Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lee-Enfield rifle finally being phased out by Canadian Military?

Maybe, maybe not.
The Canadian Rangers — a component of the armed forces reserves — conduct sovereignty patrols and assist search and rescue missions in the Far North and in remote coastal regions across the country.
And the red-shirted Rangers — made up largely of aboriginal volunteers — have been using Lee-Enfield rifles little changed from the First World War version since the group was first established in 1947.

“The Rangers were not issued this weapon to fight an enemy, they were given the rifle because they are operating in one of the harshest environments in the world,” says Capt. Mark Rittwage, officer commander of the 3rd Canadian Patrol Group, Northern Ontario.

“And . . . the predators that are there, polar bears, wolves, even bull moose during rutting season, can cause a danger to our Rangers,” Rittwage says.
It seems that the Canadian military is putting out a bid for replacement rifles to equip the Rangers, but it also did this in 2011 and withdrew the tender.  Certainly I'd prefer to have my Enfield than many (most?) semi-autos in -20°C weather.  Err, if I were to venture out in -20°C weather ...


burt said...

M14. 'Nuff said.

Hat Trick said...

I'd feel under-gunned against a polar bear or bull moose even with 7.62x51. How about the Ruger Alaskan in something heftier.

Glen Filthie said...

Shame on you, boys.

Trust me: your semi-autos will behave themselves well past -20C - at least within civilian parameters. (Most metals won't start misbehaving until you hit at least -30C...and most modern ballistic plastics will handle that with ease too). I don't know how they would fare going full auto in that environment as thermal shock would probably come into the equation...but for us civvies? Up here in Canada if you want to shoot in the winter, chances are you will be doing it in at least -20C temps. It's no big deal.

The Inuit and northern aboriginals are right at home shooting bears, Muskox (and anything else) with .303's and .308's - but they are good marksmen who can place the bullet where it counts! Americans tend to grossly underestimate the efficiency of 'classic' calibers, preferring instead the powder gobbling magnums - and they only really shine at long ranges. If the BIG GUNS are your thing, smile and use them...but for me, the older I get, the more I say to hell with this recoil nonsense!

I hope the boys retain their .303's AND get the newer black guns.

Tony Tsquared said...

Barrett 82A1 in .461 with detachable magazine

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Replace something venerable like an Enfield with something novel and unproven like an M14? Madness.

Gordon Freece said...

I've read that at Chosin our guys degreased their Garands so they'd function better in the cold. I think I may have read the same about the M1 carbine but I'm not certain. Given that polar bears don't do the human wave thing, I think I'd be happy to carry a boltie in the arctic. Much happier to carry a stick in a place with no polar bears, though.

George Lowe wrote about similar problems with his cameras on Everest in 1953.

jon spencer said...

Minus 20C is a winter warm spell where those Rangers work.

Trying again to post this. I think the first went into the ether.

ザイツェヴ said...

SVD is supposed to work okay in the cold, although of course they would need a .308 version with its own mags and barrell.