Looking Ahead

At the time of this writing, manufacturers have less than a month to submit production and export numbers for 2020, and while it won’t be until early 2022 that the AFMER for the most historic year in firearm history is published, it’s safe to say all firearm numbers will be up — way up.

Revolvers may not have been the top purchase choice for gun buyers when the pandemic broke out and new shooters flocked to local dealers, but they’ve certainly sold alongside their semi-auto counterparts in significant numbers. Since the ATF began publishing the AFMER in 1986, revolver production has never exceeded 885,259, set in 2015. Expect that to be surpassed in 2020’s report.

One would also expect the rimfire segment to continue increasing as larger calibers were first to fly off shelves during the ongoing ammo shortage, but .22 soon became a popular choice for the millions of new shooters and those wanting to train without breaking the bank. However, as interest in hunting has grown over the past year, an increase in big bore revolver production also wouldn’t be a surprise.

Stay tuned for a follow-up piece highlighting the top revolver manufacturers of 2019. In the meantime, review the top-10 from 2018 and subscribe to our Wheelgun Wednesday newsletter for more weekly revolver content.