Top 10 (And A Half) Handgun Manufacturers (2012)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives keeps data on all firearms manufacturers and how much they produce each year. We at TFB thought it would interest our readers to take a look at this data and see which ten manufacturers produced the most. The BATFE has so far only published data for the year 2012, so that’s what we’ll be looking at.

So which ten manufacturers made the most handguns In 2012 in the US?


10. Saeilo, Inc (Kahr Arms)


Saeilo, Inc is the parent company of Kahr Arms. They produced 65,327 pistols at their Worchester, MA plant.


9. Kel Tec CNC Industries, Inc


Kel Tec produced 78,074 pistols at their Cocoa, FL facility in 2012.


8. Beemiller, Inc (Hi Point)


Beemiller is the parent company of Hi Point Firearms, which made 82,700 pistols at their Mansfield, OH factory.

7. Taurus International Mfg, Inc


At 92,074 pistols, and 448 revolvers manufactured in Miami, FL, Taurus is the first revolver maker we see on the list.

6. Kimber Mfg, Inc


Kimber leaps ahead of Taurus with 120,152 pistols manufactured, more than five-sixths of those being chambered for a caliber larger than 9mm.

5½. Burbak Machine Corp

2014-11-29 03_56_53-burbak machine corp - Google Search

Burbak is probably not a company you’ve heard of, nor do they own one, but they sure did make a lot of pistols in 2012: 129,984 of them, at their Wilton, NH facility. Burbak Machine Corp in fact only makes polymer frames for handguns, almost certainly as a subcontractor for another, better known company. Who? I’m not sure, but the below picture from their website is very suggestive of another company further down this list:

What company sells so many handguns that they need a subcontractor for a hundred and thirty thousand handgun frames? Keep reading!


5. Glock, Inc


Well, that’s surprising. Our mystery company above made nearly as many pistols as handgun magnate Glock, Inc did in the USA. At their Smyrna, GA plant, Gaston’s gift to US law enforcement made 131,550 pistols in 2012. Keep in mind that the BATFE only tallies the number of handguns Glock has made at their Smyrna, GA plant; it does not count the number of handguns made in Austria.


4. Beretta USA


Their Accokeek, MD plant churned out 140,670 pistols in 2012, edging out Glock’s US handgun production handily.


3. SIG Sauer, Inc


SIG is our first big handgun heavyweight of the list. They cranked out an astounding 532,575 pistols in 2012. Though that’s not so impressive compared to…


2. Smith & Wesson Corp


Smith & Wesson; a company that always seems to roll with the punches and come out (almost) on top. They’re the first company on this list to sport two manufacturing facilities: Their plant in Springfield, MA which churned out – by itself – 542,297 pistols, more than the entirety of SIG’s 2012 run, and 216,150 revolvers, more than third place Beretta made of pistols. Their Houton, ME facility would have – by itself – been number 11 on this list, having produced every one of their 63,785 metal framed handguns made in 2012.


1. Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc

Ruger absolutely dominates this list, with 861,357 pistols manufactured at their Prescott, AZ location, and 251,644 revolvers and 4,314 pistols manufactured at their Newport, NH plant. It’s also very likely that Burbak Machine Corp is a subcontractor for Ruger, as the above picture from their website clearly shows what appears to be a Ruger P95 frame. If Burbak’s count is added to Ruger’s, then their count reaches a staggering 1,247,299 pistols and revolvers manufactured in 2012. Say that aloud: One million, two hundred and forty-seven thousand, two hundred and ninety-nine. That is half again as much as number two handgun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and more than enough handguns manufactured in a single year to arm every man, woman, and child in Fiji and the Bahamas combined!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • JumpIf NotZero

    I hope Ruger is just dumping out revolvers. Because I stutter to think that people are buying more P95s on average than Glocks or M&Ps.

    Also, a really great showing for SIG, considering they are just now getting into the striker fired market. Something Glock does exclusively and S&W very heavily has relied upon.

    • Zachary marrs

      They have things like the lcr lcp, on top of their revolvers and .22 pistols

      • Nicks87

        LCR, LC9, LCP and 22/45 are insanely popular. Ruger .22s have their own section at my local gun shop and the inventory is constantly changing.

    • Joshua

      Is it really surprising when brands like CMMG, DPMS, and even Vulcan often outsell brands like Colt.

      Well same goes for the handgun market.

      • Zachary marrs

        I agree with you, but i doubt more people own a Vulcan (machine gun of the special forces) than colt

        • Joshua

          +10 internetz for you! Have a cookie!

    • uisconfruzed

      I see more of the MKIII 22/45 pistols, a lot of the mini 9’s as well.

    • noob

      yes please a breakdown of ruger’s top selling firearms. I too want to know what is the most common firearm sold.

