Canadian Cops getting the AR Bug!

regina-sask-august-2-2016-regina-police-service-r

Come on guys! What is this? The Catch Up game? A growing number of Canadian police departments are acquiring AR15s in some form or fashion as a patrol rifle for their officers. Many Canadian special response teams already use AR15s for ERT (Emergency Response Team, SWAT equivalent) applications, but three recent news articles specifically cite the Regina Police Service, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the Toronto Police Service all acquiring Colt Canada C8 carbines for their patrol officers. American police departments have been integrating AR rifles as a patrol carbine since at least the 1980s (unless its the San Bernardino police department, then you have Mini-14s).  This trend is due to the threats being faced by many American police departments that maybe Canadian Police Services are just now coming across for their patrol officers. Within the Canadian patrol officer role, the rifle is being used for vehicle stops, clearing houses, and a number of other types of police work where the officers sidearm can’t perform as well as a long gun.

Colt Canada isn’t the only supplier though, POF and Daniel Defense are being solicited as well-

In Regina alone, the RPS is using most of its $130,000 carbine program budget to buy 30 weapons from Phoenix, Ariz.-based Patriot Ordinance Factory. Weyburn has ordered three of the short-barreled rifles from Daniel Defense — another American maker — and will get two more next year, meaning one for each of its five cars.

In addition, it seems that Canada has a similar Law Enforcement arms acquisition program with the government as the United States has-

The Department of National Defence, meanwhile, has a program to equip law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment. DND officials say since March 2015 it has received requests from 63 separate organizations for C8 Carbines, including from the Durham Region Police Service.

From our own Edward O. about the AR acquisitions (Earlier we had a differently written statement from him)-

Carbine programs are not all that uncommon in Police Forces of major metropolitan Canadian cities. If you have an ERT (SWAT) component in a dept, you can bet that you’ve also got a supply of carbines and numerous officers trained to use them. In addition to selling to the Canadian Forces, Colt Canada makes it a point to pursue LE sales. Calgary, my home town of 2 million people, has had a carbine program in place since at least 2013. The bigger issue for us has been the RCMP. The Mounties form both the frontline federal and back-country police force, almost like a blend of sheriff and FBI. As a result, they have notorious bureaucratic issues. 2005 saw a tragedy with 4 RCMP officers ambushed in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. While the officers were only equipped with side-arms and a single Winchester Model 70 .308 bolt gun, the drug dealer inside the Quonset carried a G3. A key result of the RCMP investigation into Mayerthorpe was that in 2011 a carbine program was adopted to get officers access and training to Colt Canada C8s. However, when the 2014 Moncton shootings occurred, the responding officers had still not received training on their carbines, and the guns themselves were unavailable. This time the perpetrator carried and Chinese M14 clone, and three officers lost their lives while engaging with handguns.

For the mainstream media usually being a self destructive nuclear explosion of firearms terminology, the article in the Reginia Leader-Post was extremely well written when it came to operating systems and nomenclature. I will say, whomever the Canadian armorer or cop outfitting the AR in the title picture is, he’s got a sweet set up!



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Tritro29

    4000 Canadian dollars for an AR-15? At that price point they would have much more choice in “classic” layout. Oh well.

    • Friend of Tibet

      For Civilian you can get a pretty good Norinco AR for 600 dollars in Canada

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        Could someone explain to me why Norinco seem to have a large market in Canada but not in America? Are there import bans or something?

        • SP mclaughlin

          Yes, current Norinco products are banned from sale in the US.

          • Big Daddy

            Yes we cannot buy their guns & ammo but everything else I see on my stuff has a tag on it that says made in China.

          • Friend of Tibet

            It’s sad. A lot of Made in China products tend to fail, but Chinese firearms are not one of them.

          • Gus Butts

            This is true. They are really, really cheap, can look ugly with their finish and your aftermarket parts might need some fitting to be installed on them but they will surprisingly run forever and very reliably. That goes for their rifles and their handguns.

          • iksnilol

            Simply functional.

            Good canvas if you like polishing up a gun.

          • Gus Butts

            They make great bases for builds.

          • iksnilol

            Heard something about builders of custom M1As seeking out Chinese ones due to the receiver being better made or something.

          • AK

            This is true. The Norinco M1As have a forged receiver and op rod, instead of the cast parts of the originals, and are priced very reasonably, 5-600 bucks new, depending on order size.

          • Gus Butts

            I’ve seen them go as low as $399.99 CAD on many occasions depending on the Canadian dollar and the market. A forged M305/M14S for $400? Now you’re talkin’. It’s no secret as to why they are extremely popular. People drop them in stocks that are worth twice as much as the rifle.

