How much does the gun industry make?


November 22, 2008, 04:49 PM

I'm new to the forums. I'm a bullseye competition shooter. I own a S&W Model 41, Custom Kimber II, Springfield Armory 1911, Morini competition .22 and a Colt Series 70. I'm also in the process of acquiring a Bushmaster ORC. Well getting that out of the way.

I'm also a college student and I'm going to do a presentation on the gun industry and what would happen to it if a nation wide gun ban were to hit us like what happened in England. So I just have a few questions that I'm sure you guys could maybe help answer.

1) How much does the gun industry make a year? (2007 or something close)

2) How much is the gun industry worth? (Could be the same)

3) How many people are employed within the gun industry? 700k? (which includes everyone from ammo manufacturers, gun makers, gun smiths and sellers etc...)

4) How many gun manufacturing companies are there?

Once again I'm just trying to get a general figure so I can work from there. If you guys know of any place I can get the figures even better. But I'm just looking for general figures.

If you guys could help that would be great. :)


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November 22, 2008, 05:22 PM
Here is data from a 10 year old report from SAAMI, the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute. They set the benchmark standards for the industry.

One would expect the industry to have grown in 10 years. Back in 1998:
Almost a million people employed.
32 million hunters and sport shooters (believed to be another 30 million gun owners who don't actively shoot)
31 billion dollars per year in the industry
1100 manufacturers, but that includes accessories

As a comparison, the gun industry sold more guns and accessories in the United States than Coca Cola sold beverages throughout the world. In that year, the gun industry sold $31 billion in goods in the U.S., while Coke sold $28 billion globally.

This is one reason Obama won't ban all guns. He cannot survive the political impact of taking guns from 60 million Americans, and all those jobs. And you cannot hit the economy with a sudden $30 billion loss. He just could not survive it politically.

November 22, 2008, 05:41 PM
If I remember correctly, Saf-T Hammer bought *all* of S&W for the whopping sum of $15 million in 2001. Gun companies themselves aren't all that big.

November 22, 2008, 05:50 PM
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, total revenue from the sale of firearms and ammunition is approximately $2.1 billion per year.

November 22, 2008, 05:50 PM
IIRC, there are 90 million gunowners in America right now, with around 20 mil hunters.

November 23, 2008, 12:20 AM
2007 data isn't out yet.


Small arms manufacturing is under "332994" on that page; ammunition just above it.

In 2002:
177 companies
9,978 total employees
payroll about $399 million
$446 million cost of materials
$1.5 billion value of shipments

Ah, I mis-spoke - the 2007 data ( IS available - for $599.

November 23, 2008, 04:02 PM
Thanks a lot you guys. This really helps me!


November 23, 2008, 04:53 PM
Just to add some context (, the 2002 donut-shop industry, at $2.9 billion in sales and 756 million payroll, was nearly twice as big as the small arms manufacturing area that year.

See also the 332 summary page ( (all misc metal manufacturing), the 423 summary page ( (all wholesale sporting goods, including firearms and ammunition), and the 451 summary page ( (including all sporting goods retailers).

November 24, 2008, 12:46 AM
I have a better Idea.
Instead, write a paper on how much wealthier as a nation we would be if there where more:

(select one)

Third-world mass immigration;

More agressive affirmative action programs;

Green technology;

Social responsibility;

foreign aid.

Now you can relax and get a decent mark with minimal time and effort!
Best of all, you'll not have to wonder why your professor seems to hate you. and you'll actually have time for more constructive endevors e.g. shooting at things and playing with girls.

November 24, 2008, 11:28 AM publishes summary reports.

Anyway, if you want to make a case that a ban would affect the economy in a serious fashion - you will seen as amusingly misguided as compared to the disaster marching on with truly major companies failing.

A friend of mine had a pension plan drop in value equal to that at MSRP of 750 SW 642. Mine isn't better - so that gives you some perspective.

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