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The global handgun market size was valued at USD 3.12 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 3.41 billion in 2023 to USD 5.35 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period.
The term ‘handgun’ refers to any firearm that is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand during firing. A handgun typically fires a single round or bullet, with additional rounds carried in a rotating mechanism or magazine. The two most common types of handguns are revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Other less common types include derringers and machine pistols.
Handguns serve various purposes, including target shooting, small-game hunting, and personal protection. In many countries, automatic guns are prohibited, and personal ownership of any firearm is restricted in most parts of the world.
Russia-Ukraine War Positively Influenced Market Growth Due to Increased Procurement of Firearms by European Countries
As the world continues to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted economies worldwide, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reignited growth in the arms markets of the U.S., Europe, and other weapon manufacturers. The conflict in Ukraine has led to increased firearm usage across Europe, notably among NATO members. Armed personnel have been equipped with various types of light weapons and small arms for border defense and wartime operations. The U.S. and other NATO countries have been enhancing their armed forces, deploying them near Russia’s borders, and refining their operational capabilities. Notably, the European Union (EU) has agreed, for the first time in history, to procure and supply weapons to Ukraine, significantly boosting the global market share.
According to SIPRI’s annual survey, the U.S. remains the largest and fastest exporter of conventional weapons. The country accounted for 40% of all large arms exports from 2018 to 2022, compared to 33% from 2013 to 2017, while Russia accounted for 16%, as reported by SIPRI. The report utilizes five-year comparisons and metrics to standardize the value of weapons systems. European arms imports increased by 47% during the same period when global trade decreased by approximately 5%. Considering the substantial commitments from the U.S. and the region to complete arms transfers to Ukraine, it is reasonable to anticipate continued growth in European arms imports.
Development of Polymer-based Handguns to Emerge as Latest Market Trend
A polymer gun is a type of handgun made with polymer, a material composed of repetitive molecular units. It serves as a substitute for metal parts in firearms, offering a lightweight and corrosion-resistant solution that enhances the product’s performance and durability for shooters. With polymer technology gaining popularity in the firearms industry, numerous options are available for gun purchasers. Polymer is utilized in various modern firearms, including models such as the Fort-17 (a polymer-frame version of the Fort-12), Glock-19, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Sig Sauer P320, Heckler & Koch VP9, and others.
Compared to traditional metal weapons that can weigh several pounds, polymer-based weapons are notably lighter. This reduced weight allows people to carry their weapons without feeling fatigued, which is especially crucial during strenuous activities. Moreover, the lightweight nature of polymer weapons enables easier maneuverability. This design improvement allows users of polymer weapons to execute faster and more fluid movements compared to traditional firearms.
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Increasing Innovations in Advanced Weapon to Boost Market Growth
Countries worldwide have embraced modern technologies to enhance their warfare capabilities, alongside changes in the sizes of armed forces and weaponry. Market advancement is being driven by the necessity for smarter technologies, such as automatic guns, compact submachine guns, and light weapons, which significantly enhance warfare effectiveness. Sub-machine guns can fire 5.56 mm rounds at a cyclic rate of 650 rounds per minute.
The U.S. armed forces are actively seeking high-tech guns capable of firing 6.8 mm ammunition. The country has selected Textron Systems, General Dynamics Corporation, and SIG SAUER to manufacture advanced firearms. India, a major spender in its defense sector, has announced plans to substitute its 5.56mm weapons and ammunition with the more potent 7.62mm guns and ammunition. There is substantial demand for small-caliber ammunitions due to these developments.
Demand for Fire Arms from Civilians to Boost Handgun Market Growth
Shotguns and handguns serve multiple commercial purposes, including sports, personal security, and hunting. The market's expansion is driven by an increasing demand for rifles, pistols, and shotguns among civilians. According to a 2017 survey on small arms, there are over 1 billion firearms worldwide, with 85% (USD 857 million) of them used by civilians. The market shows promising growth due to a substantial increase in shooting ranges and growing concerns regarding personal safety. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a steady increase in gun purchases in the U.S. in March 2020 due to unexpected public safety fears. This factor has the potential to further boost the handgun market growth.
Gun Purchase Restricted by Political, Legal, and Economic Factors to Hamper Market Growth
Ammunition, firearms, and various other weapons are subject to diverse rules and regulations across nations due to variations in their political, economic, and legal frameworks. This stands as one of the most critical factors influencing both local and international competitors in the market. Non-compliance with these regulations can adversely impact sales, profit margins, and revenue, potentially leading to administrative and criminal lawsuits. Consequently, companies must adhere to regulations in both their home countries and foreign nations, as these rules significantly affect procurement and contracting operations in numerous countries.
