GVR Report cover Less Lethal Ammunition Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Less Lethal Ammunition Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Application (Paintballs, Rubber Bullets), By Product (Shotguns, Launchers), By End-use (Military, Law Enforcement), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2024 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-766-7
  • Number of Pages: 104
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Less Lethal Ammunition Market Trends

The global less lethal ammunition market size was estimated at USD 1,077.1 million in 2023 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% from 2024 to 2030 on account of the growing defense expenditures of economies around the globe. The U.S. has witnessed a notable rise in defense expenditures in past decade. In addition, new administration is focusing on strengthening the U.S. military, thereby projecting a rise in defense spending in next five years. In addition, a rise in hunting and sporting activities is expected to aid market growth. Dangers of terrorism and political violence are projected to rise as global tensions rise and liberal democratic governance deteriorates. In addition, repercussive effects of chronic conflicts are emerging as one the major factors, intensifying political violence across the globe.

U.S. Less Lethal Ammunition Market size and growth rate, 2023 - 2030

The increasing threats of terrorism and political violence around the world are projected to have an influence on the security and stability of countries around the world. As a result, the majority of countries have begun attempts to strengthen their military capabilities to combat terrorism and safeguard their geographical borders from escalating geopolitical competition. Furthermore, most of the countries are working on improving their law enforcement forces to regulate internal conflicts within their borders. Over the projected period, these trends are expected to increase demand for less lethal ammunition, bolstering market growth.

The primary obstacle to market is the low defense budget in the targeted economies. Some economies, such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka, Chile, Benin, Algeria, and Peru, have minimal defense spending when compared to large economies in their respective regions. Unstable economic conditions, political conflicts, and limited industrial output are factors contributing to these economies' low military budgets.

In recent past, majority of terrorist and political violence activities were encountered in, North Africa, Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.These trends are expected to drive the demand for less lethal ammunition over the forecast period, thereby bolstering overall market growth. The market has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years due to increasing product demand by police to protest as well as weapon upgrades by law enforcement agencies. Increased defense spending and flexible legislation regarding the use of guns are expected to have a positive impact on market growth. Political uncertainties coupled with rising terrorist threats are expected to boost product demand.

Armed conflict between the U.S. and Afghanistan is expected to further drive product demand over the forecast period. Value chain of the global market comprises raw material suppliers, ammunition manufacturers, distributors, and end-users. Companies operating as raw material suppliers are involved in providing various components for less lethal ammunition, such as cartridge casings, propellants, bullet leads, bullet penetrators, primers, and primer mixes, to manufacturers. These companies provide customized solutions based on the specific requirements of manufacturers. Factors influencing value addition in this stage include pricing, availability of raw materials, cost position, quality, delivery timelines, and product innovation.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which started in February 2023, has positively impacted market growth. War made countries realize the importance of spending on ammunition, on account of which Ukraine increased its expenditure on less lethal ammunition. Growing expenditure has surpassed rate of supply, for which other countries have started focusing on expanding their production lines. Shipments of guns and ammunition are diverted in a variety of methods other than collecting them from active battle zones consisting of stolen or abandoned armament. Consequent ease of cross-border transactions and communications as a result of globalization has led to weapon diversion and smuggling, as well as proliferation of black guns and ammunition. Such factors hinder market growh.

Product Insights

The shotgun segment accounted for the largest revenue share of 53.8% in 2023. It has become increasingly popular in less lethal ammunition due to its effectiveness in crowd control and other non-lethal applications. Governments across globe are prompted to invest in research & development of less lethal options. Recent developments in shotgun segment include the introduction of new rounds that utilize non-lethal projectiles, such as rubber balls, bean bags, and foam batons, among others. These rounds have proven to be effective in subduing suspects without causing serious injury or death. Manufacturers have also introduced new shotguns specifically designed for less lethal applications.

The launchers segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGRfrom 2024 to 2030.These products are designed to launch less lethal ammunition at a target from a distance. Launchers come in a variety of sizes and configurations, ranging from handheld devices to larger & more powerful models that can be mounted on vehicles or other platforms. They are designed to fire less-lethal rounds, such as bean bags, rubber pellets, or pepper spray, which can be used to subdue a suspect without causing permanent harm. Grenades and projectiles are another type of weapon that can be used in situations where lethal force may be necessary. However, these weapons are more powerful and destructive than traditional firearms and are considered to be more lethal.

Application Insights

In 2023, the rubber bullets segment accounted for a largest revenue share of 35.9%. Rubber bullets are a type of less lethal ammunition that is commonly used by law enforcement agencies across globe. These bullets are made of rubber or other non-lethal materials and are designed to subdue suspects without causing permanent harm. Rubber bullets are often used in situations where lethal force may not be necessary, such as during riots or other crowd control situations. Bean bag rounds are made of fabric and filled with lead shot or other non-lethal materials. They are designed to be fired from a shotgun and can be used in a variety of situations, including crowd control, riot control, and in situations where suspects need to be subdued without using lethal force. Key advantages of bean bag rounds is that they can be used from a distance, which reduces overall risk of injury to law enforcement officers.