          • AK

            Nice. I’m quoting Euro prices. Understandably our volumes per country are pretty low for this rifle compared to Canada, since your gunlaws prefer these less dangerous rifles to AKs, etc. We got quoted 450 euros per rifle for a crate of 20, shipped, but it fell through since we didn’t get enough people in on the deal who’d take one. For 600 euros you can find these in German dealers’ websites.

          • Art out West

            Yet, somehow their shotguns are still sold in the U.S., under a different name. The NEF Pardner Pump is made by Norinco, and I’ve bought one just a couple years ago.
            I wish we could buy new Norinco SKS as well.

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            You aren’t Gumby are you?

          • SP mclaughlin

            You know it bby

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            sneaky bastard.

        • Tritro29

          Tien An Men, 1989. The mother of all gifts for the American Firearm protectionism.

          • Friend of Tibet

            Actually the Norinco Ban has very little thing to do with Tiananmen incident, more of American Firearm protectionism plus Norinco’s deal with Iran.

          • Tritro29

            We’re saying the same thing. Americans protecting their market, will cite any thing a country might have done from here to Matuslaem. It was the TAM issue that led to the reversal of the MPN status when it came to China.

          • Wetcoaster

            Tiananmen has more to do with embargoes against them buying military equipment. Which incidentally, probably paid no small part in triggering the surge of indigenous designs (Ships, planes, tanks, etc.) that have been entering service of late

          • Tritro29

            That’s only one part of the deal. The other was that the US reviewed the Most Preferred Nation status of China, and was ready to cancel it immediately only to be held off by the fact the US had just unloaded 25 billion USD of investment in China during 1989 alone.

            The fact that this forced the Chinese to shop Russian and then go on with their own designs, is true, but only partially.

            The US Firearm sector has always been susceptible towards competition and the Chinese starting to off load their firearms was starting to look like the Japanese car “invasion”.

            There’s little remembrance that the real Yellow peril in the US was for long enough the Japanese economic power, not China.
            As the Chinese went haywire in TAM, they handed the US a golden goose in terms of sensitive markets. Ironically, the US did try the same for Chinese cellphone manufacturers.

      • Tritro29

        Yes I know that there’s a flurry of choices to be made, but Regina’s Police department seems to want to spend top dollar for their rifles.

    • Gus Butts

      A Colt Canada SA15.7 or SA20 (civilian semi-auto C8 and C7, respectively) are under the $2,000 range. You save more with their IOP program. These are considered some of the best made AR-15s. You can get Colt 6920s, Daniel Defense DDM4s and other good carbines and rifles for under $1,500 as well. The only ones that go to around the $3,750+ mark are the H&K MR223s and MR308s. The KAC rifles and such are around the $3,000 mark. POF carbines are usually under $1,500 as well. $4,000 is a really weird price to be getting.

      • iksnilol

        Probably includes maintenance parts and possibly optics.

        • Gus Butts

          Bingo. Just like military contracts.

      • Tritro29

        Which is what I’m asking myself how some department could shell out most of its 130 000 CAD procurement credit/budget on 30 rifles. “In Regina alone, the RPS is using most of its $130,000 carbine program
        budget to buy 30 weapons from Phoenix, Ariz.-based Patriot Ordinance
        Factory. Weyburn has ordered three of the short-barreled rifles from
        Daniel Defense — another American maker — and will get two more next
        year, meaning one for each of its five cars.”

        I also know that the only guns with 3000+ USD pricetag are the European ones. France is going to pay basically 4000 Euro for whatever of the (2) rifles they’re supposed to pick. However that’s a military contract with as much as 20% of the tag being ammo and spares. Here I don’t understand. Maybe it has to do with the low volume and customization of the rifles as Iksnilol said.

        • Art out West

          I thought it seemed irresponsible for them to shell out that much money as well. I’m not denying that these are great rifles. Its just that $600-700 Ruger AR-556 would do most of what these guns do. It is mainly the range, rate of fire, and ballistics of a rifle that the officers need.
          Sure, arm the SWAT team snipers with “fancy” rifles. But first, make sure that every officer has a decent basic carbine in his patrol car.

          • Gus Butts

            Up here the provincial police’s quick intervention force (Groupe Tactique d’Intervention of the Sûreté du Québec), which is the big provincial SWAT team, all got HK416s and HK417s around 2010. They’re a pretty small group with a small budget but it was enough to get some pretty neat carbines and rifles. I’m curious to know how much they paid for them but I’m pretty sure they didn’t pay $4,000 for each rifle. Budgets and contracts are weird.

