Summary of our market study

The French shotgun market is estimated at over 550 million euros.

The number of licensed hunters is around 1 million.

Despite the decline in the number of hunters, the increase in average expenditure per hunter and the reduction in the national tax on hunting licenses have sustained the market.

Public opinion on hunting is mixed, with 83% of French people expressing safety concerns and 82% advocating making Sunday a non-hunting day to ensure safer access to rural areas.

trends in the French hunting firearms market

The practice of hunting, mainly rooted in rural France, faces the challenge of declining participation rates among younger generations. This decline is somewhat offset by the increase in spending per hunter, which sustains the market's financial momentum.

The acquisition of a shotgun requires an official license, and there are around 1 million licensed hunters. A predominant proportion of hunters opt for the more expensive non-national departmental license

The halving of the price of the national hunting license, from 150 to 250 euros, has led to an increase in the number of applications for the examination and given the sector a new boost.

Sales of shotguns have risen by around 40% in recent years. Hunters, who spend an average of €2,500 to €2,900 a year, devote around 22% of this budget to equipment, and the shotgun market is expected to exceed €550 million by 2022.

Hunters are predominantly male (over 95%) and older (over 55%), with a wide range of socio-professional backgrounds, with notable representation from the managerial and blue-collar categories.

Rifle and shotgun shooting account for over 95% of all hunting activities. The average number of hunting outings per year is 44.

France is a major importer, with Italy, the United States and Spain the main suppliers. Imports far exceed exports.

Players in the French hunting firearms market

  • Chapuis, a name synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship

  • Verney Carron is another symbol of quality in the French hunting arms market.

  • Italian imports play an important role in the French market
    • Renato Baldi, renowned for its pump-action shotguns,
    • Baikal, has a significant presence on the French market

  • Winchester and Mossberg, American manufacturers

  • L'Armurerie française and Chassepechepassion, specialized distributors
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Market overview and definition

Hunting is essentially a rural activity in France, practiced by people over 40 on average. The practice is not easily passed on to younger people, as it is legally necessary to obtain an official license to buy a shotgun and hunt in France.

The shotgun is a long-barreled, smooth-bore firearm with a shoulder stock, used almost exclusively for hunting small and large game. To a lesser extent, these guns are also used for sporting purposes, notably ball-trap. Different types of shotgun can be distinguished on the market, depending on the type of barrel bore (smoothbore or rifled) and their mechanism.

The smoothbore barrel is the historic shotgun barrel, used to fire shotgun pellets (multiple projectiles placed in the same ammunition), while the rifled barrel is less frequently used for shotguns.the rifled barrel, on the other hand, is less frequently considered a hunting rifle, as it fires single-shot ammunition offering greater accuracy and longer range. The rifled bore is popular in areas where the use of hunting rifles is prohibited (e.g. sports where shotguns are used).

This study looks at these weapons, their use in hunting, the main players and distributors in this market in France, and the trends that may influence it.

The market for hunting rifles and shotguns is mainly an import market in France, despite a few flagship express rifle manufacturers such as Vernon Carrey and Chapuis.

In France, the number of hunters is declining over time, but this trend is offset by a growing average purchase basket per hunter, which helps to reduce the market's decline. In addition, the reduction in the price of the national hunting license in 2018, from 400 to 200 euros, should give new impetus to the weapons market, and examination application rates have risen sharply since this measure.

The regulations governing this market are very strict (a hunting license is required for the purchase of a rifle, and sales are controlled).however, the rise of informal shotgun sales and the fact that only a minority of hunters in France have a hunting license undermines the professionalization of this market. This study will deal only with official data on the acquisition and possession of hunting firearms.

1.2 A global market largely dominated by America

The global market for civilian-held weapons is largely dominated by North and South America, for cultural reasons and thanks to very permissive legislation on civilian possession.

Number of civilian weapons per *** people World, ****, in % Source: ****

In fact, the USA is the country with the highest number of firearms per capita. On ...

1.3 The French market

The shotgun market is a segment of the arms and ammunition manufacturing industry, registered under NAF code **.**Z. Thanks to the sales index between **** and **** and the latest available sales figures (***), it is possible to give the evolution of the size of this market, in order to have an indicator of ...

1.4 Foreign trade in shotguns

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, or Harmonized System (***), is an international nomenclature developed by the world's customs organization to classify products traded internationally. Three different codes cover the shotgun sector:

******** - Shotguns and rifles for hunting or sporting purposes, smooth-bore (***) ******** - Shotguns and rifles for hunting or sporting ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Hunter profile

Gender Hunters by gender France, **** and ****, in Source: ****

The overwhelming majority of hunters are male, with women representing just *.*% of licensees in ****. However, this figure has been rising sharply over the past decade. In ****, women accounted for *.*% of licensees.


Distribution of hunters by age France, ****, in Source: ****

**% of hunters ...

2.2 Hunter preferences

Budget breakdown

Average hunter expenditure by item France, ****, in Source: ****

The majority of expenses are devoted tothe purchase of a hunting vehicle, which accounts for **% of totaltotal expenditure. Equipment is the second biggest expense item at **%, followed by hunting access fees and territory maintenance at **%. Expenditure on transport, accommodation and catering ...

2.3 Reticent public opinion about hunting

A large proportion of French people consider this activity to be problematic, particularly for safety reasons:

"Would you say that hunting can pose safety problems for walkers?" France, ****, in % Source: ****

One of the reasons why the French are not in favor of hunting is the sense of insecurity they feel ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Structure of the hunting firearms market

3.2 Leading shotgun manufacturers

Since the closure of Manufrance in Saint-Etienne, the French shotgun market has been dominated by foreign groups.

