Living as a firearms owner in the Great White North means having to deal with silly gun laws. It means having to apply for permits, registering some firearms and not others, and limiting some magazines and not others. It means that you can only shoot your handguns at a range, and that the guns your grandfather used to defend your country are unlikely to get handed down to you.

It means living in the shadow of the United States, with all that freedom bubbling just south of the border.

But there are some things we get in Canada that you don’t see stateside—and that’s what this article is about. In fact, Canada has lots to offer its firearms enthusiasts.

Our government is awfully concerned about automatic conversions, but beyond that it doesn’t care much where guns come from, or how many of their parts are made overseas. That means we can import and own the following unique foreign firearms—and more.


A FAMAE SAF in 9x19mm.
A FAMAE SAF in 9x19mm. Image by Edward Osborne.

Patterned after the Sig SG 540 and built in Chile, the SAF bears a marked resemblance to the classic MP5. There’s no tax stamp on these, even on the K-style PDW, but they do have to be registered with the government and can only be fired at an approved range. A five-round magazine limit can suck some of the fun out.

2. FAMAE SG 542

The FAMAE SG 542, the .308-chambered big brother of the SAF.
The FAMAE SG 542, the .308-chambered big brother of the SAF. It’s one of the few “battle rifles” available to Canadians in general. Image by Edward Osborne.

The bigger brother of the SAF, this .308 is one of the few battle rifles that escaped being banned by name or design by the Canadian government. There are no “civilian-legal” G3s or FALs in Canada, but the FAMAE fills the gap nicely.

3. Norinco T97

The Norinco T97. This affordable bullpup is chambered in .223 and accepts standard AR-15 mags.
The Norinco T97. This affordable bullpup is chambered in .223 and accepts standard AR-15 mags. Image by Edward Osborne.

A semiautomatic-only version of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-issued QBZ rifles, the T97 is the most affordable bullpup on the market. It’s only $1,000 (CAD) MSRP, and ambitious shoppers can find used models as low as $750. This semiauto piston-driven unit is a communist creature with capitalist overtones. Unlike its QBZ counterparts, it’s been chambered in .223 and accepts USGI AR-15 magazines.

4. GM6 Lynx

The GM6 Lynx bullpup .50 BMG rifle. It's quite compact for a .50 caliber firearm.
The GM6 Lynx bullpup .50 BMG rifle. At just over 44 inches long, it’s quite compact for a .50 caliber firearm. Image courtesy Tactical Imports.

Bullpups are big in Canada, and this is the biggest. The semiautomatic GM6 Lynx is chambered in .50 BMG, feeds from a box magazine, and has an unusual recoil reduction system that utilizes a moving barrel. At $14,699 it’s the most expensive rifle on this list, but fills the gap left by the now-banned Barrett M107.

5. A variety of short-barreled shotguns

A Fabarm Martial 12 gauge shotgun with a 14-inch barrel.
A Fabarm Martial 12 gauge shotgun with a 14-inch barrel. Image by Edward Osborne.

Canadians may not be allowed to carry handguns for protection from wildlife, but we have cheap and plentiful pump-action shotguns with barrels as short as eight inches that can fill the role. Backpacker shotguns come from all over, and are extremely popular Canadian “camp guns.” Tube-fed or mag-fed, single-shot or side-by-side, you can find whatever you’re heart desires for well under $500.

Canadian gun enthusiasts also have access to a host of foreign-made clones of well-known firearms. While the Philippines can produce a surprisingly good 1911 for $500, the vast majority of Canadian-available knock-offs are produced by Norinco in China. Here’s a few you might recognize:

6. Norinco M305

A pair of Norinco M305 M14 clones.
A pair of Norinco M305 M14 clones. Image by Edward Osborne.

The M305 is a clone of the M14 that sells for $450. It’s affordable for almost anyone to own, and flexible enough to fulfill many different roles. New shooters who like plinking can buy a rifle for $450 and get a 1,000-round crate of surplus .308 for another $450. Hunters can add an optic mount, and use the full range of .308 loads for big game in Canada. Guys who want a hard hitting DMR-style setup can get into the game cheap, and put the rest of their budget into aftermarket parts. The M305 has a unique but well-established niche in Canada.

