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Global Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Market Analysis, Trends, Growth and Forecast by 2020

Small Arms and Light Weapons market, Global Small Arms and Light Weapons market, Small Arms and Light Weapons Industry
Published 12 October 2015

Small Arms and Light Weapons generally called as SALW is used in illegal weapon control protocols. It refers to two different classes of weapons; Small Arms and Light weapons. Small arms are, weapons designed solely for individual use. They are available at lower end caliber spectrums. Small arms include handguns such as revolvers and self-loading pistols; shoulder arms such as carbines, rifles, sub-machine guns, grenade launchers and light machine guns.

Conversely light weapons are arms designed to be used by a crew of two or three persons. Light weapons comprise anti aircraft guns, heavy machine guns, recoil less rifles, mounted grenade launchers, portable anti-tank missile and rocket systems, mortars, portable launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems and portable anti-tank guns. Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) find application in areas such as homeland security, military defense and civil utilities among others.

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The efficiency of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) can be easily increased by attaching suitable accessories to it. Thus the need for flexible types of arms can be effortlessly met with a variety of sophisticated accessories to cater various operational needs. For instance, laser range finder and night vision accessories can be easily fixed to a weapon for enhancing its features. This has transformed the infantry rifles to modular weapons.

The global trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) is vigorous and diverse.. The technique of modern warfare is changing gradually and the army is highly inclined towards the use of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Currently, the market has witnessed increased number of private individuals and recreational hunters buying imported shotguns and rifles along with countless rounds of ammunitions each year. Procurement of numerous foreign-sourced arms is done by the military and law enforcing agencies worldwide.


Changing nature of warfare, militarization of police force, low cost of weapons, lethality and drug trafficking are the major driving forces of the global Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) market. Additionally, the increasing use of small weapons for self-defense tactics will be likely to fuel the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) market in the forecast period.

The rising level of international smuggling of small weapons for illicit reasons is endangering human life; as a result, illegal trading and import export of small arms is a major challenge faced by this market, whereas, the U.S. small arms licensing procedure and the small arms treaty acts as restraints to this market.

The 3D printing guns and corner shot rifles are the emerging trends of the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) market. The 3D printing gun is adopted for the reason that it is untraceable during any security checks. Whereas the corner shot rifles enable a combatant to fire at an angle of 90 degrees or at angles from behind a wall without actually facing the target or terrorist. Corner shot is a highly technological system that can be attached to most of the handguns extensively used by the Special Forces, such as the SIG SAUER, GLOCK, CZ, and BERETTA.


Israel and U.S. are the key players of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) industry. However, Asia-pacific is expected to emerge as a new growth region in near future. The Middle East is also one of the major contributors to the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) market. This is mainly due to the increasing domestic terrorism, political instability, civil unrest and tensions between Iraq and the adjoining Gulf states. Additionally the recent conflict in Syria is also associated with the rising demand for Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Purchasing gun for security against violent civil attacks is driving the market in this region. This has caused prices of these arms to increase significantly.


Some of the key players in the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) market are Nammo AS, Browning Arms Company, Israel Military Industries (IMI), Heckler & Koch GmBH (HK), Smith & Wesson Corp., BAE Systems, Alliant Techsystems Inc., E.R. Shaw Inc., Indian Ordnance Factories, Glock Perfection, Zakady Mechaniczne Tarnów S.A., Sturm Ruger & Co, Colt Manufacturing Company LLC., Arsenal JSCo., FN Herstal, and Taurus International Manufacturing Inc.

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