Examples of such regulations include technology transfer, import and export controls, and anti-corruption laws, which can differ significantly from one country to another. Failure to comply with these frameworks can profoundly impact the operations of market participants and diminish their profit margins globally. Variations in laws between countries, influenced by legal, economic, and political factors, could potentially hinder the market's development.
Semi-Automatic Pistols to Witness Increased Demand Due to Their Use in Personal Security, Hunting & Shooting Sports
Based on type, the market is classified into single-shot handguns (Muzzleloaders), revolvers, and semi-automatic pistols.
The semi-automatic pistol segment accounted for the largest share of the global market in 2022 and record the fastest CAGR during 2023-2030. The segment’s growth is attributed to the growing demand for these pistols for personal security, shooting sports, and hunting activities. Moreover, rising security concerns due to cross-border tensions, political turmoil, and other factors might increase the demand for guns during the forecast period.
The revolvers segment is expected to grow at a moderate pace due to the increasing purchase of innovative revolvers by homeland security and the military. For example, SSS Defense, India’s second private sector organization after PLR Systems Ltd. (PLR), a joint venture formed by Israel Weapon Industries and Adani Group, will begin producing and testing weapons for the foreign markets at its newly established factory in Bengaluru.
Automatic Segment's Dominance Propelled by its Continuous Fire Mechanisms
Based on operation, the market is classified into automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. The automatic segment was the dominant one in terms of market share in 2022 and will record the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Automatic weapons fire continuously as long as the trigger is held or ammunition is present in the magazine/chamber. Rising defense spending, especially by developing countries, is a major growth driver for this segment.
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Defense & Homeland Security Dominates due to Modernization of Defense Forces
Based on end-user, the market is classified into defense & homeland security, self-defense, sports, hunting, and law enforcement. The defense & homeland security segment accounted for the largest handgun market share in 2022 and will record the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Due to technological advancements in warfare and increased defense spending across the globe, this segment is expected to maintain its dominance over the forecast period. In addition, due to the modernization plans of end-users in the defense sector and annual increase in defense spending, the segment is growing at a moderate pace. Increased terrorism, cross-border conflicts, and the changing nature of combat have led to the modernization of defense forces across the world by acquiring new weapons.
Due to the growing sense of fear globally, the self-defense segment has grown tremendously, especially amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The hunting segment is predicted to experience average growth due to increasing personal safety concerns and demand for hunting. Moreover, due to the modernization of police agencies and their usefulness in fighting modern urban terrorism, the police segment is growing at a strong rate worldwide.
In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
North America Handgun Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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North America dominated the market share in the base year 2022 and is expected to maintain its dominance in the forecast period. A high defense budget, an increasing number of firing ranges in the U.S. and Canada, and the acquisition of new weapons for combat operations are facilitating the region’s market growth.
Asia Pacific is expected to expand significantly during the forecast period. Cross-border conflicts and terrorist activities in Asia are driving market growth. The market is developing due to increasing defense spending and military modernization plans in South Korea, Australia, China, and India.
Europe captured the second-largest market share in the base year. The market is continuing to grow due to the increasing need for retail theft prevention solutions. Additionally, companies such as Glock GmbH, Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A., Heckler & Koch GmbH, FN HERSTAL, Thales Group, and others are innovating new technologically advanced guns, which is expected to drive the market growth in Europe.
The rest of the world, which covers Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. Development in the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America is moderate due to increased military investment and innovative civilian products. As a result of increased political disagreements and defense spending, the rest of the world is growing fast.
Development of Advance Guns by the Key Market Players Such as Glock GmbH and SIG SAUER to Propel Market Growth
The market share is characterized by several players, including Glock GmbH, SIG SAUER, Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc., FN HERSTAL, and others. The major players in the market focus on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), emerging in new markets, technological innovation, and product development to expand their market share. However, the lack of stringent entry barriers suggests an anticipated increase in the number of domestic players in the global market for handguns.
An Infographic Representation of Handgun Market
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The handgun market research report provides an in-depth analysis of the market, including the leading companies, small arms manufacturers, types, and leading applications. The report also provides insights into the market trends and key industry developments. The report also includes factors that have helped the market grow in recent years.
CAGR of 6.6% from 2023-2030
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the market value stood at USD 3.12 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 5.35 billion by 2030.
Growing at a CAGR of 6.6%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2023-2030).
The automatic segment is estimated to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Glock GmbH, SIG SAUER, Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc., and FN HERSTAL are some of the leading OEMs in the market.
North America is projected to be the largest shareholder in this market.
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