Replacement Selected For Canadian Rangers’ Lee-Enfield Rifles

The search for a new rifle fit for the Canadian Rangers has ended, and the replacement is surprising. Colt Canada was selected in late 2014 to provide rifles to replace the Rangers’ venerable No. 4 Lee-Enfields, which many assumed meant the next rifle would be a .223/5.56mm caliber AR-15 derivative, from the company’s lineup. Not so! While the new rifle will be made by Colt Canada, it has been derived from the Sako T3 CTR, and will be chambered in .308 Winchester:


The New Canadian Ranger Rifle comes equipped with two detachable 10 round magazines, fixed iron sights, and a laminated stock. It is the first time the Rangers have adopted a non-military-surplus standard arm. Image source:

Ottawa Citizen reports on the new rifle:

The Canadian Rangers require a hunting rifle for survival and self defence against large North American carnivores at ranges of 0 metres to 300 metres. Currently, the Rangers use the Lee Enfield No. 4 to meet these requirements but the age and the scarcity of parts for this weapon will soon make it very difficult if not impossible to maintain, according to the Department of National Defence and Colt Canada.

Because of that the New Canadian Ranger Rifle (NCRR) system is being purchased to replace the Lee Enfields.

Here are the details provided in an information sheet supplied to Defence Watch by Colt Canada:

The NCRR will be used by CRs while patrolling some of the most remote regions of coastal, central and northern areas of Canada. The temperatures will reach as high as +39C with moderate to high humidity along coastal and forested regions and as low as -51C in arctic regions. For those CRs located in coastal areas, it is likely that the NCRR will be exposed to long term salt laden air and water. The NCRR will be transported by the CR on foot, wheeled commercial vehicles, skidoos, sleds, small boats and all-terrain vehicles. It must remain operable during and following exposure to these environments.
Program Overview

The Government of Canada and the Department of National Defence with Colt Canada, under the Munitions Supply Program (MSP) will replace the original Lee Enfield rifle fleet with a commercially available hunting rifle. The replacement will be a bolt action, calibre .308 Winchester, magazine fed rifle. Ancillary items, such as a hard transport case, soft transport case, sling, cleaning kit and trigger lock for each rifle will be procured at this time.

Prototype rifles have been delivered to the Rangers and will undergo user trial evaluations from now till the end of 2015. Production of 6500 or more rifles is expected to commence in mid-2016 with a completion mid to end 2018.

Equipment Suppliers

Rifle:   1. The replacement rifle is based on the SAKO T3 CTR (Compact Tactical Rifle).

  1. SAKO Ltd is based in Riihimaki, Finland.
  2. The Canadian supplier is Stoeger Canada from Whitby, Ontario.
  3. The first 125 prototypes have been delivered to Canada and they will undergo User Trials by the Rangers. Feedback from the Rangers will be incorporated into production rifles.
  4. Colt Canada will produce the barrel, bolt and receiver under licence from Sako. Production is scheduled to begin mid to end 2016.
  5. The Ranger Rifle has several Canadian modifications.
  6. a) Larger bolt handle and enlarged trigger guard to accommodate gloved hands.
  7. b) Protected front and rear iron sights.
  8. c) Laminated stock in unique orange or red colour with Ranger Crest.
  9. d) Two stage trigger with three position safety.


1. Pelican hard transport case with Ranger Crest and custom moulded internal foam supplied by Pelican Products ULC, from Edmonton, Alberta.

2. Cleaning kit, sling and soft transport case supplied by Rampart International, from Ottawa, Ontario.

3. Trigger lock supplied by The Old Co-Op, from North Gower, Ontario.

It is crystal clear that the Rangers are taking the acquisition of their new rifles very seriously, and that they seek to replicate the best features of the old Lees while reducing length and weight, and securing a domestic supply of parts and ammunition. This is probably the first time a bolt-action rifle has been put through its paces to become a standard service arm since the 1930s, at the latest. It also marks the well-deserved final retirement of the Lee-Enfield as a standardized service arm, almost 140 years since the action was designed.


Canadian Rangers on the firing line with their No. 4 rifles. The No. 4 is the ultimate incarnation of James Paris Lee’s groundbreaking 1878 magazine-fed design. Lee invented the detachable box magazine in 1875, a system that became the foundation for innumerable modern repeating and automatic weapon designs. Image source:

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Sianmink

    There’s no replacement for that ranger’s magnificent facial hair.

    • MrEllis

      He killed a bear with it once.

      • Georgiaboy61

        Year-round NHL playoff beard….

    • sam

      Looks like an ant, like with mandibles.

    • Fred Johnson

      He ate a squirrel. He’s still chewing.

  • Jeff Smith

    Dear Canada,

    We’ll take all of your old Enfields and the .303 ammo to go along with them.

    Your BFF,


    • HenryV

      I think they will more than likely end up being crushed and melted down. 🙁

      • Vinson Parkhill


      • Wetcoaster

        The Canadian market will be more than able to absorb them, but I think the odds are that they’ll be deactivated for use as ceremonial drill rifles for the cadets. With the cost of hardwood and labour these days, the cost of a DP rifle is surprisingly high.

        • David Sharpe

          Willing to take them? Yes.

          Able to? No, the gov’t will destroy them.

          • Wetcoaster

            Probably deact for drill rifles if anything. A lot of cadet units don’t have drill rifles for their colour guards and buying one costs as much as buying a working No. 4 if not more.

          • Fed24

            The cost of deactivation will cost significantly more than scrapping. I hardly think the Canadian Government is going to stump up money with budgets as they are to provide the Cadets a few drill rifles.

      • SMLE

        I believe you will be proven correct, it is the usual method of disposal.

