Further information

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Ammunition Proofing

The NATO military alliance uses a NATO specific recognized class of procedures to control the safety and quality of firearms ammunition called NATO EPVAT testing. The civilian organizations C.I.P. (Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives) and SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute) use less comprehensive test procedures than NATO, but NATO test centers have the advantage that only a few NATO chambering are in military use. The C.I.P. and SAAMI proof houses must be capable of testing hundreds of different chambering requiring lots of different test barrels, etcetera. For all other small arms ammunition for use in "non-NATO Chamber" weapons, NATO has chosen to conform to the procedures as defined by the current C.I.P. legislation.

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Artisanal or Crafted Weapons

Artisanal weapons are homemade crafted weapons, usually produced by local blacksmiths or small enterprises. In the field of small arms and light weapons (SALW), crafting is not limited to firearms, also mortars, single launched rockets and other light weapons are locally produced.

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Other Databases

In the world of small arms research, monitoring and control several institutions have developed useful (online) tools complementing one another’s range of knowledge and facilitating transparency and global access to the issue of SALW. The following, inclusive but not exhaustive, list informs about the different tools and their unique approaches and contributions in the field of SALW control or related areas.

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Armed Conflict Database

Armed Conflict Database

International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

The Armed Conflict Database is an online tool monitoring and collecting data about conflicts worldwide - therefore it does not focus on SALW, but is still related to the issue. The database provides conflict maps and figures about fatalities, active conflicts, refugees and more. Additionally, the website provides background information about the conflict and a timeline of events and trends. In order to access the database, the user has to create an account.

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Arms Embargoes Database

Arms Embargoes Database

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

The SIPRI Arms Embargoes Database aggregates data about all multilateral arms embargoes that have been adopted by an international organisation (EU, UN), or a group of nations. It shows the embargoed target, the entry into force, the expiration date (if applicable) and the establishing document. Further information and the development of arms embargoes since 2002 are also provided.

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Arms Transfers Database

Arms Transfers Database

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database traces suppliers and recipients of arms. It enables individual comparisons between countries with their option to select the range of years to cover and the weapon systems to include. It contains information on all transfers of major conventional weapons from 1950 to today, thus making arms flows around the globe transparent and explorable for everyone. For all deals information are provided about the number of arms ordered, the weapon designation, type of weapon, year of order/licence, year(s) of deliveries, the number of delivered/produced items and additional information (if available). Nevertheless, the database does not include SALW. In order to generate information, the supplier and recipient countries(s) need to be selected, then the range of years to cover and the weapons systems to include. Then, the information can be downloaded in English as a rtf-file.

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Ammunition Tracing Kit

Ammunition Tracing Kit

Small Arms Survey (SAS)

The Ammunition Tracing Kit, which can be downloaded as pdf, provides a guide about the identification of different types of ammunition in the field. It contains information about how to measure cartridges, photographing the ammunition, safety issues and guidelines and instructions about Ammunitions Reporting Forms and how to submit them to the SAS. The Ammunition Tracing Kit book is available in English and French.

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Arms Trade Mapper

Arms Trade Mapper

Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT), Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

The NISAT Arms Trade Mapper displays the top ranked (10, 20, 30 or 50) small arms importers and exporters, plus exports and imports by country. Additionally, users can select to view a country's exports to destinations involved in war, human rights abuses, high levels of homicide and low GDP per capita. The data is based on the United Nations Comtrade from 1992 to 2011. By clicking on the map, the user can also view country profiles.

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ATT-Assistance Activity Database

ATT-Assistance Activity Database

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Even before the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) entered into force in 2014, numerous arms related activities were carried out in the field of arms transfer and SALW control. SIPRI’s activity database collects information about ATT-focused and ATT-relevant activities from 2012 onwards in order to provide an overview of the projects undertaken and the actors involved. The activities can be filtered by year, focus of activity (e.g. human right, weapons tracing, etc.), type of activity, partners, implementers, donors, region and sub-region of implementation. The information is available in English and Spanish.

