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Small Guns & Ammunition Market in the U.S.

SBI forecasts after an estimated 10% growth in 2007, growth will soften substantially in 2008 due a softer U.S. economy, which will lower demand from civilian and commercial customers. Slightly better stability in Iraq and Afghanistan should also lower demand from the various military customers.

However, other factors can keep the market firing. Higher uncertainty about personal safety and security can entice new owners and drive current owners to add to their existing gun collections. Product innovation geared at developing new customer bases can also add incremental ownership. SBI estimates that by 2012 the U.S. market for small arms and ammunition manufacturing will reach $6.5 billion.

This all new comprehensive report covers two main product categories: small firearms (typically less than .50 caliber) and small firearms ammunition (and the following segments: handguns, long guns, shotguns and muzzle-loading firearms), including shipments, units, imports and exports. It identifies the key trends and dynamics of the market, such as current economic conditions; distribution; and profiles key market players, outlining their strategies to maximize growth and profitability.

The U.S. market supply has been calculated from data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s the Annual Survey of Manufacturers (ASM) and the Economic Census report on Small Arms Ammunition Manufacturing: 2002. Import and export data is sourced from the Commerce Department’s USA Trade Online website. Revenues for manufacturers are determined from company reports and SEC filings. Data sources providing additional perspective on unit manufacturing and consumer trends include the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB); the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation and the Simmons Market Research Bureau (New York, NY) spring 2007 consumer survey


