The Column, No. 91:

Which Manufacturers and Countries Dominate the U.S. Firearms Market?

By Randy Wakeman

You might be surprised. In 2012, the most recent year for which specific information is available, Mossberg and Remington accounted for over 95% of the shotguns made in the United States. That's 907,175 shotguns from Mossberg and Remington out of total domestic production of 949,010. Year after year, people buy more Mossberg and Remington shotguns than all other brands combined.

In terms of importation of shotguns, the #1 country of origin is Turkey: 441,332 shotguns. No other country is close. When it comes to importation of all firearm types into the U.S., Turkey is in 4th place. Check out the import numbers from 2012.

Firearms Imported into the United States by Country of Manufacture in 2012 (Source: United States International Trade Commission)

        Brazil: 886,814 (444,346 handguns, 316,577 rifles, 125,891 shotguns)

        Austria: 832,381 (821,522 handguns, 8,620 rifles, 2,239 shotguns)

        Germany: 521,967 (414,471 handguns, 103,972 rifles, 3,524 shotguns)

        Turkey: 477,804 (35,997 handguns, 475 rifles, 441,332 shotguns)

Americans buy imported firearms made in Brazil and Austria over all other countries. In handguns, Glock (made in Austria) blows all other imports out of the water by a large margin.

However, domestic U.S. manufacture is still the first choice of American consumers in all three categories of firearms. The top country for importation of rifles into the U.S. is Canada: 323,886 rifles. However, that isn't a Canadian company doing the manufacturing, it is Savage Arms manufacturing rimfire rifles in Canada and importing them to themselves.

Remington made 393,811 rifles in Kentucky, 144,220 in Minnesota (DPMS Panther Arms) and 200,255 in New York. Savage and S&W both made over 302,000 rifles domestically. Ruger made over 534,000 rifles in New Hampshire.

In pistols, Ruger alone made 861,357 autoloading pistols in 2012, exceeding Glock and having more than double the sales in the U.S. of German and Brazilian products. Smith & Wesson made over 600,000 autoloading pistols. Sig-Sauer made 532,575 autoloading pistols in Exeter, New Hampshire. As revolvers are counted separately, you can add over 250,000 revolvers from Ruger to their handgun totals and some 216,000 revolvers from S&W.

In 2012, it was Sturm, Ruger & Company that lead the United States in total production, with over 1,360,000 firearms made. The nation's leader in pistols and revolvers, Ruger's rifle sales (approx. 534,000) are behind only Savage (approx. 625,000) and Remington (738,286).


Over 95% of the shotguns made in the U.S. are from Mossberg and Remington.

Of the 667,357 revolvers made in the U.S., most are Ruger and S&W.

Of the 3,487,883 autoloading pistols made in the U.S., Ruger makes more than any other company. The majority, around two million, are from Ruger, S&W and Sig-Sauer.

Of the 3,168,206 rifles made in the U.S., Remington, Ruger, Savage and S&W account for the largest portion. By manufacturer and location, Ruger (New Hampshire) produces the most, followed by Remington (Kentucky), Savage (Massachusetts), S&W (Massachusetts) and Remington (New York).

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Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.