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ATT-Assistance Document Database

ATT-Assistance Document Database

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

SIPRI’s document database collects documents related to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), its imple-mentation, relevant guidelines, and activity or project related writings. The document database is thus closely connected to SIPRI’s activity database (see entry). The documents can be filtered by year, publisher, focus of document (e.g. armed violence, weapons tracing, etc.), and type of document (e.g. activity reports, guidelines, etc.). Most of the documents are written in English; a few in other languages (e.g. Spanish). The documents can be displayed and downloaded according to its file format (mostly as pdf).

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Civilian Arms Registration and Marking Handbook

Civilian Arms Registration and Marking Handbook

Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC)

In collaboration with Sudan's National Focal Point on Small Arms Control, BICC has published the Civilian Arms Registration and Marking Handbook, available in both English and Arabic as pdf. This Handbook is a guide on arms registration and marking (ARM) for practitioners, government officials, and project managers working on the control of small arms and light weapons in conflict-affected areas. Drawing on experiences from Darfur, it provides a practical overview of how to design and implement an ARM project, focusing in particular on arms owned by civilians.

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Collaborative ORDnance data repository (CORD)

Collaborative ORDnance data repository (CORD)

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CSIR)

The Collaborative ORDnance data repository (CORD) is an online tool enabling web-based search of landmine and other unexploded ordnance data. This project assists humanitarian demining and ordnance disposal operations. The user can select information by ordnance type, geographical reference (country of origin or use), physical properties, explosive content, ordnance shape or simply the ordnance's name.

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Firearms Reference Table (FRT) Web

Firearms Reference Table (FRT) Web

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

The Firearms Reference Table is an online database that provides up-to-date and comprehensive firearm descriptions and images for law enforcement officers to use to fulfill their duties for domestic and international policing, weapons tracing and counter-terrorism initiatives. The FRT is closed to the public -- the use of the online tool is only available to individuals who have been authorized by the RCMP.

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Gunpolicy.org

Gunpolicy.org

University of Sydney, United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR)

The free accessible website Gunpolicy.org, provided by the University of Sydney, aggregates data collected by other research organizations which can be easily retrieved and ordered by country or region including the data sources for further information. They collect a broad range of data such as arms trade by country, armed violence, gun laws, weapons industry, international treaties and give references about the sources used.

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INTERPOL Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS)

INTERPOL Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS)

INTERPOL

iARMS is a tool that facilities the exchange of information and investigative cooperation between law enforcement agencies with regard to the global movement of illicit firearms, as well as licit firearms that have been involved in the commission of a crime. It is only available to users authorized by INTERPOL.

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INTERPOL Firearms Reference Table (IFRT)

INTERPOL Firearms Reference Table (IFRT)

INTERPOL

The IFRT is an interactive online tool that helps to describe, identify, and verify details of a firearm, including the make, model, calibre and serial number of a weapon. It helps international law enforcement agents to properly identify a specific crime-related firearm or to request a firearms trace. The IFRT is closed to the public - the use of the online tool is only available to authorized users via INTERPOL's restricted website.

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International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS)

International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS)

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

In cooperation with partners worldwide, UNIDIR has launched the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) website as part of the United Nations Coordinating Action on Small Arms (UN CASA). ISACS provides guidance to practitioners and policymakers on fundamental aspects of SALW control and is used by more than 20 UN entities. The standards include for example a glossary of terms, definitions and abbreviations, a survey guide, and other practical instructions concerning stockpile management, marking and record keeping, tracing illicit weapons, destructions and border controls. Most of the instructions are available in English and French.

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iTrace

iTrace

Conflict Armament Research (CAR)

The publicly accessible weapons tracking database iTrace, operated by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) is a European Union-funded project which provides information on transfers of diverted conventional weapons and ammunition. In order to access the mapping tool, the user has to create an account.

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Mapping Arms Data (MAD) visualization

Mapping Arms Data (MAD) visualization

The Igarapé Institute, Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT), Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Google

The Mapping Arms Data (MAD) project offers an interactive small arms and ammunition online mapping tool presenting arms flows around the globe. Incorporated is data on the trade in small arms and their ammunition between 1992 and 2012. The animated globe displays arms flows by country. Furthermore, trade figures on imports and exports can be viewed as a graph.

