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What are popular manufacturers of handguns?

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Quick Answer

Some of the most popular manufacturers of handguns include Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.; Smith & Wesson Corp.; Sig Sauer Inc.; Baretta U.S.A. Corporation; and Taurus Int'l Manufacturing Inc., as noted in a 2010 report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). The term "handgun" encompasses two separate categories of weapons: pistols and revolvers.

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Sturm, Ruger & Company sold a combined 665,954 handguns in 2010, noted the NSSF survey; approximately 80,000 more than Smith & Wesson Corp. Both Sturm, Ruger & Company and Smith & Wesson Corp. manufacture pistols and revolvers while the other top manufacturers only make pistols.

Most pistols, such as 9mm handguns, have ammunition magazines that are removable. Revolvers have a revolving chamber that is part of the handgun. Revolvers can usually shoot six bullets without having to reload while a pistol's magazine often holds more than six bullets.

Handguns are sold by the caliber of bullet they can shoot, which equals the bullet's diameter. Common handgun calibers include .22, .38, .357, .44 and .45.

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