The Big Picture

This diagram shows the relationships of some of the larger companies within the gun industry and how they’re connected to whom, and what comprises different groups of companies. In other words the “Big Picture” of the origins of the firearms we all love and enjoy. From a business standpoint, this is fascinating to see how the companies are connected and why some companies would be in direct competition with others. It also explains how within these specific groups, products might be similar, and this because the various companies are trading technologies off with each other for a cheaper product on the consumer end. Note that this chart does not show any Independent manufacturers as they would be far too numerous to list. This list mainly concentrates on American based firearms manufacturers but there are some international companies as well.

Gun Company Structure

Image created by Miles Vining



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • guest

    Why are there two Winchester logos? Thanks

    • Pancho

      Because Winchester Ammunition and Winchester Firearms are two separate companies.

    • ed

      Winchester Repeating Arms (the gun manufacturer) is a different company than Winchester Ammunition (the ammo company). Not sure when they split.

      Dang slow wireless connection! 😉

      • The rights to manufacture Winchester rifles was licensed by Olin to USRAC back in 1981. FN Herstal bought out USRAC in 1989.

  • Miami_JBT

    Taurus also own Heritage Arms and Diamondback Firearms.

  • Captain Obvious

    That diagram is confusing as hell. Looks like those black lines are supposed to connect companies with one another but they don’t. Loose the freakin lines!

    • Zachary marrs

      The lines… WHAT DO THEY MEAN?

      • Mr. Fahrenheit

        I hesitate to criticize, and with apologies to Mr. Vining, but I have to agree. What do the lines mean?

        I can’t help to think that, instead of the image above, a graphic with a single box containing all the logos would convey the same information.

        At the very least, some horizontal separation in the lines would help.

        • Sorry about the technicalities of the diagram! The lines don’t mean anything, they’re just separating the various groups so it’s easier to see which companies are with what groups.

          • Zachary marrs

            Its just messy, and well, a rather small sampling of companies

          • grunion

            How? I guess I am slow.

      • Just dividers—

  • Pancho

    L&O Holdings owns Blaser, Mauser, Sig Sauer, JP Sauer & Son, John Rigby & Co, and GSG

    • Thanks! I realize the actual picture layout is pretty mundane, but that is irrelevant to the purpose of the post, which is to show which companies own others. But in the end I get it, aesthetics is almost everything.

      • Paul Epstein

        It’s not aesthetics, it’s readability. You’re trying to convey information, but the way you’ve arranged things is making that difficult, because it’s hard to tell what some of the companies even ARE within the groups, and the way you’ve decided to arrange them into groups isn’t as intuitive as you thought.

    • grunion

      Thanx, didn’t get that from the article…

  • GarinEtch

    Cereberus owns Albertsons and Safeway too…

  • MP

    Yeah…you need to do a couple things:
    1: higher resolution on the image (eg: BIGGER)
    2: find more legible logos or put text below the logos
    3: organize this in any manner that isn’t retarded. this looks like
    someone put a whole bunch of logos on the ground had a 3yo sort them
    into groups.
    4: Why is wolf in a grouping? I get that it might be under SSI, but it has no peers, so why bother?
    5: White background (notice how all the logos have a white background?)
    6: Manufactuers (spelling)
    7: It’s firearms industry, not manufacturers, since you have a strictly powder group
    It might be ‘only the internet’ but put in at least _some_ effort.

    • Mako_Dragoon

      “It might be ‘only the internet’ but put in at least _some_ effort.”

      It’s not like the whole world can see this (minus North Korea).

    • Being a bit rough in those suggestions. Lets kick it back a notch.

      • MP

        The suggestions are valid.
        They would be rough if this was an 8th grade economics presentation. But this is the internet and the internet is serious business.
        Be honest and just say you don’t like that I used the word retarded.

        • You happen to be right I don’t like that you used that word. It’s not a personal decision we just try to keep it civil. That much is obvious since I took it out. I didn’t bother anything else. Just because it’s the Internet doesn’t mean you can’t be respectful to the writers and or other readers.

