Initial gun production numbers are in from 2018, showing an increase from the previous year’s figures and the solid popularity of 9mm handguns.
According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 8,669,259 new firearms of all sorts were produced last year. This is up from 8,327,792 released into commerce in 2017.
The largest single category of firearms produced in 2018 was in pistols chambered larger than .380ACP to 9mm, with 2,281,450 handguns logged. This is up significantly from 1,756,618 in the same category reported in 2017.
By further comparison, 11.49 million new firearms were produced in 2016 — a modern record — while just over 9 million were produced in both 2015 and 2014. Earlier in the century, domestic gun production numbers remained largely constant at between 3 to 4 million from 2000 to 2008 and then began surging upwards to the 2016 peak, coinciding with the administration of President Obama.
The latest information comes as part of the interim installment of the ATF’s Annual Firearms Manufacturers and Export Report. These reports, compiled from all licensed gun makers in the country large and small, are delayed a year due to the Trade Secrets Act. Because of this, the full 2018 data, broken down by manufacturers, will not be available until next year.
According to the full 2017 report, the top six domestic makers of 9mm pistols in the country by volume– not counting firearms that were imported from overseas– were Smith & Wesson (606,732 produced), Sig Sauer (368,264), Ruger (163,865), SCCY (150,235), Kimber (98,385) and Glock (94,665).