Handguns – particularly semi-automatic pistols – are far and away the most popular type of firearm in the United States. In a reversal of a long-term trend, American firearm manufacturers produced more pistols than rifles in 2010, and have continued to do so nearly every year since, according to government data. In fact, pistol production topped 6.7 million in 2021 alone, accounting for nearly half of all domestically produced firearms, including rifles, shotguns, and revolvers. And among the variety of pistol calibers available on the U.S. market, 9mm has emerged as the clear favorite.
A 9mm round is physically smaller than most other handgun ammunition, including .40 and .45 caliber. As a result, 9mm handguns generally benefit from reduced recoil and greater magazine capacity and concealability without sacrificing much in the way of performance, particularly as a self defense weapon. (Here is a look at the law for carrying firearms in public in every state.)
A testament to their efficacy, 9mm pistols are the official sidearm for the U.S. military as well as many local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. And of course, the market for 9mm pistols extends to the civilian population – particularly as concealed carry regulations have loosened in much of the country in recent years.
Using data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 24/7 Wall St. identified the companies behind the best-selling 9mm pistols. Companies are ranked on domestic production of 9mm handguns in 2021. Data on the location of each company’s production facilities and total firearm manufacturing output in 2021 are also from the ATF.
Though each of the 23 companies on this list manufactured more than 11,000 9mm pistols in 2021, the market for 9mm handguns is largely controlled by only a handful of major gunmakers. The top three brands on this list – Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger – account for over 60% of all domestic 9mm pistol manufacturing.
For some of these top companies, 9mm pistols represent only a small share of their overall firearm production. While Sig Sauer focuses almost exclusively on pistol production, for brands like Ruger and Smith & Wesson, rifles and revolvers also account for a considerable share of total manufacturing output. Indeed, these gunmakers also rank among the most popular rifle companies in America.
Click here to see companies making Americans favorite 9mm pistols.
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