Canadian military force to cancel planned weapon purchase

In August I blogged that the Canadian military was going up upgrade the WWII-era weapons used by the Canadian Rangers, Canada’s Arctic militia force. These plans have been put on hold because gun companies around the world refused to hand over technical specifications to Colt Canada. The Defense Department selected Colt Canada as the manufacturer for the 10,000 rifles and 10,000 pistols they plan to buy and required any company who submitted a weapon for consideration to hand over all the technical specifications them. The Ottawa Citizen reports

The government then hastily retreated, canceling its request to the companies for information about prices and availability.

In an email the Defence Department confirmed that it asked Public Works to cancel the request “as a result of questions, and requests for clarification, from industry.”

The department is now re-evaluating its procurement strategy.

According to the DND email, its small arms project office is now “focusing efforts on clarifying the procurement strategy with the intent to facilitate future communication with industry.”

Canadian Rangers practicing with their Enfields.

[ Many thanks to Mike for emailing me the link. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Hammy Hamster

    (My comment only applies to the Range Rifle purchase).

    I hate to be hating but as a Canadian I find this sad and pathetic. It’s a bloody bolt action rifle we are talking about here! This isn’t rocket science to create our own design that would fit our needs . Cooey used to make rifles and same goes for the Canadian government back in WW2; hell I bet if we asked Norinco nicely they would even help us out. As a nation, are we that screwed up that we have a hard time competing with the manufacturing capabilities of Khyber’s Pass?

    • Denny

      Very thoughtful contribution; you are spot on. What came first to my mind was why not to issue fighting Inuit with older revision of C7, that would make most sense. Is there stil someone making .303 British ammo by the way?

      • TATim

        The C7 would not fit their needs at all, they didn’t want anything in 5.56 NATO.

      • Volk CNC

        You can’t reliably kill an elk with a .223 rifle.

    • abprosper

      Very true.

    • John Doe

      Semis won’t function reliably in the cold weather the Canuks have their Rangers in. I’ve had many a friend who had their semi-automatic rifle fail in a Michigan winter.

      I say a Lee-Enfield with some kind of composite stock that won’t crack, chambered in .308. A .308 is sufficient to stop most North American game, except a ticked off moose or a polar bear, but a firing squad of 4 can fix that, can’t they?

  • czambo

    Hey, look ! It’s Jim Lahey !

  • milner

    Have the Rangers bring their own hunting rifles to work.

  • Spade

    Solution: Have Colt Canada make new Lee Enfields. They’ve already got the specs for that.

  • Frank

    We should start making our own things just like the American do.

  • Kevin

    Make an Enfield with stainless steel or other corrosion resistant finish, polymer or maybe laminated stock.
    Or Enfields, in useable condition, available for sale in USA for about $200. Also, Vietnam produces Enfields, including sporter and a (I believe) a match version.
    There you go, 3 options. I would like my payment in the form of poutine, BCB and Montrel strippers.

  • Sean

    I don’t really get it. Just issue them AR-10s, or whatever Colt calls their .308’s. Handguns, just buy some Glocks, or XD’s in 45acp. Lots of accessories for both. Easy to maintain. Ammo is plentiful. And you could have them instantly.

  • john

    That’s what we get for selling Diemaco to Colt. Serves us right. It’s a no brainer. Why would any company design rifles for the Canadian government, only to have Colt get the fat check for the production? they are not stupid. Colt Canada doesn’t belong to the Canadian Government. Belongs to Colt. Nobody in his right mind would give their patents to the competition.
    I’m glad nobody bought into this crap. Maybe the Canadian government can get a clue and either allow the company that designed the rifle to build it here under license, or just buy them from outside……since we are so clueless that we are not able to make a bloody bolt action rifle.

  • Lance

    Long live the Lee Enfeild!

  • Matt

    AIA makes a 308 Enfield, so did Ishapore RFI. Either make a large purchase from AIA of their M10 No 4 Mk 4, and 5 extra magazines each or buy up all the Ishapore 2A/2A1s that they can. Very little extra training required.

  • BDFT

    More to the point, you can’t reliably kill a polar bear with a .223. Elk ar the least of their problems in the Arctic.

