Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gone Baby, Gone...

My very first centerfire rifle was a Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk.I* with your basic chopped-stock-and-varnish Bubba sporterizing job. I liked it because it held 10 rounds, which obviously made it the best rifle. Incidentally, this was also why middle-school-age me thought the P.08 Luger was obviously superior to the M1911: Eight rounds is more than seven.

I still have a couple of Enfields: A relatively nice BSA ShtLE complete with volley sights and mag cutoff and the whole nine yards, as well as a postwar Fazakerley No.4 Mk.II I bought off Marko, one of the batch of unissued guns that came in-country in the early Aughties. I'll always have a soft spot for the things.

So it's kinda poignant for me to see one of the few remaining official users of the old Limey crank-cocker phasing it out. (Although you have to admit that the article does have some of that quintessentially Canadian self-effacing politeness...)
"Lee-Enfields are issued to Rangers primarily for self-defence, he stresses. The Rangers are trained to kill only if clearly threatened.

But if one of these primal, snorting predators happens to attack or target you, Rittwage says, a reliable rifle is requisite.
“Polar bears will stalk the Rangers. And although polar bears are a protected animal, if you’re faced with life and limb, if that polar bear is out to kill you, you’re going to have to take its life. And that .303 has the stopping power to do that.”"