Canada’s western coast was sparsely populated and the concern was that the Japanese would take advantage of so much untamed wilderness to invade. The citizens of British Columbia and the Yukon territory were convinced that they would be the best defense against the impending invasion due to their familiarity with the land. Hundreds of volunteers, primarily hunters, trappers, and ranchers, from these territories came forward. This group became known as the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers (PCMR) and received official sanction from the Canadian government in 1942.
Though they were operating under government orders, these men were not fully integrated with the military. They were issued simple arm bands and cap badges in lieu of uniforms and used either their own weapons or surplus rifles. However, by mid 1942, the government approved the purchase of rifles and these frontiersmen went with the good old 1894. Somewhere between 2,000-3,000 Winchester 94s in .30 W.C.F (.30-.30) were bought.
These Canadian Winchesters were property marked with a “C” and broad arrow on the left side of the receiver, at the back of the fore stock, and at the base of the butt stock. All known examples are within the 1,300,000 serial range and were manufactured in 1942. They were also outfitted with special sling swivel bands and British web slings.
With the conclusion of WWII the PCMR was disbanded in 1945 and the volunteers were given the option to purchase their rifles from the government for $5. Those not purchased by the men were re-issued to other government departments and used until 1962 when they were destroyed due to high maintenance costs. As a result, there are fewer surviving examples of these Canadian Winchester 94s today.