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10 American Gun Companies Proving the U.S. Makes the Best Firearms

American Gun Companies

Some of the best gun manufacturers out there are right here in the United States.

When you start looking at it, you'll find that many of the most famous firearms companies: Glock, Heckler & Koch, Beretta, SIG SAUER and more are foreign firearms made overseas.

While most of these gun makers now have factories here in the States, some gun owners are likely looking for true American firearms.

Here are some of the more prominent members of the firearms industry with roots right here in America that continue to prove some of the best guns in the world come from the U.S.A.

1. Remington

We might as well start this list off with America's Oldest Gunmaker. Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington, the company was born, like most companies, by Eliphalet's belief that he could build a better product than what was currently offered.

His first design, a flintlock rifle, was a hit and kicked off his new business with a bang (Pun intended).

Today Remington builds a little of everything for the U.S. market including handguns, but they are best known for their rifles and shotguns. Arguably, two guns, the Remington 700 rifle and the 870 shotgun, may have killed more deer than any other pair of firearms in existence today. I used the latter to shoot a nice 7-point this season in Michigan.

The 700 has also been trusted in countless conflicts as the sniper rifle of choice for many branches of the Armed Service over the years.

This company also owns popular American outdoor brands like Bushmaster and Marlin, the manufacturer of popular rimfire guns like the Model 60 and some sweet lever-action hunting guns.

Remington did file for bankruptcy last April, but the company went through a top to bottom reorganization and introduced a glut of new firearms shortly after to show they truly are a resilient American company.

2. Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Here's a manufacturer that was founded in Connecticut in 1949 by William Ruger and Alexander Sturm. Today this gun company is better known as simply Ruger. It's kind of a shame Sturm doesn't get his name credited enough for this company, which has plenty of irons in the fire.

The Ruger 10/22, of course, is one of the most popular rimfire guns on the planet with countless companies offering aftermarket parts for this popular gun. As if the long gun rimfire market wasn't enough, their MK series of .22 pistols are the most popular rimfire handguns as well.

Ruger also has a nice chunk of the concealed carry market with their popular and affordable LCR revolver and LCP subcompact semi-automatic handguns.

Of course, we can't talk about this company without also talking about their bolt-action hunting rifles, which are becoming increasingly popular with hunters.

In fact, I've been eyeing one of their American Rifles in .450 Bushmaster myself for several months now.

Currently, this company supports U.S. jobs with facilities in Arizona, North Carolina, Missouri and New Hampshire giving work to over 2,000 employees.

3. Mossberg

This company just celebrated their 100th anniversary last year. O.F. Mossberg is a true American success story. Born in Sweden in 1866, he moved to the U.S. when he was 20 years old. But it wasn't until after a few jobs at other gun makers and the conclusion of World War I, that Mossberg finally found success with "The Brownie," a .22 pistol.

Then the company took off.

The growth was bolstered during World War II when they successfully scored both British and U.S. Military contracts for guns and parts.

After the war, with many U.S. businesses booming, the company introduced the iconic Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun in 1960 and cemented their place in history as one of the premiere shotgun manufacturers in America.

Today Mossberg builds a variety of rifles and even a handgun, but shotguns remain their bread and butter. Mossberg shotguns have proven to be popular not just with hunters, but also with law enforcement, military members and people simply looking for a reliable shotgun for self-defense.

Thier recently launched competition shotgun, the 940 JM Pro, carries on the legacy. We're expecting this company's next 100 years will likely be as successful as the first.

4. Browning

We can't talk about American firearms manufacturers without mentioning Browning Arms Company. Technically the company is owned by Belgium firearms maker FN Herstal, but this company has its roots firmly here in the good old U.S.A.

John Moses Browning is a legend of firearms history. He designed iconic guns like the M1911 handgun, the Browning Hi-Power pistol and the Browning Auto-5 shotgun.

Browning's company also designed guns that helped end World War II with firearms like the M1918 BAR and M1919 machine gun that helped turn the tide against the Nazis.

Today, Browning is best known for their high-end hunting rifles and shotguns. Many of the current designs are only slight modern tweaks on John Browning's original designs.

The company has also expanded their operations to manufacture clothing, boots, flashlights, camping gear and even trail cameras.

Knowing all that, it's safe to say Browning's versatility and innovation didn't end with the passing of its founder in 1926.

5. Colt

Founder Samuel Colt's now 165-year-old company was the standard for many years, but filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and has undergone quite a bit of restructuring since then.

The company rose to fame through the sale of iconic revolvers like the Colt Navy, Colt Walker, Colt Single Action Army and of course, the M1911A1 during John Browning's brief stint with the company.

They were also later responsible for two iconic military weapons, the M16 and the M4 rifle. Colt eventually lost their U.S. Military contracts and the company has been struggling to gain new footing ever since.

But you simply can't deny Colt's place in firearms history or the fact that they do make great guns. Colt's M4 and AR-15 rifles are popular sporting rifles ripe for customization. Their Cobra revolver has proven incredibly popular as well.

