The Most Popular Handgun in America

The Most Popular Handgun in America


Mathew R Reed
July 28, 2021

When it comes to a favorite type of gun, everyone has their preference, but in terms of the features that make a handgun great, it’s hard to argue on this point.

With most people preferring something lightweight, easy to handle, and precise, there are a few names and models that stand out from the rest.

What is the most popular handgun in America? According to the NSSF, the top-selling handguns in 2020 were the Ruger Wrangler and the Sig Sauer P320.

Although the data can be misleading because it’s only a sample of gun sales across the US, they’re still popular choices for handguns with good reason.

If you’re in the market for a handgun and want the most popular one in your arsenal, or just want to know what makes them so impressive, we’re here to look at the top sellers in the US.

With a better idea of what a good gun looks like, you’ll

What Is The Most Popular Handgun In The USA?

What Is The Most Popular Handgun In The USA?

The NSSF Firearm Industry Trade Association compiled some stats on gun sales in 2020, primarily looking at the Jan to May period, and collected this data from sales across the US.

They found there were two distinct groups of those under the age of 50 and those above it, with each preferring a specific semi-automatic and revolver.

The winning semi-automatic for under 50-year-old owners was the Sig Sauer P320, which also ranked number one for over 50s.

However, in the revolver category, under 50s preferred Ruger Wrangler, and this was only second place for over 50s, with their top choice being the Colt Python.

What was interesting to note, regardless of popular guns, was that the sale of firearms increased across the board.

Gun sales rose by 24.7. percent year on year in April, but then in May, this expanded to a 75.2 percent year over year increase.

The role of Covid-19 and uncertainty and fear among everyday people can likely be attributed to this, with handguns being the preferred category.

What The Winners Have To Offer

Ruger Wrangler

While the statistics from NSSF aren’t definitive for the entire country, they do represent a good portion of the US population and what they lean towards when looking for a handgun.

Here’s a little more about what the top contenders have to offer users and what sets them apart from the rest:

Ruger Wrangler

The Ruger Wrangler was the top pick for under 50s in the revolver category and the second favorite for over 50s, and this single action weapon is known as comfortable and easy to use.

They’re a top choice for a first gun and people love to use them even as their skills develop, with affordability for the firearm and ammunition making it even more popular.

Colt Python

The number one choice for over 50s when looking at handguns, the Colt Python is a classic double-action revolver that has a solid reputation.

This gun comes in either a 4.25″ or 6″ construction and is known for strength and a robust feel. As a more expensive option, it’s not generally the first choice for beginner shooters which is why it might be a favorite among older gun owners.

Sig Sauer P320

Rated the favorite semi for all ages, the Sig Sauer P320 has a full-size frame and works for everything from home security to target practice.

The sleek-looking gun is chambered in 9mm Luger and offers sighted accuracy so you’re guaranteed to make the shot.

Other Popular Guns in The US

Owning a gun is a personal thing and people tend to lean towards features and brands that resonate with them.

In addition to the top three handguns, there are still some popular names out there that people put their faith in.

These are a few of the other contenders when it comes to America’s favorite handgun so be sure to keep them on your list.

Sig Sauer P938

Sig Sauer P938

Another popular contender from Sig Sauer is the P938 that people love for home defense and concealed carry thanks to its size.

The 9mm single-action pistol is hammer-fired, features a steel slide, and aluminum alloy frame, so it’s the perfect combination of tough but lightweight to meet everyone’s preferences.

You can expect to pay top-of-the-range prices for this firearm but it delivers with the option to add full-size sights as well, so it could cost a lot more.

Glock G43

The G43 is a single stack 9mm pistol that’s perfect for people wanting a concealed carry, but still with a lot of power.

This handgun from Glock is considered mid to high range in price so might not appeal to everyone, but it’s a legendary pistol that has a great reputation for accuracy and works just as well no matter your hand grip or skill.

With a built-in beaver tail in its design, you’ll get a tight grip and steady aim that guarantees a better shot.

Glock G19

Glock has made quite a few legendary handguns and the G19 would have to be one of them. This is a small gun with a lot of power, and it holds a 15 round capacity which makes its lightweight feel even more impressive.

As a concealed carry favorite, the G19 is a single stack handgun that has a high price tag to match, but if you want a trusted name like Glock and prefer a compact weapon, there’s nothing better.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

The M&P Shield by Smith & Wesson was released in 2012 and still holds many top spots today.

When it was first introduced, the company claimed is was the best-selling on the market for personal protection and that’s what millions of people use it for today.

There are three options of the .45, .40, and 9mm, so you can choose an M&P Shield to suit.

Springfield XD-S

The Springfield XD-S Mod 2.0 is the second release for this handgun, with the latter version being the more popular one.

This single stack pistol is compact and easy to carry with a 3.3-inch body, and options including 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP models.

However, it’s also one of the pricier choices for a handgun, even if it is popular, and falls around mid to high range in cost.

Ruger LCP

This is one of the most easily recognizable handguns out there, with a reputation for being affordably priced, and cutely sized.

The LCP or the “lightweight compact pistol” is a top pick if you want a discreetly concealed carry because you can fit it just about anywhere.

This .380 ACP pistol has been released twice, with the latest version having upgrades to the sights and trigger pulls, making it now an even more popular choice.

The Gun Choice Of The People

Unless you have some specific need for a certain feature on a handgun, it’s always a safe bet to pick one of the favorites from a trusted name.

The US has a special place in its heart for a quality handgun and it makes a smart choice for everyone from beginners to expert shooters, so consider adding one of these to your arsenal.

Related Questions

Choosing the right gun requires a lot of thought but if you’d rather stick to one that has a good reputation, there’s a handful to choose from that won’t disappoint.

If you’re still trying to learn more about handguns and what features are important, we’ve got some FAQs and expert answers that can help.

What’s The Difference Between a Pistol And a Revolver?

What’s The Difference Between a Pistol And a Revolver?

A pistol is technically a handgun that has at least one stationary chamber whereas a revolver has many rotating chambers.

Although they are both in the category of a general handgun and the terms are often interchanged, they are different things entirely.

How Far From Your Body Should You Hold a Handgun?

The safest distance to hold a handgun is at arm’s length away from your body.

The unique construction of these firearms means you can suffer blowback when they’re too close, and your fingers will also need to be kept away from the front of the trigger otherwise they’ll encounter damage as well.

What is The Most Popular Rifle?

In the United States, the AR-15 is considered the most popular rifle across the board, even though it’s better suited to those with experience handling firearms of this power.

In 2018, the NRA stated that Americans owned more than eight million of these specific guns, with the number certainly growing since then.


Mathew R Reed

Mathew R Reed is a professional gun seller who runs a dedicated gun store in the suburbs of Oakland, CA. A hardcore hunting enthusiast since childhood, Reed has ample experience with guns and accessories. He is the founder of and creates some of the most helpful gun-buying guides and explainers. If not in the gun shop, you can find him on the nearest hiking trail or nearby hunting spot.