One of the best things about working at is that we get to see exactly what guns American’s think are hot – and not so hot – every single year. So far, 2021 has been a really interesting one, with some guns surprising even us as we watched what new and older guns pique the interest of gun buyers.

Sure, it’s tempting to simply “ooh and aah” at the latest models launched every year. But today, let’s take a different approach. We’ll look at some of the most popular guns on in 2021 and some that created a splash in the gun world in general at the same time. 

It’s impossible to cover every great gun, so we grabbed nine that really stood out for us and our customers in 2021. Here they are, in an order designed only to keep the suspense rolling until we get to the last and likely most buzzworthy gun of the year so far.

Glock 43X

Why not start with the surprising king of the 2021 pistols here at It might shock some, but the Glock 43X has been a near-constant winner as the most popular pistol at month after month this year. Heck, it also took top spot for pistols in October

While the gun is hardly brand new – Glock revealed it just before Shot Show back in 2019 – it still has a lot going for it that makes it appealing. For one thing, it’s had time to prove its worth and still be in stock for the masses in 2021. Plus, the small size and 10+1 capacity of 9mm make it a solid concealed carry and general self-defense choice. 

Taurus G3C…and G2C

This one is a bit of a twofer – the Taurus G3C and G2C. Itself the king of budget-friendly handguns, Taurus has a growing following, including here at We spent a great deal of time testing the G3C this year, and it was impressively reliable, accurate, and affordable. That trifecta made it a top seller in 2021, but the real surprise was the continued popularity of the previous model.

Taurus’ G2C was consistently one of our top sellers all year, and that makes sense. It’s often a bit more affordable, but it offers the same reliability as the newer model. In fact, the biggest differences are the lack of front slide serrations and a Glock-style rear sight cut on the G2C. So, for most people looking for an affordable and effective gun right out of the box, the G2C hits all the wickets. 

Henry AR-7 U.S. Survival Rifle

OK, this one actually threw us for a bit of a loop. We’re not 100-percent sure why, but the unique little Henry AR-7 U.S. Survival Rifle has been a constant favorite in 2021. It wasn’t the most favorite, mind you, but it was consistently in the top five all year. It is very affordable, incredibly compact, and super unique. Plus, it fires the fun and cheap .22 LR round, which makes it great for plinking, small-game hunting, and as a solid backup survival gun.

Whatever the reason, the customers at have spoken, and the AR-7 has earned its place on this list. The backstory of the AR-7 as the offspring of an Air Force survival rifle designed by none other than Eugene Stoner himself also adds a nice little historical factor to this firearm.

Walther PDP

This one makes the list for the market splash and excitement it created when it launched in 2021. One of our gun reviewers even got an early look at the Walther PDP, and it’s become a favorite carry gun for some staff as well. This duty-worthy pistol comes optics ready and boasts Walther’s renowned ergonomics.

While the gun was designed to fill professional duty roles, it’s a solid concealed carry and home defense gun for sure. It also answered the call for more aggressive front and rear slide serrations and a fine trigger out of the box. The trigger, in particular, is something other gun manufacturers should take some notes on.

Maverick 88 Security

Mossberg’s Maverick 88 Security was another monthly most-popular-list dominator, but this time in the shotgun arena. It took top spot for most popular in the shotgun category again this October and held the pedestal for many other months. In fact, it was only narrowly dethroned in June by the KelTec KSG.

What explains its popularity? Well, the low price point certainly helps. But on top of being affordable, the Maverick 88 Security is a working man’s pump that weighs light on the pocketbook while offering reliable performance. That’s thanks in large part to its many similarities to the well-regarded Mossberg 500 at a fraction of the price.

GForce Arms GF3T Tactical

The Maverick 88 Security earned its place all year thanks to its reputation and budget-friendly price. But the most recent wave of shotgun sales has come from the GForce Arms GF3T Tactical, which just hit the site at an insanely low price. 

It doesn’t have the same proven history yet as the Maverick 88 or the Mossberg 500, to be sure, but the price point is hard to skip for anyone looking to add their first shotgun to their collection or for home defense. For those looking to dip their toes into shotgunning or just add a highly budget-friendly range friend to the safe, the GForce Arms GF3T Tactical is an easy way to do it at a small fraction of the price of other affordable shotguns.


M&P15 Sport II OR

What’s a list like this without an AR-style rifle? For our customers, it was Smith & Wesson’s affordable M&P15 Sport II Optics Ready rifle that reigned supreme in 2021. So far, it has been unquestionably the most popular rifle with the most months running in the No. 1 spot for rifles purchased.

While this version is a clear nod to the continually growing popularity of optics for rifles, S&W’s other M&P15 Sport variants with the front-sight post and ones chambered for .22 LR were also quite popular all year. We took the M&P15 Sport II OR out for a spin recently, so stand by for that review as well. Suffice it to say it did quite well.

Kimber Micro 9 Stealth

An exciting but limited-time offer that caught the eye of many visitors to has been the distributor-exclusive model of the Kimber Micro 9 Stealth. The Kimber Micro 9 series pistols are in many ways miniaturized 1911s that are ideal for concealed carry. But once these exclusive models are gone, they are gone for good.

The Micro 9 Stealth has the thumb safety, slide release, magazine release, singe-action trigger, and general profile of a classic 1911, but with the added refinements of a Kimber gun. Each pistol includes a seven-round extended magazine, which also boasts an additional finger groove.

KelTec P50

The buzz around this gun and its pure cool factor are why it anchors our list for hottest guns. That buzz came complete with leaked photos and plenty of online chatter before KelTec finally fessed up to what they had been working on back in 2020 and likely significantly longer – the 50-round P50 pistol

Chambered for the zippy 5.7x28mm NATO cartridge, this spacey gun accepts horizontal 50-round FN P90 mags that are actually loaded upside down below the barrel, which hinges open to load the magazine. Most of the comments around this gun that we’ve seen could be summed up like this, “I don’t know why I would need it, but I want it.” Fit more for spray-and-pray “Star Wars” Storm Troopers than any operators we’ve met, this highly unique gun still got a lot of people hyped year.

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