We first blogged about Canada replacing the Lee-Enfield rifle, used by the Rangers, a reserve unit that patrols the far north, back in 2011. It seems the Canadian Army is still talking about replacing the aging rifles but not doing a whole lot of actual replacing. Back in 2011 the Army said they would be replaced with a rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO. Now they are talking to Colt Canada, which makes me think they are going to issue them with AR-15 rifles chambered in 5.56mm.
Metro News reports …
“The Rangers were not issued this weapon to fight an enemy, they were given the rifle because they are operating in one of the harshest environments in the world,” says Capt. Mark Rittwage, officer commander of the 3rd Canadian Patrol Group, Northern Ontario.
“And . . . the predators that are there, polar bears, wolves, even bull moose during rutting season, can cause a danger to our Rangers,” Rittwage says.
The Lee-Enfield is still being used by many military and police forces around the globe.
But its Ranger tenure may be coming to an end with National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces having issued a request for proposal to gun maker Colt Canada for a replacement.
Lee-Enfields are issued to Rangers primarily for self-defence, he stresses. The Rangers are trained to kill only if clearly threatened.
Each Ranger is issued with a Lee Enfield No. 4 rifle and has a yearly allowance of 200 .303 rounds of ammunition.
Thanks to Jay for the tip.