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Small Arms Market Size, Share, and COVID-19 Impact Analysis By Type (Handgun, Rifles, Shotgun), By Application (Defense and Homeland Security, Self-Defense, Sports, Hunting, Law Enforcement), and Regional Forecast, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103173



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The global small arms market size was valued at USD 8.53 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 8.75 billion in 2022 to USD 11.16 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.53% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with small arms experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global small arms market exhibited a decline of 1.01% in 2020 as compared to 2019.


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Since the end of the Cold War, the small arms market has gotten a lot of interest from defense, homeland security, and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Little arms have, as of late, been viewed as the capital of psychological oppressor and non-state entertainer gatherings, no matter the arms exchange. Individuals utilize small weapons for military, paramilitary, hunting, and sports activities. Steel is used to make firearms, with Bakelite and wood used for some parts. Metal is being phased out in favor of polymers, which can remove weapon marks quickly.

According to market research, key manufacturers have used new technologies such as modular designs and microstamping processes. It is now possible to install weapon accessories due to the emergence of modular weapon design. During the projected period, increased terrorist activities, armed conflicts, and cross-border conflicts are expected to fuel market expansion. A growing number of shooting ranges and hunting activities will also help the industry grow.

Arms manufacturers are continuing to modernize their weapons. There is an increase in innovation in the weaponry industry. Small arms are made from lighter materials and are more resilient and harder to damage. 3D printing has brought an alarming prospect of printing a gun without using metal. Ammunition is being developed to pierce body armor and cause maximum damage to victims. Weapons manufacturers seemed determined to create more precise weapons, which is driving the market growth.


Rising Security Concern During COVID-19 Pandemic Propelled the Growth of the Market Worldwide

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted various defense industries, but the market has showcased significant growth in 2020 and is projected to grow during the forecast period.

  • Due to the COVID-19 impact, the U.S. has witnessed a spike in gun sales due to personal safety concerns. In March 2020, the U.S. conducted 3.7 million background checks, which were record-high. According to Small Arms Analytics data & Forecasting firm in the U.S., there were 2.5 million gun sales in March 2020.

  • The impact of the Japan Olympics 2020 has been witnessed in the market owing to increased demand for small weapons worldwide for shooting sports activities.

  • Despite the continued pandemic and economic expansion, there have been increased armed conflicts, border tension, terrorist activities, and demand for small arms military modernization programs by countries such as the U.S., India, China, France, and others.

On the other hand, demand for small guns for civil and commercial purposes has impacted some countries. This factor is primarily due to precautionary steps implemented by various countries to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as the closure of public/private venues such as hunting grounds and sporting & shooting areas, which ensued in the decrease in demand for small guns. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, there was a greater demand for small guns for self-defense applications, particularly in the U.S. in 2020.


The conflict between Russia and Ukraine prompted increased armored vehicle use across Europe, particularly among NATO members. The armed defense forces deployed with various small weapons for war action and border defense.

As the globe recovers from the devastating COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which saw all economies plummet, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has handed a lifeline to the U.S., European, and other weapons makers worldwide.

As the globe reverts to a 21st-century Cold War with considerably more modern nuclear armament, the U.S. and NATO states have been rebuilding their military for deployment along Russia's borders and strengthening their operational capabilities. In a historic first, the European Union (EU) has also agreed to buy weapons and transfer them to Ukraine, significantly boosting the global small arms market growth.


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Introduction of 3D Printing Technology to Boost Market Growth

The recent tendency is to increase the usage of 3D printing technology in weapon manufacture. Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) offer several advantages for small weapons development. It saves materials in the development of weaponry, allows for faster prototyping and design, increased efficiency, and high levels of customization. The relative cost-effectiveness of 3D-printed weapons is one of its primary advantages and market trends.

Increasing Demand for Smart Guns and Growing Use of Polymers to Propel Market Growth

Several companies are developing intelligent weapons to improve operational accuracy, efficiency, and dependability. Smart firearms are equipped with fingerprint readers, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips, biometric sensors, and other modern technologies to prevent unauthorized users. As authorized users only use smart firearms, they help prevent criminal activity and violence. Biometric sensors activate the pistol after detecting a fingerprint, grip, or palm print. In the projected future, the market is expected to be driven by an increase in demand for smart firearms due to enhanced features such as quick access, fingerprint authentication, long battery life, and others.


