The biggest gun companies in the US Market

Once again, the country is in conflict over gun violence. The latest, heart-breaking shooting that left 17 dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has prompted students to take to the streets, President Donald Trump to advocate for arming teachers and the National Rifle Association to go on the offensive for its interpretation of the Second Amendment. Meanwhile, some companies rushed to distance themselves from the gun industry.

Even though there’s been a decline in demand for guns since Trump took office — attributed to less panic buying by people who fear restriction or regulation of guns — firearms are a multibillion-dollar business in the U.S.

Here’s a list of companies, American and foreign, that profit from the U.S. gun market, with their stock ticker symbols where relevant.While some of the largest are publicly traded companies that must disclose financials, many are private companies and are not required to disclose sales and profits. For those companies, we compiled information from other estimates and reports.

Biggest gun companies in the United States
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Biggest gun companies in the United States

1. Smith & Wesson (AOBC)

Gun sales: $773 million in 2017, according to the company’s 2017 annual report, which noted 91.2 percent of its firearms sales were to domestic consumers. The remaining 8.8 percent of sales went to local, state or federal law enforcement, or exports. A 2016 report by Mother Jones states that the company produced 1.31 million guns for the U.S. market in 2014.

Headquarters: Springfield, Massachusetts, with additional facilities in Houlton, Maine, and Deep River, Connecticut

About the company: Smith & Wesson, now held by publicly traded American Outdoor Brand Corp. (AOBC), was founded in 1852 as a partnership between Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. Handguns accounted for more than 60 percent of its total sales in 2017, and the remainder were “long guns” including hunting rifles, some shotguns and what the industry calls “modern sporting rifles” such as the AR-15 assault rifle used in the most recent mass shooting in Florida. 

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2. Remington Outdoor

Gun sales: $603 million in 2017, according to a preliminary corporate reportMother Jones reported that Remington Outdoor produced 1.47 million guns for the U.S. market in 2014.

Headquarters: Madison, North Carolina, with manufacturing operations in Huntsville, Alabama

About the company: The gun manufacturer — founded two centuries ago in New York and producing an array of rifles, shotguns, handguns and ammunition — is filing for bankruptcy. It was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in 2007 when the gun market was booming, but it has been in decline for several years, Bloomberg reported. Overproduction and falling demand for guns has hurt the company and other manufacturers, Bloomberg notes, but Remington suffered an additional blow after the tragic 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School:

Remington came under unwanted scrutiny and litigation after the massacre of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which the gunman carried a small arsenal that included a Remington Bushmaster assault rifle.

The company was cleared of blame in the courts, but major investors bailed out.

The Chapter 11 filing will allow the company to continue to operate as it makes a turnaround plan and manages its debt.

Photo credit: Reuters

3. Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR)

Gun sales: $517.7 million (96 percent domestic) in 2017, according to the company’s latest annual report. The company produced 1.64 million firearms for the U.S. market in 2014, Mother Jones reported.

Headquarters: Southport, Connecticut

About the company: This publicly traded company, founded in 1949, has manufacturing operations in Newport, New Hampshire; Prescott, Arizona; and Mayodan, North Carolina, and is the biggest gun supplier in the country, producing a wide array of hunting and assault rifles, pistols and revolvers. According to the company website, “Ruger offers consumers over 400 variations of more than 30 product lines … a rugged, reliable firearm to meet every shooter’s needs.”

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4. Sig Sauer

Sales: The company produced nearly a half-million guns for the U.S. market in 2015, making it the fourth-largest gun maker by volume, according to The Motley Fool.

Headquarters: Newington, New Hampshire

About the company: This company, with origins in Germany, is now operationally separate from Swiss-German company SIG Sauer GmbH. It manufactures at an $18 million facility in New Hampshire, according to the company website. Sig Sauer is best known for its pistols, which it markets to U.S. law enforcement and civilians, but it also makes rifles.

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5. O.F. Mossberg & Sons

Sales: The company supplied more than 658,000 guns in the U.S. in 2014, according to Mother Jones.

Headquarters: North Haven, Connecticut, with most of its manufacturing in Eagle Pass, Texas

About the company: O.F. Mossberg & Sons was founded in Connecticut in the early 1900s by a Swedish immigrant. The company’s early success was built on the sale of its Brownie, a 22-caliber, four-shot “pocket pistol.” It now specializes in rifles, shotguns and scopes. Since 2014, the company has been doing nearly all of its manufacturing at Maverick Arms, located in Eagle Pass, Texas. The company is one of the biggest producers of pump-action shotguns, but its growth is driven by assault rifles, according to Mother Jones.

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6. Savage Arms

Sales: The gunmaker supplied nearly 400,000 firearms to the U.S. market in 2015, The Motley Fool reported.

Headquarters: Westfield, Massachusetts

About the company: Savage produces only long guns — mainly rifles, and a small number of shotguns. It is held by publicly traded company Vista Outdoors (VSTO), headquartered in Farmington, Utah, which owns a portfolio of gun, ammunition and related outdoor brands. Shooting sports (guns, ammunition, rifle scopes and reloading components) accounted for 54 percent of Vista’s sales, or about $1.38 billion in fiscal 2017, according to Vista’s 2017 annual report. The report, citing “recent examples of our innovative, market-leading products” it cited “the entry of the Savage brand into the popular MSR semi-automatic market.”

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7. Springfield Armory Inc.

Sales: Produced 576,000 guns for the U.S. market in 2014, according to Mother Jones.

Headquarters: Geneseo, Illinois

About the company: Springfield Armory, founded in 1974, produces M1911 pistols, and the M1A rifle series. It sells a series of AR-15 assault rifles, and imports semi-automatic pistols from Croatia. Its slogan is “The First Name in American Firearms.”

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8. Beretta

Sales: Produced 463,000 guns for the U.S. market in 2014, according to Mother Jones.

Headquarters: Gardone Val Trompia, Italy

About the company: The Italian company, founded by in 1526 by Bartolomeo Beretta, is now headed by the 15th generation of Berettas. Beretta is best known to Americans for its semi-automatic pistol, the Beretta M9, which is the standard issue sidearm used by the U.S. military. The company produces a wide array of pistols, shotguns, rifles and carbines. The now-multinational company has its U.S. headquarters in Accokeek, Maryland, and a manufacturing plant in Gallatin, Tennessee. It also owns luxury hunting lodges, and sells high-end apparel and home furnishings. 

Photo credit: Reuters

9. Taurus International

Sales: The company produced 365,000 guns for the U.S. market in 2014, according to Mother Jones.

Headquarters: São Leopoldo, Brazil

About the company: Taurus USA is owned by Forjas Taurus SA,which trades on the Brazilian stock exchange. The company produces for the U.S. market from a facility in Miami and imports firearms as well. The company specializes in small arms — pistols and revolvers — and has a special line of guns tailored for concealed-carry.

Photo credit: Getty

10. Glock

Gun sales: The company produced more than 252,000 guns in 2015 for the U.S. market, The Motley Fool reported.

Headquarters: Austria, with U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia. It also has operations in Hong Kong, Uruguay and United Arab Emirates.

About the company: This Austrian firm is famous for its lightweight pistol design, which it first marketed to U.S. police, according to its website. It was a 9mm Glock that Jared Loughner used in his attack on a 2011 political rally in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people and injured others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, CBS reported.

Are you a gun owner? What do you think should be done to prevent gun violence in the U.S.? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page. (Yes, we know you have strong feelings. Please keep it civilized!)

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