs, shipped them to the US as parts kits and Century rebuilt tons of them on US made receivers.

      Why produce when you have warehouses full?

  4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Call them what they are. Military rifles that are now used for sporting purposes. Much like the Mauser action.

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      “Call them what they are. Military rifles that are now used for sporting purposes.”

      No, not like 98 Mausers, 03 Springfields, ’17 Enfields or even M1 Rifles. The FAL and CETME/G91/93 parts rebuilds, nor MSRs (Civ AR15) would not be used by any real military force in any situation other than some spec ops, single mission.

      Call them what they really are: semiautomatic sporting rifles using obsolete military parts. BF difference.

      (Crimson Pirate above:)

      They pulled millions of them out of storage, cut the receivers to ATF ever changing specs, shipped them to the US as parts kits and Century rebuilt tons of them on US made receivers.

      And I’ve built up several FALs dumped by the Brits after the Faukland deal using SA receivers as well as a CETME on a Hesse. WTH? Back then you could buy the parts kit from SARCO or Century Arms for $150 or so. Fun to shoot but no way they are going to a real war.

      One of the cool things about moving after living in the same place for 30 years is the goodies one finds. Found a complete (minus receiver) M1 rifle kit I’d squirreled away years ago. Never opened. Another cool thing, has an old milled Air Gaps trigger guard as well.) Also had a couple nice M1 receivers in my kit so now I have yet another M1 rifle floating around…

  5. avatar MADDMAXX says:

    An estimated 8.7 billion rounds of all calibers and gauges were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market. In 2018, 11.4 million total firearms were produced or imported in the United States (less exported firearms)

    That is only 763 rounds per gun manufactured in that year only (not including imported guns?) does that mean only ammo manufactured in the U.S. and NOT imported (It says manufactured FOR the U.S. market but not WHERE)…. otherwise I would have to assume that there is a WHOLE lot of closet reloaders out there that are keeping it a secret and we know that that is bullshit….. Anyway 700/800 rounds is pretty much a day at the range for most shooters that I know so what is everyone else using for ammo.. Before the most recent shortages I was using about 5000 to 6000 rounds a year of ALL calibers that I own….

    It says there are approximately 79.2 million rifle magazines capable of holding 30 or more rounds in circulation for the estimated 19.8 million Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in circulation today. That is ONLY 4 magazines per rifle capable of holding 30 rounds or more…. I hope Creepy Uncle “The Big Guy” Joe uses those numbers when he sends Obozo out to grab all the guns, I just throw him a junk AR made up of old cheap parts and 4/5 old dinged up metal mags and we’re all good RIGHT?

    1. avatar Mercury says:

      Take into account collectors items and other safe queens, stripped lowers that are sitting around as “ban-proofing”, nightstand and console guns that never see range time (people shouldn’t do this, but they do,) and precision rifles that you’re not likely to put more than a box or two through at a time (at least if you’re using them right,) and those numbers start to make more sense. Then consider that this is only for commercial manufacture, and doesn’t include reloading supplies. And boy do I know a lot of reloaders these days.

      I’d guesstimate that puts the rounds-per-firearm count at at least two thousand, if not several times that. The figure still may or may not include imports, but the above at least explains why competition shooters alone aren’t burning the entire free world’s match ammo supply.

  6. avatar sound awake says:

    “theres a guy in my neighborhood that says he saw all this coming 20 years ago and since then has availed himself of 20 firearms and 20 thousand rounds of centerfire rimfire and shotgun ammo and sleeps better at night for having done so”

    1. avatar Shawn says:

      Those numbers are child’s play. 20 guns is a lot but 20,000 rounds of ammunition is not. Unless it’s in one caliber.

      There are older people that I have met at the big range nearby that say they have over 150 guns.

    2. avatar MADDMAXX says:

      Sounds like my neighborhood…. A couple more guns and a few thousand more rounds and he could be me or my neighbor…

  7. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    This is off topic, but a “friend of a friend” has mentioned he wants to sell his S&W 629 in .44 Mag. I know the notoriety of this specific gun, but it doesn’t appear that the seller does. Does anyone know if this model is solid, or has become known to have issues over the years?

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      a lot of people do not like later guns with a Hillary Hole.

    2. avatar 70 UCode RT says:

      Haz, I have a couple of 629s. Both are accurate shooters with both my high pressure and lower pressure reloads and I have had no mechanical issues. They are both a pleasure to shoot with the factory triggers.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        one of 916.

      1. avatar Craig in IA says:

        Cool. Lew Horton special edition gun. IIRC- they were the first to offer a round butt version of an N Frame. Also preceeded this with a round butt 3″ 44 Spl model.

  8. avatar Shawn says:

    These numbers seem too low. These are the numbers I would of expected to see 15 years ago.

    1. avatar Draven says:

      yeah they somehow are assuming firearms age and break down at rates they actually don’t.

  9. avatar Billy says:

    What kind of receivers are those?

    1. avatar Chris A says:

      I read every comment looking for that answer. Does anyone know what those receivers are for?

        1. avatar Stuck in New Jersey says:

          If that “Pork Sword Pistol” is a “handgun”, then I’m the queen of England!

        2. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          NOT my problem.. Folks asked what the RECEIVER was and I simply pointed them in the right direction in an effort to answer their question…

        3. avatar Billy says:

          Thanks.

        4. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          You’re welcome

        5. avatar Christopher A says:

          Thank you.

  10. avatar Yahootypootydooty says:

    I don’t understand why it even matters what the numbers of guns n ammo are ! It changes nothing and it effects nothing. So why is it an arguable subject. It is what it is , big deal !

    1. avatar Tim in Texas says:

      I think it means a few things. First, it can be used as a measuring stick for the success of any voluntary or mandatory buyback. Second, it can be used as a measuring stick for growth of the firearm industry and it’s consumer base for the next decade. Third, it demonstrates to me at least the folly of even suggesting rounding up guns. If everyone who doesn’t turn in their guns becomes a bad guy, then how many hundreds of millions of guns do you want only bad guys to have?

      1. avatar Yahootypootydooty says:

        I understand that , I just don’t think the numbers are accurate enough to argue about them amongst ourselves ,that’s all.

  11. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    How many pistols of the number produced and imported are braced or large semi auto pistols I wonder, like ARs, AKs, MP5s, scorpion, stribog, etc. People still want compact carry gun type pistols but I bet you could classify a good chunk of the pistol buying as large format “sporting” pistols.

  12. avatar SL says:

    Actual language of the 2nd Amendment and the primacy of individual rights aside for the moment, these numbers prove the “in common use” standard still makes bans of MSRs or magazines patently unconstitutional.

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