Long time Colt fans will also likely be thrilled to learn the company has announced they are bringing back the classic Colt Python line of revolvers. That release may be just what this company needs to make a strong comeback in 2020.

6. Savage Arms

This is another gun manufacturer responsible for countless generations putting venison on the table each season. Savage was founded in 1894 by Arthur Savage in New York after years of tinkering with lever-action rifle designs.

This eventually led to the development of the Savage Model 99, a classic hunting rifle the company produced for nearly 100 years.

During World War II, Savage Arms stayed busy, like many members of the gun industry. They produced Thompson submachine guns for the U.S. Military and Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles for the British.

This company is known to a lesser degree in the shooting sports for their performance and sporting rifles. They've also designed some shotguns over the years, and released a new semi-auto in January 2020.

But bolt action hunting rifles and shotguns remain their primary focus. The Savage Model 110 is arguably the most popular of that bunch, as this design has given hunters an affordable option for a hunting rifle for over a century.

We visited the Savage Arms factory in Westfield, Massachusetts not too long ago and got to see rifles made from start to finish. Be sure to check out our video to see just how hands-on this company is in the manufacturing process.

7. Springfield Armory

One of the younger companies on this list, Springfield Armory, was named for the original Springfield Armory in Massachusetts. You know, the one that made guns for the Revolutionary War and is now a National Park.

The original armory closed in the 1960s, so it was smart thinking by the founder of LH Manufacturing, Bob Reese, to rename the company after the place that helped make the Second Amendment possible.

Of course, the current armory doesn't manufacture muskets. Instead, their focus is primarily on handguns with their XD-M line of semi-automatic handguns becoming extremely popular for their concealability and reliability. The company also manufactures classic 1911-style handguns and a variety of semi-auto sporting rifles.

Springfield Armory is also known for producing the M1A, which is the civilian model of the M-14 rifle, a gun that still sees use in conflicts around the world to this day.

Springfield has recently started to spin off some variants of this rifle with an entire M1A line. Their most recent introduction is the M1A "Tanker," takes inspiration from the shortened M1 Garand tanker rifles used during World War II.

8. Smith & Wesson

This company's long, 163-year history started in Springfield, Massachusetts with Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson in 1856. This was after their original company was sold and later became Winchester Repeating Arms. One of their first revolvers, the Model 1, saw action on both sides during the Civil War.

This company became known for their handguns, and particularly their revolvers. The Model 27 was popular with both law enforcement and civilians and the Model 29 became an icon overnight after appearing in the "Dirty Harry" movies.

Smith & Wesson still makes revolvers which are popular with concealed carriers and hunters. But the company is arguably more well-known now for their semi-automatic handguns and sporting rifles.

Their M&P line of semi-automatic handguns are trusted by thousands of concealed carriers as an affordable means for personal defense and their semi-auto sporting rifles are popular with people interested in home defense and competitive shooters.

The company has done some shuffling in the last year. They moved their primary warehouse and distribution center from Massachusetts to Missouri. Three years ago, their parent company officially changed S&W's name to American Outdoor Brands Corp.

Thankfully, they had the foresight to keep the Smith & Wesson name on all their firearms. Probably a good idea when your gun is a household name.

9. Winchester

We can't forget about the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. As I mentioned with Smith & Wesson, this company grew out of Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson's first company. Oliver Winchester was a clothing manufacturer until he and a few other shareholders bought the company in 1855.

The original lever-action Winchester repeaters were a variant of the volcanic rifle designed by Walter Hunt in the late 1840s. Some Winchester rifles saw action in the Civil War, but they didn't really explode in popularity until after that.

Eventually, two later iterations (the Model 1866 and the Model 1894) became two of the most iconic rifles of the American west.

Winchester also contributed heavily during both World Wars. They developed the M1 carbine and produced many of the now legendary M1 Garands for the war effort.

These days, Winchester still specializes in lever-action rifles. They just released the 125th anniversary model of the Model 94 last year. They also still produce Model 1866, 1873, 1886, 1892 and 1895 lever-actions. But they are also known now for their bolt action rifles and their extensive line of hunting shotguns.

10. Kimber

Kimber has only been around since 1979, but boy have they made an impact in the world of firearms. This company started off making rimfire and centerfire rifles. But the company eventually found their niche with handguns.

Now they are known for their high-end revolvers and 1911-style semi-auto handguns.

Kimber's Micro 9 line has proven especially popular for concealed carriers looking for great-looking guns that are also light and easy to conceal under normal clothing.

This company still makes fine rifles, but they do get overshadowed a bit because of how popular the handguns have become. Still, we expect Kimber to be a big name firearms manufacturer for many years to come here in the U.S.

Do you have a gun made by one of these American firearm companies? Even if we left one out that you think we should have mentioned, the fact that it's easy to think of 10 reassures that the U.S. is doing some great things in gun manufacturing and sales.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis Youtube channels



10 American Gun Companies Proving the U.S. Makes the Best Firearms