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Top Selling Guns | December 2023

Ruger's American Rifle tops the list of best-selling new bolt-action rifles this month, corresponding with Ruger's release of the Generation II version of these guns.

Top Selling Guns | December 2023

The year 2023 has come to an end and it's time to take a look at the December 2023 firearms sales on GunBroker.com's Top Selling Report, presented by GunGenius.com. Specifically, we’re examining new bolt-action rifle sales, and it should come as no surprise that Ruger’s American Rifle maintains the top spot, a position that gun has held throughout 2023. The American Rifle debuted in 2012, and it has managed to hold on to remain a best-seller despite competition from newer rivals, which is a testament to the quality and value these guns offer. American Rifles have a reputation for exceptional accuracy and often outshoot guns that cost considerably more. To say these guns have been a success for Ruger is an understatement.

Despite its many attractive features, the American Rifle was getting long in the tooth, and Ruger recently announced an updated Generation II version of their perennial best-selling bolt gun. The second-generation American Rifle comes with some substantial upgrades including spiral-fluted barrels, new splatter pattern polymer stocks, oversized replaceable bolt knobs, and a tang-mounted three-position safety that allows the rifle to be loaded and unloaded with the safety engaged. There are currently two versions of the American Rifle Gen II, a Standard model and a Ranch version. Both guns function with AI-style magazines and come with professionally applied Cerakote finishes. Length of pull spacers and adjustable cheek risers allow the shooter to customize each American Rifle Gen II for a perfect fit. A scope base also comes standard so mounting an optic is simple and secure, and the cold hammer-forged barrels are threaded and come equipped with a muzzle brake.

Ruger American Rifle Generation II Standard
Ruger American Rifle Generation II Standard

Many of the features found on the first-gen American Rifle remain, though, including the bladed Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger and a full-diameter CNC-machined stainless-steel bolt with three locking lugs and a short bolt lift. But there are certainly several cosmetic and practical upgrades that make the second-generation American Rifle even more appealing than its best-selling predecessor. The Standard version is offered in several chamberings including .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Remington, .308 Winchester, and .450 Bushmaster. In early 2024 Ruger plans to add 11 additional chamberings including 22 ARC, 6.5 PRC, 400 legend, 7mm PRC, .30-06, and others. The Ranch version with its shorter (16.1 to 16.4-inch) barrel is currently available in 5.56 NATO, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39 and .450 Bushmaster but Ruger promises to add several chambering options in early 2024 including 22 and 6mm ARC, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 350 and 400 Legend.

I’ve tested and hunted with several first-generation American Rifles, and accuracy was always excellent. When I tested an early version of the Gen II rifle, I was pleased to see that the new gun gave up nothing in terms of accuracy and offered several improvements over the previous model. The three-position safety is a worthwhile addition, and the new stock, Cerakote finish, and spiral-fluted barrel certainly provide a cosmetic upgrade over the ho-hum looks of the entry-level Gen I rifle. Pretty guns don’t kill game any better, but they do enhance pride of ownership.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle
Ruger American Ranch Rifle

Even with the upgrades the new Ruger doesn’t cost much more than the outgoing models. MSRP is set at $729 for both models, which is a great value considering all these guns have to offer. The original American Rifle has been well-received by hunters and shooters, but the Gen II upgrades go a long way to keeping Ruger at the top of the sales report.

Coming in second place in new rifle sales this month is Browning’s X-Bolt while Remington’s Model 700 ranks third in sales. The Savage Axis and 110/10 models rank fourth and fifth respectively. All five rifles occupied the same position last month. Remington 700 rifles topped used bolt-action sales on gunbroker.com, and Winchester’s Model 70 came in second. Ruger’s Hawkeye occupies the third-place position while the Browning A-Bolt and Weatherby Mark V round out the list at fourth and fifth place.

75 Years and Going Strong

Bill Ruger’s name belongs alongside the best firearms designers of all time, and the company that bears his name turns 75 years old in 2024. Among Ruger’s greatest designs were his classic Standard .22 autoloading pistol in 1949, the Blackhawk in 1955, 10/22 in 1964, and Redhawk double-action revolver in 1979. Despite Bill Ruger’s passing, the company has continued to manufacture firearms that appeal to shooters and hunters.

This month’s gunbroker.com list is proof of Ruger’s continued popularity, and the American Rifle and Hawkeye are just two of the Ruger firearms claiming spots on this month’s best-sellers roundup. The aforementioned Blackhawk claims the number two spot for new single-action revolver sales this month and the number one position for used single-action revolvers. The Single-Six occupies the number four position in used SA revolver sales while the Wrangler holds the fifth place spot in that same category. The venerable 10/22 sits in the top position for both new and used semiauto rifle sales, one of only three firearms that hold the top spot in both the new and used category for a single firearm type (the others are Browning’s Citori in the over/under market and the Stoeger Coach Gun for side-by-sides). Ruger’s Mini-14 ranks fourth in new semiauto rifles and third in used semiauto sales.

One of Bill Ruger’s most out-of-the-box designs was the single-shot No. 1, which borrows design elements from the Farquharsen rifle. The robust and beautiful No. 1 is the fifth best-selling new single shot this month and holds second place for used single-shots. The company’s Red Label shotgun, which is no longer in production, ranks second in used over/under sales behind the Citori.

In total Ruger occupies 13 places on our list of top-selling guns across all categories, the most of any manufacturer. Combine that with Marlin’s six top-five finishes and the Ruger-Marlin family of firearms occupy 19 of the 100 overall best-selling spots this month. Bill Ruger built his legacy by producing guns that shooters wanted, and clearly the brand that bears his name has continued that tradition.

brad-fitzpatrick-bear-hunt-ruger
The author used a Ruger rifle to take down this bear. (Photo courtesy of Brad Fitzpatrick)

Top Selling Guns Sold in December 2023

Source: gungenius.com/top-selling/

To learn more or shop for any of the guns listed, visit Gun Genius at www.gungenius.com/top-selling.

Editor's note: In the report, guns are rated from one to five within each category, with the number one gun being the most popular that month. The numbers are color-coded to show any changes in the ranks from the previous report.

Black = Steady
Green = Up
Red = Down

Source: gungenius.com/top-selling/

To learn more or shop for any of the guns listed, visit Gun Genius at www.gungenius.com/top-selling.

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