CASR has a report on DND’s search for a new bolt-action 7.62mm rifle for use in training Canadian snipers. Wearing out more expensive .338 lapua and .50 weapons and using up match-grade ammunition for those larger calibres is apparently getting pricey.
DND’s Letter of Interest/Request for Information ‘RFI – Sniper Observation & Targeting’ for the Observation Target Acquisition System revealed the existance of a different project. The C18 Training Sniper Weapon is a proposed precision bolt-action rifle chambered for 7.62mm. The rationale is fairly obvious. The in-service primary sniper weapons exist in small numbers only. The C14A1 Timberwolf is chambered for 8.6mm (.338″ Lapua), the C15A1 ‘Big Mac’ for 12.7mm. ‘Match’ grade ammunition for these calibres is extremely expensive and excess wear on the in-service weapons unwelcome. A dedicated training rifle gets around both problems.
The proposed C18 TSW would be chambered for 7.62mm NATO rounds meaning that match grade .308″ Winchester ammunition intended for civilian competition shooting can be used. Such ammunition is readily available and are much cheaper than the larger rounds – a match round in .338″ or 12.7mm (.50″ BMG) could sell for five times more than its .308″ counterpart. So, the proposed C18 TSW would bring economy in reduced operating costs (through less expensive ammunition) while sparing the CF’s operational sniper’s rifles from excessive wear.