7. Dominion Arms (Norinco) P762

The Dominion Arms P762 pistol, which is chambered in the cheap and widely available 7.62x25mm Tokarev round.
The Dominion Arms P762 pistol, which is chambered in the cheap and widely available 7.62x25mm Tokarev round. Image courtesy Dominion Arms.

This might look like a Sig P226, but this little Chinese monster is actually chambered in the Russian 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridge! Lots of surplus ammo makes this an affordable way to get lots of rounds through an already-affordable gun (they sell for around $400) that’s got the core mechanisms of an established firearm. The aluminum frame accommodating a double-stack magazine means this gun has a hefty grip, but it’s built from the ground up to reliably shoot the old Russian round.

8. Dominion Arms (Norinco) 556 or CQA

Nope, this DA 556 isn't an American-made AR--it's a Chinese clone.
Nope, this DA 556 isn’t an American-made AR–it’s a Chinese clone. Image courtesy Dominion Arms.

The American classic—except not. Norinco’s take on the AR-15 is not without some issues. These flattop uppers come from the factory with a carry handle and standard handguards, and are offered in 10.5- and 14.5-inch barrel lengths. From there, its up to the user to remove some of the lower-quality parts and start the AR-15 Lego process. Surprisingly reliable, these $600 rifles get the job done, but aren’t going to look like much compared to a high-end US-maderifle.

Canadian firearms laws need to improve, there’s no doubt about that. But in the meantime we can still get some interesting and unusual guns for private ownership.

Canadian readers: there are definitely a few more exclusive firearms that aren’t on this list. What are some of your favorite Canada-only guns?

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50 thoughts on “Northern Guns: 8 Canada-exclusive Firearms You Won’t Find Stateside

  1. we had the Vz58 before you guys. I have a Skorpion on the way.

    We also can get shorter rifles such as the Kriss Vector without special paperwork

    1. Five round mag capacity seems to take the fun and usefullness out of most of the semi auto rifles you guys are allowed to own.

      1. There are some interesting loopholes, you can legally use a 10 round AR pistol mag in a rifle, or squeeze 15-17 rounds into a 5 round .50 Beowulf magazine (possibly 27 if anybody starts selling a .50 Beowulf pistol). Competition shooters have been using .40 S&W mags to legally get 12-14 rounds of 9mm in the gun for years now. Also i believe there’s a few belt-fed semi-auto’s that have no limit as they don’t technically use a magazine, and there’s no limit on rimfire rifles (high hopes for the kel-tec RMR-30)

  2. Just because it’s exclusive doesn’t mean it’s good. Most of these are cheap Chinese junk. The US economy is already circling the drain because of an overabundance of Chinese imports.

    1. I’ve seen a whole lot of Chinese weapons in my time that have killed millions of people around the world. You can call them junk but they work well for what they’re intended for.

    2. You have been fooled by American gun companies. These are great as range toys and can be used for self defense. If these guns were available in U.S. big gun companies would lose out big time. So they spread rumors. These are inexpensive and I would buy them if I could. My moss berg 590 and gloc 19 would still be primary home defense, but these would be a hoot to shoot.

  3. What this article says to me is the USA has bad gun laws. Not one of the guns listed in the article should be illegal for sale here.

    1. it shows how actual “reasonable gun control” is about compromise, not bans and restriction. Sure you gotta register the more exotic toys, but the registration exists and is possible for Joe Public to get. In CA for example, most of this stuff has NO registration option and NO ownership chance.

      1. Your comment doesn’t make a lot of sense. The point is, I am a free man and, while I will obey the gun laws of the land, no one has a right to tell me what I can and can not own. I have the right to own any firearm I choose. To put it another way. It is morally right for me to own any firearm I desire. Only an immoral government would pass a law infringing that right. The Second Amendment supposedly protects my right to keep and bear arms but it has clearly been violated because I am not legally allowed to own any of the guns listed in the article. There is no compromise with what is right and wrong.