        • HenryV

          Such a waste in so many ways.

      • Scott Pentheny

        .303’s are still in service in Africa I believe. They are a great gun with a prowd history I’ve taken deer bear and moose with mine (handload 220gr soft tips)

        • AD_Rtr_OS

          More game, world wide, from squirrels to elephants, have been taken with the .303 than probably any other cartridge.

      • desert

        That is pathetic…I guess they chop up their faithful dogs when they get old and eat them too!!

        • HenryV

          My dad knew a guy who did that. When his (working) dog turned 8 or so he would get a puppy to replace him, train the puupy for two years, and then shoot the older dog at 10. There are some very nasty individuals out there. Law and order is a very flimsy cage keeping some real evil in check.

          • Anon. E Maus


            I could see it from an economical standpoint I suppose, but not at all from an emotional standpoint. That’s someone you’ve spent years raising, dogs are a lot like children that way.

            I mean, if I had a kid and he died, I don’t think I’d be that keen on eating his dead body. Same with a dog.

          • HenryV

            I didn’t thank my dad for telling me that. You never know what goes on in somebody’s head. Heck we struggle to know to a certainty what happens in our own!

            Don’t dwell on it will you?

      • Anon. E Maus

        Given that the Enfield rifles are all legal on a standard license and they’re a common staple in Milsurp in those parts, I’m pretty certain they’ll be selling them off to the civilian market to save on costs, that’d be the logical thing to do.

        For all practical terms and purposes, they’re your average hunting rifle in the eyes of the RCMP, the only standout feature is really that they have a 10 round magazine, which the RCMP has explicitly exempted on the SMLE rifles.

        • HenryV

          We shall see. I hope you are right and I am wrong. 🙂

        • screwtape2713

          There’s logical and common sense and then there’s anything to do with the government and firearms… And Canadian government policy is that government firearms can be transferred to museums or they can be destroyed. Period. NO sales to civilians EVER. Period, end f’ing dot.

          We can just consider ourselves lucky that those who know better than us graciously agreed to that museums exception…

    • iksnilol

      I believe the problem is that they are running out of .303 and spare parts are getting scarcer. Most likely the remaining rifles will be converted to parade and drill guns.

  • Don’t Drone Me Bro

    A rifle designed in the land of Simo… seems rather appropriate. Wouldn’t mind seeing more iron-sighted bolt actions like this on the commercial market. Someone has to give the Ruger Scout come competition!

    • Anon. E Maus

      I’m still waiting for Ruger to make a Scout variant of their Ruger American. I just think that rifle is so goddamn neat.
      Would also not mind if they gave the Ruger American treatment to the Mini-14, the stock mainly.

  • MPWS

    Choice which makes sense. The other sensible would be Steyr Scout. It definitely needs bigger caliber than .223.

    • Ripley

      They could’ve picked something from Accuracy International – their rifles are already used in arctic conditions, but they are a bit on the heavy side for lugging around.

      • Tom

        There also a bit on the expensive side.

        Bare in mind these troops need a rifle for hunting game and protection from large animals, they are primarily reconnaissance troops who need a light handy weapons in a calibre suitable for large N. American game not a sniper rifle.

        • Hudson

          I don’t see anything that says what caliber, I hope they get something bigger than .223 for when they have to deal with Bullwinkle.

          • Tom

            Almost certainly in the .30 cal range most likley .308 / 7.62mm Nato as its widely available and sufficient to do the job.

          • .308:

            “The Government of Canada and the Department of National Defence with Colt Canada, under the Munitions Supply Program (MSP) will replace the original Lee Enfield rifle fleet with a commercially available hunting rifle. The replacement will be a bolt action, calibre .308 Winchester, magazine fed rifle.”

        • John

          And when it needs to be used as a sniper rifle in a pinch, may as well be .308.

          • David Sharpe

            It is.

      • Needless weight and accuracy. What the Rangers want is something a lot more like a traditional service bolt action.

        That’s what makes this choice pretty exciting. If they come on the market, I will definitely want to T&E one!

      • iksnilol

        Uh, the Sako is simple, lightweight and relatively inexpensive. The AI is none of those things.

        Sure, AI is nice when high precision at long distance is needed. Though when you shoot at short ranges (0-300 meters as specified) then I wouldn’t really consider the AI.

    • I couldn’t imagine running around the Canadian wilderness with a .223 rifle. I know Alaskan State Police issue AR-15s, but I assume they also have larger caliber guns as backup.

      For what the Rangers do, .308 is the obvious choice.

      • iksnilol

        Well, there’s one way you could have a chance of surviving Canadian wilderness with .223: Something full auto that is easy control. I remember reading about that guy who killed a bear with a 5.45 AK (he was cycling in the forest when the bear attacked him IIRC). He used 13 shots I believe. His was semi auto though.

        • David Sharpe

          The Rangers will never be issued full auto. They are civilians employed by the CF.

          • iksnilol

            That’s why they won’t be issued anything in .223

        • I wouldn’t rely on a full auto .223 to kill some of these animals, either. Penetration of tissue is a major, and with common ammunition .223 is a substandard choice for that.

      • Quite a few Alaskan natives rely on 5.56mm while on bear guard during whaling or sealing hunts. But they have semiauto, and almost *always* use 30 round magazines, whenever I’ve seen a picture – so I suspect they are counting on shot placement and volume to “dissuade” a bear, rather than planning on killing it outright.

        See above for my logistics based answer as to why they often prefer smaller, lighter cartridges. In general, we aren’t talking about people who live off hardball highways, or even areas with eight or nine month road access to a nearby city.

  • Swarf

    Good for you guys. Now send me a few of those Lee-Enfields you no longer need.

