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. He can be reached via email at [email protected]