The Best American-Made Handguns
Whether it's an overall good thing or not – we live in a globalized economy. Almost nothing is made 100% in the United States anymore. But what about firearms? As one of the few countries that affords its citizens the right to bear arms, you'd think more firearms manufacturers would be exclusively based out of here.
Well, turns out that's not always the case. If you follow the supply chain long enough, you're going to find a part of a product made outside of the United States. But if you're adamant about keeping your hard earned money inside the country and supporting good craftsmanship, we'll discuss a few firearms manufacturers that mostly stay within the United States.
Ruger and Smith & Wesson are almost tied in terms of firearms production and sales in the United States. Ruger, however, tries to keep much of their manufacturing process located right in the United States. Smith & Wesson – especially for the M&P Shield line of pistols – stayed within the United States.
Both are considered the leaders in United States firearms manufacturing. The quality of their arms is well recognized throughout.
A few notable pistols from Ruger:
- Ruger SR9c – The SR9c is a compact pistol with full-size capabilities. A magazine capacity of 17 rounds and plenty of accolades on function – it's an affordable choice for compact concealed carry.
Ruger Sr9c Holster
- Ruger LCP – This is one of their flagship pistols designed especially to be affordable, reliable, and very concealable.
Ruger LCP Holster
Kimber quickly rose to fame with their heavily customized 1911 variants. Hailed as champions of match-grade quality 1911s as well as compact carry versions, Kimber can easily be said to be a company that has focused heavily on craftsmanship over quantity. And it shows – both in the price tag as well as the function. But, they keep it local and do the vast majority of their manufacturing within the United States.
Notable Kimber pistols:
- Kimber 1911 Compact – A slightly more compact 1911, it's for those who want a shorter form factor without sacrificing full-size capability.
Kimber 1911 Compact Holster
- Kimber 1911 Pro Model – How much better does it get in the world of 1911s? Not only does Kimber make a beautifully designed full-size professional grade 1911, it works surprisingly well as an everyday concealed carry choice.
Kimber Pro Holster
- Kimber Solo – Kimber decided to dip its feet into the waters of the sub-compact concealed carry community with the Kimber Solo. Despite some complaints on its function, it's overall proven itself to be durable and easily hidden in an IWB holster.
Kimber Solo Holster
A lot of people like to rag on Kel-Tec because their pistols and rifles don't look as sleek and attractive as Kimber or Ruger. If you subtract the aesthetics, you wind up with a fantastic, cheap, and All-American made series of concealed carry pistols. This company has prided itself on staying within the United States despite the easy reduction in manufacturing cost of going overseas. And you know what? They produce excellent concealed carry pistols.
Notable concealed carry pistols:
- P-3AT – This concealed carry pistol, chambered in .380 ACP, has proven itself to be a reliable choice for concealed carriers. It is classified as a sub-compact and no matter how critics want to hate it – most end up admitting it's a very decent choice for those looking for reliability and price point.
Hi-Point makes the Walmart of pistols. Dirt cheap and backed by a life-time guarantee, despite the overwhelming bad talk about their main pistol line – this is a reasonably reliable American-made firearms manufacturer.
Best of all? Hi-Point is guaranteed to produce a compact pistol in most major calibers that will fit nearly anyone's budget.
Notable compact pistols:
- Hi-Point 916 – At less than $200 (MSRP), it's priced to sell. The Hi-Point 916 is surprisingly rugged for it's polymer frame.
Hi Point 916 Holster
Honorable Mention: Wilson Combat
- Wilson Combat's 4-inch 1911 - Wilson Combat's 4 inch 1911 was designed for those who preferred the 1911 frame and need match-grade quality in their concealed carry choice.
Wilson Combat 1911 4 inch Holster<
Imports No Longer: American-Made Handguns By Global Brands
In the fullness of time, Toyota now makes more cars (and more of the parts) in America than Chevrolet does. Just like the Chicken Tax bringing "foreign" automakers to the United States, "foreign" gun companies are now making hanguns - and a lot of them! - in the US.
What is or isn't "American-made" can easily become a "Ship of Theseus" thing. But...it's worth noting that the guns you'll see in gun stores from "foreign" brands are now as American as apple pie.
Glock USA is based in Smyrna, Ga., and manufactures most of the Glock pistols sold in the USA. While some are imported and sold, most Glocks you'll find in stores are made in the USA.
Sig Sauer has an enormous manufacturing plant in New Hampshire. Sig Sauer shuttered their German factory in 2020, and now makes and exports most of their products from the USA.
Beretta has been manufacturing firearms in Accoceek, MD, since 1977. They moved their factory operations to Tennessee (for obvious reasons) but makes M9/92FS pistols in the US along with some other guns.
CZ makes the P10 series of pistols and some other products in the USA.
So while these brands were founded and are headquartered internationally...they make handguns here in the USA. Buying them is funding American jobs and American workers as much as anything else.
There are certainly more manufacturers that have a legacy of producing their excellent firearms in the United States. If keeping your money local is your goal, certainly let us know what other companies have gotten your attention in the comments section below!
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.