  • Iivo

    No such place in Finland as “Riihimaki”.

    • NCRRPM

      Yes there is. That is where Sako has been for over a 100 years. I was there in February 2015.

      • AK

        I think he is just being a smart-ass, the correct spelling is “Riihimäki”. You were missing the umlauts from the a. Town name means “threshing house hill”, located about 50 miles north of Helsinki towards Tampere.

      • Iivo

        Name of the Place is Riihimäki.
        Riihimaki on otherhand refers to the species of lemur that resides in the drying barn.

        • NCRRPM

          Good point. When I typed the press release I didn’t have the special characters available and didn’t realize it until you two pointed it out. Thanks

          • Thanks for commenting! Any other info on this rifle you can share with us? For example, I haven’t been able to find a barrel length figure anywhere.

          • NCRRPM

            20 inch barrel, as there was an overall length requirement.

          • Excellent, thanks!

        • Many English-speakers do not own keyboards with umlaut characters. 🙂

  • MANG

    Thanks for picking this story up, TFB – IMO this is the most interesting military smallarm going right now.

    • I have a very hard time disagreeing. 🙂

      • AK

        In Finland, these rifles are branded Tikka, not Sako. Basically the budget version of Sako, with only one action length available (=long, ie. 30-06), but they limit it with an additional metal tab for these shorter calibers. Instantly recognizable as Tikka over Sako with that closed receiver, and as Beretta manufacture from that cheap-ass plastic bolt end cap that you replace first when buying one of these!
        For me, the trigger and maybe the mag are the only interesting points of this rifle. Sako/Tikka use the same trigger and it is a 2-position either with or without a set mechanism, so this component is likely unique to this rifle. The magazine looks to be a double stack design, but only feeding from the right. Can’t tell for sure from the pic. Likely also unique. Ditto for the sights, but I just can’t get excited about them, and they look ugly to boot.

        • G

          The magazines in the case are ordinary Sako TRG-22 magazines.

  • Wetcoaster

    Given the usage, and procurement numbers of rifles, the decision to go for license production instead of COTS smells of pork.

    Still interesting as probably the first bolt-action procured by a military with iron sights in a long time.

    • Jay

      Absolutely. Some politicians are getting some nice paychecks for this deals. Getting the tax payers to pay for the license , for such a small number of rifles is laughable. They could have bought this guns straight from the Sako at half price.
      Colt Canada have 100% monopoly in Canada. Look at the bulk price the Canadian military is paying Colt Canada for the AR15’s (over $2500)

      This guys are parasites. Unfortunately this kind of business practices are very common in Canada. There’s a single company allowed to sell cigarettes, One government owned company allowed to sell alcohol. Even beer is only sold by two companies in most of the country.

      I want to puke when I see people trying to justify this kind of practices with some nationalistic BS. “Oh is important for our sovereignty”. No it’s not. Six thousand bolt action rifles, in the 21’st century don’t do crap for your sovereignty.

      • Wetcoaster

        I don’t think any politicians are getting paycheques. What they might be getting though is quiet from from industry and labour leaders.

        Stoeger and Colt Canada are both based in riding-rich Ontario where the bulk of Canadian manufacturing happens, and the contract is going to keep a few jobs around for another year (manufacturing hasn’t really recovered from the years of a strong loonie) even as parent company Colt undergoes its Chapter 11.

        Since Ontario in general is going to be a battleground next election, I don’t see any of the other parties raising much stink over this either. The dollar amounts aren’t that high, and it’s only the taxpayers not getting their money’s worth out of this arrangement, so there’s no real gain to be made bringing this up as an issue.

      • NCRRPM

        Jay, you really do not know what you are talking about. Colt Canada exists under the Government of Canada’s mandated MSP to ensure strategic source of supply. GD-OTS is the ammo supplier. There are three more that also exist under the MSP. Also, think about this for a minute. Every country does this in one way or another. What it does is spend Canadian tax payer dollars in Canada and not in another country. The US Marine Corp really wants Colt Canada rifles but can’t have them due to the buy in the US policy that the US Government has. Yes they are expensive, not what you quote, but they are the top standard production rifle in the world. Small specialized shop with low production produce superior products then others who mass produce. The quality control is better.

        • jay

          This is exactly the mentality u was talking about earlier. This ranger rifle has zero strategic value for Canada. Zero. You don’t acieve nothing if you license this bolt action rifle and make it in Canada. If the Russians invade tomorow, having or not having a local production bolt action rifle for the rangers don’t mean crap. It’s criminal to force taxpayers to buy a foreign license for Colt Canada, for such a small order. You, or me as Canadian tax payers have nothing to win from this. All we do is pay lazy companies, who can’t be bothered to design a single firearm on their own. Why spend money on R&D, when you can just overcharge the tax payer as much as you want and pocket all the cash. All they have to do is pay the right politicians and generals once in a while. Colt canada has some has some 70 employees.
          If you think the politicians care about the Canadian jobs, then why did they forced all this free trade agreements with all this poor counteies, where the hour of labour id fifty cents?

          • NCRRPM

            Again Jay you have missed the point. This is not about the Ranger Rifle, it is about all small arms production for the GoC. The Ranger Rifle Program is a 30 year commitment. Even though it is highly unlikely that Sako will go out of business, Canada needs the ability to produce key spare parts for that entire 30 years.
            Your comments concerning R&D and designing rifles in Canada have no basis in fact. Have you ever designed anything from scratch and then produced it ? It is extremely expensive, just look at the SIPES rifle manufactured by Colt Canada in conjunction with DRDC. The payoffs to Canada are huge over the long run for a program like that,, but to only produce a small amount of rifles for the Rangers, it makes perfect business sense to do it under licence from the OEM. And take it from me, Colt Canada is not overcharging for anything, the rates and profit margin are all negotiated with PWGSC each year. The optics make it look like Colt Canada is, but in reality, due to Canada only buying very small quantities of just about everything, the unit cost is higher than buying millions of each item like the Americans do.

