Gun manufacturing in America has more than doubled since Obama took office, and most recently, it has been driven by surging interest in concealed carry handguns in .380 and 9mm.
Guns in these calibers are not simply compact, but even sub-compact and/or micro. And with single stack innovation in 9mm — think Glock 43 — a 9mm semi-automatic can be almost identical in size and weight to its counterpart in .380, a Glock 42, for instance.
The Trace — a journalism site that leans pro-gun control — recently published a report showing the soaring popularity of pistols chambered in .380. And while this is true, the last four available years of ATF Manufacturing and Export Reports show that 9mm handguns have been a driving force behind the manufacturing surge as well.
For example, ATF figures show gun makers produced 537,063 handguns in .380 in 2011. That same year, they made 888,379 handguns in 9mm. In 2012, gun makers produced 582,645 handguns in .380 and 1,226,756 handguns in 9mm. Then, in 2013, .380 production accelerated in the same way 9mm production had done two years prior. Gun makers produced 852,727 handguns chambered in .380 in 2013 and 1,697,509 in 9mm. In 2014, they produced 873,168 handguns in .380 and 1,270,419 in 9mm.
Breitbart News previously reported that this trend toward concealed carry handguns has been a huge boost for gun makers that focused on diminutive designs catering to the demands of a market increasingly driven by female shooters and the growing number of concealed carriers in America.
Glock took this approach with their single stack Glock 42 (.380) and Glock 43 (9mm) pistols, as did Ruger with their LCP (.380), Kimber with their Micro Carry (.380), Sig Sauer with their P238 (.380) and P938 (9mm), and Smith & Wesson with their Bodyguard (.380) and M&P Shield (9mm).
A microcosm of the demand for such guns can be seen in the fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2016, for Smith & Wesson. According to CNN Money, Smith & Wesson’s sales for that quarter were up “61.5%” over the where they were at the end of the same quarter a year before.
The .380 was once maligned as too small for effective self-defense and the 9mm has had its nay-sayers throughout the years as well. But bullet technology has raised the performance and stopping power of both rounds considerably. Add to that a wide selection of high quality semi-automatic handguns light enough to carry all day every day and it is no wonder the gun industry is booming.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.