The United States is in an era of historic political polarization, and few issues have proved more divisive than gun control. But despite the discord, or perhaps because of it, America’s gun industry is booming. According to the industry advocacy group National Shooting Sports Foundation, the number of new American gun owners climbed by 9.6 million in the last two years alone.
Firearms, ammunition, and indirect industries employed 394,000 Americans in 2022, and had an economic impact of over $80.7 billion, according to the NSSF. Part of the gun industry are the over 3,000 federally licensed gun makers operating in the United States, according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. But while gun buyers have plenty of options to choose from, the U.S. firearms manufacturing market is dominated by only a handful of companies.
Using data from the ATF, 24/7 Wall St. identified the companies making the most firearms in the United States. Companies are ranked on domestic firearm production in 2021. Data on the location of each company’s production facilities and manufacturing output by firearm type in 2021 are also from the ATF.
Each of the 24 companies on this list produced over 100,000 firearms in 2021. It is important to note that some of these companies are headquartered overseas, and that only the firearms they manufactured in U.S. plants were considered in this ranking. Large foreign gun makers often have substantial U.S. manufacturing facilities, not only to better supply recreational shooters, but also to compete for government arms contracts. (Here is a look at 34 American made firearms used every day by the U.S. military.)
While no company has a monopoly on the American gun market, some appear to be coming close. Combined, the top five gun makers on this list accounted for 50% of all domestic firearm production in 2021. These companies include Ruger, Sig Sauer, and Smith & Wesson, which are all American based, and also rank among the largest gunmakers in the world.