Tags: gun | debate | firearm | companies

As Gun Debate Rages, World's Top Firearm Companies in Line of Fire

Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 04:58 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Behind the gun debate raging across the nation are the companies that manufacture firearms, as well as the reatilers who sell them. From sales surges to increased pressure, the days following the Newtown, Conn. massacre have been a rocky time to be in the gun business.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), in 2012 there have been 16.8 million background checks for gun purchases so far, the most since the agency began publishing such data in 1998.

The surge is likely due to a perception held by many that President Barack Obama, along with like-minded lawmakers, will attempt to impose stricter gun laws during his term.

Though the FBI does not record the number of guns purchased, considering that individuals can buy multiple guns, the amount of guns bought in the past year could be even higher.

Following Friday's tragic Sandy Hook school massacre which left 28 individuals dead, 20 of which were school children, gun stores across the country have seen a rush to purchase assault weapons and ammunition in particular according to various reports. Yet retailers such as Dick's Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart have announced plans to suspend the sale of certain weapons.

Similar gun sale surges also occurred after other recent tragic events in which individuals used guns to kill multiple people, such as the Aurora  mass shooting in July that left 12 people dead in Colorado during a screening of the latest Batman movie.

Gun ownership is guaranteed under the Second Amendment, which states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Despite this, many anti-gun activists continue to push for tighter legislation to restrict gun ownership.

In the end, talk of gun control and the public perception that surrounds guns brings questions for owners of gunmakers and the retailers that sell them.

List of Top Gun Manufacturers:

Colt's Manufacturing Company (USA)
Founded in 1836 by Samuel Colt, the gun-manufacturer played a major role in the popularization of the revolver in the 19th century, though it did not invent the revolver concept. The gun gained popularity among numerous notable Americans, including: President Theodore Roosevelt, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, and countless others. Colt weapons have been issued to U.S. military personnel since the 19th century due to their reliability and accuracy.
Known for Producing:

AR-15 (semi-automatic assault rifle that many consider the civilian version of the M-16)
Colt Defender (handgun)
Colt Single Action Army Revolver (handgun)
Colt New Frontier (handgun)
Various Colt Carbines

Izhmash (Russia)
Founded in 1807 at the decree of Tsar Alexander I, Izhmash is most well-known for manufacturing the widely-used Kalashnikov assault rifle. The company also produces medium cannons, missiles, and guided shells for Russia as well as military motorcycles and cars.
In April, 2012, the company declared bankruptcy, and later merged with the Russian National Defense industry in November, which renamed the company's manufacturing plant "Kalashnikov" in honor of the extremely popular it produces.
Known for Producing:
Kalashnikov (also known as AK-47)

Remington Arms
Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, Remington is currently the largest domestic producer of shotguns and rifles as well as the oldest continuously operating firearms manufacturer in North America. Currently headquartered in Madison, North Carolina, Remington's products are currently sold in over 60 countries around the world.
Known for Producing:
Remington Semi-Automatic Sniper System Rifle
Several Semi-Automatic Shotguns Series'

Weatherby
Founded in 1945 by Roy Weatherby, the firearms and ammunition company is headquartered in Paso Robles, California and is best known for its high-powered magnum cartridges.
Known for Producing:
Vanguard Series 2 Back Country (sporting rifle)
Among many other sporting rifles and shotguns

Browning Arms Company
Founded in Utah in 1927 by John Browning, one of the world's most prolific firearms inventors, the Browning Arms Company has seen its designs remanufactured by numerous other gun manufacturers including: Winchester, Colt and Remington.
Known for Producing:
Browning BPS Shotgun
A-Bolt Rifle
X-Bolt Rifle
Auto-5 Semi-Automatic Shotgun
BAR Semi-Automatic Rifle
Hi-Power 9mm Pistol

Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Based in Southport, Connecticut, the firearm manufacturing company was founded in 1949 by William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm. Having begun in a small rented machine shop Ruger has manufactured over 20 million firearms over the past 60-plus years.
Known for Producing:
Ruger's MK II Pistol
Ruger's MK III Pistol
Ruger Standard
Ruger 10/22 Semi-Automatic Rifle

Armscor
Considered one of the best manufacturers of firearms and ammunition, Armscor is based in the Philippines and owned by Squires Bingham Co., which is owned by the Tuason family, one of the richest and most powerful families in the Southeast Asian nation.
Known for Producing:
M22 Carbine Semi-Automatic Rifle

Beretta
An Italian firearms manufacturer that was established in 1526 by gunsmith Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta for the Arsenal of Venice. The weapons manufacturer has consistently produced guns for the Italian military throughout the centuries. After World War II, during which it was seized by the Germans to assist with the war effort, Beretta continued to develop firearms for the Italian army and police in addition to the civilian market. In the eighties, the U.S. Army began issuing service members the Beretta 92 pistol, also known as the "M9 Pistol."
Known for Producing:
Beretta 92 Pistol
Beretta Model 92A1 Pistol
Beretta 96A1 Pistol

Glock Ges.m.b.H.
Headquartered in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria, the firearms maker was founded in 1963 by engineer Gaston Glock. Best known for its line of polymer-framed pistols, which are commonly used by law enforcement agencies and military organizations around the world, the company also produces field knives, entrenching tools and apparel.
Known for Producing:
Glock 17
Glock 19
Glock 17C
Glock 30

Heckler & Koch (HK)
A very popular German-based defense manufacturing company that produces various small arms, particularly for military and police use, though their products are also sold to civilians. The company was founded in 1949 by engineers Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch, and Alex Seidel and is headquartered in Oberndorf, Germany.
Known for Producing:
MP5 Submachine Gun
MP7 Personal Defense Weapon
G36 Assault Rifle
G3 Automatic Rifle

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