      • I can’t break it down any more than I have. The data aren’t there. :

    • noob

      Turns out Ruger achieved their million gun capacity a few years ago as part of the Million Gun Challenge to Benefit the NRA

  • JumpIf NotZero

    And how sad is it that Keltec, Hipoint, Taurus, and Kahr all individually outsell Walther, HK, FN, and others? … 🙁

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      I few months ago I bought a Walther PPQ M2, I’m always surprised how many people I run into and let them shoot my gun, then they read the name off the slide, and say “Walther, huh, never heard of them”.

      • johnhender

        thet is a great piece i have one i am currently looking for the 5″ version or the Navy which are very had to find along with magazines always the hard way

        • Smokey_the_Bear

          I have the 5″ version, its an awesome gun, love shooting it. I was on the fence with the navy one as well, I I decided against it cause at this point in my life, I didn’t want to throw down the big bucks for a suppressor. (for those who don’t know, the navy version has a threaded barrel, and has a 5.25″ long barrel)

          • JumpIf NotZero

            4.5″ on the navy.

          • Smokey_the_Bear

            Your right, I was mixing up guns, a few months back when I bought mine, I was looking at a LOT of different handguns, springfield, HK, Walther.

      • ruffone

        They must live in a shell then… They probably have, they just don’t remember seeing them. Ask them if they have ever seen a James Bond movie? Shoot, they are in probably half the top video games out there as well.

      • I cringe when gomers pronounce it wrong.

    • Robert177

      Price, price, and price…..
      People buy cheap sh*** all the time. Doesn’t make it better.

      • Don Ward

        Yep. There’s a reason why WalMart is the top retailer in the country.

    • Patrick Mingle

      People buy a ton of Camrys every year

    • patrickiv

      This list only includes U.S.-manufactured firearms.

    • Tucson_Jim

      JINZ, Don’t forget SIG…

      But, this is America! We buy Quanitity, Bling, and Attention… not Quality, that’s why McDonald’s is the world’s most successful chain, Walmart is the world’s biggest corporation, and goofy Rambo wannabe’s spend more on after-market accessories to “customize” their AR’s than they spend on the rifle or learning how to shoot it.

  • billyoblivion

    This list looks a lot more like the number of weapons fabricated in the US, not the overall number sold.

    • It’s taken from BATFE data, so you would be correct.

    • ruffone

      Nathaniel thew everyone off when he wrote this one line right before he started his list…

      “So which ten manufacturers sold the most handguns In 2012?”

      You might want to correct that one Nathaniel 🙂

      • Blame our marketing department! They made me do it!

        It was late! I didn’t know what I was doing!

        The football game was on!

        Nobody’s perfect!

        My cat ate my homework!


  • Nicks87

    Because 78,000 people were already on the waiting list for one.

    • Robert177

      Uhhhhh, not likely.

  • Don Ward

    The question is WHY? Why would you want one?

    • Robert177

      LOL Thanks Don, I needed that.

  • Don Ward

    See. It’s guys like you who are the reason why we can’t have nice things. And the reason why we have so many Kel-Tec fail videos. 🙂

  • Rich Guy

    Replace 22/45 with MKII and you would be 100% correct.

  • Are you mentally challenged or just completely lacking in reading comprehension? What the hell do you need mags for that are taking two years? Have you ever considered ordering something from this newfangled invention that they call the Internet? It really is marvelous.

    • Dan

      Oooooh kitty has claws. Meeeeeow

  • USMC03Vet

    No Bond Arms? Interesting.

  • johnhender

    I had submited the order i am bound to pay them since i buy a lot of stuff it looks real bad to order something then cancel and yes i have order tons of mags on the internet

    • sianmink

      It doesn’t look bad at all to cancel an order you’ve had open for 2 years.

  • sianmink

    If you can’t find a P32, P3AT, P11 or PF9, you aren’t even looking.

    Oh, you mean the PMR30? ha ha.

  • Adam Evans

    burbak absolutely makes polymer frames for Ruger. I used to work there and manufacture them myself, and still carry my P95 from years ago everyday.

  • noguncontrol

    Kahr needs to move out of mass. , then maybe they’ll be able to produce more guns at lower cost, heck they should hire Burbak as a subcontractor for their frames, might lower their cost even further and their price point. I bet that is how Ruger keeps their prices lower. And Beretta should do the same and move out of Maryland.

  • john huscio

    1/3rd of that list produce quality products.

    That is all.

  • MrApple

    They are fired once and then the owner looks for something better.

  • Mack

    OK with all this cold steel floating around, why is Obama still wiping out the USA daily!

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    Kel-Tec has been undergoing exponential growth. They don’t inventory anything. They build it and ship it. The 2013 and 2014 numbers will show Kel-Tec climbing way up this list. All of you haters, keep on hating. 🙂

  • Gary Lamb

    Well.Thats not a P-95 frame because I have a P-95 right in from of me and NOT The same.Trigger guard is not even close.But anyway,I like Rugers and my Wife likes the S&W.