.50 Beowulf Magazine Classification Update – RCMP PROHIBIT .50 BEOWULF MAGAZINES
As some of you know we were declined an IIC for the Alexander Arms .50 Beowulf magazines earlier this year. Foreign Affair Canada said they would not issue the IIC due to the controversy surrounding these magazines and asked that we get clarification on the matter from the RCMP. I then wrote to the RCMP asking for said clarification back in May and just now received their response. The following is a direct quote for the letter we received.
The 50 Beowulf Magazine
In the case of AR platform rifles chambered for 50 Beowulf calibre, the magazine is adapted from the original 5.56×45 NATO version of the magazine, generally by one or more of the following: widening the space between the magazine lips, changing the angle of the magazine lips and changing the feed angle of the magazine follower. The adaptations more efficiently feed the much larger diameter 50 Beowulf calibre cartridge. However, the original ability to contain and feed 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridges has not been deleted and the magazines remain serviceable for that purpose.
The 50 Beowulf cartridge is centrefire and the AR platform rifles which use that calibre are semiautomatic. Thus, cartridge magazines for 50 Beowulf calibre firearms are prohibited if more than five 50 Beowulf cartridges can be contained in the magazine (subparagraph ii, as above).
Magazines for the AR platform which contain four or five 50 Beowulf calibre cartridges present a more complicated situation. Such magazines will generally contain 11 and 14 cartridges respectively of 5.56×45 mm NATO (or 223 Remington) calibre. Since the 50 Beowulf calibre magazines are adapted from the original 5.56×45 mm NATO design and the ability of the magazine to perform as originally designed has not been compromised by the adaptation, such magazines are prohibited if they contain more than five 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridges. The magazines are in effect dual calibre magazines and will be prohibited if they exceed five shots capacity of either calibre.
Magazines have recently been manufactured in, or imported into Canada bearing markings suggesting they are exclusively designed for 50 Beowulf ammunition, and at four or five shot capacity, are non-prohibited magazines. This is simply not the case. All magazines for 50 Beowulf calibre AR platform firearms presently on the Canadian market are prohibited devices.
AR Platform Upper Receivers
You had also asked about 50 Beowulf calibre AR upper receivers. Your understanding is correct that they are not prohibited.
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