- Colt Canada C7 rifle
Diemaco C7A1 Assault Rifle
Type Assault rifle Place of origin Canada[Note 1] Service history In service 1984–present Used by See Users Wars UNAMIR, UNPROFOR, Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, War in Afghanistan, Iraq War Production history Manufacturer Diemaco (Former)
Colt Canada (Current)
Produced 1982–present Number built 200,000+ Variants C7A1, C7A2 Specifications Weight 3.3 kg (7.3 lb) (unloaded) 3.9 kg (8.6 lb) (with 30-round magazine) Length 1,006 mm (39.6 in) (C7 C7A1 C7A2) (A2 Stock Extended), 929.8 mm (36.61 in) (C7A2) (Stock Collapsed) Barrel length 508 mm (20.0 in) Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt Rate of fire 700–900 rounds/min Muzzle velocity 900 m/s (3030 ft/s) Effective range 400 m (440 yd) (effective); 600 m (660 yd) (effective in a section) Feed system Various 30-round STANAG magazines.
The Colt Canada C7 rifle is a service rifle variation of the M16 rifle that is manufactured by Diemaco/Colt Canada, a subsidiary of Colt Firearms after 2005, and used by the Canadian Forces, Hærens Jegerkommando (Norway), Military of Denmark (all branches), Iceland Crisis Response Unit, the Military of the Netherlands (all branches including the Royal Marechaussee) as its main infantry weapon. Following trials, variants became the weapon of choice of United Kingdom Special Forces. It has been used in various combat operations by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
- 1 C7
- 2 C8
- 3 Diemaco LSW
- 4 Other Diemaco variants
- 5 C7/C8 variants comparison table
- 6 C7 in foreign service
- 7 Users
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The development of the C7 paralleled that of the M16A2 by Colt. A Canadian Forces Liaison Officer worked with the Marines in the M16A1 Product Improvement Program and relayed information to Canada's Rifle Replacement Program Office. The C7 is much like earlier M16A1E1s, rather than final product M16A2s. The earliest C7s were manufactured by Colt for Canadian Forces as the Colt Model 715. The C7 series of firearms is driven by the same direct impingement gas system as the M16 series. Like the M16A1, the C7 has both semi-automatic and fully automatic fire modes. The C7 also features the structural strengthening, improved handguards, and longer stock developed for the M16A2. Diemaco changed the trapdoor in the buttstock to make for easier access, and a 13 mm (0.5 in) spacer is available to adjust stock length. The most noticeable external difference between American M16A2s and Diemaco C7s is the retention of the A1 style rear sights. Not so apparent is Diemaco's use of hammer-forged barrels. The Canadians originally wished to use a heavy barrel profile instead of the M16A2 profile, but Colt denied permission. Also, Diemaco has developed a different mounting system from Colt for the M203 grenade launcher for the C7 rifle family.
The C7A1 (Diemaco C7FT) replaces the iron sight/carrying handle used on the C7 with a modified Weaver rail for mounting optics. Canadian development of rails preceded American standardization of the MIL-STD-1913 "Picatinny rail", so the "Canadian Rail" or "Diemaco Rail" differs slightly. There are 14 slots instead of 13 and each slot is narrower. The height of the rail is also lower, allowing the use of normal front sights (MIL-STD-1913 requires a different front sight assembly). During development, the original rails were vacuum-bonded to the top of a bare receiver. For production, the rail and receiver were made out of a single forging. The mount can use traditional iron sights or the ELCAN C79 Optical Sight 3.4× power optical sight, both of which can be adjusted for individual eye relief. The optical sight was designed for the C9 light machine gun and includes horizontal and vertical mil-bars used for range determination and deflection, and a tritium glow-in-the-dark aiming post rather than the traditional crosshairs. The 3.4× is powerful enough to properly see targets at the maximum accurate range of 400 m (440 yd), though like most magnified optical sights it is prone to criticism for creating tunnel vision in close quarters situations. While the wide aperture helps to speed target acquisition, Canadian soldiers generally forgo the C79 sight in favour of non-magnified optical sights or backup iron sights when engaged or training in close quarters battle. The front sight was changed to a round post 1.3 mm (0.05 in) in diameter, from the square post.
With Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, Diemaco and the Canadian Forces have developed improvements to the C7A1 to better suit the operational situations at hand. The result, the C7A2, has a four-point telescoping stock unit similar to that of the C8 carbine and a 3-rail TRI-AD I mount on the front sight triangle. The selector lever, magazine release, and charging handle latch are ambidextrous. Also, the C7A2 is issued with green colour furniture as standard. These weapons are often seen with a similar plethora of accessories as their American counterparts given the overall commonalities of the system and the rail mounts. The C7A2 is also issued with the C79A2 ELCAN optical gunsight with 3.4× magnification but with a uniform green rubber armored coating, but some soldiers who are issued it have either been issued or have purchased sights like the EOTech holographic weapons sight and the Trijicon ACOG. Within an eight man section, 6 soldiers will normally carry a C7A2, the section commander and second in command, two grenadiers and two riflemen, with only the machine gunners carrying a C9A2 LMG.
A member of the 7th NL SBS armed with a Diemaco C8A1 carbine with Elcan C79 sight and Heckler & Koch AG-C grenade launcher
Type Carbine Place of origin Canada[Note 1] Service history In service 1994–present Used by See Users Wars War on Terrorism, Iraq War Production history Manufacturer Diemaco (Former)
Colt Canada (Current)
Produced 1980s–present Number built 50,000+ Variants C8A1, C8 SFW, C8 FTHB Specifications Weight 2.68 kg (5.9 lb) (unloaded C8A1), 2.81 kg (6.2 lb) (unloaded C8A2) Length 840 mm (33 in) (C8,C8A1) 876.3 mm (34.50 in) (C8 SFW) (stock extended), 760 mm (30 in) (C8, C8A1) 800.1 mm (31.50 in) (C8 SFW) (stock collapsed) Barrel length 368 mm (14.5 in) (C8, C8A1), 406.4 mm (16.00 in) (C8 SFW) Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt Rate of fire 750–950 rounds/min (cyclic) Muzzle velocity 900 m/s (3000 ft/s) Effective range 400 m (440 yd) (effective) Feed system Various STANAG Magazines.
The C8 carbine is the carbine member of the C7 family, and is mechanically and aesthetically very similar to the Colt 653. Colt made the initial C8s for Canadian Forces as the Colt Model 725. The C8 has a 368 mm (14.5 in) A1 profile barrel like the Colt Model 653 M16A1 carbine, but with a 1 in 180 mm (7 in) rifling twist appropriate for the 5.56×45mm NATO C77 cartridge. The C8 incorporates the design improvements featured on C7 rifles.
The improved C8A1 (Diemaco C8FT) is essentially the same as the C7A1, just in carbine form. The overall layout of the weapon remains essentially unchanged except for the upper receiver and the general inclusion of the C79 sight. C8A1s have also been more commonly seen with the detachable carry handle with A1 sights developed by Diemaco for both the C7FT and the C8FT.
Building upon the C8 and C8A1, Diemaco created the Special Forces Weapon (SFW), which provides an interesting combination of ideas. Featuring a longer, 410 mm (16 in) barrel of a heavier profile than the C8/A1, the SFW is designed to provide a fire support capability in carbine form. The profile of the barrel is not uniform, oddly enough bulging out at the end, whereas the M4 profile barrel steps down. The front sight base is strengthened for mounting of the Heckler & Koch AG-C/EGLM grenade launcher. The British Ministry of Defence acquired a number of SFWs, primarily for Special Forces, giving them the Land Force designation L119A1. This version of the C8 is also in service with the Norwegian MJK and HJK. Because of the barrel profile, another Diemaco specific mount is required to attach the M203 grenade launcher (though the MoD have decided to use the HK AG-C/L17A1).
Concerns that Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry had with the C8 led to the creation of the C8FTHB. The C8FTHB (Flat Top Heavy Barrel) features numerous improvements over the C8, including a heavy profile hammer-forged barrel and Elcan C79 Optical Sight.
Other C8 variants
Recently[when?], Diemaco has begun producing three additional C8 variants. The C8CQB similar to the Mark 18 Mod 0 CQBR, having a 250 mm (10 in) barrel and a Vortex flash suppressor. The Diemaco Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) is even more compact having an overall length of 530 mm (20.7 in) with stock fully retracted. It has a 140 mm (5.7 in) barrel and the receiver extension has been shortened by 42 mm (1.65 in). A further upgrade upon the C8FTHB is currently being slowly integrated. The new version will be designated the C8A3. The C8A3 will combine the C8FTHB with the upgrades found on the C7A2. These improvements include green furniture, ambidextrous fire selector, magazine catch, and an extended ambidextrous charging handle.