          • jay

            I wouldn’t mind if diemaco/colt canada being canadian company owned by canadians, or by the Canadian government, but it’s owned by Colt.
            So a foreign company has full monopoly on all canadian government firearms needs….just like the “Canadian” beer store has a huge monopoly and it’s owned by foreign company and the “Canadian cigarettes” are sold by one single British company and are all made in Mexico with cheap labour.
            Same crap.

          • screwtape2713

            Just out of curiosity, Jay, exactly what is this “Canadian beer store” with a “monopoly on making beer” that you keep sounding off about in these comments? Especially since alcohol isn’t even regulated federally in the first place…

          • NCRRPM

            Diemaco has been owned by a few companies since Magna (the big auto parts company) sold it to Héroux-Devtek decades ago, before it ever bid on and won the contract to do the 3rd and 4th line maintenance to the CAF. CAL closed in the late 60’s and Diemaco got the contract in the early 70’s. A foreign company having a monopoly on Canadian government firearms is so wrong it isn’t even funny. Colt Canada has secure contracts with the Govenment of Canada,, and Colt Hartford cannot and will not interfere. Under proprietary and confidentiality agreements, Colt Canada cannot even discuss the Canadian contracts with Colt Hartford and vice versa. Canada is in the process of manufacturing under licence variants of the C6 machine gun,,, and cannot talk to the Americans about their M240 due to legal requirements in place from FN. So sorry jay, your arguments don’t hold water. Yes it would be nice if it was totally Canadian, but very few companies are, example General Dynamics in London.

    • Patrick M.

      I have heard (not sure how true it is) that Colt Canada has a contract to produce/procure all firearms for the Canadian government. When the CA govenment want guns, no matter who makes them, they go to Colt CA who either produces them under license or imports them.

      • screwtape2713

        Absolutely correct. Any firearm used by the Canadian Forces has to be licensed to Colt Canada who is provided with a tech spec package for any required proprietary manufacturing data. This started when the company was Diemaco and was Canada’s main domestic arms maker… And the government’s go-to source for gun parts.

        The theory is that this gives the CF a domestic source for replacement weapons and parts even if the original foreign manufacturer goes out of business, just stops producing that model, or winds up in future being in an unfriendly country.

        And when the company was Diemaco and sold almost entirely to the CF and wasn’t a potential competitor inother markets, this worked quite well.

        Unfortunately, one of the main arms it was licensed to make was the excellent Canadian version of the Colt military AR — so Colt bought out the company. But it is still the CF’s “Centre of excellence for smallarms”… Only now the manufacturers are forced to hand over their tech specs to an actual competitor — in exchange for getting military contracts that amount to peanuts in the scheme of things.

        Which is working out about as well as you would expect. The first choice selected for Ranger rifle was a variant of the Ruger Scout, but Ruger declined to give Colt its tech specs. Apparently Sako feels Colt is unlikely enough to be able to sell bolt actions in competition to it even with Sako’s proprietary manufacturing info that Sako is actually willing to sign the contract.

        BTW, this little issue not only is the reason it has taken over a decade to get the Rangers a replacement rifle, it’s why the Canadian Forces in general served through the entire war in Afghanistan still carrying WW2-vintage Inglis Browning HiPower pistols instead of the replacement Glocks they wanted…

        • NCRRPM

          Actually screwtape2713, you are correct on a few points and incorrect on a few as well. The Ruger Scout was never the first choice, Ruger marketed it that way. The NCRR was an open competitive bid process and there were several bidders. The Sako rifle was compliant technically and financially, thus it won.

          DLR and the SAM program did mess up the original RFP years ago as the MSP was not explained properly. It actually is a win/win for everyone. The OEM company gets paid to do nothing and their product gets made by Colt under licence. The whole issue of Diemaco being owned by Colt is a non-issue. The licence is with the Government of Canada, not Colt. Colt Canada is bound by confidentiality agreements with all OEM’s and the Government of Canada, therefore no TDP knowledge is ever passed to others not involved with the program.

          The SAM Program has set the priority of program flow from GoC and DND priorities and budget constraints. The pistol replacement program has been pushed back till after the C6 program. Then a new battle rifle will be considered.

          • screwtape2713

            Thanks for the corrections. I posted based on my memory of news stories I had read over the last 10 to 15 years… With about the degree of accuracy one might expect from that approach.

        • DaveB

          There’s nothing wrong with the Inglis Browning! I carried one for years and never had any trouble with it whatsoever. Turned in some pretty damn good scores at pistol competitions with it too. Just because a design is old, doesn’t mean it isn’t still perfectly serviceable. When I left the CF they still had hundreds of unissued Inglis Brownings in storage at 1 CFSD. Why the heck would you throw those away?

          • screwtape2713

            I like Browning HiPower, and the Inglis variant in particular. I’ve owned a few over the years. (my current one is a Belgian with adjustable sights.).

            The problem, as I understand it was that when the troops went to Afghanistan, nobody knew there were still hundreds of “new in the grease paper” Inglises still available in stores — because the logistics types kept them safely squirrelled away in stores “against future needs” while what went into combat with the troops were pistols that had been beat on for decades as range training guns.

            Even worse, the pistols came with matching mags — “JI” stamped WW2 vets that had years of range use under their belst

      • Yup.

    • Pork is always involved, but there are other more legitimate considerations. Having a secure supply of spare parts, and also Colt Canada being a specialized contractor who already knows what is expected of a contract with the Canadian government.