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Military Expenditure Database

Military Expenditure Database

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, which can be downloaded in English as an Excel spreadsheet, contains data about the military spending of 171 countries since 1988, and of NATO member states from 1949 or from their time of accession. The table contains information about military expenditures of the world, regional and subregional units, expenditures by country in current price local currency and in constant price (2014) US$ (millions) as well as other estimates (as a share of GDP, expenditure per capita, expenditure as a percentage of general government expenditure).

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Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) & Mine Action (MA) Information Sharing Platform

Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) & Mine Action (MA) Information Sharing Platform

NATO

The Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) & Mine Action (MA) Information Sharing Platform provides information about SALW and MA related projects carried out by the NATO. The website displays information about the target country, parties involved (by country), status and phase of the project, plus contributing countries and funding details. If available, the project description offers background information including media and available files.

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Small Arms Trade Database

Small Arms Trade Database

Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT); Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

The Small Arms Trade Database contains information about transfers of small arms, lights weapons, and their ammunition, parts and accessories. Incorporated is data about around 250 states and territories between 1962 and (currently) 2011 . Similar to the SIPRI arms trade database, countries, years and weapon type can be selected for analysis. In addition to the units, values and weight of SALW traded, the database displays the data sources and estimates its quality.

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Transparency Barometer

Transparency Barometer

Small Arms Survey (SAS)

The Small Arms Trade Trasparency Barometer was first published in 2003. The reports assess and compares countries' arms export reports taking into account national arms export reports, submissions to the UN Register of Conventional Arms and to the UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Un Comtrade). The Barometer applies seven categories for their assessment: timeliness, access and consistency, clarity, comprehensiveness, deliveries, licences granted, licences refused. All the information can be downloaded in English as pdf.

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Uppsala Conflict Data Program

Uppsala Conflict Data Program

Uppsala University

The Uppsala University runs an online conflict database collecting figures and background infor-mation about past and present violent conflicts since the 1970s. The user can access the data without creating an account. Conflicts can be displayed on an interactive map which provides background information when clicking on a country. The Uppsala conflict database is also available as a mobile application for smartphones and tablets.

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Visual Glossary

Visual Glossary

The Omega Research Foundation

The Omega Research Foundation operates an online visual glossary recording and identifying military, security and police (MSP) equipment used in human rights violations, torture and ill-treatment. The glossary offers information about electric shock equipment, restraints, launchers for chemical irritants, kinetic impact and other munitions, chemical irritants, and kinetic impact weapons (launched & handheld). The glossary is available in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish.

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Weapons Identification Database

Weapons Identification Database

Small Arms Survey (SAS)

The Weapons Identification Database, run by the SAS, includes several small arms and light weapons. The database about these weapons includes information about the producer, type, calibre and photos. The tools further provides information about the geographic distribution, but only by region (not country) and the weapon's characteristics: stock type, grip type, stock material, grip material, fixed accessories, muzzle device, magazine, country of origin. Interesting for the daily handling with weapons may also be the Small Arms ID Cards - playing cards which provide information about a limited number of SALW and their most important features. All the information may be downloaded in English as pdf.

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Personal defense weapons

A personal defense weapon (often abbreviated PDW) is a compact semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearm similar in most respects to a submachine gun, but firing an (often proprietary) armor-piercing round, giving a PDW better range, accuracy and armor-penetrating capability than submachine guns, which fire pistol-caliber cartridges. The class of weapon as it exists today evolved as a hybrid between a submachine gun and a carbine, retaining the compact size and ammunition capacity of the former while adding the ammunition power, accuracy and penetration of the latter. Typical PDWs use small-caliber, high-velocity pistol bullets similar to miniaturized rifle rounds, which are capable of penetrating soft body armor up to Level IIIA. PDWs are otherwise similar to submachine guns in most respects, and are often classified as such. Both types of guns tend to have a very high rate of fire combined with the lower recoil.

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Kalashnikov variants

Comparison of the AKS-47, AKM, and AK-74

Other Variants

Type 56 (China)

SA VZ 58 (Czechoslovakia)

Valmet Rk. / Rk. 62 (Finnland)

Galil AR (ISR)