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Colt Canada C8


C8 carbine

The Canadian C8 carbine is equivalent to the US Colt M4

Country of origin Canada
Entered service 1994
Caliber 5.56x45 mm NATO
Weight (unloaded) ~ 2.5 kg
Length ~ 840 mm
Length (with folded stock) ~ 760 mm
Barrel length 368 mm
Muzzle velocity 840 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 700 - 950 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 600 m
Range of effective fire ~ 360 m


   The Canadian C8 carbine was revealed in 1983. It is a modified license-produced version of the US Colt Model 723 (M4) carbine. Technical data package was provided by Colt to the Canadian Government. However Canadian Diemaco reviewed the design and made numerous changes to this weapon, before it entered production. These changes include materials and manufacturing processes. Improvements are similar to those of the C7 assault rifle. The C8 can be seen as a compact version of the C7 for the troops that do not need a full-size assault rifle, such as vehicle drivers, artillery crews, airborne troops and special operation units. The C8 carbine was adopted in 1994. Currently it is used by the Canadian armed forces. Also this weapon has been exported to the United Kingdom, where it is used by special forces and military police. In 2005 Diemaco was acquired by Colt Defense and became known as Colt Canada Corporation.

   The C8 is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. It is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. This carbine proved to be a reliable, accurate and comfortable to fire weapon. Also it has an ergonomic design.

   This carbine comes with a 368 mm (14.5") barrel, versus 508 mm (20") barrel typically seen on the C7 assault rifle. As a result the C8 is more comfortable to carry and to use than the C7.

   This weapon has a progressive design. Its barrel is in the same axis with buttstock. So the recoil force is directed backwards, rather than upwards. This feature reduces muzzle climb and increases accuracy.

   The safety / fire mode selector switch is located on the left side of the receiver, above the pistol grip. It has three positions for "safe", "semi-auto" and "full-auto". A cocking handle is located at the rear of the receiver and does not reciprocate when the gun is fired. Ejection port is located on the right side.

   This weapon is fed from 30-round capacity magazines. Is is also compatible with the C7/M16 magazines, as well as all standard STANAG magazines. This carbine can accept magazines of  other assault rifles, such as Heckler & Koch G36, Steyr AUG, Tavor, and so on.

   The C8 carbine has a telescopic 4-position buttstock. Internal design of this weapon can not be adapted for a folding stock. The stock of the C8 can be adjusted for length, and allows to shorten the rifle when required.

   A baseline carbine comes with diopter-type iron sights, built into the carrying handle. Sighting range is up to 600 m. Range adjustments are made by rotating a rear knob. Later production models were fitted with a Picatinny-type rail on top of the receiver for attachment of sights. These could also mount a detachable carrying handle. Because of the shorter barrel this weapon has an effective range of around 360 meters.

   This carbine can mount a 40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher. A bayonet can be attached.




   C8A1 is an improved version with a flat-top upper receiver of the C7A1. This carbine has a scope rail and can accept a variety of scopes. It is normally used with a C79 3.4x magnification optical sight. A detachable carrying handle can still be installed.

   C8A2 is a further improved version. It has similar upgrades, that appeared on the C7A2 assault rifle, such as green furniture. The C8A2 was exported to some other countries and is used by various law enforcement agencies.

   C8 SFW (Special Forces Weapon). It was designed to provide a fire support capability in a carbine form. This weapon has a longer 400 mm (15.7") and heavier barrel. It can mount either an M203A1 or Heckler & Koch AG-C/EGLM underbarrel grenade launcher. The C8 SWF was adopted by the British special forces under the L119A1 designation, and Norwegian special forces.

   C8 FTHB (Flat Top Heavy Barrel) has a number of improvements and comes with a heavy barrel. At some point a total of 400 of these carbines carbines were upgraded to the C8 FTHB A3 standard. However after that Colt Canada redesignated this weapon simply as C8A3.

   C8A3 replaced in production the C8FTHB. This version has got ambidextrous controls.

   C8CT (Custom Tactical) is a designated marksman version of the C8 carbine. It seems that is was primarily developed for a law enforcement use as a sniper spotter weapon. It is a more accurate weapon than the baseline C8. It is fitted with a 410 mm (16") barrel, match trigger, weightier stock, small removable bipod, accessory rail for designators under the foregrip, different pistol grip, and has some other differences. It is usually used with sound suppressor.

   C8 CQB is a compact assault rifle with a 250 mm (10") or 290 mm (11.6") barrel. It is similar to the US Mark 18 Mod 0 CQBR compact assault rifle.

   C8 IUR (Integrated Upper Receiver). It is a semi-automatic only version. It was adopted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a standard-issue patrol carbine. It is also widely used by the Danish military.



C8 carbine

C8 carbine

C8 carbine

C8 carbine

C8 carbine

C8 carbine

C8 carbine


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