      • grunion

        You posted it, you take the heat or find something else to do.

      • Observer

        All the good suggestions there to help you improve that middle school diagram, and you put the microscope on “retarded”? You need to move that microscope back to the other 7 items in that list. Or, you could do your next article on blogger hubris.

    • grunion

      Like a flow chart?

  • Blake

    Thanks, more like this please 🙂

    BTW I think less technical people would appreciate being able to open the full-size image with a click (rather than right-click & select “open image in new tab”).

  • Geoffry K

    Taurus, Rossi AND Heritage. You missed that one.

  • Why do I have the impression that thing was made with MS Paint? Cmon, is that the level of professionalism you guys want to showcase?… Can’t at least someone out there make a better infographic out of this?

    • Zachary marrs

      We thank dis is. Good qualify

      ~TFB spell checker.

      I couldn’t help it

      • Another thing is that I made this myself, I’m not pawning this off as someone else’s bad infographic, this is my bad infographic, I’ll get back to work on it.

        • Zachary marrs

          Its a very cool idea, but an admittedly lackluster execution, I apologize if you found my comments rude, Im just trying to be funny.

    • By all means, if someone can make a better one then please do, this is just something I threw together on Photoshop, I’m not the most artistic tool in the box.
      🙁

      • grunion

        Try “Visio” the program can’t help but make your attempt more understandable.

  • Grindstone50k

    Someone needs some graphic design tips. I could make a better “diagram” in MS Paint.

    • Dual Sport

      Standing by.

    • grunion

      Shoot, a pencil, paper and a straight edge would yield better results.

  • I would skip companies that are obviously connected. No one is going to think that Colt Mfg and Colt Defense aren’t connected.

    The Atk section is missing Speer.

  • Vauxhall

    Ruger ?
    H&K ?
    Steyr?

    • These are all independent companies, not sure about Steyer but I mainly focused on companies in the US.

  • George

    silencerco owned by cerberus

    • Cymond

      Please provide evidence. As far as I know, Cerebus owns AAC, not SilencerCo.

      • Remington owns AAC

        • Cymond

          Ok, I was close. Cerberus owns Remington, and Remington owns AAC.
          SilencerCo is still independent, right? I know they bought SWR, but it appears that all of the old SWR products are now being sold under the SilencerCo name.

    • SilencerCo isn’t owned by Cerberus!

  • Nate

    Colt bought LWRCi right?

  • joe

    In there with ATK is also Eagle and Michael’s of Oregon, aka Uncle Mike’s. And, at least 10 years ago, Otis was in there with Hoppe’s, too.

  • Tenpoundmonkey

    This is as clear as the CDC’s Ebola protocols.
    Worst. Infographic. Ever.
    This is just garbage. Incomplete info, multiple errors, no structure, spelling…

  • TiC

    Great idea, but terrible execution. Forget the confused chart. Why would you link the image to this same article? You should have the link go to the full size image file itself.

    I’m looking at this on an iPad and my only option was to save the image.

    • I tried getting it as large a resolution on the TFB post box, I’ll see if I can take all these criticisms and make it better, with a huge image on a separate page.

  • Mako_Dragoon

    Winchester firearms and Winchester ammunition are in different companies? And what about Winchester smokeless gun powders, shouldn’t that be under Hodgdon?

    And what about the relationship between Burris and Bushnell?

    I am more confused after seeing this… I think I need to lie down (after a beer).

    • Scott

      Yes Winchester repeating arms and Winchester ammunition are separate. Olin technically owns the Winchester name.

    • Scott Snoopy

      there is no relationship between Burris and Bushnell….Bushnell is now part of ATK and Burris a “partner” company of Beretta

      • Mako_Dragoon

        I was always under the impression that Bushnell was a “value” brand for Burris.

        A perfect example is the Burris Eliminator and the Bushnell Yardage Pro Rifle. They even share the same distinct tube.

