Previous Post
Next Post

The latest tweaks to the TTAG review database not only give our readers better access to our extensive list of gun reviews, but it also allows us a better understanding of what firearms interest interest you the most. While there’s no way to track an individual reader’s activity, we can see how many views a given page gets allowing for some interesting analysis.

Today’s pie chart: the top 10 firearms manufacturers as indicated by TTAG’s readers.

The TTAG gun review database has been used more than 43,000 times since it was updated last week. In that time, thousands of people have used the “Search by Manufacturer” function where they select a specific gunmaker to view only reviews of their firearms. The pie chart above shows the top 10 most frequently accessed manufacturers of the roughly 147 gun makers represented in the database.

In order, the top companies who people search for are:

  1. Ruger
  3. Smith & Wesson
  4. CZ
  5. Beretta
  6. Springfield
  7. Walther
  8. H&K
  9. GLOCK
  10. Colt

What do all of these companies have in common? They all produce at least one self defense semi-auto handgun. Semi-auto handguns represent 27% of the total search traffic for specific firearm types, and given the expansion in concealed carry across the United States, it makes sense that people will be looking for a firearm to fill that need.

Looks to me like we might need a special section of the database for use cases. Handguns for concealed carry? Hunting rifles? What other categories should we tease out?

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Surprised (not really) that Glock is on the bottom of the list.
    Perfection is at the bottom ?
    Guess tons of advertising and hype can sell anything.

    • Hmm, Glock is ninth out of 147 manufacturers. And four percentages points from the number one spot. I don’t think that’s really bottom of the list. But hey, to each his own.

      • Glock also isn’t making anything new. Different calibers introcused over the last few years, sure. But carbon copy design and aesthetics. Ruger on the other hand is making what people are asking for. A GP100 in .44spl? A new .22 auto that solves the single biggest complaint about the older design? A pair of fantastic big bores on the Bisley pattern? Good stuff.

    • Limiting themselves to just semi-pistols is going to reduce the search rate. I would be curious to see the breakdown by category – most popular by semi-pistol, revolver, semi-rifle, shotgun, bolt. I haven’t tried the system, don’t know if they are collecting that data, but I am guessing they could pull it by looking at the type of arm selected following each manufacturer filter and comparing against total in that weapon class.

      Trouble would be that I might look at Ruger because their revolvers and the Precision. They’d have to properly classify the data to show that I looked at both, and thus drop one search into two buckets. Doable, with the right analytics, but a pain.

    • That explains why theres no love for Styer-Mannlicher. But FN advertises, in print, web, and radio; so why didn’t they make the list? FN, SIG, SW, Barret, and HK to me are the current pop-rockstars of the gun world.

  2. It looks like quality matters.. this list mirrors what I tend to actually buy.

    And now for the flip side: what about unpopular manufacturers? Maybe those which sometimes get a ‘bad rap’ like Hi-Point and Taurus? My PT111 G2 from Taurus has never failed me.. it performs better than my Glocks. Kel-Tecs seem to be better than given credit for too, especially the Sub 2000s.

    Also missing, are Russian guns: my Makarov has handled many thousands of rounds without fail. Makarov, on sheer quality, ought to be the most popular manufacturer of guns.

    • Makarov is name of gun designer, like for example Stoner or Browning, not manufacturing company like Armalite or FN. Pistolet Makarova was produced in several state owned factories.

  3. That intro pic has been used at least 3x for TTAG articles so far. I still chuckle at the OFWGs thinking “I could probably offer half what he’s asking”, and “holy macaroni, I shouldn’t have sold that back in ’83”.

  4. “What do all of these companies have in common? They all produce at least one self defense semi-auto handgun.”

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation. I don’t think it’s possible to say exactly why people chose those manufacturers based on just looking at the queries.

    As for query by use case: sure, why not? Going through the database to add use case fields to each review isn’t a huge undertaking. Seeing how visitors use those particular queries could, in time, tell you something about the “why” behind a particular gun or manufacturer’s popularity.

  5. the top 10 firearms manufacturers as indicated by TTAG’s readers.

    Not really… it’s the top 10 most searched firearm manufacturers. It’s not a rating of the manufacturers themselves.

    • Good point. But I see no cruddy manufacturers on this list so it’s a good guide on what to buy. Sig Sauer, HK and CZ are the best on the list.

  6. So Taurus is “unpopular”? They sell a kajillian of their 111g2,TCP and 709. I guess I’m hangin’ with the popular kids as I’m buying a Ruger SR9e…

  7. Good point. But I see no cruddy manufacturers on this list so it’s a good guide on what to buy. Sig Sauer and CZ are the best on the list.

