Small Arms Market Outlook and Analysis, Research to 2023 – Leading Top Companies are Beretta Holding SpA, Heckler and Koch GmbH, Steyr Arms GmbH, Sturm, Glock Ges.m.b.H.

Small Arms Market: Information by Type (Handguns, Shotguns, Machine Guns, and Rifles & Others), by Operation (Manually-Operated Firearm and Self-Loading Firearm), by Barrel (Rifled-Bore and Smooth-Bore), by End-User & by Region - Global Forecast till 2023

Factors such as rising terrorist attacks and focus on counter operations, changing nature of warfare, and increasing drug trafficking and other criminal activities are positively impacting the small arms market growth. In addition, rise in defense expenditure especially in developing countries further boosts market growth.

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However, illegal trading of small arms, and stringent licensing procedure & regulation policies in terms of import and export hinders market growth to a certain extent. Meanwhile, adoption of laser technology, noise suppression technology, lightweight materials, and smart & agile manufacturing concepts creates promising growth opportunities for the small arms market.

Small arms are weapons designed for individual use. It can launch a bullet or other projectiles by the action of an explosive. Unlike few light weapons, all small arms (firearm along with its ammunition) can be transported and operated by a single individual on foot. Furthermore, these weapons can also be procured by civilians for self-defense. According to the Small Arms Survey publication, there are an estimated 875 million small arms in circulation worldwide, produced by more than 1,000 companies from nearly 100 countries. It also estimates that the annual authorized trade exceeds USD 8.5 billion.

Key Players:

  • Accuracy International Ltd.
  • American Outdoor Brands Corporation
  • Beretta Holding SpA
  • Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC
  • Glock Ges.m.b.H.
  • Heckler & Koch GmbH
  • Herstal SA
  • Remington Outdoor Company
  • Steyr Arms GmbH
  • Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc


The global small arms market has been segmented based on type, barrel, operation, end-user, and region.

Based on type, the small arms market is divided into handguns, shotguns, machine guns, and rifles & others. The handguns segment is further divided into pistols and revolvers. The rifles segment is estimated to account for the largest market share and is projected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to the increasing civilian procurement of rifles for hunting and sporting activities. Furthermore, sniper and assault rifles are widely being procured by military and law enforcement agencies, for combat against terrorism, armed violence, and disrupting other criminal activities.

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Based on barrel, the small arms market is divided into rifled-bore and smooth-bore. The rifled-bore is estimated to account for the largest market share and is projected to witness a higher CAGR during the forecast period. According to ARES 2016, rifling refers to the internal geometry, typically either spiral grooves or polygonal faces inside the bore which engage the projectile and cause it to rotate as it is accelerated up the barrel. This rotation imparts gyroscopic stability to the projectile, ensuring that it flies accurately and point first.

Based on operation, the small arms market is divided into manually-operated firearm and self-loading firearm. The self-loading firearm segment is further divided into semi-automatic firearm and automatic firearm. The self-loading firearm segment is estimated to account for the largest market share and is projected to witness a higher CAGR during the forecast period as all these systems doesn’t require the shooter to physically manipulate one or more components of the fire the weapon. Self-loading firearms include a wide variety of operating mechanisms such as recoil-operated, gas-operated, among others.

Based on end-user, the small arms market is divided into armed forces, law enforcement, sporting & hunting, and civilian self-defense. The armed forces segment is estimated to account for the largest market share while the sporting & hunting segment projected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to the increasing procurement of small arms by sporting enthusiasts for applications such as target shooting, hunting, among others.

Based on region, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. In 2017, North America accounted for the largest market share, whereas, Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing regional market during the review period. This growth can be attributed to the increase in indigenous weapon production in the Asia Pacific region. China, and India are key markets for small arms in this region.

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