- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
Yes you read that right. ;) It's used by our "Ranger's" in the North and is still a great rifle. I'm curious to see what the replacement will look like.
Canadian Forces Should See the Replacement of the Lee Enfield Rifle in A Little More Than Three Years
August 25, 2011. 10:07 pm • Section: Defence Watch
By David Pugliese
I recently wrote about the plans of the Canadian Forces to replace the Lee Enfield rifle. I actually heard from a number of folks who believe the Lee Enfield should be retained by the Canadian Rnagers as it is a solid, dependable weapon for what it is used for in the Arctic.
Others say it’s time is way past and the rifle replacement is long overdue.
Some background provided by the Army:
The replacement of the Ranger Rifle is one of the items covered under the Small Arms Modernization (SAM) project working its way toward government approval. If all continues as presently planned the Rangers should see their first rifles before mid winter in 2014. The SAM project is aiming for government approval in the summer of 2012. The work on the Ranger Rifle is well ahead of schedule and the Army hopes to have the RFP ready for release on the Merx website within 6 months of government approval
The current requirement for rifles is slightly more than 10,000. By the time the weapon is issued there should be more than 5000 Rangers. 10,000 may appear to be a little high but smaller numbers of the same weapon have already been identified for use by other parts of the CF and it is believed that once the Army starts fielding the weapons additional groups within the CF will identify a requirement for it.
Stocks to replace worn out, damaged, destroyed or lost weapons are needed to give the weapon the anticipated service life of 30 years, the Army has noted.
The new Ranger Rifle is being acquired as a system that will include a lockable hard case that can be used for secure storage in a home and for transportation of the weapon by air, land or sea.
The Lee Enfield has been in use with the Rangers since 1947.
Here’s the background, courtesy of the Army:
“Army HQ authorized the first two Ranger companies on 4 September 1947. The first CR patrol was stood up in Dawson with the company commander and 2-i-c receiving their commissions on 22 September 1947.
The second CR patrol was stood up in Whitehorse soon thereafter. Original proposals recommended issuing sporting or .30/30 rifles to the Canadian Rangers, similar to the PCMR, the military had less than 1500 of these on hand. The acting director of weapons and development suggested that they be given standard Army type rifles which would ease procurement and control. The Lee Enfield fit the bill.
At the time the Lee Enfield was service rifle so it is what they were issued.
And more details from Army Public Affairs on the decision to replace the Lee Enfield:
While the Lee Enfield rifle is still an excellent weapon and meets the Rangers’ requirements, there is difficulty in obtaining spare parts and it is therefore being replaced.
The Lee Enfield rifle has been maintained through the use spare parts from spare rifles since the mid- 1980s. Although, the Canadian Forces are several years away from a shortage, the national stocks (spare weapons held centrally) of these weapons are now becoming limited.
After consultation with the Rangers community, it has been agreed that the Rangers’ rifle will move from .303 calibre to the 7.62mm / .308 Winchester calibre, as this is best able to meet the Rangers’ requirements. .308 Winchester refers to a specific cartridge that is very similar to the 7.62 x 51 (NATO) cartridge, and is made by several companies.
The replacement of the Rangers’ rifle is part of the Small Arms Modernization project and is now working its way towards government approval. In order to ensure success, this project will continue to place a major emphasis on ensuring that the Canadian Forces Rangers participate in the creation and validation of this project.