Everything you know about AR15s might be a lie

This is a followup to our article reporting concerning¬†20+ years of FBI data, ‘assault rifle’ fatalities continue to decline.

The purpose of this article, and our previous one are to highlight just the facts – That despite becoming the overwhelmingly most popular firearm in the United States, AR15s are by and large only used by civilians for recreational activities, and that a new assault weapons ban would be extraordinarily ineffective. This, based on 20+ years of data provided by the FBI and DOJ concerning the number of crimes committed with rifles including ones like the AR15.

Ar15s compared to murders

It’s a question that many people are asking – Just how many AR15s are in private hands in the United States?

The answer is very, very complicated, however we are going to do our best to provide what we believe to be the most accurate data provided on just how many AR15s there are out there.

So, what we have done is compile 14 years of firearms data from the ATF¬†and extrapolate the number of AR15s produced from it. Although it’s impossible to make the data completely perfect, what is presented in the following spreadsheets is by far one of the most comprehensive database of AR15 style rifle sales online.

First off, the number of ARs sold by year.

  • 2000 – 84,829
  • 2001 – 58,497
  • 2002 – 86,118
  • 2003 – 102,791
  • 2004 – 95,456 (AWB Ends)
  • 2005 – 125,363
  • 2006 – 173,480
  • 2007 – 220,110
  • 2008 – 321,341
  • 2009 – 433,662
  • 2010 – 248,751
  • 2011 – 535,257
  • 2012 – 1,179,197
  • 2013 – 1,606,609
  • 2014 – 1,127,992 (most recent data year)

Total number of ARs sold 2000-2014 : 5,672,919

The thing to remember is that this does not include significant derivative AR style guns like the AR10, or most 22 caliber AR15s. It also does not include AK47s, or any other type of semi automatic rifle, only AR15s and other that are near clones.

Now, what’s important about these numbers is to relate them to the total number of guns sold, to find that over the past 3 years, AR15s now make up nearly 15% of all firearms sold. Additionally, ar15s made up for over 40% of all rifles sold in 2013.


Year # of all firearms # of all Rifles
2007 5.61% 13.66%
2008 7.48% 18.40%
2009 7.81% 19.28%
2010 4.56% 13.59%
2011 8.18% 23.09%
2012 13.75% 37.22%
2013 14.81% 40.37%
2014 12.46% 33.38%

Now, to get into the the charts. In order to compile this information, we looked over data from the ATF from 2000 through 2014 and compared manufacturer data for who-makes-what and entered the numbers into the following giant spreadsheets.

AR manufacturer data from 2000 onwards. (Click for full size)

AR manufacturer data from 2000 onwards. (Click for full size)

Then , here’s a per-year breakdown of who made what.

Here’s the stripped lower reciever counts, which is added to the first, grand total number. We only accounted for companies who made more than 1,000 stripped lowers.

Data sources :