The global ammunition market size was estimated at USD 19.4 billion in 2018 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.3% from 2019 to 2025. Increasing defense expenditure owing to persistent security threat from terrorist activities and rising geopolitical pressure across the globe is expected to boost the demand for ammunition over the forecast period.
Small caliber ammunition weighs around 2 to 2.5 grams and is used for primarily shooting in rifles and pistols. Medium caliber ammunition includes high-performance cartridges with caliber range of 20mm-40mm for a broad spectrum of applications including land, sea, and air with the capability to penetrate light armor and materials.
The European Union countries are witnessing the transition to non-lead ammunition owing to implementation of regulation restricting the possession and usage of rifle bullets and lead shots. These regulations were enforced to reduce the source of lead contamination in terrestrial as well as aquatic environments.
Key industry participants developed lightweight ammunition casing through advanced materials, to aid significant cut-down transportation costs. This lightweight ammunition is expected allow fuel-efficient transportation and significantly cut down the maintenance cost. In addition, it will allow soldiers to carry more rounds at the same weight.
The bulk of illicit weapons in circulation is expected to fuel conflicts and also drive the civilian casualties. These factors are stimulating the government in various countries to employ stringent regulatory policies pertaining to production, import/export, and use of arms and ammunitions. This, in turn, is expected to restrict the growth of the market over the forecast period.
The market is characterized by acquisitions and collaboration between government and major players to establish long terms agreements. Governments of several countries especially India are employing efforts to develop indigenous ammunition production capacity through technology collaborations with foreign players.
Small caliber segment dominated the ammunition market in 2018, accounting for share of over 53.1% owing to wide range of applications including revolvers, rifles, pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, and assault rifles. In addition, these bullets are low cost and are commonly used as beginning caliber by shooters and for hunting.
Large caliber ammunition include ammunition with 105mm caliber and 120mm caliber which are the projectiles used for medium destruction. These cartridges are designed for long-range tank engagement and are used for anti-armor weapons. Large caliber ammunition can be classified into spin-stabilized, fin-stabilized, and rocket-assisted, which is a combination of spin-stabilized and fin-stabilized.
The rocket and missiles segment is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.3% from 2019 to 2025 as U.S. and Russia, two major defense spenders in the world are moving towards the strategic nuclear renewal. Moreover, U.S. defense industry is employing efforts towards enhancement and modernization of nuclear weapons and has also proposed a novel space force, thereby posing positive growth trends.
Rockets and missiles include a variety of weapons that provide utility in the delivery of explosive warheads with high accuracy and greater speed. Missiles exhibits variations from short-range tactical weapons to large strategic weapons with target hitting range up to several thousand miles. High demand for such products in a bid to fortify defense is expected to drive growth.
Defense sector accounted for 76.7% of the total market consumption in 2018 and is expected to dominate the market over the forecast period, owing to increasing cross-border conflicts. The ammunition designed for military and law enforcement groups is continuously upgraded which results in a heightened demand for ammo, thereby propelling industry growth.
Full metal jacket ammunition are used in military handguns on a large scale, whereas air-force tends to use hollow-point ammunition for greater accuracy. Hollow-point ammo are popular for use among the law enforcement and military personnel due to their excellent stopping power and rapid expansion property.
Civil and commercial segment accounted for 11.4% in 2018 of the global ammunition owing to wide range of applications including shooting sports, hunting and self-defense. Ammo used for hunting is available in a wide variety and the selection depends upon the type of target. The accurate selection of right type of ammo is key to maintain the optimal performance and firearm safety.
The .44 caliber lead round nose bullets find applications in shooting sports including trapshooting and skeet shooting owing to their high velocity and penetration power. Growth in the use of semi wadcutter bullets for self-defense on account of superior design, velocity, and effectiveness is expected to drive growth over the next seven years.
Rimfire ammunition is expected to register a CAGR of 4.1% over the forecast period as it is highly preferred by beginners as they offer limited recoil when being used. Moreover, they are cheaper as their thin casting with a flattened primer is easy to manufacture. The rimfire design necessitates low pressure, thereby resulting in lightweight and inexpensive firearms for such products.
Commonly used rimfire ammunition includes .17 Winchester Super Magnum, .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire, .22 Long, and 22 Long Rifle. Rimfire is used for range plinking and varmint hunting, however, it is not preferred for personal defense. Although rim ammunition is a comparatively cheaper alternative, it is limited to small calibers.
Centerfire ammunition accounted for a high proportion of the global market as this product type is widely used for rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Moreover, centerfire ammunition is employed as a universal standard in military, police, and security forces owing to its potential to allow high pressure and ability to reuse the casings.
These cartridges are preferred for military operations due to their thicker metal casing, which can withstand rough handling without much damage. In addition, they are comparatively safer to handle. A centrefire cartridge is able to withstand high pressure owing to its strong base, which, in turn, provides a greater velocity and energy to the ammunition.
North America ammo market was valued at USD 6.3 billion in 2018 and is expected to witness notable growth owing to steadily rising defense expenditure in the U.S. Long term competitive strategy of the U.S. Department of Defense for development of technologies and new concepts of warfare is expected to aid the market growth. The U.S. market has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, driven by increasing product demand from hunters and gun enthusiasts coupled with weapon upgrades by law enforcement agencies. Increased defense spending and flexible legislations regarding the use of guns are expected to have a positive impact on the market growth.
Asia Pacific is also projected to register high growth over the forecast period owing to rise in spending on modernization of defense sector in countries like China and India forces to handle rising cross border conflicts. Small caliber ammo is the largest procured product segment in terms of revenue in Asia-Pacific as compared to the other ammo products. China is expected to exhibit notable progress in the field of advanced weapon system development on account of intensifying geopolitical competition. In addition, rising competition with the U.S. in terms of technology acquisition and development is expected to drive the development of weapon system in the country.
Key companies, such as General Dynamic Corporation, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems, generate majority of their revenues through sales in military and government channels. Their primary consumers include the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and Intelligence Community(IC). Moreover, they also deliver products to the U.S. government customers including the Department of Homeland Security.
These players are also involved in teaming and sub-contracting relationships with their competitors. Competition for major defense programs often requires teams to collaborate their broad capabilities to cater to customer requirements. Opportunities associated with these programs include roles as the provider of sub-system or component and programs integrator.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, South & Central America
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Turkey, Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, UAE
Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global ammunition market report on the basis of caliber, product, application, and region:
Caliber Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
7.62 x 39 mm
7.62 x 51 mm
9 x 19 mm
9 x 18 mm
Rockets, Missiles, and Other
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Civil & Commercial
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
United Arab Emirates
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