Colt and Diemaco also paired up to develop a squad automatic weapon variant of the series. The Diemaco Light Support Weapon (LSW) features a heavy barrel suitable for sustained fire. The LSW can only be fired on fully automatic. The LSW has a boxy square handguard with a carrying handle and a vertical foregrip that can be used as a monopod. The LSW was made with no bayonet lug until recently[when?] because of the original bipod. A new bipod attaches to the same barrel yoke as the carrying handle and front grip, so current LSWs are made with a bayonet lug. Unlike many M16 variants, it fires from an open bolt, allowing the removal of the forward assist. The LSW used by the Royal Danish Army fires from a closed bolt and also has a semi automatic firing mode. The Diemaco LSW was originally a license produced variant of the Colt 750, but both Colt and Diemaco have upgraded their respective weapons to include features like a detachable carry handle and other features separately.
Other Diemaco variants
C7CT and C8CT Designated Marksman variants
Diemaco's C7/C8 family is completed with two designated marksman variants, the C7CT and C8CT, with CT meaning Custom Tactical. These accurized C7/C8 variants are designed to provide accurate engagement up to 600 m (660 yd), while providing system commonality to other fielded weapons. They have two-stage match triggers and weighted stocks to counterbalance the heavy 508 mm (20.0 in) or 410 mm (16 in) free-floating barrel surrounded by a tubular forestock. A removable bipod, rails for designators, sling, etc. attach to that forestock. A special, distinctive pistol grip is fitted and the C7-style buttstock can be adjusted with shims. Sound suppressors are usually fitted.
C10 small bore training version
Diemaco makes a training version of the C7 named the C10. It fires .22 Long Rifle ammunition, but is only capable of semiautomatic fire. The stock and lower receiver are one piece.
C7/C8 variants comparison table
Colt model number Diemaco model number Canadian designation British designation Danish designation Barrel Length Barrel Type Handguard type Buttstock type Pistol grip type Lower receiver type Upper receiver type Rear sight type Muzzle device Forward assist? Case deflector? Bayonet lug? Trigger pack 715 C7 C7 N/A N/A 508 mm (20.0 in) A2 Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) Full-length ribbed Fixed A2 A2 A2 A2 A1 M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes Yes Yes S-R-Auto N/A C7FT C7A1 N/A Gv M/95 508 mm (20.0 in) A2 Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) Full-length ribbed Fixed A2 A2 A2 Flattop None M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes Yes Yes S-R-Auto N/A C7A2 C7A2 N/A N/A 508 mm (20.0 in) A2 Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) Full-length ribbed Four-position retractable A2 A2 Flattop None M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes Yes Yes S-R-Auto 750 LSW N/A N/A LSV M/04 508 mm (20.0 in) A2 HBAR Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) Square LMG Fixed A2 A2 A2 A2 or Flattop A2 or None M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes or No Yes Yes or No S-R-Auto or S-Auto 725 C8 C8 N/A N/A 368 mm (14.5 in) A1 Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) Short cylindrical ribbed Two-position retractable A2 A2 A2 A1 M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes Yes Yes S-R-Auto N/A C8FT C8A1 N/A N/A 368 mm (14.5 in) A1 Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) Short cylindrical ribbed Four-position retractable A2 A2 Flattop None M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes Yes Yes S-R-Auto N/A C8FTHB C8A2 N/A Kb M/96 368 mm (14.5 in) A2 HBAR Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) Short cylindrical ribbed Four-position retractable, Three on the DK vers. A2 A2 Flattop None M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes Yes Yes S-R-Auto N/A SFW N/A L119A1 N/A 401 mm (15.8 in) SFW Profile (1 in 180 mm (7 in) twist) KAC M4 RAS Four-position retractable A2 A2 Flattop None M16A2-style birdcage flash suppressor Yes Yes Yes S-R-Auto
C7 in foreign service
Denmark bought the first batch of C7A1 in 1995 and C8A2 in 1996, designating them the M/95 and M/96 carbine. In 2004 the LSW, named LSV M/04 was added to the arsenal. These are to replace the German made M/75 (H&K G3), which has been the main infantry weapon since 1975.
The C7A1 is issued to standard infantry units of the Royal Danish Army. The C8A2 is issued to units where the physically longer C7A1 can be obstructive to that units primary work, such as logisticians, tankers and special units. Jægerkorpset and Frømandskorpset (Special forces) use the C8SFW with a 401 mm (15.8 in) barrel and extra front rails. The now defunct Patruljedelingen, a draftee LRRP-unit, also used the C8SFW.
