Rangers in Northern Ontario receive new C-19 rifles

Ranger Austin Baxter and Master Corporal Donny Sutherland
Ranger Austin Baxter and Master Corporal Donny Sutherland get a feel for one of the new Canadian Ranger rifles delivered to Constance Lake. Photo: Sergeant Peter Moon, Canadian Rangers

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By Sergeant Peter Moon, 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group

Canadian Rangers in Northern Ontario have started receiving the new C-19 rifles replacing the old Lee-Enfields as part of modernization efforts in line with Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s defence policy.

Ranger patrols in Constance Lake and Peawanuck, near the Hudson Bay coast, received the first two deliveries.

The C-19 is a specially designed .308 calibre bolt-action rifle that is replacing the venerable .303 Lee-Enfield Mark 4, which has been in service with the Rangers since 1947.

“We’ve been looking forward to getting the new rifle for a long time,” said Sergeant Neil Neegan in Constance Lake.

The C-19 has several specially designed features, such as a bigger bolt handle and trigger guard to allow the Rangers to fire it more easily with gloved hands in cold temperatures. It is shorter, lighter, and more accurate than the Lee-Enfield.

“It’s a beautiful rifle,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, commanding officer of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which commands the 570 Rangers in 25 First Nations across the Far North of Ontario. “I haven’t heard anyone say a bad word about it,” he added.

The Canadian Army is reconditioning the old Lee-Enfields issued to the Ranger patrols in Northern Ontario, and giving some as gifts to selected Rangers. Sergeant Neegan said he was pleasantly surprised to be given one, adding “It is a good rifle for hunting moose,” he said. “It has a nice weight and open sights for the hunting I do.”

Image gallery

  • Ranger Austin Baxter and Master Corporal Donny Sutherland
  • Warrant Officer Chris Thomson trains Canadian Rangers
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson presents a Ranger .303 rifle as a gift to Sergeant Neil Neegan
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