With an estimated 433.9 million civilian-owned firearms in circulation, the United States is the largest firearms market in the world. In the last two years alone, an estimated 9.6 million Americans became gun owners for the first time, according to industry advocacy group National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Not only large, the U.S. gun market is also competitive. Government data shows that more than 3,000 federally licensed gun makers were operating in the U.S. in 2021. While most of these companies are small operations, the largest and most successful ones have found markets for their products both domestically and abroad. (Here is a look at the states where the most people have bought guns so far this year.)
And while most U.S. gun makers derive the vast majority of their revenue from domestic sales, for some, demand from foreign consumers represents a significant share of their business. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, more than 13.8 million firearms were manufactured in the U.S. in 2021 – and nearly half a million of those were ultimately sold outside of the United States.
Using data from the ATF, 24/7 Wall St. identified the companies selling the most firearms abroad. Companies were ranked on the total number of domestically manufactured firearms exported in 2021. We considered companies headquartered in the United States, as well as foreign companies with U.S. production facilities.
Each of the 24 companies on this list exported over 1,000 firearms in 2021. Depending on the company, these foreign sales accounted for anywhere from about 1% of their American firearm production up to nearly 90%. Together, these two dozen companies accounted for over 96% of U.S. firearm exports in 2021.
As is the case in the domestic firearm market, pistols are the most popular firearm type among foreign buyers of American-made guns. Not including revolvers, pistols – mostly semi-automatic – accounted for over half of all exported firearms in 2021. For some of the largest gun makers on this list, including Sig Sauer, Glock, and Taurus, pistols accounted for all, or nearly all, of foreign gun sales in 2021. (Here is a look at the companies making America’s favorite 9mm pistols.)
Click here to see the most popular US-made guns abroad.
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