    • Stay away from Freedom Group guns like Bushmaster, DPMS and Remington. Remington ammo too. They don’t care about quality. Ruger and Smith are mostly good but they put out junk now and then. Can’t go bad with Sig.

  8. here come all the fanboys to praise or defend their brand choices. I merely look at these as a metric of what people are curious about. Not what they think is the best, but what may be better than what they currently have.

  9. Smiths customer service is damn good I’ve never had a issue they didn’t make sure I walked away happy.

    How’s Rugers customer service like?

    • Its pretty great in my experience, the mag on my .243 American wasn’t working great, I emailed them and had a new one in 3 days.

    • Top notch. I had a Mini-14 that had excessive failures to eject and they emailed me a shipping label while I was on the phone and the total turnaround was less than 2 weeks. They replaced the barrel, the bolt and the slide. If they would have replaced anything else not made of wood it would have required shipment to a local FFL. Rugers don’t come with warranties, they come with a reputation.

      • Depends where you live… generally you can send something in to the factory for repair or replacemen, or for custom work, and it be shipped directly back to you without dealing with an ffl.

        • They shipped the rifle back to me directly. But the only thing left made of metal they could have replaced was the receiver with a new serial number that would have had to been transferred. Since I already own the fire arm there’s no need to ship it to a dealer for transfer.

  10. We own two Colts, two S&Ws and one High Standard. I didn’t realize “Other” was such an important manufacturer.

  11. I don’t think the database useage is reflective of the popularity of a particular brand. I have researched guns several times simply fo find out why someone would buy a particular gun rather than another brand. I don’t think I have any of the brands I have researched the most.

  12. Well then, I don’t own a one of these. I’m considering a CZ, but other than that, my tastes are generally limited to 1911s, shotguns, leverguns, and retro service rifles. The defensive-handgun-centric market confuses me a bit.

  13. I am quite surprised that glocks was 9th on the list. Not a fan personally, just not comfortable for me. But they have excellent reliability.
    I have 2 springfields so I was happy to see them on the list.

    • Ironhead – I have the same problem with my Glock, a 17G4.
      I have large hands, and I can’t keep a good grip when firing. Even with the biggest backstrap, it just doesn’t stay put in my hand.
      It shoots well, and eats all the different types of ammo I feed it, though. There’s just something wrong with the grip for me.

  14. For a new category make a rimfire rifle and rimfire pistol categories. Also make the gear review section more like the gun review so you can easily find certain products like holsters, scopes, red dots, triggers, etc.

  15. Glock doesn’t have anything new, and everyone already knows Glock’s are good. No need to search for them.

  16. S&W just isn’t what it used to be. Their newest line of 1911’s are awful. They look pretty and come with cool features but function like crap.

  17. Like others, I figured Glock would be number one (actually I figured it would be numbers one, two, and three). 🙂 But, if you think about it, Glock really only has one product–many versions–but one product. Ruger, S&W, CZ, etc. have a wider variety of products therefore more items to look up.

  18. “Looks to me like we might need a special section of the database for use cases. Handguns for concealed carry? Hunting rifles? What other categories should we tease out?”

    Competition Guns (individual contests, Three Gun, Specialty)
    Target Guns (Paper, Steel, Silhouette, Long Range, short Range)
    Varmint Guns (as opposed to Game Guns)
    Age Appropriate Guns (kids, teens, adults, seniors)
    Skill Appropriate Guns (novice, intermediate, expert, professional)

  19. I’m happy to see Glock rank at the bottom. People are getting smart and realizing other companies do Glock better these days.

  20. When I first glanced at that chart I assumed that big powder blue slice representing 49% must be Sturm Ruger & Co. 8%? What’s wrong with this country?

  21. Your data is invalid. Try an actual survey to determine popularity and even then questions would be asked about it being generalizable.

  22. Wont do s&w unless it’s a wheel gun or rifle, picked up one semi handgun with the s&w logo and it ruined them all for me, tried my friends m&p .40 thinking it may be better, NOPE!! Wouldn’t pick up a glock to even look at it, Remington is few and far between to find my interest, Springfield is welcome to send me one of everything they make, and two of the ones I really like, Sig speaks for itself of course, and companies like tauras, hipoint, keltec, sccy, and a few other budget minded companies are under-rated and rarely given a chance, I’d throw my sccy off a building and it would almost guaranteed still fire afterwords, and if it didnt, send it back and it will within about a week and a half, s&w had my pistol for almost a month and when it came back it was just a polished turd.

Comments are closed.