Rising Modernized Weapon Innovations to Propel Market Progress

The nature of warfare has changed from traditional to modern combat. Further, the size of armies in different locations has evolved, alongside weapons. The demand for more efficient technologies such as weaponized robots, weaponized vehicles, light weapons, and unmanned ground vehicles with increased warfare effectiveness is driving the market’s progress. Machine guns capable of firing 5.56mm rounds at a cyclic rate of 750 rounds per minute are used. It is also equipped with M240 guns, which have a 1,000 rounds per minute cyclic fire rate. For instance, True Velocity, a renowned arms and ammunition producer in the U.S., is developing 6.8mm ammunition to replace the 5.56mm NATO rounds in some special operations forces. The new caliber is supposed to be slightly heavier and faster than NATO 5.56mm rounds, allowing troops to fire from a longer range and with more precision.

The U.S. military is also hunting for a high-tech weapon that can shoot 6.8mm ammo. The U.S. has chosen General Dynamics Corporation, Textron Systems, and SIG SAUER for advanced firearm manufacture, but FN-America and PCP Tactical have been denied. India, a significant defense spender, is replacing 5.56mm weaponry and ammo with more lethal 7.62mm weapons and ammunition. Small-caliber ammunition is in high demand due to these causes.

Increasing Demand for Small Weapons from Civilians to Aid Growth

Handguns and shotguns are mostly utilized for commercial objectives, including personal safety, sports, and hunting. The market's enlargement will be assisted by rising civilian demand for handguns, rifles, and shotguns, thus driving the market’s growth. According to the 2017 small arms survey, with over one billion weapons globally, there are 85% (857 million) weapons in civilian hands. The industry is growing due to increased shooting ranges and personal security concerns. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gun purchases in the U.S. spiked in March 2020, owing to an unforeseen fear of safety and security among citizens. This factor may bolster the global market growth.


Small Arms Purchase is Governed by Various Causes such as Economic, Legal, and Political Rules

Arms, ammunition, and other fighting equipment are regulated differently in different countries due to differences in economic, legal, and political frameworks. This factor is one of the most significant fundamentals influencing domestic and international competitors in the small weapons market. Compliance failures damage sales, revenues, and profit margins and may even bring administrative and criminal action; thus, these players are expected to comply with the rules and principles of their home nations and foreign governments. Several countries' contracting and procurement processes are frequently impacted by regulations.

Import-export controls, technology transfers, and anti-corruption laws are examples of regulations that vary by country. Non-compliance with these standards could significantly impact market participants' activities, lowering market revenue globally. The evolution of the small arms market is hampered by differences in rules between countries, which are influenced by economic, legal, and political considerations.


By Type Analysis

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Handgun Segment Held the Largest Market Share Due to Surge in Demand for Handguns 

The small arms market is divided based on type into handgun, shotgun, and rifles.

Due to increasing demand for pistols and revolvers for personal safety, hunting, shooting sports, and other activities, the handgun segment held the largest global market share in 2021. During the projection period, increased security concerns due to political turmoil, cross-border conflicts, and other factors would surge the demand for handguns.

The rifles segment is anticipated to be the second fastest in the market's growth due to increasing procurement of advanced rifles for military and homeland security personnel. For instance, following PLR Systems Ltd (PLR), a joint venture between Adani Group and Israel Weapon Industries, SSS Defense, the second private sector company in India, will commence manufacturing and testing arms for the domestic foreign markets at its new plant in Bengaluru (IWI).

By Application Analysis

Defense & Homeland Security Segment to Lead the Market with a Significant Share due to Modernization of Defense Forces Across Globe

The market is classified into defense & homeland security, self-defense, sports, hunting, and law enforcement.

Due to technical advancements in combat operations and increased defense expenditure globally, the defense & homeland security segment is anticipated to have the major market share and maintain its dominance during the projection period. In addition, due to military modernization plans and year-on-year increases in defense expenditure, the defense area has had notably moderate market development. Increased terrorism, cross-border conflicts, and the changing character of combat have led to the modernization of defense forces worldwide by acquiring new weapons. For instance, in March 2019, the Indian Defense Ministry approved a request for a contemporary, state-of-the-art Light Machine Gun (LMG) for the armed forces.

Due to an increasing sense of fear worldwide, self-defense has seen tremendous market growth amid the continuing COVID-19 epidemic. In particular, the market for self-defense has seen more than a moderate increase. Due to rising personal security concerns and increased demand for hunting, the hunting segment is expected to have an average gain. Additionally, due to the modernization of law enforcement agencies and their utility in combating modern urban terrorism worldwide, the law enforcement segment is projected to reach a large rate.


North America Small Arms Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)

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The market has been divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.

