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The U.S. small caliber ammunition market size valued at USD 2,350 Million in 2018, is projected to reach USD 2,330 Million by 2026, at a CAGR of 0.76% during the forecast period.
Ammunition is the material fired, dropped, or scattered from the weapon, especially from the gun. It consists of gun powder and primers for ignition or explosion. These are the projectiles used with fuses, propelling charges used in firearms, small arms, and artillery. Ammunition is manufactured using a variety of materials such as brass, steel, and others. The small and medium scale ammunition is majorly used in the civil and commercial segments. Thus, the market for U.S. small caliber ammunition covers ammunition sales for civil, and sports shooting applications only, market scope does not cover the military applications of small caliber ammunition. The increasing use of ammunition for commercial use such as sports and hunting activities in North America, especially in the U.S., propels the growth of the U.S. small caliber ammunition market.
Government initiatives to create personal safety awareness programs drive the gun demand in the US, which in turn creates demand for small ammunition across the country. Government chartered programs such as the Civilian Marksmanship Program promotes firearm safety training and rifle practice for citizens with special focus on youth. The availability of a large number of shooting ranges, as well as the provision of guns and ammunition, equipment on rent, and training programs from major companies, are expected to propel the growth of the U.S. civil and commercial small caliber ammunition market.
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According to the survey America’s Complex Relationship with Guns by Pew Research center, In 2017, there were 67% of people use guns for protection and 38% for hunting and 30% for sport shooting. Moreover, 52% were frequent gun users in shooting ranges, and 34% often uses for hunting. There were around 66% of Americans carry more than one gun, out of which 37% carried 2-4 guns while 29% had more than five guns. The presence of such a massive number of guns in the country created demand for small ammunition, which are mostly used in handguns, shotguns, and rifles. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) published 2019 Firearms and ammunition industry economic impact report, the shooting sports industry growth reached USD 52.1 billion in 2018 which was USD 51.4 billion in 2017.
There were continuous, frequent changes in demand for guns in the U.S. over the past few years. The variation in demand affects gun production from OEMs. In the U.S., post-2016 election, there was a continuous reduction in gun sales, which affected the market. Previously, the US government had stringent regulatory norms on the usage of firearms whereas the present government has leveraged the rules and regulations for the usage of weapons. Thus, the sales of ammunition are mostly depended on fluctuating government policies.
Although there was a decrease in gun sales in the US after 2016, the demand for small ammunition never decreased due to the existing firearms in the market. Moreover, due to the higher lifespan of the gun, there was a huge requirement for all types of cartridges for sports shooting and hunting.
In terms of distribution channels, the majority of sales of ammunition are through retail shops. Furthermore, online stores are gaining popularity amongst frequent users due to a variety of brands and availability of all caliber ammunition.
“Increase in the Use of Guns for Personal Safety is Propelling Market Growth”
Americans used most of the small caliber ammunitions for civil and commercial purposes. In the U.S. there are millions of people who carries huge number of firearms with them. Due to this the U.S. is the biggest victim of mass shooting incidences over the years, due to which citizens are more aware of personal safety and security. Growing personal security concerns drive the U.S small caliber ammunition market. Government initiatives for firearm safety training for youth as well as for professionals through government-chartered programs such as the Civilian Marksmanship Program propel the growth of the market.
Handgun and shotgun are mostly used for personal safety; thus, there has been a rise in the demand for the calibers required for pistols and revolvers. An increase in the production of handguns and larger imports from all over the world drive the growth of the U.S. small caliber ammunition market for civil & commercial usage. Furthermore, shooting sports competitions and training courses from shooting ranges generates the demand of small ammunition in the US.
“An Upsurge in the U.S. Government Programs Facilitate the Demand for the Small Ammunition Market”
Government initiatives such as the Civilian Marksmanship Program promotes firearm safety training and rifle practices for the U.S. qualified citizens, especially focus on youths. The program operates through affiliated private organizations, shooting clubs, and state associations. It provides firearm safety training as well as hosts various pistol and rifle competitions to encourage youth.
Additionally, Firearm safety is the law in California. The firearm owner must know about all the operations and responsibilities related to the firearm. National institutions conduct courses such as the National handgun safety course, National Rifle Association of America, and others provide firearm training, recreational shooting, safety, and education. National Shooting Sports Foundation, an association that promotes, protects, and preserves sports shooting and hunting. The promotion from such institutions encourages hunting and sports shooting driving the gun demand, which in turn creates demand for small ammunition in the US that drive the growth of the U.S. small caliber ammunition market.
The changes in export policy from the present government will increase the export overseas. As per the new rule by the US government, there is no need for the manufacturer to get a license from the state government for oversea export. Such favorable rules and regulations help improve the production capacity for manufacturers. The favorable government laws will create demand for firearms, which drives the small caliber ammunition market across the US.
“Guns for Sports and Hunting Activities drive the growth of the Market”
The rise in the number of gun users in the commercial sector for both hunting and sports has continued to drive the demand for small-caliber ammunition. The use of small-caliber guns gaining popularity in shooting sports and hunting. Small calibers are made up of higher-quality components, including the bullets, brass, primers, and powders, and are loaded to strict specifications with tighter quality control. Thus, the ammunition maintains the accuracy and consistency from shot to shot.
