The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.
The number of guns purchased is probably more than the number of background checks as many purchasers procure more than one firearm. The FBI reported 203,000 background checks for gun sales on Friday.
Gun sales have slowed down this year after unusually strong demand around the presidential election a year ago.
The previous record set a year ago was also on Black Friday.
In a statement earlier this week, Sessions said NICS "is critical for us to be able to keep guns out of the hands of those that are prohibited from owning them".
The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee said earlier this month it would investigate the Air Force's failure to notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation of Kelley's criminal record.
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The staggering number came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered on Wednesday that the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) take a closer look at the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which was circumvented by the deadly Texas mass shooting suspect Devin Kelley.
On Black Friday this year, American shoppers apparently bought record numbers of a perennial favorite: guns.
The NCIS is to created to allow instant background checks on prospective gun owners. The Air Force admitted that it failed to send crucial information to the NICS, including the gunman's prior court-martial conviction for assaulting his wife and her infant son.
The Sutherland Springs church shooter was former Air Force enlisted-man Devin Kelley, who under USA law should not have been able to purchase a firearm.
Sales rose after former President Barack Obama's election - due to fears he would restrict them- and have fallen since Donald Trump became USA president. Some prospective owners feared that tighter rules under a potential President Clinton would make buying harder.
And even though gun sales were down during the first year of the Trump administration, gun sales tend to increase following mass shootings. American Outdoor Brands reported a almost 40% decline - about $78 million - in net sales in its fiscal quarter ending July 31.