Among the sector's heavyweights are mainly brands :

Beretta (***) Browning and Winchester

Some brands have expertise in a particular type of shotgun, such as German bolt-action rifles, followed by Finnish and Austrian brands:

Sauer (***) Blazer Mauzer Merkel Mannlicher ...

3.3 Number of establishments and employees in the sector

In this section, we look at the changing market structure in terms of the number of establishments and employees in the sector encompassing shotgun manufacture, i.e. the manufacture of arms and ammunition, NAF code ****Z.

Growth in the number of establishments manufacturing weapons and ammunition France, **** - ****, in units Source: ...

3.4 Shotgun distribution is dominated by specialist stores

Since ****, French regulations have prohibited the sale of firearms unofficially or between private individuals without the presence of a gunsmith, which is why the role of gunsmiths is so important. They are responsible for declaring the sale of the weapon and registering it legally. Gunsmithing is also designed to reduce the ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Shotguns by type and use

Hunting guns can be divided into two categories:

Rifles for shooting small game (***), mainly for stalking and stalking in front of the hunter. Rifles for big game (***), for stalking, battue or stalking.

In addition, there are different types of hunting rifles and shotguns, depending on price and the hunter's objective: some ...

4.2 The price of shotguns and ammunition in France

Rifle prices vary widely, depending on the type of gun chosen, its quality, options and brand. What's more, as Yves Golléty explains in an article in Le Figaro, it's not uncommon for a hunter to buy an accessory for use with his rifle, which can cost even more than the ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Strict regulations governing the sale of shotguns to the general public and between private individuals

Regulations are very strict in France, in fact France is one of the strictest countries in Europe in terms of weapons regulations.

Hunting weapons are regulated by Decree no. ****-*** of July **, **** implementing Law no. ****-*** of March *, **** on the establishment of modern, simplified and preventive arms control . They belong to ...

5.2 Hunting license regulations

Obtaining a hunting license is a two-part process:

First, you must pass the Examen National du Permis de Chasser Then apply for your hunting license, valid from the age of **.

On January *ᵉʳ, management of the hunting license allocation has been entrusted to the Office Français de la Biodiversité (***), to work ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Chapuis Armes
  • Kalashnikov Concern (Baïkal)
  • Benelli Armi
  • Beretta
  • Winchester
  • Verney Carron (Cybergun groupe)
  • Armurerie du Moulin
  • Armurerie Auxerre
  • Chasseur Français
  • Le-Chasseur
  • Armurerie Loisir (SD Equipements)
  • Rivolier
  • Cybergun

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Number of civilian weapons per 100 people
  • Changes in the size of the arms and ammunition manufacturing market
  • Balance of trade in hunting rifles and shotguns
  • Shotgun imports
  • Shotgun exports
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Latest news

Verney-Carron rifles to equip Ukrainian army - 21/11/2023
  • 10.000 assault rifles, 2,000 sniper rifles and 400 grenade launchers to be delivered to Ukraine
  • The contract for this order is valued at 36 million euros
  • The Verney-Carron arms factory employs around 120 people
  • Sales at the Verney-Carron factory total 5.3 million euros
  • Production capacity increased to 30,000 assault rifles per year
  • The Cybergun Group, which owns Verney-Carron, has sales of 43 million euros
  • The Cybergun Group employs a total of 350 people at six manufacturing sites in France.
Rivolier strengthens its position in pet accessories - 04/09/2023
  • Groupe Rivolier entered the dog and cat accessories market in 2016 with the acquisition of Brandy.
  • It recently acquired Compagnie des Pet Food, a 40-employee SME generating 10 million euros in sales.
  • Compagnie des Pet Foods products are available in 2,500 points of sale in France and Europe.
  • Sales of pet accessories now account for 25 million euros of the 125 million euros in sales that the 270-employee group aims to achieve this year.
  • The group has enriched its offering through acquisitions, including Saint-Etienne-based Januel and Stagunt in 2019, and a stake in cartridge manufacturer Jocker two years later.
  • 60% of Rivolier's sales come from its nature division.
  • The security and defense market accounts for 40% of the Group's sales.
Rules for engaging hunting pens - 23/04/2023
  • Law no. 2023-54 of February 2, 2023 on limiting the enclosure of natural areas.
  • Maximum fence height limited to 1.20 m.
  • Fences must be installed 30 cm above ground level.
  • Existing fences must be brought into compliance by January 1, 2027.
  • Penalty for infringement: 3 years' imprisonment and a maximum fine of €150,000.
Registration of 40,000 icaunais on the new SIARM - 05/02/2022
  • Approximately 40,000 gun owners in the Yonne département and 176,000 in the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region.
  • Approximately 81,000 weapons held in the Yonne and 458,000 in the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region.
  • A quarter of gun owners in Yonne are hunters.
  • The new "Weapons Information System" (SIA) will replace the old Agrippa application, created in 2007.
  • The deadline for creating a personal holder account in the SIA is June 30, 2023.
  • The AIS will ensure real-time traceability of category A, B and C firearms.
  • Category D weapons are not covered by the AIS.
  • The AIS will automatically generate the European firearms registration card, saving time for prefectures, which used to issue an average of 25,000 cards a year.
  • The players concerned by the AIS in France include: a. Five million user-holders of firearms b. 2,500 professionals (manufacturers, importers, gunsmiths) c. 400 prefecture officials d. Four federations (hunting, shooting, ball-trap, ski-biathlon) e. Police and gendarmerie services
  • there are 18 gunsmiths in the Yonne département.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Chapuis Armes
Kalashnikov Concern (Baïkal)
Benelli Armi
Verney Carron (Cybergun groupe)
Armurerie du Moulin
Armurerie Auxerre
Chasseur Français
Armurerie Loisir (SD Equipements)

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