        Maybe they license the similar product? Heck I dunno.

        • Scott Snoopy

          Bushnell bought the rights to Tasco’s name/property after they went under. There is only so much you can do to make scopes distinctive unless of course its the quality of glass in a Zeiss or Schmidt Bender.

  • Timothy G. Yan

    Since I just review one of their optic, Sport Supplies International owns the brand name WPA (Wolf Performance Ammunition), Wolf Performance Optics and Wolf Performance Arms.

  • ducky

    Do I read “cereberus capitol management? Well, whoever is managing Capitol – hopefully not Cerberus! Sorry to jump on the gripe bandwagon, but as some stated before – at least some effort …

  • Gui

    Magtech just bought Taurus here in Brazil

  • grunion

    This lists a lot of names but what is the relationship between them? This is a poor article.

  • Doug Penthall

    worst chart ever

  • A lurker

    Good try, anyone wanting to sharpen their skills at presenting information in a graphic should look at books from Edward Tufte. Chances are you can find his books in most libraries.

  • Bowserb

    OK, the presentation is a bit lacking. Too small to read some names. The layout looks like a hierarchy, but of course it is not. Still some interesting information. The Winchester name is owned by two companies? Olin for ammo and Herstal for guns? The Cereberus list is also interesting. You can almost track the brands whose quality has declined in recent years (or whose quality was never high) to this one box.
    The list I’d like to see is the brand names and where their manufacturing and assembly plants are located!

  • Chuck Beuer

    First : Thank you for connecting the dots as to which companies are owned by one group.
    Second : I have to apologize for some of the folks who put their undies on backward on the morning that they chose to be so hyper critical of your effort. There seems to be something about being anonymous that tends to bring out the worst in people. It’s kinda like getting behind the wheel of a vehicle……. people think they’re anonymous so they blow their horns, flip fingers at the slightest mistake (or presumed mistake) of others and generally become rude. I like to drive thinking any one of the other cars around me could contain my neighbors, relatives or friends and that they KNOW WHO I AM. That way I always am polite…. well, almost always.
    P.S. I sincerely hope my spelling and grammar are correct so I don’t get called retarded.

  • Chuck Beuer

    Addition to my previous comment : I’m proud to have a huge ATK presence and the Federal Cartridge facility in my state (Minnesota). Most of my relatives worked for Federal Cartridge since the 1930’s or possibly before.

    FYI : Charles Horn – founder of Fed. Cart. – used to place his products (shotgun shells & centerfire/rimfire cartridges) in grocery stores, barbers shops, and filling stations.

  • Johnobody

    It took a second look, but I’m not done with my first cup of coffee yet. It’s reasonably straight forward. Some of the connections are obvious (Taurus/Rossi). Others are not (Beretta/Stoeger). Those who opted to be hypercritical need to take a few things into consideration. 1: You didn’t put it together. 2: You probably wouldn’t say these things face to face. The internet provides you with a degree of anonymity. Don’t hide behind it so you can be obnoxious. 3: WE are all on the same side. It was an interesting post. If you didn’t get anything out of it, there are other articles to read. If you’re tired of reading, get out to the range or get some reloading done.

  • Govna40

    I didn’t find this diagram hard to read. I however do think the relationships would be better evaluat ed maybe in a 3 part blog. I find it interesting but I would like to know how their relationships developed and why. Good try Mr. Vining. Cheers!

  • enfieldchpl

    I think you missed something big- Colt Defense bought LWRC International! I thought I read it here?

  • Oldtrader3

    The lines separate distinct companies from one another!

  • peccatum Dei

    I’d like to see this polished up, and then kept up to date under it’s own tab for future reference. I don’t trust “investors” like Cereberus. The quality problems that have developed at Remington, Marlin, and Bushmaster are evidence that I have reason to be distrustful. My paranoid side worries that some gun grabber with deep pockets could come along, buy up an entire set of firearms manufacturers, and just shut them down.