There is charts it the link
SIGSauer came in 4th
All firearms manufacturers have enjoyed the boom in gun sales, but just one rose to the top to out-produce all others.
Mar 4, 2017 at 8:00AM
The landing has been hard for the firearms industry as it adjusts to the new environment of lower firearms demand after several years of white-hot sales. Although the gunmakers themselves are still reporting robust numbers, the outlook they share is disappointing as it returns to more modest levels, even if gun sales remain above historical trends.
We can see it in the FBI's reported numbers for its National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS -- after 19 straight months of record numbers of checks conducted, the FBI has now reported two months of year-over-year declines. Although NICS checks have their limitations as a proxy for gun sales, the FBI data is generally considered a good industry barometer for demand.
Over 27.5 million background checks were performed in 2016, up 19% from the prior year, more than double levels from a decade ago, and three times the number of checks performed in 1999, the first full year the FBI began tracking these statistics.
Working overtime to keep pace
To keep up with rising demand, the industry's manufacturing capacity has expanded along with it. Each year, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives lists the total number of guns sold in each category -- pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns -- along with how many each manufacturer made.
As can be seen, production spiked in 2013 as gunmakers sought to catch up with demand in the wake of calls for more gun control following the Sandy Hook shootings, and then finding a stable, but steadily growing base afterwards. It should be noted that the BATFE-reported data is delayed by one year to protect trade secrets.
It's surprising who's not at the top
So which gunmakers are the biggest? It might be surprising to know just how far down the list some of the most well-known names in the industry are, along with those who produce some of the most popular firearms.
For example, Beretta is No. 15 on the list of biggest gunmakers in 2015, with 124,515 units. Of course, three-quarters of the guns it made are pistols, but it also produced nearly 2,000 rifles and over 28,000 shotguns.
Similarly, Glock was ninth on the list with over 252,000 guns made, all of which were its famous pistols. Yet it was beaten out by some lesser-known manufacturers such as rifle manufacturer Henry Repeating Arms, which was eighth on the list with more than 300,000 firearms produced, and No. 5 Maverick Arms, which made over 473,000 rifles and shotguns that year.
In fact, Maverick topped arguably better-known long arms manufacturer Savage Arms, which came in sixth place. Under the control of Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO), which owns a portfolio of firearm, ammunition, and outdoors brands, Savage manufactured just under 400,000 rifles and shotguns.
Filling out the next two spots were Sig Sauer at No. 4 with almost 500,000 firearms and third-place Remington Arms, best known for its rifles and shotguns -- producing over 1.1 million of them -- although it was also credited with 36,000 pistols.
Narrowing the field to two
So that leaves us with our final two industry leaders. You can probably guess their names, but which one came out on top? If you guessed Smith & Wesson, you were close but wrong. It came in second with almost 1.5 million firearms manufactured in 2015, while Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) once again reprised its role as the biggest gunmaker in the country with almost 1.7 million firearms.
But the picture changes when you look at each product category. For example, Smith & Wesson, which just this year changed its corporate name to American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOBC) to deemphasize its focus on firearms, is the undisputed leader in pistols and revolvers, making a total of 1.26 million handguns in 2015, compared to Ruger, which produced a little more than 1 million.
At these volumes, Smith & Wesson accounted for 28% of all of pistols and 31% of all revolvers, making its offerings some of the most well-known and most widely-owned firearms today. Ruger was second, with 21% and 29%, respectively. Where Ruger was able to surpass Smith & Wesson, however, was in rifle category with over triple the volume.
The long reach of long arms
Ruger made 662,000 rifles that year, second only to industry leader Remington, which dominates the long arms market (along with Maverick, the two companies account for almost 90% of all shotguns produced).
Ruger AR-556 modern sporting rifle
Image source: Sturm, Ruger.
Ruger just reported its 2016 earnings with $664 million in total sales, up 20% from 2015, while profits were 43% higher year-over-year. The gunmaker said that it increased total unit production by 23.5% last year, which it attributed to dealers stocking up on certain types of firearms ahead of last November's elections. Ruger is in a strong position to come out on top again in 2016, but there were also words of caution from the company.
Sturm, Ruger pointed to declining NICS checks in December and January, and management said it anticipated having to "manage our production to moderate inventory growth" for 2017. That means it may still sit atop the mountain of gunmakers, but the pile of firearms is likely going to be smaller for the immediate future.
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Dang. I was going to say Hi Point. Looks like they didn't even make the chart....