      • Wetcoaster

        Both really point towards bureaucracy. As full-time arctic dwellers, the Rangers themselves would be more than able to pick a different COTS hunting rifle at a later time, which for their purposes (hunting and defence from large predators) are all exactly what they would use their non-work guns for.

        Of course the military bureaucracy are going to want a ‘secure supply of spare parts’ like they do for traditional weapons, which goes hand-in-hand with finding a contractor well versed in navigating federal paperwork.

        They are also needless additional expenses when dealing with the Rangers. If Sako is unavailable, they could just as easily look to Ruger, Savage, or any number of makers of rifles that have been successfully used in the environs

        Incidentally, I’m a little surprised they didn’t go with .30-06 like the Ruger survival rifles used by the SAR guys. (Folding stock M77 in .30-06 with a 14.5″ barrel)

        • UnrepentantLib

          Good point. If they’re concerned about large carnivores I would think they might want to go even larger, maybe a .338. A .308 against a polar bear might be cutting it close.

          • A properly loaded .308 would be sufficient, I’d expect, and it’s a lot more shootable and versatile, for both cost and recoil reasons. I suspect given the people using these rifles, there was no other obvious choice.

          • Dan

            Barret .50cal. Nothing says get out! Like a bunch of bush people slinging 750gr Amax at you.

          • Keep in mind that American Inuits frequently use AR15s or Mini14s in 5.56 for bear watch. They rely in careful shot placement.

            When your ammo comes in via air or trucks driving up frozen rivers, and your ammo competes with cargo capability for things like food, medicine, fuel, clothes, building supplies, etc., space and weight of the shipment become major drivers.

          • All the Raindrops

            These dudes know what they’re doing.

        • iksnilol

          30-06 and such a short barrel seems like a bad idea to me.

          Besides, why would they go with 30-06? They already have ample supplies of .308. No reason to add more strain on logistics than needed.

          • Wetcoaster

            I’d be surprised and worried if they were using military issue 7.62 FMJ for polar bear protection, honestly

          • iksnilol

            Probably soft points (out of own pocket) for serious stuff while the FMJ is for practice/small game.

          • David Sharpe

            It wouldn’t be out of pocket. The govt supplies each Ranger with 200 rounds a year.

          • iksnilol

            I thought they would be issued FMJ ammo or something? But soft points? And 200 of them a year? Sounds nice.

          • Wetcoaster

            .30-06 is technically in the system already for the SAR guys. As for why the 14.5″ barrel? Search me. That’s a lot of muzzle flash/blast for the round. I imagine that some rigid max length requirement was in the specifications.

        • Fed24

          The requirement stated that the rifle should be able to chamber standard issue 7.62×51 NATO rounds, that makes the only choice .308

          • EdC

            The comments on these threads (not just this one) amazed me that so few realize this spec. It’s a paramilitary unit, logistics compatability with the Canadian/NATO military is pretty basic.

    • MartinWoodhead

      Think the rangers get to keep their rifles after a few years one of the perks.
      Think the Indians still have the lee Enfield in service

  • Cameron Bissell

    Very neat glad they found something after all this time.

    • Jay

      They could have bought those off the shelf and be done with it, but the right people got to milk every little government contract.

      • AK

        Reminds me of the AI contract a few years ago with the UK govt. They sold a 3k rifle for 12k each. Nice margin.

        • The Forty ‘Twa

          That was more to do with people looking at the cost of the contract, dividing it by the number of rifles and assuming that was the total cost for each rifle. In reality, it included all sorts of extras like spares, training for armourers, scopes and so on.

          • AK

            Actually, that contract did not include the scopes. And if it costs you 4x the market value of a rifle, why not just do the “Russian style” spare parts thing and buy an extra rifle or two?
            And seriously, if you have a qualified armorer, how much additional training does he need to service a bolt action, especially one built to be extremely modular and simple to service?
            I’m sorry, you just can’t hide the bacon on this one.

          • AI

            The contract for the L115A3 definitely included scopes (and suppressors plus a few other things). The MOD put the cost for that part of the SSIP at £3.7m (makes it about £6k per rifle if you want to look at it that way) with the SSIP as a whole coming in at £11m. I’m not sure where you are getting £12k from.

          • AK is probably converting to $USD.

          • The Forty ‘Twa

            That wouldn’t make sense though, AI rifles in .338 for $3k USD are a bit of a pipe dream!

          • Like buying Porches for mail carriers. 🙂

  • Bix Nood

    who wants a mustache ride!!!!

  • Grindstone50k

    What caliber? I’m guessing .308? When the news first broke about them looking for a replacement, I heard they really wanted to the Ruger GSR, but Ruger wouldn’t license to Colt Canada.
    Rangers sound like the last true frontier law enforcement organization. Pretty cool stuff.

  • Scorpy

    Meanwhile, the Tarkkuuskivääri 85 (7.62 TKIV 85) soldiers on in Finnish service as the standard sharpshooting rifle. Based on a Mosin-Nagant action…

    Anyways, nice to see the Canadians making a Nordic choice. Would there have been better options? Maybe. Time will tell.

    • Dan

      Maybe if there was a gun maker in Antarctica?

    • AK

      Those TK85 are really just conscript training rifles now. The deployed troops tend to use Sako TRG and the Barrett .50cal depending on mission. In case of war, Finland has a registry of civilian material that will be taken over by the army, including 4×4 vehicles, boats and suitable guns (all legal firearms have to be registered here). I’m quite certain we won’t run out of .30 cal sniping tools in this country (and guys who can use them well!).