      2. Here in Virginia, no firearms purchase permits are required, there are no waiting periods (other than the few minutes that the instant background check takes to clear), no restrictions on how many firearms you can buy in one day, no silly magazine capacity limits, and the only things we are required to register here are motor vehicles, water craft, and sex offenders!
        But wait, it gets better; if you are a Class III full auto firearms enthusiast, Virginia is the state for you. At just over 30,000 legally owned Class III full automatic weapons, Virginia leads the nation in legal Class III firearms ownership.

      3. And you ought to be able to get a firearm that easy. Gotta say though I’ve seen some real dumb handlers who I wouldn’t want to be within 5 miles of when they have a gun in their hands. Have quickly packed up and left ranges because of that. On the other hand the Canadians do at least have to train and prove that they have some idea of safety and produce that proof every time they go buy any firearm. To hell with any gun registration though.

    2. Actually, the laws in question are not even so much “gun laws” as “economic laws”. And who do they protect?… American firearms manufacturers. That’s why those import restrictions never raised even a whisper of protest from most U.S. gun companies…

      1. I have no disagreement with your point. Crony Capitalism (or, as it used to be called, Fascism) has always been about protecting corporate interests through the use of government force.

    3. What it shows is that the US government has over stepped boundaries with some of the countries where these firearms are manufactured. The only reason they can’t get most of these mentioned firearms is because of the trade embargo with China.

  4. Canadians are among the most heavily armed people I know. And legally so. Everyone tries to paint Canada as some anti-gun paradise but her it shows for every ban there’s a reasonable accomodation. And my favorite- Canada has a lot of registration but you can still get and own after registration while here in America hoplophobic zealots make sure you have NO legal route even with registration. Shows Canada is full of compromise, while California is full of restriction.

    I love the “we can’t get handguns but we can have 8 inch shotguns” compromise. Y’all are nuts up there. that’s why most Americans love ya, and the artsy vocal types ridicule Canada cuz they’re afraid.

    I’ve been employed all my adult life, paid all my taxes, completely clean criminal record – can I move up there? 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t call it a compromise as much as the government was just short sighted(in their eyes) with what restrictions they made.
      Canada’s National Firearms Association’s slogan is ‘No Compromise’
      So don’t expect any more ‘compromises’ as it’s not an option any longer for many of us.

    2. Really, where did you get the info that canadians cannot have handguns ? Up in Canada, you take a restricted firearms course, pass the course, wait for your licence and go buy one. The store calls/faxes the CFO, you pay the price for whichever gun you want. They give you the authorization to transport it, and away you go.

      1. the article itself said it. Not being Canadian I don’t research their gun regulations since I’m too busy trying to stay legal in California with all the new changes every year.

      2. Actually Rick, you’re mistaken with your “I love the “we can’t get handguns but we can have 8
        inch shotguns” compromise.” Quote.. The article mentioned handguns two times stating;

        “It means having to apply for permits, registering some firearms and not others,
        and limiting some magazines and not others. It means that you can only shoot
        your handguns at a range”


        “Canadians may not be allowed to carry handguns for protection from wildlife…”

        Stevo is quite correct. As long as you don’t have a criminal record and
        are of age it is quite easy to acquire a firearm. The first one might take a little
        while as you first need to take the Handgun safety course and then get your restricted
        handgun license but once you’re in possession of a license, it’s quite easy and
        fast to pick up a handgun after that.

        As a matter of fact I picked up 5 handguns (and three rifles) in a day
        at an auction. All they did was send my info to the firearms registrar while I
        was still bidding on other items and they sent back the paperwork via FAX for
        me to sign on the spot. I was out the door by the end of the auction with all
        my legal purchases. (Trigger locked as per our safe transportation of firearms

        Aside from that, we are happy to have you but one firm Canadian rule you
        must abide by if you come is you must bring at least two days’ worth of
        California Sunshine or you will be refused at the border. 😉

  5. Canadian gun laws are as retarded as some US gun laws. The only difference is the diagnosis and the symptoms. The result is the same. Dumb.

