About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., more commonly known as Smith & Wesson, or simply S&W, is one of the oldest, most traditional and successful American firearm manufacturers. The company’s current headquarters can be found in Springfield, Massachusetts. Smith & Wesson was founded by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson as the "Smith & Wesson Revolver Company" in 1856 after their previous company, also called the "Smith & Wesson Company" and later renamed as "Volcanic Repeating Arms", was sold to Oliver Winchester and became the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In late 2016, Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation changed its name to American Outdoor Brands Corporation. Unfortunately, in 2017 Smith & Wesson saw a severe contraction in its sales as units shipped to distributors and retailers declined 38.3%. This resulted in the company having to lay off nearly one-fourth of its manufacturing workforce. In August 2020, American Outdoor Brands was spun-off from Smith & Wesson, with S&W retaining the original stock ticker SWBI and American Outdoor Brands becoming a new publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ as American Outdoor Brands, Inc.
Despite its ups and downs, Smith & Wesson is still considered one of the world’s leading manufacturers of firearms and ammunition. Some of the most popular cartridges developed by S&W are the .38 S&W, .40 S&W, .357 S&W Magnum, and .500 S&W Magnum. These calibers are utilized by a vast majority of pistols and revolvers produced by various firearm manufacturing companies all across the globe. Smith and Wesson also produces a number of different rifles, carbines, submachine guns and shotguns. However, the brand is undoubtedly best-known for its endless range of revolvers and a number of very popular semi-automatic pistols, mainly utilized for everyday concealed carry.
There probably isn’t a company that has ever produced a wider range of revolvers than Smith & Wesson. Over the years of the brand’s existence, S&W has produced revolvers in several standard frame sizes. Their M line refers to the small early Ladysmith frame, I to the small .32 frame, J to the small .38 frame, K to the medium .38 frame, L to the medium large .38 and .44 Magnum frame, and N to the largest .44 Magnum type frame. In 2003, the even larger X-frame revolvers were introduced, chambered for one of the most powerful revolver cartridges - the .500 S&W Magnum. One of the most popular Smith & Wesson revolvers for everyday concealed carry is the S&W Bodyguard, also known as the S&W 38.
Smith and Wesson, however, is also one of the world’s leading producers of concealed carry pistols. The brand’s most popular series of such pistols is the Smith & Wesson M&P family (Military and Police) of polymer-framed, short recoil operated, locked breech semi automatic handguns. While targeted at law enforcement agencies, the M&P is also widely available on the commercial market. The currently most successful Smith and Wesson pistol is probably the S&W M&P M2.0 model, which has been ranking on nearly every list of the currently best concealed carry pistols.