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Sturm, Ruger is the country’s largest gun maker, according to the most-recent figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).

The agency’s “Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statistical Update” interim report for 2018 shows that firearms industry manufacturing volume moved up about 4% from 2017 to 2018, from 8.3 million guns made to 8.7 million firearms made last year, or around 2012 levels (8.6 million). The largest companies by manufacturing volume include publicly-traded companies Sturm, Ruger (RGR) and Smith & Wesson (under the holding company American Outdoor Brands Corp., AOBC). 

According to the 2017 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report:

Sturm, Ruger & Co. was the largest firearms manufacturer by volume, in part because it builds many more rifles than second-place Smith & Wesson. Ruger is credited with making 781,704 pistols, 172,104 revolvers, and 661,155 rifles in 2017 for a total of 1,614,963 firearms manufactured

In second place at 1,506,256, Smith & Wesson’s totals were actually larger in handguns (pistols [1,032,450] and revolvers [207,384], but substantially behind in rifles (265,356). S&W also made 21 shotguns and 1,045 miscellaneous firearms that year. 

Remington Arms Co. placed third in 2017 with 809,731 total units built, broken down into 58,450 pistols, 448,513 rifles,269,391 shotguns, and    33,377 miscellaneous firearms.

SIG Sauer was next with a 2017 total of 572,694 firearms made, 536,774 of that total being pistols and 35,920 being rifles.

O.F. Mossberg & Sons rounds out the top-five firearms makers, with 80,275 rifles, 311,126 shotguns, and 115,995 miscellaneous firearms for a total of 507,396.

Gun industry data in the Firearms Commerce summaries are compiled from ATF’s Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report (AFMER).

The AFMER is current only through 2017 because gun manufacturers’ data is not published until one year after the close of a calendar reporting year. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects manufacturing data provided by companies or individuals from immediate disclosure. 

The largest annual manufacturing total for the U.S. market occurred in 2016, when the agency reported 11,497,441 guns being made in the country during the election season of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That eclipsed the previous record 2013’s total of 10,844,792. The years of 2015 (9,358,661) and 2014 (9,050,626), then 2018’s total of 8,669,259, round out the top-five all-time rankings.

Other gun companies with more than 50K pistols manufactured in 2017 included GLOCK (175,696), SCCY Industries, LLC (150,647); Springfield Armory, (81,377); Taurus Int’l (69,123); FN America (61,510); Florida-based Kel-Tec CNC Industries, Inc., (58,982); Remington Arms Co. (58,450); Beretta USA (57,411); and Browning Arms Co. (50,331). Other notable brands include Walther at 43,248; Colt’s Manufacturing Co. at 31,987; and Diamondback Firearms at 24,270. 

Pistol totals by ammo segment are also included in the AFMER, with the “to 9mm” total being the largest at 1,756,618.

Among wheelgun manufacturers in the gun market, single-action specialist Heritage Mfg. Co. led all makers, producing 226,065 revolvers in 2017, followed by S&W (207,384), Ruger, (172,104), North American Arms (46,138), and New York-based Kimber (21,349). Colt’s made 7,342 revolvers. 

Ruger led the rifle-manufacturing segment for 2017, making 661,155 cartridge-firing long guns at various locations, followed by Remington Arms Co. with 448,513. Then came Henry Repeating Arms. Co. at 267,214 and S&W at 265,356, then Radical Firearms LLC at 88,430. Other shooting-sports-product makers above 50K included Maverick Arms (a Mossberg subsidiary), 80,275; Springfield, Inc., 69,352; and Kel-Tec CNC Industries, Inc., 66,235. 

O.F. Mossberg and its subsidiary Maverick Arms combined to make 311,126 shotguns in 2017, followed by Remington (269,391), Kel-Tec (25,413), Outdoor Colors (19,776), and Beretta USA (17,025). Outdoor Colors, LLC is a Rutherfordton, NC–based hydrographic finishing company.

Miscellaneous firearms made in 2017 were led by Wm C Anderson, Inc. with 211,382 units, followed by Maverick Arms, Inc. 115,995; Palmetto State Armory LLC, 128,537; Aero Precision, 78,033; and Remington Arms Co., 33,377. 

Not included in these data are imported firearm totals by companies such as Germany’s Heckler & Koch, Austrian-built and imported GLOCK firearms, and Swiss-made SIG products imported to its New Hampshire U.S. affiliate. Where possible, all the brands held by a single entity (such as Bushmaster under the Remington total and Savage Arms under Vista Outdoors) have been merged. 

The ATF data is separate from gun sales data compiled by the FBI in the NICS background-check system. Traditionally, while sales may spike after events such as mass shootings like Sandy Hook and Parkland, manufacturing totals lag several months. 