  • Friend of Tibet

    The AR in picture looks like made by NEA

    • Gus Butts

      Yup it’s a North Eastern Arms. Something I personally would not be within 10 feet of…

      • Big Daddy

        Yeah I had an issue with them a few years ago ordering something.

      • Friend of Tibet

        I bought a NEA 7.5 ccs stock AR last month, bolt carrier group broke in half after 180 shots……

        tell me about it…….

        • Gus Butts

          You too? My bolt sheared in half around the cam pin hole after around fifty rounds due to poor heat treatment. I got it replaced by NEA for free (their customer service is top notch) but I sold it when the flash hider peeled open like a banana… Never again.

          • Friend of Tibet

            You mean…..Never Ever Again? 😛 I feel your pain 200%

        • Lemdarel

          My NEA 18.5″ had a disconnector failure at around the 1000 round mark, resulting in accidental full auto. (F*cking terrifying when you aren’t expecting it.)

          Once they replaced the trigger group I was able to get about 200 more rounds through before the bolt sheared 2 lugs above the extractor cut out. I had them send me a new bolt and promptly sold the gun for cheap, letting the new owner know exactly what had happened.

          • Gus Butts

            It really makes me think when I work with rifles that have 25+ year old receivers and bolts and bolt-carriers, who have probably fired tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of rounds under full-auto from fresh recruits, to a buttload of blanks, to a bottomload of simunition rounds, who have burned out many barrels, but still, who have not yet sheared a bolt or a simple lug but you have some civilian companies making bolts that will completely shear in half under 200 rounds…

      • Scott P

        Sounds like the Canadian version of our Battle Rifle Company, Olympic, etc. here in the states.

        • Lemdarel

          Pretty much. I’ve been told that their product and their QC has improved since I had mine, but I wouldn’t buy another.

      • Wetcoaster

        When I found out they weren’t able to parkerize aftermarket 870 barrels without also parking the inside… I can’t believe these guys are certified to supply aircraft parts.

  • Mike C

    DD and POF should fill their order with CA compliant ARs pinned to 10rds with bullet buttons, since that’s all they allow their peons (read citizens) to possess.
    Yes, I know Canada isn’t quite as restrictive as CA, but it’s the principle of it.

    • Joshua

      5 rounds, in Canada semi-automatic centerfire rifles are pinned to five.

      • Mike C

        That’s right, you have to use “pistol” mags to get over 5rds…

        • Billy Jack

          Sounds like Canadian condoms come with airflow perforations.

    • Gus Butts

      Bullet button on my Canuck rifle? That is more insulting than the CZ-858/Swiss Arms ban of yonder.

  • USMC03Vet

    “his trend is due to the threats being faced by many American police
    departments that maybe Canadian Police Services are just now coming
    across for their patrol officers.”

    go on…….. you can do it, TFB…….

  • Big Daddy

    The free world is at war, what do some people not understand about it? We face terrorists from Islam and the proliferation of the criminal element who are more violent and confident than ever. It’s the most basic battle of good against evil. Every country in the world are facing the same problems. The citizens have to be part of the fight to free themselves from not only those 2 enemies but the possibility that their own government must have major changes made to it for their own survival, I’m not just talking about the USA. So let the police have whatever they need to do the job and especially more training which seems to be the weakest link.

    • john huscio

      The sad thing is, you’ve got idiots like Merkel and Trudeau aiding and enabling the other side…..

    • Tritro29

      Crime rate is falling everywhere. Including in Russia (something I wouldn’t have believed even two years ago). The terrorist attacks are a speck of gun related issues. That are mostly Criminal related or mishandling related.

      There’s a constant stagnation in economical terms that doesn’t lead to more crime but rather the contrary. The risk however is that further stagnation and malcontent will steadily go to the rock bottom of it and then large unrest could flare up.

      Also the top 5 countries where criminality has had a serious jump in these 5 last years without a war are all located in the Americas ( Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Salvador, Haiti).

    • Alex Agius

      Murders (per capita) in the USA are almost 1/2 of what they were in 1992. Crime is lower than ever.

      And if you want to stop islamic terrorism its really easy, don’t invite millions of potential terrorists to enter your nation (like was done in europe).

    • Sagamanus

      So the police are not hand in glove with the govt?