    • Domestic Squirrel

      If you have a 30-rnd magazine it probably wouldn’t be a problem.

      Just order 10k M4s or 6920, 10k 1911s from Colt Canada and be done with it.

    • John Doe

      Fully automatic laughs at ‘reliably kill a polar bear’.

  • dylan

    the rangers have already tested the aia m10, c7, ar10 varients, fn fals and in limited numbers the parker hale m82/c3 (army leftovers), the remington 700 (rcmp leftovers) and the pgw timberwolfs. the m82’s, 700 and timberwolves are still in use by ranger snipers so there may be a chance that that the rangers will be using 700’s given their price tag and performance. that is of course if our politicians get their heads on straight and if the rangers will shoot something other then a .303

  • Pete Sheppard

    Steve, et al, I’m sorry for posting this, but I couldn’t find a “comment” link about the reply format…The repetition of posts and responses is nothing but confusing and annoying; please reformat to the old system, so we don’t read the same comment repeatedly.

    Again, apologies for the intrusion into the thread.

  • Roger

    The ATF will makessusre you get som M-16. Contact Holder and Obama as they will gladly provide them.

    • Nadnerbus

      Must provide criminal bona fides first. Offer not valid in all areas, see ATF for details.

    • David

      What happened to “firearms, not politics?” If I wanted to read some anti-Obama horseshit I could go to saysuncle or any other gun blog on the planet.

      • Tom

        Relax. If you get that worked up over a single comment on the internet you have problems. But King Obama is a colossal turd.

  • TwoZero

    What’s funny is that colt has made a bolt action rifle or at least has the plans for one…

    The “Colt Light Rifle” was a 700 synthetic stocked clone – they don’t sell it anymore but probably still have the specs for it in a drawer somewhere.

  • ClaytonR

    “Handguns, just buy some Glocks, or XD’s in 45acp. ”

    The RCMP would throw a serious shit-fit.

  • William C.

    What sort of force are these Canadian Rangers? I don’t mean to question their skill but they don’t look very “military.”

    Anyway it shouldn’t be this hard to get them a new bolt-action rifle.

    • mrref

      They’re more like park rangers. ‘Rangers’ in the most traditional sense. That’s why they’re not seeking ‘tactical’ rifles.

  • CDNhunter

    Some things that a lot of people don’t understand are the role of the Rangers and the severity of the environment they operate it.

    They’re not a combat force; more of a recce/coastal observation force. They’re eyes, not fists. Their rifles are primarily intended as defensive weapons and field expedient nutritional logistics (i.e. hunting 🙂 ).

    Secondly, they’re operating in a coastal envirnment in the high arctic. The cold is such that semis won’t function reliably. This is a big part of why they weren’t issued FN-FALs. Lee-Enfields, OTOH, can handle the cold plus levels of abuse and neglect that’d wreck a modern rifle in short order. And Canada has had piles of them left over since WWII and Korea; a great low-cost answer to the Rangers wearing out rifles every few years. But now the supply has run out.

    The AIA improved Enfields were tested and rejected as being not made to milspec levels of quality and having parts sourced from Vietnam.

    Mosin Nagants might be a decent candidate technically, but the optics of that would be poor to say the least.

  • jeff

    i think the age limit for service has been raised to 75.

  • David

    Honestly they should just rebarrel their Lees to .308, same training but would suit their needs better

  • Wedge

    Many great comments, I do find it sad that this is even a issue.This SHOULD be a easy fix.I personally live in Northern Alberta and use the Australian M-10 and I find it to be excellent.There are options available for a 7.62 NATO Enfield Rifle.After all Canada did make many Enfield Rifles.The specs are available somewhere here in Canada, we just need to find them.We as a nation need to bring some pride back and make items needed for our forces here.We have the know how and the skilled labor.The Rangers are our eyes and ears in the north.They ask for only the most basic and practical items.Get it done and give them what they need to do their job !

  • idahoguy101

    The DND should, IMO, evaluate the Ruger Scout Rifle. I bet that a contractl with Ruger would result. The Lee-Enfield rifle is excellent. India used to make them in 7.62 NATO back in the 1960’s. But no one does now. So the Ruger is probably the next best choice.