This article is part of a series on Guns in America that explores the use of firearms in our country and the debate over gun control. This is an editorially independent series sponsored by Tactical Firearms Training Secrets.
U.S. factories have produced more than 100 million firearms over the past 25 years - almost half of the roughly 270 million firearms estimated to be in the hands of U.S. civilians, according to Small Arms Survey, an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
While the survey found 2,288 makers of civilian firearms operating in the U.S. from 1986-2010, more than 40% of those guns came from three key companies:
- Sturm, Ruger & Co. leads the U.S. firearms industry with about 15.3 million firearms produced in the period.
- Remington (owned by Freedom Group) produced about 14.2 million and comes in second.
- Smith & Wesson is third, with nearly 10.5 million.
Here are snapshots of the three biggest players in the U.S. gun industry:
About the Company:
Freedom Group states that it is the largest manufacturer of commercial firearms and ammunition. Freedom's brands include Remington, Bushmaster Firearms, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, The Parker Gun, Mountain Khakis, Advanced Armament Corp., Dakota Arms, Para USA and Barnes Bullets. Remington is one of the nation's oldest continuously operating manufacturers and was founded in Ilion, New York in 1816.
The company states that it is the largest employer in domestic firearms and ammunition manufacturing with over 2,600 employees. Worldwide employment is more than 3,000.
$775 million in 2011 vs $744 million in 2010
Freedom Group reported a net loss of $6.7 million in 2011 vs a $7.6 million loss in 2010.
Much of the loss stemmed from restructuring costs. When those are excluded, the company reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $120 million in 2011 vs 117.6 million in 2010.
Ilion, New York; Windham, Maine; Madison, North Carolina; Norcross, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Mayfield, Kentucky; Lexington, Missouri; Lonoke, Arkansas; Mona, Utah; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Sturgis, South Dakota; Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Sturm, Ruger & Co.
About the Company:
Based in Southport, Connecticut, Sturm, Ruger & Co. claims to be the "only full-line manufacturer of American-made firearms," with more than 30 product lines and 400 variations of each line. The company was founded in 1949.
1,230 full-time staff. The company also notes that 49% of its employees have been with the company at least 10 years.
$491.8 million in 2012 vs $328.8 million in 2011
$70.6 million in 2012 vs $40.02 million in 2011
Newport, New Hampshire and Prescott, Arizona.
Smith & Wesson
About the Company:
Founded in 1852 in Norwich, Connecticut. The company's brands include Smith & Wesson, M&P and Thompson/Center Arms. The company is based in Springfield, Massachusetts.
1,600 in America
$412 million in Fiscal Year 2012 vs $342.2 million in FY2011. (Smith & Wesson's fiscal year ended April 30, 2012).
$16.1 million in FY2012 vs a loss of $82.8 million in FY2011
The prior year loss stemmed mostly from restructuring costs. Income from continuing operations rose to $26.4 million in FY2012 from $8.1 million in FY2011.
Springfield, Massachusetts and Houlton, Maine.
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