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Small Caliber Ammunition Market Size, Share and Industry Analysis, By Caliber (223 Remington, 308 Winchester, 9mm Luger, 45 Auto/ACP, 380 ACP, 357 Magnum, 10 Gauge, 12 Gauge, 40 S&W, 20 Gauge, 22LR, 50 BMG, 6.5 Grendel, 7.62*39/54r, and Others), By Application (Commercial (Shooting Sports & Hunting, and Self-defense), Military & Homeland Security), By Bullet Type (Lead, Copper, Brass, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2019-2026

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102795



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The global small caliber ammunition market size valued at USD 8.00 billion in 2018, is projected to reach USD 8.86 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 1.40% during the forecast period.

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Small caliber ammunition is the combination of cartridges and bullets fired from the gun. These are mainly designed for handguns and shotguns. The small-caliber ammunition has a variety of applications in sports activities and military operations. An increase in the demand for small caliber ammunition by the armed forces, local enforcement agencies, and border security forces due to the rising terrorist activities, territorial conflicts, and geopolitical tensions would drive this market.

The U.S. is the largest market for guns as it constitutes 46% of overall guns in the world. Continuous changes in the government norms regarding gun usage would affect sales, which, in turn, would affect the demand for small ammunition. However, increasing investments in R&D to manufacture advanced ammunition and stockpiling of ammunition will create opportunities during the forecast period.


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Development of Smart Bullet is a Lucrative Opportunity for Manufacturers

In 2016, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) developed technology or a self-steering smart bullet that has the capability to change direction in the midair. Similar to the self-guided missile, the bullets are able to alter their course after being fired to hit the moving targets. The bullets have built-in optical sensors to determine the target position. The bullet then uses the data to deploy small fins that help it guide to its destination. The real-time guidance system will allow the bullet to account for any unexpected factors such as wind or rain. The development of such technologically advanced bullets will strengthen the military forces.

Frangible Ammunition, Tracer Ammunition, and Copper Jacket to Drive Growth

The smokeless powder used in the bullets produces high temperatures and pressures that increase friction. Thus, increasing usage of copper alloys and zinc to cover bullets provides a jacket and improves performance. Frangible ammunition is mostly used for close quarter battle (CQB) training, for close-range steel targets by shooting ranges. Such varmint bullets can easily kill a small target, yet if a shooter misses his target, there's a little danger of harming someone else in the vicinity. Tracer ammunition is also gaining popularity from the military forces. In this, the bullet travels through air, gives off an intense light, trails smoke, and helps the shooter to see the bullet’s path.

COVID-19 Impact:

  • The novel coronavirus has majorly impacted the ammunition market in the U.S. with a high surge in ammunition and gun sales. Due to the growing fear of economic collapse, increase in crimes, violence, and rising concerns over personal safety, American citizens purchased a large number of guns and ammunition.

  • Ammo.com, a retail online ammunition store in the US, has witnessed a 68% increase in sales in 11 days from 23rd February to 4th March after the coronavirus spread in the United States.


Increase in the Demand of Firearms for Personal Safety is Propelling Market Growth

Small caliber ammunition is most commonly used for personal safety. Increasing the incidence of mass shootings, growing terrorist activities, and rising demand from military forces would drive the small caliber ammunition market growth. Handguns are mostly used for personal safety in different countries. There has been a rise in the use of the calibers required for handguns. An increase in the manufacturing of handguns and larger imports/export across the world would drive the growth of the small global caliber ammunition market. Furthermore, shooting sports competitions and training courses in shooting ranges would generate the demand for small ammunition in the world.

Military Modernization Programs in Major Countries Drives the Small Caliber Ammunition Market

Rising incidence of terrorist activities, geopolitical tensions in the Asian countries, and political conflicts across the globe have led to the procurement of advanced ammunition and equipment by different countries to enhance their military strength. An increase in the military modernization and ancillary procurement programs in several countries such as Russia, China, India, South Korea, and among others propels the growth of this market. Due to this, the defense expenditure for R&D activities & ammunition procurements has increased significantly across the globe. Countries have increased their defense expenditure to upgrade and modernize their capabilities and improve their firepower assets that would drive the market.


The difference in Economic, Legal, and Political Regulations to Restrict Growth

The government rules and regulations regarding the use of firearms vary country by country. Thus, the leading commercial ammunition manufacturers operating in the market face many problems related to the stringent laws and lengthy certification process. The international trade for this market is highly restricted by different regulatory authorities. It will affect market growth.             

After the U.S., the 2016 election, gun sales, got affected in the market. Previously, the U.S. government had imposed stringent regulatory norms on the usage of firearms. But the present government has leveraged rules and regulations for the usage of firearms. Thus, the sales of ammunition are largely dependent on fluctuating government policies.


By Caliber Analysis

9mm Luger Caliber Segment to Gain Momentum during the Forecast Period

Based on the caliber, the market is divided into 308 Winchester, 45 autos/ACP, 223 Remington,380 ACP, 9mm Luger, 357 Magnum, 10 Gauge, 12 Gauge, 40 S&W, 20 Gauge, 22LR, 50 BMG, 7.62*39/54r, 6.5 Grendel, and others. The 9mm Luger caliber segment has the largest share in the small global caliber ammunition market. It is a widely used handgun ammunition in the United States. Handguns are widely used in self-defense, sports shooting, and hunting.