      • Scorpy

        I’m well aware of that, having served my time and being an active reservist. Still, the FDF is a conscript/reservist force by large, and thus what the grunts will actually use matters the most.

        As for the sniping tools… I know how to use mine at a fair distance!

  • MountainKelly

    Very nice.

  • Kirk Newsted

    Mad props to the ranger on the right. That kind of facial hair takes dedication.

  • wetcorps


    BTW, that ranger’s mustache is out of control.

    • Dan

      Oh it’s in control. Why do you think it’s that massive? He couldn’t trim it if he wanted to. Also if you have a mustache like that do you really need a rifle?

  • tazman66gt

    So judging by the fixed rear sight if they ever decide to put a scope on it the over bore has to be nasty.

    • Optics fog in cold. The Rangers are relying on their rifles pretty hard, so irons are a necessity.

      • tazman66gt

        I understand that, thats why I said ”if”

      • iksnilol

        Aren’t most optics nowadays fog-resistant or something? Though I will admit, something like this rifle with an Aimpoint seems tempting.

        • Keyword there is “resistant”.

          Between working in sub-zero temperatures all the time, and institutional inertia for irons, I’m not at all surprised this gun has an integral set.

          • iksnilol

            Not arguing against irons, I like them myself, just thinking that the fogging of optics isn’t that big of a deal anymore.

          • I’m an optics guy. I see irons the same way I see blackpowder, at this point. Fun to use, definitely an experience everyone should have, but a pain in the butt and sub-optimal for real-world use.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, irons are way more common than optics. Especially out on the black and grey markets. A stupid move to not be proficent with irons… at least where I am.

            Irons can fail too, though they are easier to repair. Easier to bend back into place a bent post than it is to fix a scope that won’t hold zero.

            To be honest I like having both, adjustable cheek rests for the win.

          • Also, scopes can go bad in ways other than just fogging. When it might be two, three, months before you can get a replacement, on a piece of essential gear you use almost daily, being able to dump the scope and go with *good* irons is also an advantage.

            A lot of these guys are at the end of a *very* long and canalized supply chain.

      • petru sova

        I disagree I have used Leuopold scopes in extremely cold weather and never had one fog up. I have used Bushnell scopes with rain guard that lets rain water run right off the lens. Still I think iron sights are not a bad idea either. I think a combination of both would have been ideal. A very low power scope of 1 or 2 power and a quick detachable set of rings so one could revert back to iron sights if need be. No electronic optics though , I have seen those fail with the popular red dots. The electronics also add weight to the scope.

        • You’ll note they’re not relying solely on irons; there is a scope rail, too.

  • Newsblaster

    Hmm. Not sure I like the laminated stock idea (plywood to be more specific). Anyone who knows what plywood looks like after a season in wet snow knows it separates and falls apart. Why not just cut the stocks from a nominal Canadian wood? Much more durable IMO.

    • John

      They might, it’s being tested right now. And let’s not forget a lot of AKs have laminated wood.

      • Newsblaster

        My SKS has laminated wood. It’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t trust it to last more than a couple of seasons outdoors in a Canadian winter. I suppose they can always replace the stock later if they want. A lot of those Enfields never have the solid wood stock replaced, even after decades of use.

    • Mike N.

      Laminated wood as used in gunstocks is hardly just plywood. It’s usually over 40% epoxy, i.e. almost as much plastic as wood. It’s stronger and more stable, especially for the dollar, than any wood.

    • iksnilol

      Laminated wood is way more durable/sturdy than regular plain wood. At least rifle stocks are. There’s a reason we use them on competition rifles.

      • I’m somewhat surprised they didn’t go for a wholly synthetic stock.

        • iksnilol

          Warmth? Synth stocks are cold.

        • David Sharpe

          Plastic is brittle in cold temps.

    • David Sharpe

      Laminate stocks are NOT like plywood, laminate stocks are very durable in cold climates.

      • Newsblaster

        Not nearly as durable as solid wood.

        • iksnilol

          Yes they are, even more durable than wood due to not warping.

  • Dracon1201

    Guess someone found a use for a scout rifle!

  • John

    Hmm. Given Canadian magazine limit laws, I wonder if the rifle will be issued with four 5-round detachable mags instead of two 10-round mags.

    • Fred Johnson

      Aren’t gun laws only for civilians?

      • John

        The Canadian Rangers are apparently a civilian militia. They’re going to use these rifles for hunting game and marksmanship, with combat a distant third on the priority list. Civilian rules would apply to them.

        I was up in Alaska for a year. When your ability to hunt and shoot a moose means feeding your family and friends in a rural area, or not, you look at the whole idea of hunting with new respect. Lives will depend on these guns working right.

      • David Sharpe

        The Rangers pretty much are.

        They are given these rifles and ammo, they can take them home and use them for their own use (I believe)

    • Porty1119

      That restriction only applies for centerfire semiautomatics that do not take pistol magazines. If the rifle takes pistol magazines, the restriction becomes ten rounds. If rimfire or manually-operated, there is no restriction. There are some more complicating factors, but that’s the gist of it.

      • Paladin

        Close but not quite. There is no exception for rifles that take pistol magazines. Magazines are limited depending on the firearm/calibre they are designed/manufactured for, but there are no laws against using a magazine for a firearm or calibre that it is not designed for.

        For example, the AR15 is a centrefire semi-automatic rifle. Magazines designed or manufactured for the AR15 are thus limited to 5rds. The LAR15 on the other hand is a handgun, so magazines designed for the LAR15 are limited to 10rds. As it happens, LAR15 magazines work in AR15s, and other rifles that use that magazine pattern, and it is perfectly legal to use them. What this means is that if you were to grab a PMag off the shelf and pin it to 10rds you would be creating a prohibited device, since the PMag is designed for the AR15 rifle and subject to the 5rd limit. On the other hand, you could buy an LAR15 pistol magazine, with a designed capacity of 10rds, and use that in your rifle all day erry day.

