Canadian Rangers train on new C-19 rifles

Dianne St. Jean
The Valemount Canadian Ranger Patrol group next to their targets on Friday’s target practice session at the Valemount Shooting Range.
The Valemount Canadian Ranger Patrol group next to their targets on Friday’s target practice session at the Valemount Shooting Range.
This last weekend, the Valemount Canadian Ranger Patrol group got to try out the new C-19 rifles being issued to all Canadian Rangers. The .308 calibre C-19 replaces the outdated .303 rifle formerly used by the Rangers.

The new rifle is unique to the Canadian Rangers and is used mostly for self-defense and predator patrol in environments where there are bears, lynx or other wild animals that can pose a threat.

In collaboration with that, the Patrol participated in predator training throughout the weekend, beginning with target practice at the Valemount Shooting Range on Friday, followed by an all-day instruction session on predator training by Avison Management Services at the Fire Hall on Saturday.


Target practice with the new C-19s.
Target practice with the new C-19s.

According to the Canadian Forces, the C-19 is lighter, shorter, and more precise. The trigger guard is wider which makes it more effective if the shooter is wearing winter gloves. It also has security features that are easy for both right-handed and left-handed shooters.

The rifle is also more reliable in extreme temperatures ranging from -51 to 39°C. 

Sunday the Rangers were back at the shooting range, which involved practicing loading and re-loading quickly from the side on their older rifles. Jason Byrne, Canadian Ranger Instructor, 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, explained that this prepares them to respond quickly in the event should they find themselves being targeted by predators out in the wild, such as a charging bear.

Canadian Rangers on patrol can often find themselves in wilderness situations in forests and mountainous regions as they provide support and conduct surveillance and patrols, such as acting as guides for those in the bush fighting wildfires.

Canadian Rangers train on new C-19 rifles

Canadian Rangers fulfill important roles that protect and guard the wellbeing of Canadians, serving as a sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve.


The new C-19, out of its case for display.
The new C-19, out of its case for display.
Predator target practice using older issue rifles.
Predator target practice using older issue rifles.
Dianne St. Jean photos