The paintballs segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 4.9% over from 2024 to 2030. These products can be used in a variety of situations, including crowd control, riot control, and situations where suspects need to be subdued without use of lethal force. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. This makes them a cost-effective option for law enforcement agencies that need to equip their officers with less-lethal ammunition. Flash bangs are a type of less-lethal ammunition intended for clearing crowds without inflicting intentional bodily injury. Less-lethal ammunition is intended to temporarily harm, cripple, or stun a person without piercing the body. It is frequently used by law enforcement and military organizations to manage crowds and disturbances.

End-use Insights

Based on end-use, the law enforcement segment accounted for the largest revenue share of 59.5% in 2023. Law enforcement includes the activity of government members responsible for enforcing law by punishing, rehabilitating, and deterring people who violate law. It includes local police and central reserved police forces. Many countries are investing in research & development of ammunition to increase their efficiency in terms of performance and reduce threat of an enemy. Increasing threat of terrorism in most countries across globe has led to an increase in number of civilians owning guns for self-defense and home security.

Global Less Lethal Ammunition Market share and size, 2022

For instance, sales of civilian and shooting guns in the U.S. are expected to rise, which, in turn, is expected to boost overall market growth. Less lethal ammunition designed for military is continuously upgraded. Countries are voluntarily spending on development of ammunition and weaponry for security objectives, fueling market expansion. The other end-use segment includes sporting and hunting activities, which are increasing due to their growing popularity. Growing popularity of safe games for indoor fun and relaxation has fueled the demand for paintball games, contributing to the overall product demand.

Regional Insights

North America was the largest market in 2023 and accounted for a revenue share of 37.8% due to substantial demand in the U.S. Defense budget in North America is rising, which has a significant impact on industry growth. The Department of Defense's long-term competitive strategy for developing technology and new notions of combat is also projected to contribute to product growth. The government of Europe provides instructions for the possession of weapons, supply of firearms in a single market, and procedure against the manufacture and trafficking of firearms. In addition, the European defense system has had difficulties in coping with refugees from the Middle East and Syria. Europe has also experienced a terrorist threat; as a result of these aspects, the market for less deadly ammunition in Europe has grown over the years.

Less Lethal Ammunition Market Trends by Region, 2023 - 2030

Rising geopolitical tensions and growing fear of terrorist attacks are fueling the growth of the region's defense industry. Countries, such as India and China, are investing in upgrading their military forces to combat violence. There is a high product demand in these countries’ military forces and law enforcement organizations to combat growing crime and safeguard citizens. Over the projected period, all of these factors are likely to augment the demand further. The majority of Central & South America's military and civilian guns and ammunition are imported from the United States. The region has recently emerged as a new manufacturer of weaponry and ammunition. The majority of gun-related crimes are recorded in nations, such as Brazil. The fundamental reason for the increase in these gun-related crimes is inadequate law enforcement and other cultural standards. These factors are expected to drive market growth in this region.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Manufacturers aim to strengthen their positions by forward integrating their business operations across value chain. They focus on distribution, new product launches, and research & development to gauge existing as well as future demand patterns from emerging application sectors.For instance, in August 2023, Rheinmetall AG announced the completion of the acquisition of a Spanish defense contractor, Expal Systems. Acquisition of Expal Systems S.A.U. costs around USD 1.32 billion (EUR 1.2 billion). Rheinmetall AG now has immediate access to increased manufacturing capacity, covering whole ammunition production value-added chain, with multiple plants in Spain and a demilitarization and soil remediation company in the U.S.

Key Key Less Lethal Ammunition Companies:

  • Rheinmetall AG
  • Chemring Group Plc
  • Winchester Ammunition, Inc.
  • Federal Ammunition
  • Combined Systems, Inc.
  • Lightfield Ammunition, Corp.
  • NonLethal Technologies, Inc
  • Safariland, LLC
  • AMTEC Less-Lethal Systems Inc.
  • Mace Security International, Inc.
  • SAGE Control Ordnance, Inc.
  • Security Devices International, Inc.
  • Verney-Carron S.A.
  • Brenneke Ammunition GmbH
  • Trust Eibarres SA

Less Lethal Ammunition Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2024

USD 1.11 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 1.49 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 4.9% from 2024 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2018 - 2022

Forecast period

2024 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion, and CAGR from 2024 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; UK; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; China; India; Japan; Australia; Singapore; Brazil; Argentina

Segments covered

Product, application, end-use, region

Key companies profiled

Rheinmetall AG; Chemring Group Plc; Winchester Ammunition, Inc.; Federal Ammunition; Combined Systems, Inc.; Lightfield Ammunition, Corp.; NonLethal Technologies, Inc.; Safariland, LLC; AMTEC Less-Lethal Systems Inc.; Mace Security International, Inc.; SAGE Control Ordnance, Inc.; Security Devices International, Inc.; Verney-Carron S.A.; Brenneke Ammunition GmbH; Trust Eibarres SA

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Global Less Lethal Ammunition Market Report Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global less lethal ammunition market report on the basis of product, application, end-use, and region:

Global Less Lethal Ammunition Markett Report Segmentation

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Shotguns

    • Launchers

    • Other Weapon Types

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Rubber Bullets

    • Bean Bag Rounds

    • Polyethylene/Plastic Bullets

    • OC/CS & Smoke Munitions

    • Flash Bang Rounds

    • Paintballs

    • Other Applications

  • End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Law Enforcement

    • Military

    • Other End-uses

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • UK

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • Australia

      • Singapore

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa

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