        For even more fun you could acquire a 5rd magazine designed for the .50 Beowulf cartridge, load it up with 14-17rds of 5.56 and have-at-er, still perfectly legal, even though doing pretty much exactly the same thing with a magazine that does not have the magic words “.50 Beo” will land you in jail.

        No it doesn’t really make sense, and at this point I’m not sure it was ever supposed to.

        • David Sharpe

          There isn’t a point.

          • Paladin

            Oh but there is. The point is to restrict firearms owners as much as possible. To that end they have us navigating mazes of bureaucracy where wrong turns can result in jail time.

          • David Sharpe

            Not a valid point.

          • Paladin

            Unfortunately it’s all the point they need, and even more unfortunately they make it seem valid enough to garner some level of support amongst those who don’t know any better.

    • David Sharpe

      There is no restriction for bolt action rifles.

  • Fred Johnson

    As a Ruger GSR owner, I’m jealous of those short 10 round magazines.

  • Southpaw89

    Very nice looking rifle, seems like a good choice for replacing the Enfield, and obviously a well though out design, wouldn’t mind if either this or the old Enfields showed up on the US market, though I doubt that will be the case.

  • Uniform223

    ( Just for fun )
    what about a Marlin 1895? If its good enough to use against rampaging dinosaurs on some fictional island somewhere…

    • Thomas Mandell

      Only prob with the Marlin is ammo capacity, 4 rounds of .45-70 vs maybe 10 rounds of .308 for the Colt-Sako.

      • iksnilol

        + .308 is way more common than 45-70 (considering millitary and police use it).

        That and it is easier to shoot at 300 meters with .308 than .45-70 (Not saying it can’t be done but .45-70 has a pretty parabolic trajectory compared to .308).

      • 10 rounds, detachable mag.

        In my opinion, no comparison. 😉

    • David Sharpe

      They wanted it to be .308 for ammo commonality.

  • Wetcoaster

    This being the arctic, the people who join the Rangers would have used and needed guns for the exact same reasons as the rangers both before they join, and after they leave or retire.

    The inhabitants of the far north who don’t join the Rangers still have the same needs for sustenance and wildlife protection.

  • Something like 80% of the Rangers in photos I found while looking up this topic were Amerindians, so I think that’s likely.

  • uisconfruzed

    Nice choice. I handled a T3 CTR last weekend, VERY nice.
    since I already own a Sako 75 I’m having a hard time justifying buying one, with the exception that the Sako barrel is too thin to thread for my can.
    Now should I get the 260 or the 308, or shorten the Sako barrel?

    • iksnilol

      The competition shooter in me recommends .260, the practical side of me recommends .308 due to cheapness and commonality.

      It depends what you intend to do with it.

      • uisconfruzed

        I want it in 6.5 Creedmore, I handload so I don’t care @ buying ammo.
        BUT if I get it in 308 I can play with subs through the can.

        • iksnilol

          You can make subsonics in 308. Finding heavy enough bullets might be a bit though. Though as long as it isn’t a semi auto (or if it is, as long as you have a shutoff) then it is much easier to play around with subs.

          • uisconfruzed

            I already have 130g Bergers

  • A

    T3 with 3 pos safety! This rifle sounds like a winner!

  • RocketScientist

    Any idea if these will be offered for sale to non-Rangers on the commercial market? Would love to add one to my collection.

  • Brian Hert

    I wonder why they didn’t go with something like a Ruger Guncite Scout?

    • They required the design be license-produced in Canada. I suspect Ruger said “no”.

      Anyway, I kind of think the Tikka’s a better rifle, anyway.

      • Tassiebush

        The Tikka T3 is definitely a great platform. I got mine recently (stainless lite synthetic)and it appears to be more accurate than any light sporter has any right to be. About the only weak point on the regular model seems to be the magazine (totally reliable so far but doesn’t look durable) but the variation they’ve adopted has that very solid looking steel magazine and housing. Coupled with a solid laminated stock and iron sights I think this would have to be close to perfect for the intended role at presumably a fairly reasonable cost. I hope these licenced versions match the manufacturing standards of originals.

  • J-

    I WANT ONE!!! OMG that is beautiful.

    That is everything a good scout rifle should be. I’ve always hated the forward scope mount on Cooper scout rifles. Optics choices and available powers of magnification or poor. Give me traditional rifle scope in 2.5-10 or even a newer 1-6. The 20 inch barrel really optimizes the .308 more than Ruger’s 16 or 18 inch barrel plus (useless) flash hider.

    This is gorgeous. Please make this available in the USA!!!

    • It’s not a looker like some bolt guns, but I agree that it’s a good execution. I do want one.

      • J-

        Oh no, she’s beautiful. One of my favorite rifles of all time, for use and aesthetics, is the M1917 Enfield/Eddystone. This has the same oversize bolt handle, large protected rear peep, and large protected front post sights.

        I love her….

    • David Sharpe

      It’s basically a Tikka T3 Tactical I think.

      • J-

        But with IRON SIGHTS!!!

        I love a good set of iron sights on a rifle, and not enough bolt guns are made with good irons today. I love taking out my CZ452 or No.4 Mk.1 SMLE and shooting with irons. There is noting like hitting a clay pigeon at 200 yds with a .303 using just peep sights. It’s a barely viable orange dot at that distance. Scopes are great but they get boring. Irons are fun.

        • David Sharpe

          I agree, I want the irons of this rifle.

  • Scott Pentheny

    Where is the list for the surplus sale ?