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope
      • Small Arms and Ammunition Defined
      • Product Categories and Segments
    • Methodology
    • Market Size and Growth
      • Firearms & Ammunition Reach $4.9 Billion
        • Table U.S. Small Firearms & Ammunition Market and Year-over-Year Growth, 1998-2007 (in billion $)
      • Civilian/Commercial Market Reaches $2.8 billion
    • Shipment Growth Slows, While Trade Activity Accelerates
      • Table U.S. Small Firearm & Ammunition Shipments, Imports and Exports, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
    • Imports by Product Type
    • Exports by Product Type
    • Unit Growth at 15% to Top 7 Million
      • Table U.S. Small Firearm Units Manufactured, Imported and Exported, 1998-2007 (in millions of units)
    • Handguns Surge, Long Guns Drop
    • Market Forecast
      • U.S. Market for Small Arms & Ammunition to Reach $6.5 Billion by 2012
    • Market Trends
      • GDP Forecasted Growth: Modest 1.3% in 2008
    • Commodity Price Increases
      • Producer Price Increases for Arms and Ammunition
    • Not All Gun Markets Are Equal
    • Production Moving Overseas
    • FBI Crime Statistics
    • ATF Gets Tough on Gun Store Owners
    • Urbanization and Gun Violence
    • Ammo Shortage Pinches Homeland Security
      • Ammunition Prices Going Up
      • Possible Drop in Ammo Demand
    • Flawed by Politics and Flamed by Emotions
      • Waiting Periods, Background Checks and Assault Weapons Bans
      • Politicians and Lobbyists Draw Lines in the Sand
      • Taxes on Guns for Non-Related Services
    • The Hunt Is On
      • Table Number of Participants Engaged in Hunting by Prey, 1991-2006 (in thousands)
    • Spurring New Ownership Through Innovation
    • Corporate Landscape
      • Seeped in American History, But Hip to the 21st Century
    • Competition
      • Competitive Landscape for Firearms
      • Competitive Landscape for Ammunition
      • Selected Manufacturers
        • Table Selected Manufacturers of Small Firearms and Ammunition
    • Distribution and Retail
      • Overview
    • Disjointed Regulatory Landscape
    • Retailers and Dealers in Decline
    • Survey Highlights Retail Best Practices
    • Long Hunting Season Boon for Retailers and Distributors
      • Attracting Customers
    • The Consumer
      • U.S. Gun Ownership Strong, But Dropping
      • Top States for Small Arms & Ammunition Ownership
    • How Gun Violence Affects Individuals' Perceptions
      • Individuals Generally Support Regulation
    • Sporting Arms & Ammo Consumer Penetration
      • Table Consumer Penetration Rates for Sporting Arms & Ammunition, 2004-2006 (%)
    • Demographic Characteristics
    • Party Affiliation No Surprise
  • The Market
    • Scope
      • Small Arms and Ammunition Defined
      • Product Categories and Segments
    • Methodology
    • Market Size and Growth
      • Firearms and Ammunition Reach $4.9 Billion
        • Table U.S. Small Firearms & Ammunition Market and Year-over-Year Growth, 1998-2007 (in billion $)
    • Civilian/Commercial Market Reaches $2.8 billion
      • Table Estimated U.S. Civilian/Commercial Small Firearms & Ammunition Market and Yearover- Year Growth, 1998-2007 (in billion $)
      • Excise Taxes Approach $300 Million in 2007
    • Value of Shipments, Imports and Exports
      • Shipment Growth Slows, While Trade Activity Accelerates
        • Table U.S. Small Firearm & Ammunition Shipments, Imports and Exports, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
      • Ammunition Leads Shipments in 2007
      • Imports Increasingly Important
      • U.S. Manufacturers Export 14% of Shipments in 2007
    • Imports by Product Type
      • Firearms
        • Table U.S. Imports of Small Firearms, Parts & Accessories by Product Type,1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
      • Ammunition
        • Table U.S. Imports of Small Firearm Ammunition & Parts by Product Type, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
    • Exports by Product Type
      • Firearms
        • Table U.S. Small Firearms, Parts & Accessories Exports by Product Type, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
      • Ammunition
        • Table U.S. Exports of Small Ammunition & Parts by Product Type, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
    • Imports by Country of Origin
      • Firearms
        • Table U.S. Small Firearms, Parts & Accessories Imports by Country of Origin, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
      • Ammunition
        • Table U.S. Small Firearm Ammunition & Parts Imports by Country of Origin, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
    • Exports by Country of Destination
      • Firearms
        • Table U.S. Small Firearms, Parts & Accessories Exports by Country of Destination, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
      • Ammunition
        • Table U.S. Small Firearm Ammunition & Parts Exports by Country of Destination, 1998 and 2003-2007 (in million $)
    • Small Firearm Unit Size and Growth
      • Unit Growth at 15% to Top 7 Million
        • Table U.S. Small Firearm Units Manufactured, Imported and Exported, 1998-2007 (in millions of units)
      • Exports as a Share of Domestic Production
      • Imports as a Share of U.S. Market Supply
    • U.S. Unit Manufacturing by Type and Caliber
      • Handguns Surge
        • Table U.S. Handgun Unit Manufacturing by Type and Caliber, 1998-2005 (in thousands of units)
      • Long Guns Decline in Share
    • Market Forecast
      • U.S. Market for Small Arms & Ammunition to Reach $6.5 Billion by 2012
  • Market Trends
    • Overview
    • Economic Factors
      • GDP Forecasted Growth: Modest 2.2% in 2007, 1.3% in 2008
        • Table U.S. Current-Dollar GDP vs. Real GDP,\ 2002-2008 (in trillion $)
      • Economic Impact on Firearm Industry
    • Rising Manufacturing Costs
      • Commodity Price Increases
      • Producer Price Increases for Arms and Ammunition
    • Not All Gun Markets Are Equal
      • Condensed Seasonality
    • Production Moving Overseas
    • Security Factors
      • FBI Crime Statistics
        • Table Safer Now Than Before 9/11?, 2004, 2006, 2007
      • Property Crime Continues to Decline
      • Violent Crime Ticks Upward
    • ATF Gets Tough on Gun Store Owners
    • Urbanization and Gun Violence
