FIRST LOOK: Colt Canada’s C20 Sniper Rifle

    Colt Canada's C20 (Matthew Moss/TFB)

    A couple of weeks ago at DSEI 2019, in London, I had the chance to take a look at Colt Canada’s latest offering, a 7.62x51mm semi-automatic precision rifle developed for the Canadian Army. The C20 Semi-Automatic Sniper Weapon builds on the C7/8 family of 5.56x45mm rifles currently in Canadian service following extensive testing.

    The new C20 was prominently displayed at Colt Canada’s stand at DSEI 2019 (Matthew Moss/TFB)

    The new rifle was selected by the Canadian Army in August, as part of their Sniper System Project, and was developed to fulfil a sniper, not a designated marksman role. The contract for the rifle is forthcoming but Colt Canada expect to deliver at least 300 rifles, all in FDE finish. The C20 went through extensive Canadian Armed Forces testing, to meet relevant NATO standards, including extreme conditions and endurance tests – during which it fired 8,000 without stoppages.

    A close up of the right side of the C20, the rifle is seen here with a Schmidt-Bender scope but the Canadian Armed Forces have not yet selected which optic the rifle will be fielded with (Matthew Moss/TFB)

    The rifle has an 18in barrel, but a 16in version is likely to be available in the future. Colt Canada claim “the C20 achieved an average of .66 MOA over 144 five-round groups, collected throughout endurance testing” with a 1 in 10 twist, 4 groove barrel, with all groups “shot with first round cold with suppressor, using 175gr Federal Gold Medal Match ammunition.”

    The rifle uses a direct gas impingement system and has a monolithic upper receiver, technology licensed from LMT, that allows a full length Picatinny top rail. The MRR-L Integrated Upper Receiver has an MLOK forend.  The C20 has a Geissele SSA Dual-Stage Trigger, an LMT DMR adjustable buttstock and an American Defence bipod. It has been tested with OSS’ QD7.62 suppressor and a can from ASTUR. The Canadian Armed Forces have not yet selected an optic to run with the C20.

    Left side of the rifle, note the LMT DMR stock (Matthew Moss/TFB)

    C20 Specifications:

    Calibre: 7.62x51mm
    Weight (Unloaded): 9.1lb
    Barrel Length: 18in
    Overall Length: 38in
    Rifling: 1 in 10 twist
    Magazine Capacity: 20-round

    Close up of the left side of the rifle (Matthew Moss/TFB)

    Find out more about the C20, on Colt Canada’s site here.

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs www.historicalfirearms.info, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of www.armourersbench.com, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]


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