Commonly Owned: Over 24 Million AR15 & AK Rifles In Circulation

Arsenal SLR-107UR and SLR-104UR AK
IMG Jim Grant

NEWTOWN, Conn. — -( National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry trade association, updated the industry estimate of Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in circulation in the United States to 24,446,000 since 1990.

That is an increase of over 4.5 million rifles since the last estimate was released in 2020.

The estimate is derived from NSSF research, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) and U.S. International Trade Commission (U.S. ITC) data, in cooperation with manufacturers, importers and exporters of MSRs, or AR-15 and AK-style rifles.

This most recent estimate includes production figures current through 2020 when the industry estimates over 2,798,000 of these rifles were produced or imported. This estimate does not include MSRs that were produced and exported or imported and later exported.

The MSR remains the most-popular selling centerfire semiautomatic rifle in the United States today. There are more MSRs in circulation today than Ford F-Series trucks on the road.

“This is a truly significant figure that demonstrates – again – the popularity of this commonly-owned style of rifle,” said NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi. “The firearm industry responds to market demand and this shows that during the elevated period of firearm sales that began in 2020, this particular style of rifle is the top choice for law-abiding citizens for hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense.”

The MSR’s popularity for lawful ownership is attributable to several factors, including accuracy, reliability, modularity, and low recoil.

Modern Sporting Rifle Estimates 1990-2020 Source: National Shooting Sports Foundation

About National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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Deplorable Bill

Well they promised, warned, they will take our AR-15’s and AK-47’s and they are on the verge of doing exactly that. Now what? If they try there will be a civil war. They will send cops, feds and maybe the military to grab all the REGISTERED, store bought rifles and pistols directly from households. This act and many like it make ALL those who have sworn the oath to defend the people, the nation and the constitution traitors and deserving of it’s consequences. The tree of liberty that Jefferson wrote about looks like it’s about to be refreshed. I have… Read more »

Dubi Loo

I’d bet cash money the citizens of the Ukraine wished they had ARs or AKs in their homes when Russia invaded.


When they come to get them they can have the ammo first —— airmail”
Be careful, the barrel will be hot.


make sure doorway is armored and around fire points too
keeps out criminals of whatever group

Last edited 1 year ago by swmft

there are some I will not help ,like Shakespeare I too believe all the lawyers need to go , the first act where fbi or atf tries this bs will be the last there are enough armed oath keepers (people who believe in the oath not the group) that waco ,or ruby ridge will not be allowed criminal action by leos will be met with superior force of the people ,I too see this getting nasty


It doesn’t have to get too nasty.

Unfortunately, many state, county, and city/town enforcers (and supported by retired ones) are stubborn and more afraid of losing their pension and the specter of working in the private sector than anything else they can imagine.

Wild Bill

“They” will expect you to store your firearms and ammo in your house because that is where the majority does store their firearms and ammo. Store your stuff elsewhere.

Green Mtn. Boy

I’d be willing to bet the numbers are actually higher than stated.


they ;left out ones made by individuals,


Yep, I think there’s a pretty large group of DIY types out there.


crazy old men with cnc in garage that runs seven days a week,

Courageous Lion - Hear Me Roar - Jus Meum Tuebor

So if there are 24,000,000 AR and AK style rifles in “common citizen” possession, then if there were FIFTY mass shootings with AR or AK style rifles in a year that means that 0.000208333333333 were used in murder. Fact is what do we have? 2? 3? 4? high profile shootings in a year where a bunch of folks who were unarmed were massacred? That would mean that of those 24 million that 0.0000166666666667% where used for murdering someone. How about we just make MURDER illegal and cut back on the psychotropic prescription mind altering drugs?


I prefer MILITIA STANDARD RIFLE rather than the sporting rifle term that came from the gungrabbers and Eastern European dictatorships..

Roland T. Gunner

I like it.

Wild Bill

The chart certainly proves that the MSR is in common use in our times; meaning that they are Constitutionally protected.

Roland T. Gunner

Those darned Armalites are like rabbits. I can put 2 of them in a closet overnight, and whe I open the closet door next morning, 3 rifles tumble out.


FAFO. If they F around, they will Find Out.


Anyone know whether the 24.4 million figure includes AR pistols and/or stripped receivers sold as “other”? We know it does not include 80% lowers of which there are likely millions (??). If stripped lowers are not counted, I imagine accurate count would be considerably higher (20%-100%+). Given that AR pistols seem to have become as popular as carbines, if they were not counted total might be several millions higher. Also important to recognize that there are likely others sold before 1990 when this count started, though I suspect that is lower than the number of 80% lowers turned into functioning… Read more »


In a previous USSC case the number was 200,000. I forget the instance and maybe someone else could elaborate but 200,000 of the item was considered common use. I’d be willing to bet there are more than 200,000 AR pistols and shotgun gauge pistols out there.

Edit: Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m sure it’s a lot more complicated so the masses don’t understand..

Last edited 1 year ago by Ed

Some food for thought:

A pretty capable 3D printer will set you back between $180 to $250.

Filament will set you back $25.00 to $30.00 per 1Kg spool.

You can get somewhere north of 2 lowers per 1kg spool of filament.

