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Why the Great Ammo Shortage Is A Global Problem Now

Ammo Shortage
The Great Ammo Shortage of 2022 Is Here. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The Great Ammo Shortage Goes Global: It isn’t just American shooters that have faced such shortages of ammunition. While the United States may have more gun owners than many other nations, sports shooters around the world have had to face increased demand and low supplies of ammunition.

According to new data from Emergen Research, the small caliber ammunition market increased to $7.74 billion in 2020 – and is now expected to reach $9.35 billion by 2028 and register a revenue CAGR of 2.3 percent over the forecast period. The “Global Small Caliber Ammunition Market” report cited a number of factors including increased defense spending, growing interest in activities such as hunting and shooting, increasing number of civilian gun owners, rising concerns regarding personal safety, and owing a gun for self-defense and protection driving global small caliber ammunition market revenue growth.

“Target shooting such as skeet shooting, field shooting, and trap shooting are popular in various countries across the globe, and this is supporting steady demand for small caliber ammunition,” the report’s synopsis stated. “In addition, demand for handguns and small caliber ammunition for self-defense is increasing owing to rising incidence of crimes against person and property in various countries.”

Great Ammo Shortage Driven By In Demand Calibers

According to the Emergen report, the 7.52mm segment is now expected to register its largest revenue share during the forecast period due to a high preference for a greater projectile range. In addition, 7.62mm is used in both short and long-range weapons including those used by the military and civilian communities.

It is the 9mm caliber that is expected to significantly register the largest revenue share during the forecast period, especially as military and law enforcement agencies continue to adopt the cartridge due its greater magazine and improved performance.

Impacting the Growth

There will be a number of challenges impacting the global small caliber ammunition market growth over the next decade, including the imposition of government rules and regulations against procurement of arms and ammunition in different countries.

“Import-export laws and anti-corruption laws that differ from country to country also cause hindrance to growth of the small caliber ammunition market. In addition, lack of effective security and management at international borders encourages smuggling of domestically or locally produced weapons and ammunition,” the report added.

Global ammunition supplies have continued to be impacted by supply chain challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused major disruption across industries and manufacturing facilities around the world. Because of the mutations and variants of the novel coronavirus, there have been travel restrictions in place and some countries have been forced to cut defense budgets in order to address the need for more focus on healthcare-related needs.

Production of small-caliber ammunition has also been hampered during the lockdowns, the report stated. This has continued to create a shortage for supply in some countries. While the Omicron variant seems less severe, it likely could disrupt the supplies of ammunition well into 2022 and beyond.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.