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Ruger usually tops that list, I don't know any other company that makes everything, semi-auto's, revolvers, shotguns, and rifles.
|Fighting the good fight|
Ruger doesn't offer shotguns any more, after discontinuing their Red Label shotgun line in early 2015. That accounts for the few hundred shotguns showing as being produced in 2015, but 2016's data should reflect 0.
S&W has offered shotguns in years past, but doesn't currently. Curiously, S&W is listed as making 183 shotguns in 2015... I wonder what those were? Could that be their .410 "Governor" revolver? (I assume those would be classified as revolvers, though.) Maybe R&D shotguns, along with perhaps some replacement shotgun receivers for warranty work?
FN, Kel-Tec, Browning, and Remington all offer pistols, rifles, and shotguns, but don't do revolvers.
Beretta would qualify as making all four, if you were to include the replica "Western" revolvers made by their overseas subsidiary Uberti.
Taurus also makes all four, but their rifles and shotguns are made overseas, and are currently not even available in the US.
The biggest gun maker based on NICs checks?
Really, what a bunch of tripe.
I have purchased 26 firearms since my last NICs check in 2013 (no check required due to CHL since then).
Only one was a Ruger with multiple purchases of other brands
Specific to 2015, I purchased eight firearms (no NICs check) none were Ruger.
While Ruger may indeed be number one, I would wait on the 2015 AFMER report for a more reliable, accurate assessment.
The anticipation is often greater than the actual reward
|Fighting the good fight|
The 2015 AFMER is already available. And if you'll reread the article in the OP, they've based their rankings on number of guns manufacturered by those companies in 2015 (presumably using the AFMER data), not the number of NICS checks.
The part about NICS checks was only used in the first three paragraphs or so, to show the increase in demand in recent years. After that first section, the article is discussing 2015 firearm production rankings.
|Little ray |
My thought was Smith and Wesson. Close, but no cigar.
The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
Having purchased three SR1911's in 45 ACP, one in 9mm, and an LCS9 Pro I've become a bit of a fan of Ruger. In terms of value for dollar spent Ruger has it right. I'm also tempted by the SP101 but not really a fan of revolvers with coil type mainsprings so currently all of my revolvers are S&W medium and large frame models.
I've stopped counting.
I was surprised how high Anderson arms placed.
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For those of you that don't want to read the whole clickbaity article:
8. WM Anderson(?)
"...a nine millimeter only kills your body. The .45... that kills your soul."
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Gotta churn the $40 lowers
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Interesting, the top two re the only publicly traded companies on the list.
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I'm a bit surprised by Glock's ranking but I imagine their profit margins have got to be tops.
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Looking at Glock's ranking, it's more apparent why Sig got into the semi-auto rifle market.
I think they're putting the Fool in Motley Fool. 0bama sparked the greatest bull market in decades, and Hildabeast's campaign put the bull on steroids. Inventory seems high right now and prices are great so I don't think The Donald will make the market any more bullish. However, I hope he makes the supressor market into the greatest bull market ever.
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I'm sorry, I'm thinking about the cats again...
So the survey completely ignores production going to agency/military sales.
That is going to change the balance sheet against manufacturers like HK, SIG, Beretta, and Glock, and will certainly help Ruger.
|Fighting the good fight|
If you're basing that assumption on the sentence you quoted discussing NICS checks, then I'll again point out that only the first couple paragraphs of the article deal with NICS checks. The rankings aren't based on the number of NICS checks.
The discussion in the majority of the article, and the rankings putting Ruger at #1, are based on production numbers. This data is available in the ATF's 2015 AFMER, which is a compilation of production statistics from all domestic firearms manufacturers: https://www.atf.gov/resource-c...-2015-final/download
The first page of the AFMER states:
So that data may or may not include guns produced for agency/military sales. Depends on whether that meets the ATF's definition of being "disposed of in commerce". I believe that it would, since the guns are being sold to that agency/military.
The Motley Fool has sorted through this data and compiled production rankings for this article. They're presented in a chart about halfway down the page that lists the production totals for the top 9 domestic manufacturers. I'll try to reproduce the chart below (as best I can within the limits of the forum's formatting):
Smith & Wesson--989,853---274,136----209,180-----183-----1,473,352
Wm C Anderson------0--------0--------300,390-------0-------300,390
Glock-------------252,145-----0------------0---------0-------252,145This message has been edited. Last edited by: RogueJSK,
|Fighting the good fight|
I dug around the ATF's website, and found this blurb for clarification:
I'm more interested in quality than quantity.
Look about you.
Depends on how you measure "biggest".
A company manufacturing 500K guns a year at an average wholesale of $800 is, in my opinion, much more impressive than a company pumping out 1.5M guns a year at $275 per unit.
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