      • Segregation Fuels Violence
      • Exurbia: Blending the Line Between Urban and Suburban
        • Table Leading Homicide Rates in Small, Medium and Large U.S. Cities
    • Ammo Shortage Pinches Homeland Security
      • Ammunition Prices Going Up
      • Possible Drop in Ammo Demand
    • Regulatory Factors
      • Flawed by Politics and Flamed by Emotions
      • Waiting Periods, Background Checks and Assault Weapons Bans
      • Politicians and Lobbyists Draw Lines in the Sand
      • An Alternative to NRA?
    • Tiahrt Amendment
    • Taxes on Guns for Non-Related Services
    • Supreme Court May Take Up Second Amendment Case
    • Hunting Trends
      • The Hunt Is On
    • Hunting Falling Out of Favor
      • Table Number of Participants Engaged in Hunting by Prey, 1991-2006 (in thousands)
      • Table Hunting Expenditures by Type of Expenditure, 1991-2006 (in million $)
    • The New Frontier
      • Spurring New Ownership Through Innovation
        • Table Selected Small Firearms and Ammunition Product Introductions, 2006-2007
  • Corporate Profiles
    • Seeped in American History, But Hip to the 21st Century
      • Competition
      • Competitive Landscape for Firearms
      • Competitive Landscape for Ammunition
      • Selected Manufacturers
        • Table Selected Manufacturers of Small Firearms and Ammunition
    • Smith & Wesson Holding Corp.
      • Table Smith & Wesson Holding Corp.
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Firearm Sales
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Smith & Wesson Firearm Product Portfolio, 2007
      • Significant Events
    • Herstal Group
      • Table Herstal Group
      • Overview
    • FN Herstal
      • Overview
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table FN Herstal Firearm Product Portfolio, 2007
    • Browning/U.S. Repeating Arms Co.
      • Overview
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Browning Firearm Product Portfolio, 2007
        • Table Winchester Brand Portfolio, 2007
    • GLOCK G.m.b.H.
      • Table GLOCK G.m.b.H.
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Glock Firearm Product Portfolio, 2007
    • Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
      • Table Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Sturm, Ruger & Co. Firearm Product Portfolio, 2007
    • O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.
      • Table O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.
      • Overview
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table O.F. Mossberg & Sons Firearm Product Portfolio, 2007
      • Significant Events
    • Remington Arms Co., Inc.
      • Table Remington Arms Co., Inc.
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Firearms
      • Ammunition
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Remington Arms Product Portfolio, 2006
    • Alliant Techsystems, Inc.
      • Table Alliant Techsystems, Inc.
      • Overview
    • ATK's Ammunition Systems Group
      • Table ATK's Ammunition Systems Group
      • Overview
      • Performance
      • Ammunition
      • Small-Caliber Ammunition
      • Product Portfolio
      • Significant Events
    • Olin Corp.
      • Table Olin Corp.
      • Overview
      • Performance
    • Winchester Ammunition
      • Table Winchester Ammunition
      • Performance
      • Product Portfolio
        • Table Winchester Ammunition Product Portfolio, 2006
  • Distribution and Retail
    • Overview
      • Selected Firearm Distributors
    • Disjointed Regulatory Landscape
      • Loopholes: Gun Shows and the Mentally Ill
        • Table Selected Legislation Highlights in States with High Gun Ownership, 2007
    • Retailers and Dealers in Decline
      • Table Number and % Decrease of Type 1 Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) by State, 1994 to 2007
      • Table Number of Gun Dealerships vs. Gas Stations, by State, 2005
    • Survey Highlights Retail Best Practices
      • Know the Laws
      • Ensuring Insurance
      • Protecting Against Theft
      • Educate, Educate, Educate
      • Carry a Wide Selection … and Don't Forget the Accessories!
    • Long Hunting Season Boon for Retailers and Distributors
      • Inventory Management Imperative
      • Attracting Customers
    • Retailer Profile: Cabela's
      • Direct Business via Catalog and Internet Platforms
      • Retail Business Surpasses 20 Stores Nationwide
      • Revenue Neared $2 Billion in 2006
      • Selected Firearm Retailers
  • The Consumer
    • U.S. Gun Ownership Strong, But Dropping
      • High Per Capita Ownership
      • Gun Ownership Plunges
      • Top States for Small Arms & Ammunition Ownership
        • Table Percentage of Adults Reporting Household Firearm Ownership by State, 2002 (%)
    • How Gun Violence Affects Individuals' Perceptions
      • Table Broader Problems Reflected by Incidents Such as Virginia Tech Shooting?, 2007 (%)
      • Table How Views on Gun Control Have Changed, 2000-2007 (%)
      • Individuals Generally Support Regulation
        • Table U.S. Public Support for Measures to Regulate Firearms, 2006 (%)
    • A Look at Sporting Arms & Ammo Owners
      • The Simmons Survey System
    • Consumer Penetration
      • Table Consumer Penetration Rates for Sporting Arms & Ammunition, 2004-2006 (%)
    • Demographic Characteristics
      • Table Sporting Arms & Ammunition Ownership by Demographic Characteristic, 2007 (index)
    • Participation in Hunting
      • Consumers Participation
        • Table Hunting Participation Rates, 2004-2006 (%)
    • Demographic Characteristics
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Hunting Participation, 2007 (index)
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Hunting "Every Chance I Get," 2007 (index)
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Hunting Occasionally, 2007 (index)
      • Table Demographic Indicators for Hunting Seldom, 2007 (index)
    • The Politics of Gun Ownership
      • Party Affiliation No Surprise
        • Table Sporting Arms & Ammunition Ownership by Voter Registration Status and Political Party Affiliation, 2007 (index)
      • Beyond Red vs. Blue
        • Table Gun Ownership by Political Affiliation, 2005 (%)
        • Table Views of the National Rifle Association by Political Affiliation, 2005 (%)

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