Now a week into the New Year, Gun Genius has provided lists of the top-selling handguns, rifles and shotguns of 2021, as well as the Top 21 Selling Guns of 2021 – a first-time list compiling firearms of all types.
In our effort to provide FFLs with the latest insight into buyer behavior and firearms industry trends, here’s what we learned from the Gun Genius 2021 year-end reports.
2021 Report Trends
Despite firearm options growing each year and gun owners craving the latest and greatest, the list of top 21 selling guns of 2021 featured 12 firearms which finished in the top 10 of their respective categories in 2020. At the end of the day – or year, in this case – gun owners simply like what they like, and popular guns tend to remain popular.
Among the 12 repeat firearms were the GLOCK 19, SIG SAUER P365, Colt Python, Ruger 10/22 and Mossberg Shockwave.
Of the top 21 guns of 2021, more than 75% (16) were handguns, including the top 5 firearms and eight of the top 10. Making up the 16 handguns were two revolvers – the Heritage Rough Rider and Colt Python – and 14 semi-autos, including popular models such as the GLOCK 19, 43X, 17 and 45, the SIG SAUER P365 and P320, and the Springfield Armory Hellcat and 1911 family.
Of course, this isn’t all that surprising when you consider the versatility of handguns for concealed carry, home defense, target shooting, competition and hunting, as well as the explosive growth of new shooters in the last two years.
Diving deeper into the top 10 handguns of the year, the semi-auto pistol list was again topped by the GLOCK 19 for the second consecutive year, while the Heritage Rough Rider jumped from third to first in revolvers, ahead of its category competitor in the Ruger Wrangler. While all handgun frame sizes are represented on the list, the models are notably skewed towards the compact–subcompact size – ideal for concealed carry.
Throughout 2020, home defense shotguns of the new and used variety were seemingly nowhere to be found on gun store walls. However, just one year later, only three shotguns made the top list of 2021: the Remington 870 and Mossberg Maverick 88 and Shockwave – the latter of which is not officially classified as such by the ATF. Though shotgun sales could certainly be down, a more reasonable explanation may be simply a lack of available inventory or willingness by others to sell their personal defense or hunting long guns.
Interestingly, despite being the number 18 ranked firearm on the top 2021 list, the Remington 870 was ranked sixth on the list of the year’s top-selling pump-action shotguns. That list was led by three Mossberg offerings, including the first overall Shockwave, the Winchester SXP and bullpup KelTec KSG.
Perfect for teaching new shooters, range training, competition shooting and small game hunting, .22 LR is as versatile a round as they get. As such, the list of top 21 selling guns of 2021 featured three rimfire firearm models: the Ruger 10/22, Heritage Rough Rider and Ruger LCP II. (It’s worth noting that while the LCP II, and other models on the list, are available in multiple calibers, the Gun Genius report groups sales by model regardless of caliber.)
With over 1.2 million handguns alone manufactured to .22 caliber in 2020, the rimfire market has exploded in recent years and the 2021 list proves the small but mighty cartridge remains popular among gun owners.
For all their popularity, the most glaring absence from the top 2021 list was the AR-15 – or any AR-style rifle or pistol for that matter. Chambered in more than two dozen calibers for everything from target shooting to hunting, not one AR made the top 21 despite six of the top 10 selling semi-auto rifles being some form of AR-15.
Perhaps stricter local-level gun laws against such firearms are to blame for their absence, or it could be the list doesn’t account for gun owners purchasing lower receivers to build out their own rifles. Whatever the reason, we know for sure that the AR isn’t absent from millions of gun safes across the country.
Top 21 Selling Guns of 2021
Below are the top 21 selling guns of 2021 sold on GunBroker.com.
So, what can you as a brick-and-mortar retail FFL take away from such a list? First, if you’re not already stocking all or most of the top firearms, consider adding them to your regular inventory. Odds are you sell tons of GLOCK 19s and Ruger 10/22s, but it’s always good practice to diversify your product mix for your customers and your bottom line.
Second, take your retail firearms business online. If GunBroker.com can achieve 7% of all gun sales as an online-only destination, there’s plenty of room in the digital space for your FFL to sell firearms online to both local and national customers.
Contact Orchid today to learn how you can launch a customizable and ads-free website and webstore with Orchid eCommerce™, featuring Orchid POS™ and AmmoReady integrations to sell inventory from your store and leading distributor catalogs, plus firearm-friendly payment processing with Orchid Pay™.