So what happens if you show up at a “no questions asked buyback” with a box of the dreaded “ghost guns?”

Last edited 1 year ago by DDS

I’ve often wondered how the govt would round them up? Ive talked to several people my age and they’ve acknowledged their health is starting to slide. They don’t want to live in the brave knew world and have stated that the elimination of at least one govt stooge would be a good ending. I am curious how many others feel that way. Several of these codgers are veterans. The other question I have is how many in law enforcement will adopt the I was only following orders mentality of the Nazis’ and enable the autocrats to implement their tyranny?


Several people have tried to come up with a guestimate of what would be needed to conduct a nationwide house to house search of every dwelling in the USA.

Most times they came up with something on the order of a “Drakes Equation” with a string of unknown variables where a range could be sorta guessed.

The bottom line tended to be that there’s aren’t enough military and/or LEO to pull it off. Ant that was before the “defund” folks started running off cops or the “woke” crowd started running off the military.


someone well armed that has set proper do not enter devices can work on a 100 to 1 ratio ,mines are illegal government uses them so good for the goose …and the number of people that would snipe government people if they tried that …it would not just be enforcers targeted…every government control agency would be a deadly job code enforcement would be shot in streets …any one working for anti gun groups would be fair game ,there would be a line of leftists to get into canada

Wild Bill

First, the target will be surveilled to determine their schedule, and when and where the target is most vulnerable. Then the government’s first team of agents will make the arrest ( church parking lot or grocery store parking lot). The second team will enter the house, make a hell of a mess seizing the firearms collection, and leave a copy of the warrant and a list of things seized. That is one scenario. I believe that the government will manipulate the food supply so that we become dependent on government rations. And if you turn in a firearm you get… Read more »


they may try but first raid like this will be the last ,atf agent next door gets shot in head by neighbor after first counter attack local police will stop helping when they have to hide from people in their towns there are enough people with guns that know how to shoot that people would start hunting government people , people giving “the order” in military would be killed by their own troops they would burn them in their houses and cars ..bureau of land management stopped from what people saw as wrong ..if this kind of action is… Read more »

Wild Bill

I would hope so, but I don’t think so.


Unintended Consequences. “AWAITING FOR APPROVAL” by some fellow who has no clue how lame “Awaiting for approval” reads.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Unintended Consequences. I doubt many neighbors will volunteer to lose their own life, home, family, everything. I would think such retaliation & deterrence as occurred would tend to be more random, where the civilian has the advantage.

Long ago, a friend told me about a J3wish fellow in WWII who very successfully went behind enemy lines to take out Nazi officers. Just targets of opportunity as they arose. Hang at different cafes, Nazi officers show up, pop’em mid-dinner & split. Here, the Nazis usually wouldn’t be wearing Nazi uniforms, so it’d have to be more planned.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

the government we have is dependent on fear and intimidation that is why they are lashing out against scotus ruling it takes one of their clubs away,I am waiting for a more forceful statement from the court about on going violations they may bring up title 18 actions and I do think left will try to kill one or two justices before old nut job is out


Stay on the move hide in plain site the government is now manipulating or freedom with the new state of emergencies in the democratic run states. Fear only intimidates, fear can’t hurt you . knowledge is what the democrats and the elite fear. That is why they want to disarm the American public.


Something we agree on, the first paragraph. That’s how it’ll be done. Easy peasy. I won’t be surprised if they do the second PP too.

Another reason “2A” groups should stop supporting any form of gvt-conducted “background checks” & mandatory dealer records of gunowner identifying info.


Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

my health is good and family history says without medical care I should live to around 100 ,but would give my life to stop criminal takeover of the republic ,most here do not KNOW what a 50bmg can do between that and 308 api can make a dent if needed, rounds for 50 that are set aside are api as well defense at its best , I have ben given custody of gun colections from friends who got too sick knowing their families were anti they passed them to me and as I find appropriate homes for them I pass… Read more »


They don’t have to round them all up.

They will just take enough to intimidate the rest.

A large percentage of the people breaking down doors, shooting dogs, and stealing firearms will be veterans (recent ones, not 90-year-old trained killers with bayonets).

Wild Bill

I call that the “Jim Bowie” defense.

John Dow

I wonder, do those figures include all the stripped lowers that eventually become full up rifles/pistols?


Process is slightly different. FFL checks box “other” rather than “rifle.” Statistics are based on data compiled from forms and databases. I’d guess they went to manufacturers and aske how many rifles they’d sold. While manufacturers may have provided AR pistol count, I doubt they’d count a lower as a rifle. Among other things, it would mess up numbers they provide investors, such as revenue per unit. Manufacturers have no reason to inflate their sales in this situation, so my bet would be count is of complete firearms whether pistol or rifle – second choice being just rifles.


the 80% stuff is un counted so I know of more than 100 with people I shoot with , I have a cnc and software and have made a few for me so 0% to target 6 hours upper and lower are mine might need to add 500,000 to the given number and how many people have bought a box of 80% receivers as reserves with the bs the government is doing there is a cnc shop in florida that when they are not making parts under contract turn out 80% receivers sell them in case lots think it is… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by swmft