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Canada retires Lee Enfield 303s from Service.... (But, not South Africa)

Chris Boonzaier

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Yes.  It's REALLY HARD to break an SMLE and our guys can do some pretty impressive things with them.


In fact, when they train with 'foreign troops' [cough, American, cough cough] they like to stick their rifles in a snow bank overnight, to the shock of the new guys.  Then, in the morning, when the high quality firearms which have spent a night in a tent getting coated with condensation, which freezes, the Rangers point out that THEIR rifles will still fire.  :cheeky:

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The South African State President's Guard  -  a unit of some 150 men plus a band - have just reverted to the .303 for

ceremonial parades.  They found the modern small rifles did not look as effective as the large Lee Enfields.  I am

showing some pictures taken this week, on the Lounge.  I know there was some discussion in the UK  about them doing the

same thing for parades.  I used to carry one - they weigh 9lb 4oz. (about 4.5K's) so they are welcome to them.  Mervyn


Will show them here - taken from TV so not that clear.










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I don't think the pictures of them fighting in Parliament are worth posting  -  so, a couple more of the military side.




           A smart young aircraftsman on duty at Memorial.  I think that must be a SA R5 carbine ?




                        25 pounders firing the 21 gun salute.  One of the World's most useful guns.




                     The President still has an 'Official Praise-Singer' - here she is being led-in.

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  • 2 weeks later...



The Canadian Rangers [ not 'Arctic Rangers'] are an element of our Reserve Force, recruited in largely northern communities in Ontario, Quebec, Ladrador, across the Arctic and British Columbia.  many are Aboriginal, Inuit or Metis but it is not actually a native unit per se, its just that those personnel have the needed skills.  The Rangers conduct sovreignty patrols in the Arctic, some surveillance work and occasionally search and rescue.  They also serve an important role in training other Reserve and canadian Focres regulars in winter survival and warfare and other wilderness skills.  They are organized in 'patrols' by community and have the same rank structure as the rest of the Cdn. Forces.   I believe the current strenght is somewhere under 500, but I may be wrong about that.


The Rangers carry weapons for self protection [grizzly and polar bears] and subsistence hunting, rather than in a combat role, as the Rangers have fairly limited training, other than shooting, in military tactics.  When they were established in the '40s the LE was the standard rifle and proved so durable and suitable for the Arctic conditions that it has sinply lived on.  Each Ranger gets 200 rounds per year issued as well.  Now, with spare parts becoming an issue, the time has finally come to change them.

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