North America has the largest market share globally during the forecast period. The high defense budget, large number of shooting ranges in the U.S. and Canada, and the procurement of new weaponry for combat operations contribute to the growth. For instance, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded F.N. America a USD 119 million contract to supply more than 167,000 M4 and M4A1 rifles over five years in February 2020. The U.S. Army Contracting Command awarded Hecker & Koch a USD 33 million contract in March 2020 to procure Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems and Squad Designated Marksman Rifles. The Canadian Department of National Defense granted Colt Canada, a subsidiary of Colt's Manufacturing Company LLC, a contract in May 2020 to supply 272 new C20 rifles.

During the projection period, the Asia Pacific market would experience significant expansion. Increasing cross-border conflicts and terrorist activities across Asia are driving the market's growth. The market is developing due to rising defense spending and military modernization plans in South Korea, Australia, China, and India. According to small arms survey data, India and China have 71 million and 49 million civilian weapons, respectively. The Defense Ministry of India's recent acquisition and modernization policies in the market have boosted the Asia Pacific market through contracts and technology transfers.

The European market is expected to increase at a moderate rate. In addition, companies such as Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A., Heckler & Koch GmbH, Thales Group, and others are driving market expansion in Europe.

The rest of the world is anticipated to grow in the forecast period. Due to increased military investment and innovative items for civilian purposes, the Middle East & Africa and Latin America will experience moderate development. Due to increased political disputes and defense spending, the rest of the world is growing rapidly.


The introduction of innovative technologies, such as biometric sensors, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), smart weapons, and others, and the development of small arms using polymer material are some of the market's impending developments. The dominance of key market players such as Kalashnikov Group, Smith & Wesson Brands Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc., and Glock Ges.m.b.H. is attributed to a diverse product portfolio, rising R&D spending, and increased focus on mergers and acquisitions.



  • April 2022 – The U.S. army has selected next-generation squad weapon rifles and machine gun variants; it needs 6.8mm ammunition. The army ultimately plans to buy 107000 M5 rifles and 13000 M250 machine guns from Sig Sauer. The contract was awarded worth USD 4.7 billion to produce weapons and 6.8mm ammunition for the next several years.

  • April 2022 – The Indian Defense Ministry has procurement plan for small arms worth USD 3,595.09 million. In this procurement plan, Adani Defense and Kalyani group are likely to be among the major bidders for carbine.

  • May 2022 – The Spanish Armed Force has been awarded a contract to leading systems supplier Rheinmetall’s Group’s South African subsidiary Rheinmetall Denel Munition to supply 40mm weapon and ammunition systems. The company provides the supply for 40mm X 53 high velocity combat as well as training ammunition. The first ammunition deliveries will start in 2022.

  • November 2021 - India and Russia have agreed to collaborate on producing AK-203 assault weapons in India. The newly founded "Indo-Russia Rifles Private Ltd," a joint venture between OFB- Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov, would produce over 6 lakh AK-203 Assault rifles for 10 years, with knowledge transfer to India, under this contract worth over USD 67.3 million.

  • April 2020 - Èeská zbrojovka a.s. entered into an agreement with the Czech Republic Army for the stock of 39,000 little arms valued at USD 105 million roughly. Under this agreement, the military will get 16,000 BREN 2 attack rifles, north of 21,000 CZ P-10 guns, more than 1,600 CZ 805 G1 underslung explosive launchers, almost 100 CZ SCORPION PDWs, and preparing ammo. This agreement fortified the organization's drawn-out attaches with the Czech Army.

Report Coverage

An Infographic Representation of Small Arms Market

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The research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market, and a complete analysis of market size and growth rate for all segments. The report also includes an in-depth look at market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. The adoption trends by individual segments, recent industry developments, such as partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, Porter's five forces analysis, leading business strategies of market players, and key industry trends are among the key insights offered in the report.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)

By Type

  • Handgun

  • Rifles

  • Shotgun

By Application

  • Defense & Homeland Security

  • Self-Defense

  • Sports

  • Hunting

  • Law Enforcement

By Region

  • North America (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • France (By Type)

    • Russia (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • South Korea (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Rest of the World (By Type, Application, and Sub-Region)

    • Latin America (By Type)

    • Middle East and Africa (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 8.53 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 11.16 billion by 2029.

In 2021, the North American market value stood at USD 3.69 billion.

Registering a CAGR of 3.53%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).

The handgun segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

Proceeds with upgrades into modernized weapons innovation is the key factor driving the market growth.

Heckler & Koch GmbH, American Outdoor Brands Corporation, Glock Ges.m.b.H., Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc, and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. are the major players in the market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.

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