Yesterday, SAKO delivered a version of their Tikka T3 Compact Tactical Rifle to the Canadian Rangers as a replacement for the Rangers' aging supply of Lee Enfields.
The replacement for the Lee Enfield must have the ability to take down large North American predators, such as wolves or polar bears, at a range of up to 300 meters and to withstand temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 102 degrees. The new rifle will also need the ability to resist corrosion from exposure to saltwater.
Formed in 1947, the Canadian Rangers serve as a component of the Canadian Armed Forces and provide surveillance in the sparsely-populated regions of northern Canada. Since their founding, the Rangers have used the Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk. 1 as their main service rifle.
This first delivery of prototypes will undergo testing until the end of 2015. At the end of the trial evaluation, SAKO will grant Colt Canada a manufacturing license to produce a run of 6,500 rifles for the Canadian Rangers. Production is expected to start in mid-2016 and end in 2018.