America’s Top Pistol Companies

The only country with more civilian-owned firearms than people, the United States is the world’s largest private market for gun sales – and consumer demand has been rising for years. Federally licensed gunmakers produced over 13.8 million firearms in 2021, up 25% from the previous year and 155% from 2010. 

The surge in firearm production in the U.S. is being driven by demand for handguns – particularly semi-automatic pistols. Distinct from revolvers, pistols are defined as handguns that do not contain ammunition in a revolving cylinder. In 2000, pistols accounted for only about a quarter of all domestic firearm manufacturing. In the last two years, they have made up about half of all U.S.-made guns. 

The growing popularity of pistols has occurred alongside easing gun restrictions in much of the country. Since 2010, nearly two dozen states have enacted laws allowing citizens to carry firearms in public without a permit. (Here is a look at the laws for carrying firearms in public in every state.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, there were over 3,200 federally licensed gunmakers in the U.S. in 2021, but only a handful of these companies account for the bulk of domestic pistol production. 

Using data from the ATF, 24/7 Wall St. identified the companies making America’s favorite pistols. Each of the 30 companies on this list manufactured over 15,000 pistols in 2021 and accounted for a combined 95% of all domestic pistol production that year. The companies on this list include many of the largest gunmakers in the world, including Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and Beretta

Of all the common pistol calibers in the United States, 9mm is by far the most popular. Of the 6.8 million pistols domestically manufactured in 2021, 4.3 million were chambered for 9mm rounds. Production did not exceed 1 million for any other caliber category. (These are the companies making America’s favorite 9mm pistols.)

Click here to see America’s most popular pistol companies.

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