December 2009

Down Range: 12/09

2007 gun volume 4th Highest

Gun manufacturing volume rose slightly from 2006 to 2007, BATFE records show. The ATF’s latest Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report (AFMER 2007) provides valuable insight into the performance of individual companies and the type of firearms they produce. ATF embargoes the data for one year, so 2007 is the latest data available. Highlights from the

Todd Woodard

Todd Woodard

2007 numbers include:

Total firearms produced in 2007—3,860,130—increased 7 percent over 2006, which itself showed a 3.3-percent uptick over 2005’s total of 3,218,315. The 2007 total production figure is the highest since 1999, when 4,007,910 guns were made. The highest production totals occurred in 1993 (4,976,289) and 1989 (4,374,283), followed by 1999 and then 2007. If NICS checks are any indication, 2008 and 2009 might break those long-standing production records from the 1990s.

Handgun production showed the greatest percentage increase from 2006 to 2007 (1,403,329 to 1,607,813, or 15%). Rifle production nudged up 7 percent from 2006 to 2007, 1,496,505 to 1,607,485. Shotgun production posted a slight decrease, 714,618 to 644,832, or 10 percent.

In 2007, Smith & Wesson dethroned Remington Arms Co. at the top of the Gun Tests list of the Top 5 U.S. Manufacturers—stopping Big Green’s run of six straight years as the largest manufacturer by volume. Perhaps more remarkable was that Remington achieved its previous No. 1 rankings making only long guns.

In 2007, Smith & Wesson’s production broke into these segments: 302,623 pistols; 196,255 revolvers; 24,676 rifles; total 523,554. In second, Remington Arms Co. made 283,588 rifles and 238,245 shotguns for a total of 521,833 down from the company’s 2006 total of 603,279 firearms. In third was Sturm, Ruger (142,017 pistols, 96,598 revolvers, 222,902 rifles, and 2,479 shotguns for a total of 463,996). O.F. Mossberg & Sons was next with 38,570 rifles and 250,211 shotguns and a 288,781 total, and then Marlin with 227,855 rifles, and the same overall total. Last year, Savage was in the top five with 122,438 guns manufactured, but it dropped to 7th overall in 2007 despite making 132,591 long guns this year (up 8%).

If you tunnel down into the numbers, however, some other trends emerge. Mossberg also makes Maverick shotguns, and that company made 66,831 shotguns, boosting Mossberg’s total to 355,612. Marlin also sells guns under the H&R 1871 brand, which itself was 6th overall (170,535 total). Marlin’s and H&R’s combined total would be 398,390. But the bigger aggregation is to combine all of the Freedom Group firearms companies into one number. That would be Remington (521,833), Marlin (227,855), H&R 1871 (170,535), Bushmaster (60,952), DPMS (58,674), and Dakota Arms (528). Thus, Freedom Group companies accounted for 1,040,377 guns manufactured, or 27% of the country’s total for 2007. GT

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