HomeWeaponsRifleColt Canada C7: Over 150 Modifications for Improved Performance

Colt Canada C7: Over 150 Modifications for Improved Performance

The Colt Canada C7 is a highly reliable and accurate service rifle issued to the Canadian Armed Forces since 1977. It is a licensed version of the M16 assault rifle and boasts a design similar to the Colt M16A2. The C7 has been specially crafted to suit Canada’s cold weather conditions. The gun features a longer barrel than its American equivalent, enhancing its accuracy at longer distances.


The Colt Canada C7 is specifically a Colt Model 715 AR-15 rifle, while the M16 designation has been used for the Colt Model 604, 613K, 613P, and 614 AR-15 rifles. The Colt Canada C7 assault rifle was developed in parallel with the M16A2 by Colt. Colt provided the Canadian government with a technical data package, but the Canadian company Diemaco made over 150 modifications to the design before it went into production. These changes included changes to materials and manufacturing processes. The C7 was adopted as the standard infantry rifle by the Canadian military in 1984 and has since been exported to Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway.

M16A2 US soldier on shooting range
U.S. soldier shooting from M16A2 assault rifle (Photo: XY)

In 2005, Diemaco was acquired by Colt Defense and became known as Colt Canada Corporation. It is estimated that over 200,000 C7 rifles and their variants have been produced to date. The C7 has been used in various military conflicts, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the standard-issue rifle for the Canadian, Norwegian (special forces only), Danish, and Dutch militaries. The Colt Canada C7 and its variants have been deployed in combat by Canadian, British, Norwegian, Dutch, and Danish forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Mali.


The C7 is a gas-powered, multi-mode firearm designed for use with standard NATO 5.56x45mm ammunition. At the time of its introduction, it was considered one of the premier assault rifles in the world, known for its reliability, accuracy, and comfort in use. This is due in part to its ergonomic design, as well as its superior materials and manufacturing processes.

Compared to other popular service rifles like the AK-47 and AR-15, the C7 boasts greater accuracy and reliability, with the added benefit of modular customization. Users can easily attach accessories such as optics and foregrips without sacrificing performance.

Colt Canada C7 rifle laying on the floor
Colt Canada C7 (Photo: XY)

A unique characteristic of the C7 is its progressive design, which directs recoil backward instead of upwards, reducing muzzle climb and improving accuracy. The weapon features a chrome-plated barrel with a longer lifespan than the M16A2 and a non-reciprocating cocking handle located at the rear of the receiver. The safety/fire mode selector switch is positioned on the left side of the receiver, above the pistol grip, with options for safe, semi-automatic, and full-automatic firing modes. The ejection port is located on the right side.

The C7 uses 30-round magazines, compliant with NATO standards and interchangeable with assault rifles such as the G36 and AUG. The initial Canadian military order was for polymer magazines, but aluminum magazines were eventually adopted due to failures in testing. The C7 has a cyclic rate of fire of 700-900 rounds per minute.

The solid buttstock of the C7 and C7A1 cannot be adapted for folding, but the C7A2 model features a telescoping stock. The standard C7 weapon is equipped with diopter-style iron sights built into the carrying handle. The range can be adjusted by turning the rear knob, and the minor front sight post does not obscure the target beyond a capacity of 300 meters.

The C7 and its variants can be fitted with a US M203 40mm under-barrel grenade launcher, which replaces the standard handguard using a unique mounting system. Additionally, a bayonet can also be attached.



The C7A1 is a refined and advanced weapon featuring a Picatinny-style rail in place of the original carrying handle. This firearm can accommodate a range of optical scopes and is typically equipped with a C79 3.4x magnification sight. Despite this, the option for a detachable carrying handle remains available.

Danish Royal Guards marching in traditional uniform with C7A1 rifles
The Danish Royal Guards display their precision marching in traditional uniform, armed with C7A1 rifles (Photo: XY)


The C7A2 represents a continuation of improvements, boasting a telescopic buttstock similar to the US M4/C8 carbine. The buttstock can be tailored to the shooter’s preference, providing a customized fit. Additionally, the weapon is finished with green furniture, completing its sleek and modern design.

Canadian soldier preparing ammunition for rifle drills at Partnership of the Americas 2009
A Canadian soldier from Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Regiment getting ready for Partnership of the Americas 2009 at Camp Blanding, Florida (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Abby Burtner/Released)


The C7CT (Custom Tactical) is a specialized marksman rifle designed to deliver superior accuracy. It features a refined match trigger, a weighty stock, a compact bipod, and an optimized pistol grip, among other enhancements. This weapon can precisely engage at ranges up to 600 meters and is often paired with a sound suppressor.

C8 Carbine

The C8 carbine is a refined, licensed version of the Colt M4 carbine that boasts enhancements inspired by the C7 assault rifle. Adopted by the Canadian Armed Forces, this weapon has also been made available to foreign markets, including the United Kingdom, where it serves as a trusted tool for special forces and military police units.

US and Danish military personnel training for VBSS operations on the HDMS Absalon and USS Vela Gulf
Members of the VBSS team armed with Colt Canada C8 aboard the HDMS Absalon and USS Vela Gulf during counter-piracy training exercises (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Jason R. Zalasky/Released)


The C10 is a training variant of the C7 designed to be more accessible and cost-effective for practice and target shooting. Chambered in .22 LR ammunition, this model is limited to semi-automatic fire, making it ideal for honing one’s shooting skills without incurring the expenses associated with more powerful rounds.

Diemaco LSW

The Diemaco LSW is a license-produced version of the Colt 750 Squad Automatic Weapon that Diemaco has upgraded to include several unique features. The LSW is characterized by its heavy barrel, which enables sustained firing, as well as its detachable carrying handle and custom handguard, complete with a built-in handle and a vertical foregrip. Additionally, the weapon is equipped with a bipod for improved stability during use. This versatile and reliable light support weapon has been exported to Denmark and the Netherlands.

MRR – Modular Rail Rifle

The MRR, or Modular Rail Rifle, was introduced by Colt Canada in 2015 and became available for purchase in 2016. This rifle features a monolithic upper receiver outfitted with Magpul’s M-LOK attachment system, allowing a wide range of accessory options. The MRR is offered in various barrel lengths, including 11.6, 14.5, 15.7, and 18.6 inches, each with varying features. The 11.6-inch version boasts a shorter handguard, while the 14.5-inch variant is exclusive to law enforcement and military organizations.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Canada
Manufacturer:Colt Canada
Entered service:1984
Caliber:5.56×45 mm NATO
Weight (unloaded):3.3 kg
Weight (loaded):3.9 kg
Length:1 006 mm
Barrel length:508 mm
Muzzle velocity:900 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire:700 – 900 rpm
Practical rate of fire:40 – 100 rpm
Magazine capacity:30 rounds
Sighting range:600 m
Range of effective fire:600 m
Eric Sof
Eric Sofhttps://special-ops.org
Eric Sof holds a master's degree in Political Science, specializing in International Peacekeeping Studies. He has over a decade of experience as a former member of an elite counterterrorism unit. Additionally, he is a firearms instructor and currently serves as a member of the SWAT unit.


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