Afghan Army Shifting to the M-16, Returning Canadian Battle Rifles


By Brian McCombe

Early in the War on Terror, the Afghan National Army asked coalition forces for NATO weapons to replace the aging Soviet-Era AK-47’s it had been using for years.  

As part of the NATO contribution, Canada donated 2,500 surplus C-7 rifles, the main battle rifle of the Canadian Army.  Recently the Afghans returned those C-7’s, in favor of the venerable M-16.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, “with a renewed focus on training, NATO has quietly decided that the entire Afghan force should be equipped with American M-16s, of which the C-7 is a variant.”

“The M-16 provided by the United States is very similar to the C-7, however their parts are not interchangeable,” said Maj. Andre Salloum, an Ottawa-based spokesman for Canada's overseas command.  “As such, the decision was made to recover the C-7 weapons and return them to Canada for disposal.”

Of note, while the Canadian Army supplied its C-7, “the U.S. decided to kick in as well, sending some 104,000 M-16s between 2007 and 2009.”

Interestingly, the Canadians pegged the value of the donated rifles at just under $3 million.  However, it cost another $6 million to deliver the rifles and provide 5.56 ammunition.  No word as to what it will cost to ship the C-7’s back to Canada.

SOURCE:  Winnipeg Free Press 6/15/11

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Corey Graff is the managing editor of the <i><a href="">Standard Catalog of Firearms</a></i> and <i><a href="">Gun Digest</a></i> annual book. In addition, he is the author of <i>What's In Your Bug-Out Bag?</i> and <i>The Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters.</i> His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as bolt-action rifles for western hunting.



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