    • David Sharpe


      The govt will melt the Lees down, almost guaranteed.

  • Borchardt

    Will this be affected by the Colt bankruptcy?

    • That is an excellent question. Colt Canada is owned by Colt, but it’s not clear what the exact dependency is there.

      • Different corporations, and the US Colt is undergoing a reorganization, not a liquidation.

        Doubtful that the Colt Canada stock would be sold as an asset, and even if it was, that would just mean different stockholders. Might not even have to drop the Colt name, even so (since Colt Canada *is* incorporated separately.). Even if the US Colt corporation went totally under and dissolved, Colt Canada might remain, sort of like the Byzantine Empire after Rome collapsed. 🙂

  • Fed24

    Considering the contest required a bolt action to be selected I don’t see why people are surprised an AR-15 was not selected.

  • Leigh Rich

    It would be sweet to pick up a surplus Canadian Enfield for the collection!!

  • AR-PRO

    An AR in 450 bushmaster would have been so much better. ….oh well, one step at a time…

    • iksnilol

      Not really, bolt actions have enough problems in the cold. A semi auto would be even more problematic. + .450 bushmaster isn’t used by the millitary or police, IIRC 308 was selected so that the rifle could use 7.62×51 millitary spec ammo (it was one of the specifications of the contract IIRC).

  • petru sova

    I think they had better test firing pin travel for reliability in extremely cold weather. If the Sako does not have a good ignition system like the 98 Mauser the Canadians could get a lot of their people killed if the gun does not function when it is frozen. Many newly designed rifles have speed lock ignition systems that are notorious for poor performance in cold weather. If I were them I would have shopped around in Europe primarily in Yugoslavia and got a 98 Mauser rifle for their troops. Its 1/2 inch firing pin travel is noted for being extremely reliable under all conditions of dirt, mud, water and freezing temperatures.

    • Tassiebush

      It’s a Finnish design so I figure they’d have sub zero performance worked out.

    • Yugoslavia does not exist anymore.

  • Kivaari

    A excellent choice. It’s nice that Canada continues to have a militia mentality. Only a few US states keep that way of life going. I remember when Alaskans were issued full kit for patrolling. It was one of the motivating factors that led me back into the Army. It didn’t last long when a knee and foot required surgery. It was a shame as I enjoyed the FTXs with live ammo, airstrikes, tanks and missiles.

  • Kivaari

    Canada should just transfer them to the still living members of the guard force. A nice tribute to honor their service. We should have done that with our M16A1s.

  • Michael Guerin

    No surprise, with all due respect, Nathaniel. They were adamant as to bolt action and 7.62×51, for obvious reasons and … the .22 Hi-Power is the only cartridge smaller than .243 to have made any sort of reputation up that end of the world! The combination of a two-lug action with the TRG double-stack centre-feed magazine, laminated stock as per Tikka target rifle and iron sights with Picatinny rail looks like a winner.

    Thanks for the link and all your good work on the site.

  • Alex Nicolin

    Why not go for a synthetic stock?

    • jussi

      <i think the syntethic ones are actually worse then laminated in extreme cold, the plastic kinda snaps IIRC

    • David Sharpe

      Plastic is brittle in cold temps.

  • jcitizen

    Amazing! I wonder if this makes the Enfield the longest government issue weapon of the world? I don’t count countries like Afghanistan, I mean organized governments.I don’t think even old world muskets survived as long in modern western history.

    • I don’t know, but it’s up there. The Rangers aren’t even the last. The Indian police still issues them.

      • jcitizen

        I have to admit, that the best ammo I’ve ever fired in any rifle, was some Indian government issue .303 with nitro cellulose propellant. It looked like spaghetti, but fired extremely accurately and was some of the cleanest shooting ammo I’ve ever fired. This gave me considerable respect for Indian practice in issuing such an antique system, but I didn’t know if it was still currently issued.

        • Tassiebush

          Propellant you describe is probably cordite. It was very widely used in .303.

          • jcitizen

            Ah yes! Cordite – I’d forgotten the smell of cordite in the morning! 🙂

          • Tassiebush

            Haha well it would certainly be a more friendly smell than napalm. In my experience the word cordite was used as a generic term for smokeless powder regardless of whether it was.

  • jussi

    Man they should have gone for a lynx, straight pull, 10 round magazine.

    and if they got such a big contract maybe Lynx could have grown their business so us mere mortals could afford a lynxrifle (:

    • I don’t think, after the Ross rifle, the Canadian government will go for a straight pull service rifle.

      Not that the issues with the Ross had a whole lot to do with the straight pull idea, in and of itself (look at the Swiss), but the stink attaches – the Ross had serious issues in actual service, and the most obvious difference between the Ross and most other military rifles in service at the time was the Ross was straight pull.

  • Anon. E Maus

    Evidently they were fine with a 10 shot, full-powered manual repeater, and that’s good enough for ranger duty, they’re just getting a modern one for convenience and practicality, I can respect that.

    Wonder if they’ll be available for sale to Canadian civilians?

  • CJS3

    I wonder if Ruger had submitted their Scout Rifle for consideration?

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Regarding the first image, who needs guns when your mustache looks like that? Jesus, is that even facial hair or is he holding a furry banana in his teeth?

  • Richard R Solberg

    Looks a lot like a Ruger Scout , minus the forward rail , I want one …….

  • Madcap_Magician

    The dude with the mustache in the first picture doesn’t need a rifle, the mustache is more than capable of wrestling a polar bear and winning.

  • Muzhik

    Why get rid of old Smelly? She suffices, and at an excellent price point.

    • David Sharpe

      They are worn out, and with few replacement parts.

  • Zebra Dun

    Sounds good to go!