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Old August 10, 2011, 06:59 PM   #1
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10 Most popular handguns in US?

What are the 10 best-selling handguns in the USA? If anyone knows I'd be grateful. If anyone knows the split by civilian vs. law enforcement, I'd love to know that too. No need for military sales. In general, where do I get good information for handgun market research?
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Old August 10, 2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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Odd first post

Top ten of all time? This year? Last ten years? Law Enforcement market will easily drive up the percentage of certain pistols such as the Glock series in my opinion, and military contracts notwithstanding, the Beretta 92 seems quite popular. The 1911 type pistol is still wildly popular as well.

You would need to Google market shares of handguns in the US by year or something; there's probably a trade paper article out there that breaks it down
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Old August 10, 2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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I think that may be a hard one to pin down. You would have to look not only at new but used guns as well and that might be hard to track. The leo market could also throw a loop into things.

A search for handgun sales by manufacturer could turn up a few things. Some might be interesting but only part of the picture.

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Old August 10, 2011, 09:19 PM   #4
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Old August 10, 2011, 09:59 PM   #5
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Honestly, I don't care what the biggest seller is. I would guess it to be the Glock, because they can sell many thousands of units to each LEA, and sell to many LEAs.

What is more germane is individual sales...where each purchase is by an individual, who (hopefully) has done his homework.

Unfortunately, many of those individuals do their research here...and end up buying Glocks.

So I think you know what the answer will be.
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Old August 10, 2011, 10:09 PM   #6
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#1 is going to be the Ruger 22 auto. Even with all the military and LEO sales the Glock is still, IIRC, a million units short of matching the Ruger in total production. Not to mention Ruger's sales are mostly in the US and Glock's sales are around the whole world.
I don't carry a gun to go looking for trouble, I carry a gun in case trouble finds me.
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Old August 10, 2011, 10:11 PM   #7
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Tape - I don't know what they're basing that Top 10 list on but it doesn't sound right to me. And if they're not basing it on sales figures or units in circulation - it's just someone's idea of what the top 10 are.

I doubt the S&W 500 is the number 2 most popular gun. I'll admit I want one, but just one would break my budget. I doubt that many people go all-in for a 500, it means passing up a lot of other handgun purchases and comitting to a lifetime a fairly expensive shooting.

I also doubt the QSZ -92 is in anyone's top 10 list unless its a "Top 10 Pistols From China" list.

The QSZ -92 has been talked about on this forum zero times that I can recall. Even when I do a search on it - it doesn't come up that often.
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Old August 10, 2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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+1 CountZero


The list is definitely subjective to say the least.

Market shares is a decent place to start, but LEAs will mess the figures up on individual sales considering the forms of sales possible. Private, dealer, pawn shop, inheritance. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Good luck....hope that your research proves fruitful.
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Old August 11, 2011, 01:17 AM   #9
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I have never in my life seen a QSZ -92 in person. As such, I call shenanigans on the idea that it's the 6th highest selling handgun in the country.

In my neck of the woods, it breaks down something like this:
  1. Ruger LCP
  2. S&W Airweight J-Frames
  3. S&W Bodyguard .380
  4. KelTec .380/.32
  5. Glock 26/27
  6. 3" 1911's, various brands
  7. Beretta PX4
  8. Springfield XD
  9. Taurus small-frame revolvers
  10. Ruger MKIII pistols

If you notice a pattern there, it's the fact that most are small, "concealable" guns. What worries me is that many first-time buyers want to start on those things. There's no talking them out of it.

Regrettably, most don't ever become good shooters as a result.
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
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Old August 15, 2011, 05:56 PM   #10
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OP, did you google that? Too many factors..
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