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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member rgg_7's Avatar
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    Where to Buy a C3a1

    I've been asked this question many times.



    I've replied that there were approximately 500 manufactured under contract with the Canadian National Defense Department (DND) by Parker Hale. These were placed into military service and a hand full were transferred to other Agencies. So the story goes approximately 10 where returned to Parker Hale early on in the program as they were provided with M87 profile barrels. For unknow reasons Parker Hale replaced these rather than rebarrel making a total of 510 C3a1 out there. The 500 military unit are unobtainable leaving just the 10 in public hands. Very, very rare sniper rifle.

    Most collectors are aware of 00341G that Highwood Classic sold a couple years ago. It was one of the 10 however had an incorrect bolt, stock and scope. Rumour has it coming to Canadaicon. Anybody know who purchased this?

    Lastly if your not able to buy one of the remaining 9 then it is making a correct "clone" with as many original parts that you can source.

    Any other advice?

    Ron (Canada)

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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    The story about "only 10 guns returned" to PH & retained by PH is just B.S. -

    PH would have been contractually obligated to maintain spares for the CF - and from the date of order until PH folded they would have had the ability to manufacture new C3A1 rifles on demand.

    The M86, M87 and C3A1 are all the same receiver - C3A1 just has some extra cuts - just like a USMC M40A1 is a Remington 700 (or 40XB if you prefer).

    The only ACTUAL difference between an M86/M87 & C3A1 is the serial number block suffix.
    Last edited by Lee Enfield; 02-08-2021 at 11:41 AM.
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    Correctomondo!..................
    Ron,
    Not sure where that 10 story came from, none of the PH engineers I know ever heard it before. The rifle you ask about was indeed on the Canadianicon contract and I am sure if you speak to Simon he might tell you where it came from and possibly where it went to.
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 02-08-2021 at 11:37 AM.
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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Boyd View Post
    Correctomondo!..................
    Ron,
    Not sure where that 10 story came from, none of the PH engineers I know ever heard it before. The rifle you ask about was indeed on the Canadianicon contract and I am sure if you speak to Simon he might tell you where it came from and possibly where it went to.
    I've seen documentation which states that the CF has (had anyway) bare C3A1 receivers/barreled actions available in stores c.2001.
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    Really Senior Member rgg_7's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Interesting. I'd like to know if the "spare" receiver or barreled actions were serialized? How do we explain how 00341G entered into public hands? Its serial number is on the original Parker Hale/DND Contract.

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    Ron,
    A question often asked. It also applies to L96A1's too on whatever fad takes MOD Police when they have nothing else to do, to seek out weapons they deem should not have been sold.

    They should delve deeper into their own MOD/HMG civilian staff and clearance policies to fully understand your question.
    Someone sold your rifle and perhaps Simon is the only one who can help in its passage through peoples hands. I would be interested to hear too!

    It also applies to many Police Forces, who on one hand crush all rifles after use, and others selling them openly to FAC holders.................odd world.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgg_7 View Post
    Interesting. I'd like to know if the "spare" receiver or barreled actions were serialized? How do we explain how 00341G entered into public hands? Its serial number is on the original Parker Hale/DND Contract.
    Do you really think that PH would have sent the CF an un-serialized completed receiver in 1990? It wasn't 1945 or 1955 any more -

    00341G could easily have been retained by PH as a sample, or failed QC and been rejected by the CF - or it's possible that PH built 2 rifles with the same serial number.

    Serial numbers are serial numbers - they are assigned by the manufacturer, the Canadianicon Gov't doesn't own numbers or prefixes or suffixes- as an example, FN built many Serial #1 FAL rifles and HP pistols - Beretta and Breda built many serial # 1 Garandicon rifles.
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    Really Senior Member rgg_7's Avatar
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    Just my comments;

    Gil - I can appreciate Simon protecting his customer in not divulging his name and location. He did confirm that 00341G came to Canadaicon. I've checked with my contacts and they don't know the new "custodian". I'm sure 00341G has a good home!

    Lee Enfield - I know the Owner of 00341G who consigned it to Highwood Classic Arms. He purchased it from Norman Clark shortly after Norman bought it from the Parker Hale bankruptcy sale. Norman Clark also had a 2nd
    C3a1 that came from the same sale. It resides in the UKicon and I'm not privy to its serial number. Also a number of M85's and a large stock of parts.
    - How many more are out there? I know of 2 others.
    - Where did the "Story of the 10 returns originate"? Initially Clive Law told this to a few folks including my self. I also heard this from a Weapons Tech (retired) around 2009 when there was increased interest in the C3a1.
    - I agree with you one one thing - the serial range for the C3a1 is well documented. Couple folks on here have a copy of the original contract. As far as I know all 500 were delivered.
    - Spare parts - sure they were purchased. I would suspect that the receivers would be serialized. Where thay part of the original 500 order? good question and would like to hears some comments. There must be some currently with DND that knows this?

    Both the C3 and C3a1 remain a bit of a mystery.

    Ron (Canada)

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    I recall first seeing pics and details of this rifle 10 years ago on a UKicon forum, link below. Mentions the damaged A2 stock, an original bolt knob and a wooden stock as well. I wonder if these parts were still with the rifle when it was sold on?

    https://ukvarminting.com/topic/9820-...omething-rare/

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    When Milarm was open in Edmonton they had a museum upstairs. There was a C3 there that I was told was original. Looked good from a distance but I could not examine closely. I do not know if this is true, how it was obtained or what happened to it after Milarm closed.

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