Also, political events such as elections — in which candidates use inaccurate terms such as “assault rifles,” machine guns,” and “automatic rifles” to pass gun laws that limit Second Amendment access to modern sporting rifles (semi-autos with common-capacity magazines) — cause sales spikes. 


Related topics:

Federal Gun Control: Act in Haste, Repent in November

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  1. Ummm…OK. I did my bit for the totals. Look for a huge spike if a dumbocrat gets in. And a civil war. Or mebbe even if the orangeman tardz out!

  2. Have to say that while I liek all American Made guns and reject imports on purely a MADE IN USA sense of supporting my own country first, Ruger has long been my favorite gunmaker.

    This began at a young age. The first gun I ever bought with my own money, which I’d saved up from paper routes, chores, part time work after school and such like, was a brand spanking new Ruger 10/22. Bought it at the now long defunct Jensen’s Custom Ammunition new int he box, $59 out the door and that included changing the front sight to a larger bead that better served my vision issue at that time.

    I still own that Ruger 10/22, still enjoy shooting it after tens of thousands of rounds. It looks it too. After many a backback trip cross country, off trail in mountains and snow and hot summer deserts, it has not had an easy life. But it works and is a keeper.

    Various other Rugers have either passed thru my collection or have found a permanent place there. Including my primary open carry gun, the SR9. What Ruger did with this design was solve my main problem with double-stack pistols. The SR9 has the narrowest grip of any double stack 9mm. Which for my hand size is a real help in accuracy. As much as I liked the S&W 59 I carried before the Ruger SR9, I could never shoot the 59 as well, just for the size of the grip and my ability to get a full purchase on it.

    I still want more S&W’s though. Preferring Ruger does mean I hate or dislike other brands. Basically I want to win the lottery and add a gun room larger than my current house.

    • The SR9 / SR9c are still great pistols, though the take down isn’t as easy as newer offerings. I held the Security 9 compact next to the SR9c, and the dimensions seemed identical except the Security 9 grip was wider. So did Ruger decide to bring back the SR series? They’re back on Ruger’s website after being gone for months.

      • I seriously doubt Ruger will bring back SR series. They just discontinued it in Jan, so I think they are just getting rid of inventory. You can find them marked way down at local shops.

    • Ditto. I have numerous examples of all the leaders here (super interesting data, BTW, that’s a lot of guns!) I’ve actually evolved a bit from S&W leading the way to more Rugers and Mossbergs. I have my eyes on Berettas and Colts and (another) Sig in my long list, but I’m really appreciating my Rugers lately. Never, ever had any kind of failure on a Ruger, never had to send one back to the factory, they’re just solid as a rock and suit me.

    • My philosophy is if Ruger makes what you want, buy a Ruger. Love their revolvers, but I do wish they’d bring back the P series though (new and improved, of course). As it is, my preference for (new) semi-auto pistols is Beretta.

  3. Wait, how is Remington number 3? Remember all of the news stories about Trump single-handedly destroying that company? Well if Remington is number 3, then I guess Glock, who is way down on the list, will be filing for bankruptcy any day now. Thanks a lot Trump!

  4. Would like to know how many revolvers Charter produces. At their lower price, I’d think they must sell a lot, but it seems every gun store I go to, I never see any in the display cases.

    Ruger is #1? The LCR’s are pretty good, the SP101 is trash, the GP100 is overpriced, and the Redhawk is great if you like .44 Mag. Their semi auto pistols are a really good bang for your buck, I just wish they made the LCP in .32 ACP. Their rifles can be so so, I don’t think the PC carbine is better than an AR pistol, the Mini-14 is garbage, a lot of their premium bolt actions aren’t better than a CZ, but the American bolt action is a value gun that shoots as well as a bolt action that costs double.

    • The only Charter Arms I own is a an older “Off Duty” model. Made before the CHARCO and Charter 2000 bad years. I like it, not a S&W or a Colt but I do like it. Have not had an opportunity to check out on of their current products.

      People I know who own the SP101/GP100 give me a good opinion on them.

      I hear people put the Mini 14 down a lot, but the one I have fired worked smoothly and accurately with original sights at 100 yards, just breaking clay discs.

      The PC Carbine is one I await a Cabelas or Bass Pro deal on to use my Club Points. With a quantity of magazines that already fit it, it looks like a good way to add a truck rifle. Every review I’ve read and owner I’ve talked to have been positive on the thing.

      • I love my Mini 14. Mine is an early 90s model in stainless and wood. Slightly less accurate than an AR in the same price range, but I’ve found that it will cycle steel cased ammo reliably, where my ARs don’t (at least in .223). Not to mention the fact that for my taste, it has the perfect balance of traditional and tactical with a 20rd steel mag hanging out the bottom.

