Not your daddy’s shotgun
Earlier this year Mossberg produced it’s 10 millionth model 500 shotgun which was a pretty big landmark for them. I was talking to a friend who is a gamer and his response was “well that’s not very much because there are so many gun owners in the US”. It is but it isn’t. It depends on how you look at it. In the video game world the two titan consoles are the PS3 and the XB360 each of which have sold over 70 million units in just 7 years while the M500 has been in production a little over 50 years. From that point of view it’s really not all that impressive, but the firearm and video game industries have a big difference in variety
Right now if you want a console for the new Call of Duty game you’re either going to get a PS3 or a 360. If you don’t want either one you need a gaming PC or you’re out of luck. Those are pretty much the only options you have. Now imagine if video games were made to a standardized programming and the consoles were built around that programming. The PS3 and 360 are still big titans for the industry, but any other company can make their own console that could play that game so you have about a dozen other console options to choose from. That’s pretty much the idea behind PC gaming and it’s also the big difference in the firearm industry.
The ammunition is pretty standardized. Shotgun shells are common in 12, 16, 20, and 28 gauges as well as .410 bore. The ammunition is standardized so a gun made for 12 gauge can shoot it generally. This is an extremely simplified way of looking at it since shell lengths play another role in compatibility but you get my point. The shells are made in standardized sizes then companies make the guns to fit those shells. In this instance the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 are the two titans of shotguns with over 10 million of each type produced.
Now if you want a 12 gauge shotgun the two titans are among the highest rated models available. If you don’t like either one, however, there are several other companies out there that also make 12 gauge shotguns so you have a wider variety of options.
The gun industry is also so vast in variety because each gun provides its own role. If you want to play first person shooters, madden, forza, and skyrim one gaming system can handle all of those games. Shotguns are pretty versatile but like all guns they’re not the best at everything. If you want a gun for deer and elk hunting a rifle is good. Bird hunting and home defense are popular for shotguns. Concealed carry for self defense goes to the handgun. A gamer can own one console for all game types, but a gun owner might need several different guns to fill all the roles they need filled or they might not need a type of gun because it doesn’t fit the roles they need.
So aside from the differences in needs for different people one of the best comparisons for the success of a gun is to compare it to the success of other guns. The 1903 was the US standard issue rifle for WWI and continued to be used as a sniper rifle through Vietnam. A total of about 1.3 million were produced. The M1 garand was our standard issue rifle for WWII and a good amount of Korea with a total of about 6.25 million produced. The M14 was standard the first part of Vietnam with about 1.5 million produced. From the Springfield up through the M14 about 9 million service rifles were produced collectively.
Then there’s the mosin nagant which Russia produced like 37 million of. That’s pretty impressive.