SALW Guide

The Interactive Guide on Small Arms and Light Weapons is an internet-based information service on small arms and light weapons (SALW). It intends to enhance SALW control by providing on-time assistance in SALW identification. The online SALW Guide is developed and implemented by the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) in close cooperation with the Bundeswehr Verification Center (ZVBw) and financially supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany.

The information about military weapons provided by this application is based on the printed SALW Guide (2014 edition) by the Bundeswehr Verification Center (ZVBw) and the Multinational Small Arms and Ammunition Group (MSAG).

The online Guide is also a contribution to the UN Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.


Small arms and light weapons can be assigned to various SALW categories.

Detailed information about the most important small arms and light weapons is provided through photos, highlighting special characteristics and markings of single weapons, distribution maps, and short descriptions.

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The distribution of various types of small arms and light weapons is quite diverse across the globe.

The Guide provides an overview of the occurrence of different types of small arms and light weapons in one or several specific countries of interest.

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Unique marking of small arms and light weapons is essential for the correct identification of a weapon and one of two prerequisites for tracing such a weapon effectively.

A selection of various important manufacturer and country markings is provided by the Guide.

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Ammunition examples for the weapons listed in the SALW Guide are provided in this section.

Main characteristics and photos of firearms and ordnance ammunition are shown to support correct identification.

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