    1. I agree. The article is way misleading! I for one would rather take the option of multiple possession of handguns, over an 8″ shotgun, anyday! 99.9% of Canadian subjects can NOT legally attain a CCW, while 38% of the States have CCW “shall issue” clauses and 85% still have CCW “May issue” rules.

      With the exception of California, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii and TAXachusettes, (the “Fab-five”) the other states are pretty much open to the best “anything goes” laws for civilian possession of firearms, than anywhere else in the world. Albeit it, Israel is pretty liberal on private gun ownership with fully automatic weapons.

      1. Chuck, you forgot New Jersey a ccw is almost impossible to get unless you are a high a high filleting official

    1. Really? I hadn’t heard that! I thought the MR-1s just weren’t very loveable as a shotgun-style rifle. They’re not super popular up here to be honest: but I’m tempted by a 12.5″ SBR

  6. With a five round mag limit on semi auto firearms in Canada I do not see the reason to buy any of these ” hi-cap” firearms. All are pinned to just five rounds.

    1. Well there are loopholes in the law. For example you can use a AR-15 mag stamped with .50 beowulf in any rifle that can take it. A 5 round beowulf mag holds 15 5.56mm rounds. Funny thing is I don’t know anyone who has a rifle chambered for .50 beowulf but the mags are everywhere. Not Ideal I know but it’s still better than 5.

      1. You can also use Rock River Arms LAR-15 pistol magazines in your AR. Boosts capacity to 10 rounds legally.

      2. It’s a shame that this works so well for ARs, but so poorly for other platforms. Lots of Canadian shooters would love to compete with their Cz858 rifles, but its hard to keep up with AR shooters who get by with 1/3rd the mag changes.

    1. Actually Chinese steel is very hard. When I was in Bosnia and had to de-activate various AK’s. The Chinese AK’s were the hardest to drill through the chamber.

    1. Maybe you don’t know, there are many firearms factories in China making stuff that’s marked Norinco. Chinese make some quality stuff. They also make some junk, it depends alot on which factory. Marlin and Remington have made some poor quality guns too. So what? If you choose wisely from the Norincos, and do a bit of fiddling (in some cases), you end up with some really good guns. That’s my experience.

      1. My experience also .Seems a lot of people are quick to condemn Chinese products because it’s cheap. But remember they don’t pay their people squat. Some is quit good and reliable.Yes there is junk that’s what reviews are for.
        To me If it shoots straight and reliable then cheap is a bonus,I don’t care where or who makes it US.Russia,Israel,Euro,Turkey why limit yourself

  7. The laws in Canadia seem as arbitrary and capricious as those here, but I am glad to hear that you have not been completely disarmed. I recall the grief we got driving to Alaska in 1969. because of my Dad’s (mostly hunting) firearms.
    I agree about the Chinese junk. Even here in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia, I have a Springfield MIA SOCOM, an AR-15 (with bullet button), and enough handguns that Kameltoe Harris and her DOJ are not an issue.
    I like the look of the GM6 Lynx, and a short barrel shotgun would be nice.

  8. Still it’s all controlled by a boated, micro-managing government. And don’t forget these are the descendants of those who we fought for independence from & the very reason we have a SECOND AMENDMENT , being slowly eroded by idiots in America who think, err ah, “feel” like the Canadians do about firearms.

  9. YA I own a Norinco 12ga side by side with 12″ Barrels, and can shoot it anywhere a gun can be safely discharged.. I can also step out a ways from my house and blast away with a Barrett .50, but if I DARE take my .22 Browning Nomad out to the chicken coop to pick off a weasel, and get reported, I lose ALL my guns and can spend years in prison.. This is what our government calls “sensible gun laws”
    And Oh ya, I also have to pay a fee and register myself as a potential criminal every 5 years for the rest of my life.. “sensible gun laws” my a$$

    1. If you wouldn’t mid I’d Ike to post you comment somewhere because it perfectly describes the Canadian firearm law

      1. Yup, be my guest.. Post it where ever you like.. The latest bit of stupidity is the RCMP changed the status of a particular run of non restricted rifles to ‘PROHIBITED’ because the words Molon Labe were engraved in the stock, and marked on the bolt carrier. “sensible gun laws”

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