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Retiring

Some older readers may be interested to know that Canada's Department of National Defence is finally retiring the venerable Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifle. The rifles are used by the Canadian Rangers, a sort of Home Guard unit in the country's far North, because more modern weapons just can't be trusted to work in the Arctic. But the Department is finding it harder and harder to find spare parts for their Lee Enfields. As far as I can work out, the rifles themselves are issued straight from the packing cases they came in in 1947. The Canadian Army switched from Lee Enfields to the FN SLR around the same time as the British but now uses a Canadian manufactured version of the US M16. The Canadian M16 was actually better than the American version and the SAS used it in Sierra Leone. It was made by a company called Diemaco which was recently taken over by Colt. Colt Canada, as Diemaco is now known, has been given the job of coming up with a replacement for the Lee-Enfield for use in the Arctic. It is expected it will lighter than the old rifle but still bolt-action and using 7.62 ammunition.

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