With a variety of shooting sports activities such as USA Youth Shooting Programs, National 4-H Shooting Sport, National Shooting Sports Program, and among others witnessing increasing popularity drives the U.S. small caliber ammunition market value. The major ammunition manufacturers are focusing on the production of specialized ammunition for sports. In 2018, Hornady Manufacturing Company launched its new hunter line of ammo, provides high accuracy and operational efficiency, for diverse hunting needs.
“Increasing Demand for Handguns for Commercial Applications is driving the growth of Small Caliber Ammunition Market”
Based on caliber, the U.S. small caliber ammunition market is segmented into 22 LR, 223 Remington, 308 Winchester, 9mm Luger, 357 Magnum, 45 Auto/ACP, 380 ACP, 40 S&W, 38 Special, 30-06 Springfield, 7.62*39, 7.62*54r, 5.45*39, 50 BMG, 6.5 Grendel, 12 Gauge, 44 Magnum, and others. Among these, the 9mm Luger caliber holds the highest market shares in the U.S. small caliber ammunition market. The 9mm Luger is the widely used pistol cartridge in the US. Handguns are commonly used in hunting, sports shooting, and self-defense. The increasing demand for pistols for a variety of applications increases the demand for a 9mm Luger caliber.
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The 9mm Luger is the low cost and standard caliber available in various types such as full metal jackets (FMJ), jacketed hollow point (JHP), open tip match (OTM), and others. The types are used as per the application as the hollow point is preferred for self-defense and the full metal jacket is mostly used in practice.
“Increasing use of Brass Cased Ammunition due to its Strength and Durability drives the Growth of the Market”
Based on the casing type, the market is segmented into brass, steel, and brass-coated steel. The brass-cased cartridges are most popular amongst all material due to its material properties, such as durability and higher durability. Moreover, the favorable metallurgical aspect of the brass-based casing allows it to use it for various applications.
Due to the reusable feature of brass cased ammunition, it is widely used by the target shooters and range owners. Moreover, it is reliable and flexible amongst all the other materials. The reliability enhanced by the softness of the metal itself. Thus, the cased brass cartridge holds a significant share in the casing type segment.
“Growing Demand for Bullets for Hunting and Sports Shooting is supporting the growth of the Market”
Based on bullet type, the market segmented into lead, copper, brass, and others. The lead type bullet segment estimated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to its applications in a variety of purposes such as hunting, self-defense, shoot cans or bottles or shoot target points. The lead is a malleable metal that can be formed into any other shape. Thus, keeping with its weight and properties, it can be easily combined with other metals. Moreover, the major advantage of the lead solid bullet is its versatility and the relative softness of the projectile. Its accuracy made it different from other bullet types. Thus, it holds the major market share in the bullet type segment.
“Increasing Number of Sales through Retail Shops Drives the Growth of the Market”
Based on the distribution channel, the market divided into online stores and retail stores. The retail store's segment is further classified into large outlets, shooting ranges, and local/niche shops. The retail store segment estimated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The presence of a large number of retail outlets and continuous expansion of shooting ranges drives the growth of small-caliber ammunition across the U.S.
Nowadays, online stores are also gaining popularity due to the presence of a large number of brands and a variety of calibers. The real-time inventory system and fast shipping are the major factors for the growth of sales through online channels.
“Market Players such as Denel SOC, Remington Arms Company, LLC., and among others, will Strengthen the Market Position concerning the market”
As per the U.S. small caliber ammunition market forecast, it is dominated by some key companies due to their strong product portfolio, and key strategic decisions. These key companies have a widespread regional presence and are also investing in R&D capability.
Small caliber ammunition OEMs are majorly focusing on business expansion by different contracts for the development of advanced ammunition. Moreover, companies are expanding their business by adopting strategies such as investments in mergers & acquisitions, joint development, design and engineering, long term contract, and agreements.
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An increase in the demand for small-caliber ammunition for personal safety, shooting and sports, and hunting and is driving the U.S. small caliber ammunition market. The United States' small caliber ammunition market is analyzed for the different caliber, casing type, bullet type, and distribution channel segments by the small caliber ammunition OEMs. The market research includes the scope of the U.S., which is generating the demand for the U.S. small caliber ammunition market share.
Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the U.S. market dynamics and competitive landscape for the key manufacturers of small-caliber ammunition.
Value (USD Billion)
By Casing Type
By Bullet Type
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the U.S. small caliber ammunition market was valued at USD 2,350 Million in 2018.
Fortune Business Insights says that the U.S. small caliber ammunition market is projected to reach USD 2,330 Million by 2026.
Growing at a CAGR of 0.76%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2015-2026)
The 9mm Luger caliber segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing demand for handguns for self-defense, shooting sports and hunting to drive the U.S. small caliber ammunition market.
Denel SOC Ltd, Remington Arms Company, LLC., RAUG Group, Olin Corporation, Aguila Ammunition, Sellier & Ballot, PPU USA Ammo, Barnaul Ammunition, MESK, Hornady, and others are some of the leading manufacturing companies in the market.
An increase in the production of firearms and a rise in imports are driving the growth of the U.S. small caliber ammunition market.
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