Skip to main content

Firearm Production Report: Nearly 20 Million Modern Sporting Rifles in Circulation

National Shooting Sports Foundation releases most recent production figures.

Firearm Production Report: Nearly 20 Million Modern Sporting Rifles in Circulation

Photo courtesy of NSSF

NSSF®, the firearm industry’s trade association, released the 2020 edition of its Firearm Production Report to members. The report compiles the most up to date information based on data sourced from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Reports (AFMER) as well as the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). Key findings for public release showed:

  • In 2018, 11.4 million total firearms were produced or imported in the United States (less exported firearms).
  • Approximately one-half (48%) of all rifles produced and imported (less exports) in 2018 were Modern Sporting Rifles.
  • Since 1990, there are an estimated 19.8 million Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in circulation today.
  • An interim 2019 estimate showed a total of 6 million total firearms were produced in the United States. Of those, 3.6 million were pistols and revolvers, 2 million were rifles and 480,000 were shotguns. Those are interim figures that will be updated when complete reports become available from the ATF.
  • In 2019, there were approximately 3.3 million firearms imported into the United States which included 2.3 million pistols and revolvers, 301,000 rifles and 678,000 shotguns.
  • From 1991 to 2019, nearly 214 million firearms have been made available to the U.S. market.
  • According to reports such as: ATF Firearms Commerce in the United States, ATF AFMER and Congressional Research Service data, there are an estimated 434 million firearms in civilian possession in the United States.
  • There are approximately 71.2 million pistol magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, and 79.2 million rifle magazines capable of holding 30 or more rounds in circulation.
  • Firearm and ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $3.9 billion in goods shipped in 2018. An estimated 8.7 billion rounds of all calibers and gauges were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.

“These figures, combined with the record-breaking 17.2 million NSSF-adjusted background checks for the sale or transfer of a firearm in the first ten months of 2020, demonstrates that Americans have a strong desire to continue purchasing firearms for lawful purposes,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF’s President and CEO. “The Modern Sporting Rifle continues to be the most popular rifle sold in America today, and with nearly 20 million in circulation, is clearly a commonly-owned firearm that is being used for lawful purposes every day in America. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves, their family and homes, as well as to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”

Today’s report also shows that as lawful firearm ownership in America continues to grow, criminal and unintentional misuse of firearms is falling. During the 28-year period covered by this report (1991–2018) the violent crime rate has decreased by 51.3 percent and unintentional firearm-related fatalities have declined by 68.2 percent.

About NSSF


NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations

Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations

Increase a lure’s effectiveness by pairing it with the ideal reel speed.

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?5 Great Lures For Bluegills Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

Simplify breakfast or brunch for a crowd by making this savory venison chorizo quiche recipe.Southwestern Venison Chorizo Quiche Recipe Wild Game

Southwestern Venison Chorizo Quiche Recipe

Allie Doran - October 30, 2020

Simplify breakfast or brunch for a crowd by making this savory venison chorizo quiche recipe.

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing.4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing.

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time.10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

See More Trending Articles

More Conservation & Politics

A new report shows the number of concealed carry permit applications is rising, even despite some states limiting Second Amendment rights during recent pandemic shutdowns.Number of Concealed-Carry Permit Holders Near 20 Million and Growing Conservation & Politics

Number of Concealed-Carry Permit Holders Near 20 Million and Growing

Larry Keane - October 08, 2020

A new report shows the number of concealed carry permit applications is rising, even despite...

By just about anyone's account, 2020 has been a year unlike any other.The Year the Second Amendment Strikes Back Conservation & Politics

The Year the Second Amendment Strikes Back

Larry Keane - October 14, 2020

By just about anyone's account, 2020 has been a year unlike any other.

NSSF is focusing on former Vice President Joe Biden's radical antigun campaign promise turn the Bureau of Alcohol.ICYMI: Biden-Harris Would Weaponize ATF Against Firearm Retailers Conservation & Politics

ICYMI: Biden-Harris Would Weaponize ATF Against Firearm Retailers

NSSF - October 14, 2020

NSSF is focusing on former Vice President Joe Biden's radical antigun campaign promise turn...

See More Conservation & Politics

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now