Canadian Rangers, optional to keep Lee Enfields

by Miles

In yet another saga of the Canadian Ranger rifle ordeal, a good twist has come out in a recent story by the Ottawa Citizen, in that the Rangers themselves might actually be able to hold on to their issued rifles, in a personal capacity though (through either gifting or discounted purchase). I’m not sure how that translates to Canadian firearms laws, and it seems that neither do the authorities involved, but the very fact that they are considering this as an option is really something. This is going to be interesting as well, because the Rangers are officially apart of the Canadian Armed Forces. Most likely meaning that even though the Lee Enfields are obsolete, administratively the firearms are in a similar category as the issue Colt Canada select fire service rifles, they are all Government Issue. If this is incorrect, will some Canadian readers let us know more about this process.

“The possibilities are to give them (to the Rangers) or to sell them to the Rangers at a (discount),” Maj. Carl Gendron, deputy project manager for the Ranger Rifle project, told Defence Watch.

“There is a strong feeling among the Ranger community that they would like to retain those rifles, mainly for the symbolic value of it. Quite often they have been in the family for generations, handed down from father to son. We hope the Rangers will be able to acquire them. How exactly we don’t have the guidance yet.”

“We have asked for guidance from the government on that,” Gendron added.

So will the rest of the Lee Enfields be made available for sale to the public, perhaps through surplus dealers? No one knows at this point. There are an estimated 3,000 to 3,500 such rifles still left in army stocks, according to the Army.

“We still have cadets that still use them,” explained Gendron. “So it doesn’t mean that the rifles will be available to be bought. We’ll need to figure out what will be the consumption in the Army.

In addition, someone on the page posted this comment about the whole thing. He suggested that the whole reasoning for the Lee Enfield replacement was a political one based on one party trying to up their support over another political party-

Some people seem to be under the impression that replacing the No. 4s is necessary for some technical reason. The rationale is political. The opposition discovered that the Rangers were using Lee Enfields (probably from watching the PM’s annual arctic summer visit) and played it as “Tories don’t care about Rangers who are defending Canada with WW 1 (sic) rifles” etc. The rifle replacement program is a reaction to that misinformation.


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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  • John John on Jul 31, 2015

    To be honest. If anyone had actually, truly care about these beautiful rifles and keeping them as a symbol of the Canadian Rangers, someone would have stepped up and started manufacturing modern replacement parts in NATO-specific calibers. They would have been the Lee Enfield No 4 A2-Plus, with a modern polymer stock, adjustable cheek rest, and a rail system for mounting any modern optics.

    Nobody did that, and so Sako-Tikka-Beretta-Colt got tapped to manufacture new ones.

    They're beautiful guns. But. I do agree with the assessment that the modern rifles should be in a military caliber, just in case they need to be part of a military force. It's simple logistics.

    • Joshua Joshua on Aug 02, 2015

      @John and who would "anyone" be in this case? it would have to be someone with manufacturing capability, the licensing to produce firearms in Canada, able to convince the government to pay them for producing the parts, hopefully fight against the tide of Mil-Surp to get some civilian sales as well, and still make enough to keep themselves afloat.

  • Rogertc1 Rogertc1 on Aug 01, 2015

    Century Arms International...The major importer and supplier to us in the USA