The shotgun is among the most popular and versatile firearm types on the market today. Descended from “fowling pieces” in 16th century Europe, the modern shotgun is a smoothbore long gun that can typically fire either a spray of shot or a single slug, making it well suited to a variety of functions, including competitive sport shooting, home defense, and hunting small game, birds, or deer.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, licensed gun makers manufactured 3 million shotguns in the United States from 2016 to 2020. Only 10 companies accounted for about 97% of those firearms.
Using data from the ATF report National Firearms Commerce and Tracking Assessment, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s top shotgun companies. Companies are ranked by the number of shotguns manufactured from 2016 to 2020.
Each company on this list accounted for anywhere from 0.3% to over 45% of all domestic shotgun manufacturing between 2016 and 2020. Together, America’s top two shotgun manufacturers, O.F. Mossberg & Sons and Remington Outdoor Company, formerly Freedom Group, accounted for 78.7% of all domestic shotgun production.
Shotguns are commonly available in several chamberings – from the smaller .410 bore up to the larger 12 gauge – as well as a wide range of action types, including break, pump, and semi-automatic action. While each type of shotgun serves specific market segments, over the decades, some clear favorites have emerged in the United States. (Here is a look at the states where people buy the most guns.)
Since its introduction in 1961, the Mossberg 500 series shotgun has sold over 12 million units. Similarly, production of the Remington 870 series has exceeded 11 million units since its debut in the 1950s. Both the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 are pump shotguns, an action favored by many sports men and women – as well law enforcement – for its affordability, reliability, potential magazine capacity, and versatility. Pump-action shotguns were used by American troops in the trenches in World War I and on the Pacific Islands in the Second World War. (Here is a look at the 17 guns Americans used to fight WWII.)
Other well-known names on this list include Weatherby, Savage Arms, and Beretta.
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