I knew that Ruger's little LCP was the Cabbage Patch Kid of guns a few years ago, with everybody wanting one and stores having difficulty keeping them in stock, but it wasn't 'til I went looking for BATFE numbers for a discussion elsewhere that I got an idea of how many they sold.
According to BATFE manufacturing data, Ruger made almost 177,000 pistols in .380 caliber in 2011. The only .380 they made in 2011 was the LCP, and they made enough of that one model to arm every man, woman, and child in Knoxville, TN or Providence, RI.
That's a lotta guns. That's as many LCPs as all .38 revolvers manufactured by S&W in all frame sizes plus all P3ATs made by Kel-Tec plus all Diamondback .380s. That's a lot of guns.
But the Brady Bunch says that gun ownership is shrinking...
Yeah, keep tellin' yourself that, Sparky. I'm sure all those little plastic .380s went to longtime collectors looking to expand their collections; I'm sure it has nothing to do with first-time CCW buyers and the expansion of self-defense laws. Whatever gets you through the night.