The 22LR segment is anticipated to showcase significant growth during the forecast period. The fastest growth is attributed to the increasing use of caliber in a handgun as well as a rifle. The increasing use of handgun and rifles for commercial and military applications would drive the segment growth.

By Application Analysis

Increasing Use of Handgun and Rifles in the Military and Homeland Security drive the Growth of the Market

Based on the application, the market is classified into commercial and military & homeland security. The commercial segment is further grouped into shooting sports & hunting, and self-defense. The military & homeland security segment is predicted to generate the largest market share during the forecast period. This growth is attributing to the increasing demand for ammunition used in military modernization programs and increasing defense expenditure from several countries across the globe.

The commercial segment will show significant growth in this market during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increasing demand for ammunition used in sports and hunting activities from North America, especially in the U.S.

By Bullet Type Analysis

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Increasing Demand for Bullets for Civil & Commercial Applications to Propel Growth

By bullet type segment, the market is classified into brass, lead, copper, and among others. The copper bullet segment would show a remarkable growth owing to the extremely consistent and rapid expansion, and lightweight features. Besides, the copper bullet provides accuracy and deeper penetration.

The lead type bullet segment is estimated to grow with a significant market share during the forecast period. The lead material is considered as the ideal material for bullets as it is cheap, high in mass, and easy to manufacture. These bullets are widely used in military operations, law enforcement, hunting, self-defense, and others.

The brass type bullet shows moderate growth owing to the increasing demand from professional hunters. The brass material is softer than steel, reduces the risk of corroding or rust.


North America Small Caliber Ammunition Market Size, 2018 (USD Billion)

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The Small caliber ammunition market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world. North America is anticipated to be the largest market during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increasing defense expenditure and military modernization programs from the U.S. army. The presence of key players in North America, which includes Olin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and General Dynamics Corporation, is projected to boost the market.

Asia-Pacific will witness significant growth in this market during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the rising number of terrorist activities in the Asian countries, growing political conflicts, and increasing investments from several countries on defense operations across the region. Countries such as India, Australia, and China have increased their defense budgets and are procuring ammunition for their armed forces. This, in turn, would create demand for small caliber ammunition market in the region.

In Europe, the presence of key players such as BAE Systems, Nammo AS, RAUG Group, and Nexter will drive this market across the region. The rest of the world is to register a remarkable growth during the forecast period. This growth is owing to the increasing expenditure on defense and strengthening of military forces by several countries in the region.


Increasing Expenditure on R&D to Develop Advanced Ammunition by Key Market Players Driving the Market Growth

Nowadays, key players are focusing on the development of lightweight ammunition and multipurpose munitions. Besides, the introduction of advanced ammunition technologies such as laser initiated ammunition, caseless ammunition, green ammunition, and precision-guided munitions, are the latest trends in the market. A diversified product portfolio and continuous R&D activities are the factors responsible for the dominance of these key market players.


  • Aguila Ammunition (Mexico)

  • BAE Systems Plc (The UK)

  • Denel SOC Ltd (South Africa)

  • General Dynamics Corporation (The US)

  • Nammo AS (Norway)

  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (The US)

  • Olin Corporation (The US)

  • RAUG Holding Ltd (Switzerland)

  • Remington Arms Company, LLC. (The US)

  • Sellier & Ballot (Czech Republic)

  • Vista Outdoor, Inc. (The US)

  • Others


  • April 2019 - Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation, signed a contract with the U.S. Army of worth USD 194 million for small-caliber ammunition. The contract includes cartridge production of 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and Cal. 50 small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. government.

  • January 2020- Elbit Systems Ltd. signed a five-year contract with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) of worth USD 144 million for the supply of small caliber ammunition to the Israeli Defense Forces.


An Infographic Representation of Small Caliber Ammunition Market

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The small caliber ammunition market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights and the detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market.

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Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption trends of small ammunition by individual segments, recent industry developments such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, Porter’s five forces analysis, business strategies of leading market players, macro and micro-economic indicators, and key industry trends.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)

By Caliber

  • 223 Remington

  • 308 Winchester

  • 9mm Luger

  • 357 Magnum

  • 40 S&W

  • 45 Auto/ACP

  • 380 ACP

  • 10 Gauge

  • 12 Gauge

  • 20 Gauge

  • 22LR

  • 7.62*39/ 54r

  • 50 BMG

  • 6.5 Grendel

  • Others

By Application

  • Commercial

    • Shooting Sports & Hunting

    • Self Defense

  • Military & Homeland Security

By Bullet Type

  • Lead

  • Copper

  • Brass

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (The U.S., and Canada)

  • Europe (The U.K, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, and Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Rest of the World (The Middle East & Africa, and Latin America)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 8.00 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 8.86 billion by 2026.

Growing at a CAGR of 1.40%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2019-2026).

The military segment is estimated to lead this market during the forecast period.

Increasing the use of handgun and rifles in the military and homeland security would drive the growth of the market.

General Dynamics Corporation., Olin Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Corporation are some of the leading manufacturing companies in the market.

North America is projected to be the largest shareholder in the global market.

Rising adoption of smart bullets, tracer ammunition, and frangible ammunition due to their accuracy and improved performance are the latest trends in the market.

Small Caliber Ammunition Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
  • May, 2020
  • 2018
  • 2015-2017
  • 200


  • 4850

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