A little more than a decade ago, the domestic firearms industry was staggering like a villain on the wrong side of Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum. "The future has never been more uncertain for America's oldest manufacturing industry," a Businessweek cover story reported in 1999. Flat sales, the specter of more stringent regulation, and dozens of lawsuits filed by cities and counties seeking damages for the costs associated with gun violence threatened to destroy a uniquely American business. Yet here it is, writes Greg Beato, 13 years later, well into America's great manufacturing exodus and the post-financial-crisis economic slump, and the domestic firearms industry is enjoying near-record productivity. It's a rare piece of great news for the U.S. economy.