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My Kind of Top 20 List

This is the list of the top 20 most Produced firearms in modern history.
Production numbers for some Guns are easy to get, companies like Ruger and Remington have kept very accurate records of their guns, but when you get into military guns that were made by many countries under license or pistols whose design has been used by dozens of manufacturers, guesstimating can be difficult. I know my numbers are not 100% accurate and they are fluid (just look at how many AR rifles have been sold in the last few years) either way these numbers should be in the ball park.


# 20 Our countdown starts with two guns, both from Europe. The Sten was a low cost sub machine gun used by the British Commonwealth in WWII. The second, a bolt action rifle from Italy, that may have been forever forgotten had it not been used in the assassination of John F. Kennedy . The Sten and Carcano modello of 1891 numbered 4.5 Million.




# 19 James Bond's favorite sidearm fills the 19th slot. The Walther PP/PPK and it's variants have been produced in Germany, West Germany, France and the U.S. since it was commissioned in 1935, their production number is around 5-6 Million and climbing


# 18 At number 18 we have a four way tie between some very recognizable weapons. The Russian PPSH-41 sub machine gun, the Smith & Wesson model 10, the Marlin model 336 and the Ruger 10-22, each having been produced around 6 Million times. The last three are still being made and are sure to continue to moving up the list as time goes on.








# 17 The number seventeen spot belongs to gun rifle once referred to by Gen. George Patton as "the greatest battle implement ever devised". The rifle was actually designed by Canadian born John C. Garand. 6.25 Million M1 Garands were produced between 1934 and 1956.



# 16 Residing at the 16th spot on the countdown is a gun designed (at least in part) by an ex-con. The U.S. M1 Carbine and its variants numbered into 6-7 Million territory. Many were made from parts after the war and recently a civilian company began making them again






# 15 We have a tie at the 15th spot, this time it is a "menage a trios" between the French Musket Modele of 1777, the Belgian Fusil Automatique Léger or FN FAL and the U.S. Browning Machine guns M1917/M1919 with around 7 Million units produced for each.






# 14  America's favorite hunting rifle, the iconic Winchester model 94 rates the list as number 14, nearly 8 Million have been produced over the 123 years of production.



# 13 The Soviet Makarov pistol, a copy of the Walther PP, comes in at lucky number 13. The Makarov, which is still being produced for export, has been made in numerous factories numbering somewhere between 8 and 9 Million




# 12  at the number 12 spot we have another pistol: The ubiquitous Glock pistol, which took law enforcement by storm in the 80's and soon captured  the majority of the LE market. Unfortunately we don't have exact production numbers for specific models, but it is estimated that 6-10 Million Glock 17s have been produced and continue to be made.


# 11 In 11th place another WWII era firearm, the Japanese Arisaka, it is estimated there were 7-10 Million of the rifles produced by the Empire of Japan. Many of them produced crudely in a "last ditch" during the waning days of the war.
An impressive number considering the guns were only made for 6 years from 1939 to 1945.



# 10 Rounding out the top ten is the Israeli designed and produced UZI sub-machine gun, they have produced somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 Million of the guns.  



# 9 The 1911 pistol lands just inside the top ten. While estimates are tough to calculate, because so many have been made by so many manufacturers, it is estimated some 10-12 Million 1911 pistols and copies have been produced and continue to be produced.



# 8 We have a tie at 8th place between two American arms. 11-12 Million of the Mossberg 500 shotgun and the Marlin model 60 rifle have been manufactured. It is interesting that both these guns were originally designed and produced in the same town (New Haven, CT) and the same year (1960). The guns will continue to move up the list as they are both still being produced.



# 7 The highest ranking arm designed for civilian use comes in at number 7. The Remington 870 is also the most prolific shotgun ever made, some 12-13 Million 870s have come out of Illion, New York since 1950.



# 6 In 6th place we have another Soviet arm, the gun that the AK-47 replaced, the Simonov Carbine, also known as the SKS comes in with 15 Million rifles made since 1945. The guns were produced in Russia, many of the Soviet satellite states and Comrade Communist countries of North Korea, North Vietnam and China, the later still makes the gun for export.



# 5 The United Kingdom's Lee-Enfield comes in 5th place with 17 Million units being produced by the commonwealth nations of Canada, Australia, England and even by U.S. arms maker Savage.




# 4  While Americans may be the most armed populace in the world, their favorite rifle only ranks in 4th place (for now). The M-16/AR-15 rifle. While we know the number of military contracted M-16/M-4 and variants count in the 8 Million+, we are not quite sure how many civilian AR-15s have been produced. Estimates range from 5-20 Million, a conservative estimate would be 18 Million between them. They will no doubt move up the list as the cost of ownership of these rifles continues to drop.


# 3 The third place arm is another Russian rifle, more than 37 Million Mosin-Nagant 91/30 rifles were produced after it was adopted by the Imperial Russian Army in 1891.






# 2 The number two arm is the German designed Mauser 98 Rifle (Gewehr 98), it has been produced under license by more countries than you can count. It is estimated that 50-100 Million original and licensed copies of the Mauser have been produced.






# 1 Number one with a bullet is the Avtomat Kalashnikova, also known as the AK-47, somewhere between 100-150 million AK-47s (including all variants) have been built since it's introduction in 1947. The gun has seen duty in nearly every conflict since 1950. It has been made in dozens of countries and is even on the flag of Mozambique





The pictures above were found freely on the world wide web and are used for entertainment and educational purposes under the guidelines of Fair Use, per Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Where possible the source has been credited.If you own the copyright to any of these images and wish them to be credited or removed, please contact me immediately.






This post first appeared on TINCANBANDIT's Gunsmithing, please read the originial post: here

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My Kind of Top 20 List

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