Details on Canadian Ranger rifle process

by Miles

Nathaniel F covered the choice of Sako in an earlier TFB post with some very detailed information about the rifles adoption, so I’m not going to rewrite what was put down about the specifics of the rifle. However Beretta recently released a new press release specifying more information on the trials of the Sako rifles, and how many were being ordered, 6,500 or more. They are currently in the offial limited rate production and trial stages, with a formal adoption by the end of 2016 and to continue until 2018. In addition, in the last post we said the design was based on Sako’s T3 Compact Tactical Rifle, this was slightly off as Sako doesn’t have a T3 CTR in its lineup, but Tikka does. This press release was actually released by Beretta which explains the odd combination of Stoeger Canada, Sako, and Tikka. Sako owns Tikka, and Beretta owns Sako, in addition to Stoeger, which naturally also owns Stoeger Canada. However, how Colt Canada got in the contract is beyond me, with their production of the barrels and some other components (probably cheaper to import most of the components and have the licensed barreled made at home). In addition I don’t know how the contract worked out, but I just find it puzzling that there wasn’t a company in the United States or Canada that could deliver 6,500 reliable bolt action rifles and the Rangers had to go overseas to Finland. It must have something to do with Sakos experience with rifle designs in sub zero temperatures or else the hassle of importing and coordinating all these companies probably wouldn’t have had a cost benefit.

Stoeger Canada with SAKO, Finland deliver the first rifles for the New Ranger Rifle Program to Colt Canada. The SAKO .308 rifle design based on the Tikka Compact Tactical Rifle (CTR) has been selected as the new Ranger Rifle for Canada replacing the Lee Enfield.

These 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.

The ownership of the intellectual property of the design will remain with SAKO, and Colt Canada will acquire a manufacturing license for the design on behalf of The Government of Canada and the Department of National Defence, under the Munitions Supply Program (MSP).

The original rifle that the Ranger Rifle is based on.

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at

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  • T T on Jul 21, 2015

    Just to clear a few things up. Stoeger canada is NOT owned by stoeger firearms. This is the second time sako has submitted rifles to the Canadian government making them very familiar with the process, the first time being the trg for the c14 trials. Ruger LOST to sako during testing. Ruger already sells receivers to colt canada to build our sartech rifle in 30-06. Colt Canada also already makes parts for that firearm

  • Steve_7 Steve_7 on Jul 21, 2015

    "I just find it puzzling that there wasn’t a company in the United States or Canada that could deliver 6,500 reliable bolt action rifles and the Rangers had to go overseas to Finland"

    The reason why is the contract requires that the winner gives up the TDP to Colt Canada and there aren't many companies willing to do that, especially for so few guns.

    Colt Canada is basically considered the equivalent of the national arsenal for national security reasons.

    The bigger laugh to me is that the govt. refused to have Colt Canada make any repair parts for the No 4 because there was no way of establishing a formal licensing agreement and the lawyers were afraid! The MoD in the UK has trashed huge numbers of No 4s, they'd probably have given them away for free if they hadn't already destroyed them.