According to the Canadian Press, the Canadian army is on the hunt for a new polar bear gun.
It’s “on the lookout for an ‘anti-predator weapon’ with which to equip both Arctic Rangers and regular-force units whenever they operate on their own in the North. In the meantime, it has issued First World War-vintage Lee-Enfield rifles to units based in southern Canada for use whenever those northern-response companies are dispatched to the Arctic.”
The predator in question? Polar bears. Which means polar bear guns.
“The roughly 4,700 Rangers-sprinkled in 178 communities across the North are the backbone of the military’s presence in the region. They conduct patrols across the vast tundra and are equipped with Lee-Enfields, bolt-action, magazine-fed rifles that were standard issue during the first half of the 20th century.”
The army has been running out of spare parts for the Enfields, making their issue unreliable as polar bear guns. It has been trying to purchase new rifles for several years, but has yet to come across replacements for these polar bear guns. The Enfields, though, do have one advantage that future polar bear guns will need to match.
“The fact they don’t freeze up or jam in the Arctic is part of [the Enfield's] charm, so the army made the decision last year to equip regular-force units conducting operations in the North with Lee-Enfields until replacement weapons arrive, possibly next year.”
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