    • A Fascist Corgi

      Opening your borders to your enemies is the real problem. Arming your population to the teeth to deal with that problem isn’t a logical solution. When your military sends out emails to your soldiers telling them not to publicly display any sign that they’re in the military, then it’s time to change your immigration policies. Soldiers should be able to wear their uniforms with pride in their own country without having to worry about being attacked by a growing 5th column. The Japanese and South Koreans don’t have to worry about jihadist terrorism because they live in very homogeneous societies with extremely strict immigration policies.

  • Art out West

    It is reasonable for Canadian police to have rifles like the AR15.
    It is also reasonable for Canadian citizens to be able to have the exact same firearms (with the full capacity magazines as well).
    Sadly, the right of the Canadian people to bear arms is denied to a great extent.

    • Lanced Boil

      Can I run red lights and drive at 100 miles an hour because the police can too? Yay!

      • john huscio

        Weak retort

        • Bill

          Weak argument

      • iksnilol

        Uh, the police aren’t allowed to either.

        Only time you’re allowed to engage in a car chase is if the person is out to kill someone or something (AKA not a speeder or somebody trying to get away). Simply because car chases, while cool and fun, are dangerous and get people hurt.

      • Alex Agius

        one is unsafe to other drivers, the other is not unsafe to other citizens

      • Art out West

        Poor and illogical comparison Lanced Boil.
        Let’s talk about cars, since you brought them up.
        Yes, I do believe that Canadian citizens should be allowed to purchase the same basic types of vehicles that the police purchase. Canadians should be permitted to by eight cylinder vehicles. They should be allowed to buy Crown Vics., Impalas, Chargers, etc.
        You apparently think that no person in Canada should ever be allowed to purchase a vehicle capable of operating at a speed exceeding 72 mph, as 120 km/h is the maximum speed limit anywhere in Canada (60 mph or 100km/h in Ontario).

      • Nope you haven’t been trained to do that and aren’t answering calls:-)

    • Billy Jack

      They have the Queen’s protection!

  • Bill

    Reading comments about the police having different weapons than everyone else never gets old. You can have my AR when you start answering my calls. No, wait, in the vast majority of states in the US you can have an identical AR right now.

    • Alex Agius

      No one (here) cares when the police own ar15s. No one wants your ar15. What people want is to be able to buy that same model of ar15 and legally own it as citizens.

      • Bill

        And again, in the vast majority of the United States, you can do just that.

        • Alex Agius

          This is a story from canada, not the USA, they cannot just walk into a store fill out a 4473 and buy a gun they need a licence and even then they are limited to 5(rifle mags)/10(pistol mags)/14(/50 beowulf mags) shot guns.

          • Bill

            And note that I said in the United States. I’m guessing that you aren’t Canadian yourself, or you wouldn’t have used the pronoun “they.” People give the same argument in the US, that somehow the police have weapons that they can’t when that isn’t correct.

          • Alex Agius

            For the most part in the USA that is correct, however the police can own post 86 machine guns (and in restrictive states own what normal people in the rest of the nation can) and can buy some non destructive device pyrotechnics that are not sold to civilians (not directly at least, they often go for sale on gunbroker) and they can more easily get destructive devices (though its usually its things like flash bangs, though I believe the stingball grenades used in prisons are also DDs).

            The argument is almost entirly without merit in the USA (again restrictive states aside, and some NFA stuff aside). I have no issue with police having the guns they feel they need, I only have an issue when those same police enforce laws (using those guns) that prevent the law abiding from owning those same guns.

          • Bill

            You might as well say the same about the military then. My agency “owns” some post 86 stuff and some flashbangs and incendiary chemical agents and it’s nothing but headaches, having to account for bang bodies and such: you want to see a poostorm wait until a Class 3 FA gun is stolen from a police vehicle. The idea that we have all the toys and can get anything we want with no strings attached is a fantasy, particularly post-Ferguson.

            Then only times I’ve enforced laws pertaining to firearms is when they’ve been used or possessed in the commission of crimes. Yeah, I’m pretty opposed to outlaw motorcycle gangs and drug trafficking organizations possessing any firearms. But otherwise I couldn’t care less.

  • OBlamo Binlyen

    In Regina alone, the RPS is using most of its $130,000 carbine program budget to buy 30 weapons from Phoenix, Ariz.-based Patriot Ordinance Factory. WTH, I put together a couple of AR’s with good quality stuff for one heck of a lot less than that per rifle. With match barrels, improved triggers, good optics (red dots with lasers) each came to about $1,600. Each goes pew pew pew reliably. Even with spare parts somebody got snookered.

  • Audie Bakerson

    I guess the Canadian cops weren’t satisfied with only having pistols to magdump into unarmed animators