    • If they made the LCP in .32, I’d be all over it. I love my Kel-Tec P32, and I’m down for a Ruger equivalent.

  5. Ruger is a most generous supporter of the shooting sports as they proved once again at our recent state shoot by their donation,Thank You Ruger.

  6. Ruger has always made cast iron (sarcasm) and stamped sheet metal guns and now plasticky wonders for the working man who cannot afford high quality guns. Do they work, yes and that is why they are so popular because they go bang when you pull the trigger and they are cheap in price. Are they the best designed guns? Well sometimes they are and sometimes they are not despite their popularity. Their long time .22 pistol was a night mare to take apart to clean even though they half assed improved it recently by letting you take at least the top receiver off without going out of your mind trying to put it back together but still if you need to clean out or replace parts in the lower receiver its just as much of a nightmare as it always was.

    True their revolvers are well deigned even if crudely manufactured and they do last much longer than the competing S&W wheel guns.

    Their original P series auto pistol that competed in the U,S. Test trials decades ago was such a turd it broke down and was kicked out of the trials and even old Bill could not figure out what the hell he did wrong when he designed it so he actually called in some engineers to try and make the damn thing last a while longer. It was so unpopular it has now been discontinued. Its shitty accuracy probably had a lot to do with its discontinuation as well. Why in the hell in originally designed it with a swinging barrel link forever remains a mystery as that type of design has never been conducive to good accuracy unless a high degree of workmanship is used and Ruger’s have always been know for crude workmanship.

    His angled recoil lug system on his model 77 rifle proved to do the opposite of what he intended and it made the rifle less accurate not more accurate. He once made up a special group of heavy barrel rifles he took to a long range match and if I remember correctly the matches were being held in Australia. He offered to let any champion shooter that wanted one use one and was turned down by everyone which put him in such a rage he vowed never to get involved in competitive shooting again. And by the way those special run of rifles had standard vertical recoil lugs , as even old arrogant Bill finally admitted he really fucked up on the angled recoil lug fantasy design.

    Bills venture into bringing an affordable low cost over under shotgun to market proved a disaster as well. Purist snobs did not like the idea of a cast iron over under when their snobbish friends were shooting high end Italian guns or at the least Browning’s line of over under’s.

    His .308 caliber Mini 14 was withdrawn from the market as it proved to self destruct all too soon and his early stainless .223 Mini-14 had problems self destructing as well.

    His original .44 mag semi-auto carbine eventually fell from favor with the shooting public as few wanted to go hunting with a pistol cartridge in a rifle. It was an idiotic idea from the very beginning. And yes I know some lever action rifles made by other manufactures are still popular today in pistol calibers but they are lever action rifles that have always been popular with the western crowd. Eastern hunters have never been found of rifles in pistol calibers even for close range woods blasting.

    Yeah ok I will admit it I do own some Rugers, a couple of .22 pistols, a Mini-14 in .22s and a couple of 10/22 rifles one of which is a Canadian Centennial with a really nice high grade walnut stock and blue job. After drooling over this gun a colleague of mine had I finally succumbed to temptation and paid him the high price he wanted for it.

    By the way the 10/22 was really the only outstanding gun Bill ever invented although they have cheapened it and modified it several times over the years. It was never outstandingly accurate but then again it was made as a plinker and it was as accurate as all the other boys rifles on the market and its flawless working but very bulky and fat rotary magazine was more rugged than any other .22 rimfire magazine ever made. I guess you have to take the good with the bad in regards to the magazine. Later in time many people started to put target grade heavy barrels on the 10/22 promoting Bill to bring out his own version of the target grade 10/22 as he too wanted to cash in on the craze of a semi-auto target grade .22 rifle.

    I will praise Ruger for offering a manual safety on their plasticky American 9mm pistol its way safer to handle than any Glock. I do not own one but would if I needed a low cost plasticky pistol.

    I do remember when old Bill got in hot water when he admitted he was anti high capacity when it came to rifles and for years he deliberately only sold 30 round Mini 14 magazines to law enforcement so everyone just said , fuck you Bill ,we can buy after market mags.

    The only gun Bill never marketed and I wish he had would have been a side by side shotgun. Back in the day when I lived and breathed only side by side shotguns I know I would have bought one. I had heard rumors he was going to bring one out but I never found out how true or how serious he was on that.

  7. I am wearing an LCP right now.
    A Ruger M77 helped me take my buck last October and will aid my Elk tag this October as well.
    A Redhawk or my Blackhawk Ruger accompany me down into the canyon on remote fishing trips.
    A Mini 14 from the late 80’s is my plinking buddy.
    A Mark 4 rides in my holster as well.

    Love Ruger Firearms.
    Any problems I had, they fixed, free of charged as fast as mail could carry.


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