The LSW used to be issued to "support gunners" in infantry squads. However, it is planned[when?] that the Royal Danish Army will only use 7.62mm belt-fed machine guns for the support role. Most of the LSW's are intended to be transferred to the Danish Home Guard.
The Army almost exclusively use the C7A1 and C8A2 with the Elcan C79 optical sight, while the Danish Home Guard use the C8A2 with the Swedish produced Aimpoint. The main feature of the Aimpoint is the "both eyes open" sighting. This is the preferred sighting method at shorter ranges.
The Royal Danish Army is starting a process to replace all variants of M/96 and M/95 with a new weapon from Colt Canada. It features a 401 mm (15.8 in) floating barrel, fully ambidextrous controls, flip up iron sights, a collapsible buttstock with more positions, a better charging handle and the IUR integrated upper receiver with integrated quad-rail. The official Danish name is rifle M/10. This reflects lessons learned fighting the Taliban in the Helmand province of Afghanistan (where the Royal Danish Army takes part).[clarification needed]
Originally the M/95 and M/96 were issued with plastic 30-round magazines. They are however not being used for front line duty anymore and are replaced by metal magazines. The plastic tend to crack and when it breaks completely, all rounds can be ejected into the air. They can also have problems reliably feeding the weapon when loaded with more than 28 rounds.
Afghan National Army
In 2007 and 2008, Canada donated 2,500 surplus C7 rifles to the Afghan National Army. In 2011, the ANA gave back the C7's since the Afghan security forces chose the American M-16 variant instead. Canadian Forces officials said the Canadian rifles would be shipped to Canada for disposal.
The most commonly used version in the Dutch Military is the C7. The Luchtmobiele Brigade (Airmobile Brigade), consisting of 11 Infantry Battalion Garderegiment Grenadiers en Jagers, 12 Infantry Battalion Regiment Van Heutsz and 13 Infantry Battalion Regiment Stoottroepen Prins Bernhard uses the C7A1, and the C8A1 (Diemaco C8FT) is mainly used by the Korps Commandotroepen, the paratroopers of the Luchtmobiele Brigade (one company per battalion), the Korps Mariniers and most of the recon units of the various combat units, including the Forward Air Controllers and the reconnaissance units of the cavalry and the artillery.
Many of the Dutch Army's C7s have had an overhaul: the rifle's black furniture has now been replaced by dark earth furniture. New parts include a new retracting stock, the Diemaco IUR (Integrated Upper receiver) with RIS rails for mounting flashlights and laser systems, and a vertical foregrip with built-in bipod; the thermold plastic magazines have now become brown in color. The ELCAN sighting system has also disappeared in favor of the Swedish made Aimpoint CompM4 red dot sight.
- Afghanistan: Used by the Afghan National Army.
- Canada: Used by the Canadian Forces  and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 
- Netherlands: Used by the Military of the Netherlands.
- United Kingdom: Used by the Pathfinder Platoon of the Parachute Regiment.
- ^ WorldGuns – C7/C8 Rifle
- ^ "C7A2". http://army.ca/wiki/index.php/C7A2.
- ^ Canadian Forces Rifle — Marksman Rifle System 5.56mm C7CT DM[dead link]
- ^ "Canadian military donates 2,500 rifles to Afghan army". CBC.ca. December 23, 2007. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2007/12/23/canada-afghan-rifles.html. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- ^ Brewster, Murray (16 June 2011). "Afghan army gives donated rifles back to Canada in favour of U.S. weapons". The Canadian Press. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/afghan-army-gives-donated-rifles-back-canada-favour-154653728.html. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iZWnw0_sATWFqQiv895B9h9l3uWQ AFP:Afghan soldiers pick up US weapons
- ^ a b c Miller, David (2001). The Illustrated Directory of 20th Century Guns. Salamander Books Ltd. ISBN 1-84065-245-4.
- ^ "Kitchener plant to make new gun for front-line RCMP officers". Canadian Press. 21 Ocotober 2011. http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/canada/article/613061--kitchener-plant-to-make-new-gun-for-front-line-rcmp-officers. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- ^ http://www.defensie.nl/onderwerpen/materieel/bewapening/(hand-)vuurwapens/diemaco
- ^ "Video on Pathfinder Platoon showing them using the C8 Carbine alongside more standard L85A2s". http://www.youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uKwpPGgfEQ. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- Canadian Forces website(link fixed 1 Nov 09)
- Colt Canada (Formerly Diemaco)
- - Assault rifle suppressors for Colt / Colt Canada models -
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