In Canada, we love our imported firearm design. This is no surprise given the history of British exports to her empire and popular gun culture to the south of us. With the US’ longstanding reputation for having more firearms than human beings, you can expect

But we must have some locally grown firearms, no? This blog highlights five of our favourite (yes, spelled with a “u”) Canadian-made firearms. Our featured models are designed in Canada, not license-built copies of foreign designs — built by Canadians, for Canadians.

The Ross Rifle

Cue the 20th century. Canada was growing her military while relying on British hand-me-down artillery and supply limitations. It was time to tap into local resources and get the military growing. Canadian gunnies sought to design a rifle with long-range accuracy, well-suited to the wide-open spaces our land is known for.

The Ross Rifle is born — a straight-pull bolt-actions rile. It was excellent for WW1 snipers, capable of over 1000m in range. However, the tight design that made the Ross rifle so accurate also made it prone to jamming. While snipers can be expected to keep their rifles clean, most of the infantry found great difficulty in the muddy trenches. The Ross was eventually replaced with the rougher Lee-Enfield British-made design.

Although the Ross Rifle didn’t have great success in combat, we salute the gritty attitude that drove Canadians to create it. We acted in a time of easing ties with the mother country and growing independence.

The Huot Automatic Rifle

While the Ross Rifle was a valiant effort, the Canadian military’s need for reliable firearms persisted. And now there was a surplus in Ross rifles. Joseph Huot, a machinist and blacksmith, saw an opportunity. He took the mechanism of a gas-operated light machine gun, a drum magazine, and slapped them onto a Ross rifle. There were, of course, years of craftsmanship, innovation, and patience going into this design, but you get the gist. Thus, the Huot Automatic Rifle was born in 1916. This Canadian machine gun made out of a Canadian bolt action rifle is a Russian nesting doll. Reduce, reuse, recycle, as they say.

The Huot was performed competitively against other rifles at the time, namely the Lewis. Unfortunately, the Huot did not reach formal acceptance by the military. It needed to be sufficiently better than the Lewis to fund retooling and retraining the troops.

The idea of a blacksmith in rural Quebec making a machine gun out of a bolt action rifle would probably make national headlines today, and that alone makes it an excellent design in our books.

The Timberwolf C14

At the break of the 21st century, Manitoba-based Prarie Gun Works put together a submission for a NATO sniper rifle trial. They submitted the Timberwolf, a high-precision rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. Canadians adopted this excellent design as the C14.

As a bolt-action rifle, the Timberwolf C14 is a modern military firearm that civilians in Canada can purchase. If you have deep pockets and want one of the best long-range rifles on the planet, Prarie Gun Works is happy to sell you a Timberwolf for a cool $7500.

Cooey Model 84

Before its eventual acquisition by Lakeside Arms (which was then bought by Savage, an American Company), Cooey made firearms. Cooey was a household name, selling in most North American sporting goods and department stores. While many of their guns were sold under the Cooey name, many more (likely millions) were produced under contract for other brands.

One of Cooey’s most popular models was the Model 84, a simple, break-action shotgun. Many Canadians learned to shoot with the Model 84 and put food on the table with it for decades. Its rugged and straightforward design often outlives its original owners to become family heirlooms. The ubiquity and quality of these firearms make them an icon of Canadian gun culture. 

Cooey Model 60

Cooey is known for its shotguns, which are flexible tools for hunting and target practice. But teaching a 12-year-old how to shoot with a 12-gauge shotgun may not be the wisest option. Luckily, Cooey also makes rifles.

The Model 60 is a bolt-action .22 rifle that feeds from a box magazine. This makes it an ideal first gun for most shooters, as it has minimal recoil and can only be fired one round at a time, thanks to the bolt. It’s difficult to have a negligent discharge with a bolt gun. Cooey’s affordable prices and simple designs made them exceptionally popular. The Model 60 is also fun to shoot, with the tubular magazine allowing you to fire rapidly.

One last woah-feature: that same tubular magazine is compatible with .22 short, .22 Long, and .22LR. You can plink all day with whatever is cheapest. All three cartridges were popular when the Model 60 was created, and the industry had yet to settle on .22LR as the standard quiet. A tubular magazine and a bolt-action design allowed the rifle to fire all three cartridges safely, keeping more customers happy.


There you have it — our top five firearms made in Canada. While not all of them hit the bullseye in performance, each has its story and place in Canadian heritage. Here’s to Canadian ingenuity—always ready to take a shot at something new!

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