Canadian Rangers select Finnish C-19 Sako rifle to replace old hunting rifle 13009151

Defence & Security News - Canada
 
Canadian Rangers select Finnish C-19 Sako rifle to replace old hunting rifle.
The Canadian Rangers are bidding adieu to the hunting rifle that has served them well for nearly 70 years and reactions to its replacement are positive. The new prototype rifle, the C-19, was designed by Finland’s Sako, based on its Tikka T3 CTR model. Manufacturing will be done by Colt Canada.
     
The Canadian Rangers are bidding adieu to the hunting rifle that has served them well for nearly 70 years and reactions to its replacement are positive. The new prototype rifle, the C-19, was designed by Finland’s Sako, based on its Tikka T3 CTR model. Manufacturing will be done by Colt Canada. Canadian Rangers from the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group test fire the new Ranger prototype rifle on an austere range during Operation NANOOK in Inuvik, NWT on August 17, 2015. Photo by: Capt Steve Watton, 1st Canadian Rangers Patrol Group
     

The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserve Force. The mission of the Rangers is to provide lightly equipped, self-sufficient, mobile forces in support of the CAF’s sovereignty and domestic operation tasks in Canada. They act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the CAF in remote locations and share their expertise and guidance during operations and exercises with Primary Reserve and Regular Force soldiers.

Canadian Rangers have been equipped with the Canadian-manufactured Lee Enfield .303 since 1947 and WO Foster explains that its replacement includes many of the same features; an indication of the old warhorse’s enduring qualities.

The .308 C-19 improves on the Lee Enfield in pure power, which is an important factor in the Rangers’ operational areas where the most present threat is from dangerous wild animals.

“We really took that worst-case scenario into account in our testing,” says WO Foster. “We’ve tested the bullets with a surrogate target to make sure they’re going to have the stopping power. We wanted to make sure it’s more than enough to stop an angry polar bear. We’re confident the bullet will outperform the current .303.”

The C-19’s quick acquisition sight, which was built by Sako specifically to meet Canadian Armed Forces requirements, will also help in this regard, allowing them to identify such threats early and quickly from up to 600 metres away.
     
The Canadian Rangers are bidding adieu to the hunting rifle that has served them well for nearly 70 years and reactions to its replacement are positive. The new prototype rifle, the C-19, was designed by Finland’s Sako, based on its Tikka T3 CTR model. Manufacturing will be done by Colt Canada.
     
The C-19 is also lighter, shorter and, says WO Foster, “considerably more accurate.” Its “robust” barrel is thicker and more durable. Durability was, of course, a key consideration: The C-19 rifle was fired 8,000 times in testing without significant failures. “And it continued to keep its high precision throughout those 8,000 rounds,” he notes.

Parts that would be plastic on other hunting rifles are aluminum alloy on the C-19 because of cold temperature requirements. The rear sight, WO Foster says, is “heavy-duty machined steel.”

Testing was NATO standard for military rifles and also included salt water immersion, and heat, extreme cold and humidity testing. “This is normal testing you would do for any military rifle, but this is a hunting rifle. It’s a far more robust hunting rifle than you would ever buy on the civilian market, that’s for sure,” WO Foster says.

The Canadian Armed Forces’ Small Arms Modernization Project has been underway for the past five years. Rangers were surveyed to determine what they would like to see from a new weapon. More trials are planned and further feedback will be sought from Canadian Rangers to determine if more can be done to improve upon the prototype.
 

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