Top 10 Firearm Manufacturers of 2020

Written by Orchid

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April 18, 2022

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White text atop red background next to photo of Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Performance Center pistol

Each year, firearm manufacturers are required to report manufacturing and export activity to the ATF using Form 5300.11, or the “Annual Firearms Manufacturing & Exportation Report” (AFMER). Reports are to be completed by April of the following year, with complete reports published the following January in accordance with the Trade Secrets Act. For example, all 2021 numbers were to have been reported by April 1 but will not be made public until January 2023.

Because of this delay, the highly-anticipated 2020 AFMER was only recently published, providing insight into manufacturing data from the record-breaking pandemic year.

Historical Context

Before reviewing the 2020 Annual Firearms Manufacturing & Exportation Report, it’s important to establish context for its data. While AFMERs are only available from 2007 onward, historical annual firearm manufacturing data dating back to 1986 can be found in the 2021 Firearms Commerce in the U.S. Report, which draws data from multiple reports into one comprehensive document.

In 1986, U.S. firearm production totaled 3 million guns and, over the next two decades, would teeter between 3–5 million. Then, with the election of Barack Obama in 2008, production numbers began a steady climb that would top 11.5 million firearms in 2016. However, under the Trump administration, manufacturing would fall again to 7 million guns in 2019 – the lowest total since 2011.

Then the pandemic hit in March 2020. Firearm retailers sold guns faster than manufacturers could make them, leading to an all-time high 39.7 million FBI NICS background checks. Yet, even with limited supply, firearm demand remained high throughout 2020 and into much of 2021.

2020 AFMER Summary

In 2020, manufacturing FFLs pumped out 11,064,078 firearms – the second-highest annual total in history. Further, the 4-million increase in firearm production from 2019 to 2020 is the largest year-over-year growth ever recorded.

New manufacturing records were also set for pistols (5.5 million), revolvers (993,000) and miscellaneous firearms (1.3 million). Conversely, long gun production was down, with only 2.7 million rifles and 476,000 shotguns made in 2020.

Despite lacking domestic supply, firearm exports grew to 529,000 in 2020 – again the second highest total ever recorded and a 40% increase from 2019.

Top 10 Firearm Manufacturers

In 2019, Ruger took the crown of top firearms manufacturer for the eleventh time in 12 years with 1.4 million guns produced. However, despite making 250,000 more guns in 2020, it’s 1.6 million firearms fell short of Smith & Wesson’s 2.3 million total, of which an industry-leading 1.5 million were pistols. Following Ruger and Smith & Wesson was SIG SAUER (1,077,019 firearms), who were the only manufacturers to top 1 million firearms.

RANK
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
MANUFACTURER
Smith & Wesson
Ruger
SIG SAUER
Anderson Manufacturing
GLOCK
Mossberg
Springfield Armory
Palmetto State Armory
Heritage Manufacturing
Henry Repeating Arms
FIREARMS
2,324,717
1,662,565
1,077,019
462,401
445,442
418,517
394,099
379,660
306,159
251,905

Fourth on the list was Anderson Manufacturing, who produced 462,000 firearms and led all manufacturers in the miscellaneous category (e.g., firearm receivers) – which accounted for 95% of their total. Finishing fifth, GLOCK was one of only two manufacturers to make the top 10 while producing one type of firearm, as its 445,000 pistols ranked fourth in the category.

Producing 99.9% of its 418,517 firearms under Maverick Arms, Mossberg finished sixth among top manufacturers and once again led all FFLs in shotguns produced. The seventh-largest manufacturer of 2020 was Springfield Armory, aided by the launch of its micro-compact competitor Hellcat, released in the fall of 2019.

Ranked among the top producers of rifles and miscellaneous firearms, Palmetto State Armory was the eighth-largest manufacturer in 2020, followed by Heritage Manufacturing (9th) and its leading 306,000 revolvers, and Henry Repeating Arms (10th) rounding out the top 10.

Notably missing from the 2020 list is Savage Arms, whose numbers appear to have been withheld from the report. Savage was the sixth-largest firearm manufacturer in 2019.

Below you’ll find rankings for top manufacturers in each firearm category.

Top Manufacturers by Firearm Type

Top 10 Pistol Manufacturers

RANK
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
MANUFACTURER
Smith & Wesson
SIG SAUER
Ruger
GLOCK
Kimber
SCCY Firearms
Springfield Armory
Taurus
Beretta USA
FN America
FIREARMS
1,559,856
1,018,063
772,382
445,442
212,395
185,616
161,991
100,678
91,663
90,624

Top 10 Revolver Manufacturers

RANK
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
MANUFACTURER
Heritage Manufacturing
Ruger
Smith & Wesson
North American Arms
Colt
Charter Arms
Standard Manufacturing
Kimber
Magnum Research
Automated Finishing Co.
FIREARMS
306,159
269,211
267,651
50,562
33,539
30,571
17,254
12,634
1,665
867

Top 10 Rifle Manufacturers

RANK
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
MANUFACTURER
Ruger
Smith & Wesson
Springfield Armory
Henry Repeating Arms
Diamondback Firearms
Mossberg
KelTec
Palmetto State Armory
SIG SAUER
Radical Firearms
FIREARMS
617,725
493,257
232,108
228,840
111,504
75,392
66,823
60,438
58,956
52,243

Top 10 Shotgun Manufacturers

RANK
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
MANUFACTURER
Mossberg
Legacy Sports International
KelTec
Beretta USA
Henry Repeating Arms
Outdoor Colors
IWI US
Standard Manufacturing
3rd Gen Machine
Kalashnikov USA
FIREARMS
246,038
108,265
38,516
16,326
15,629
12,882
12,122
6,524
5,533
5,181

Top 10 Misc. Firearms Manufacturers

RANK
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
MANUFACTURER
Anderson Manufacturing
Palmetto State Armory
Aero Precision
Mossberg
Century Arms
American Tactical Inc.
HM Defense
KE Arms
Brownells
Tennessee Arms Company
FIREARMS
439,559
289,537
143,762
76,964
37,013
27,958
16,622
13,360
10,920
9,615

At Orchid, we’re proud to have worked with the top firearm manufacturers in the industry. Contact us today to learn more about how our award-winning FFL software solutions and trusted firearms law and legal services can help your manufacturing business operate with greater efficiency, increase profit margins and lower compliance risk.

Download 2020 AFMER

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