Gun Magazine Capacity Limits in Canada



Firearm magazine capacities are controlled by law in Canada since 1993 under provisions of Bill C-17. Magazines that exceed the defined legal capacity are classified as a prohibited device in Canada. Possession of a prohibited device is a criminal offense for any individual in Canada (this does not apply to properly licenced businesses).

Semiautomatic Handgun magazine capacity limits:
Semiautomatic handgun magazines in Canada are limited to a maximum 10 cartridges (this includes both rimfire and centrefire semi-automatic handguns).
The exception are magazines designed for one calibre that will function in handguns of a different calibre and hold a higher capacity.
The RCMP give an example as follows: "Heckler and Koch P7 pistol chambered for 9mm Luger caliber: The magazine designed for the 40 S&W calibre variant of the pistol will hold 13 cartridges of 9mm Luger calibre and function in the 9mm Luger calibre P7 pistol. This is permissible as the maximum permitted capacity of the 40 S&W calibre magazine must be measured by the number of 40 S&W calibre cartridges it is capable of holding, which is 10 such cartridges in the case of the HK P7 pistol magazine."

Revolvers have no capacity limits.

Semiautomatic Centrefire rifle magazine capacity limits:
Magazines designed for centrefire semiautomatic rifles are limited to 5 cartridges.
• Magazines designed or manufactured for use in both semiautomatic rifles and semiautomatic handguns are subject to the limit of five cartridges.
• Magazines designed or manufactured for use in both semiautomatic rifles and other non-semiautomatic rifles are subject to the limit of five cartridges.
• Magazines designed for one firearm but used in a different firearm - RCMP explanation:
"The maximum permitted capacity of a magazine is determined by the kind of firearm it is designed or manufactured for use in and not the kind of firearm it might actually be used in. As a consequence, the maximum permitted capacity remains the same regardless of which firearm it might be used in. Example: The Marlin model 45 (Camp Carbine) rifle chambered for 45 Auto caliber uses magazines designed and manufactured for the Colt 1911 handgun, therefore the seven round and eight round capacities are permitted."
Another example of this would be the LAR-15 pistol. Magazines designed for the LAR-15 pistol are limited to the 10 cartridges for semiautomatic handguns. However these magazines will also function in certain semiautomatic rifles and the 10 cartridge capacity is still permitted. (Note: magazines must be stamped clearly identifying the firearm for which it was designed)
Original RCMP published reference: "A similar example is the 10 round capacity magazine for the Rock River Arms LAR-15 pistol, regardless of the kind of firearm it is actually used in." https://web.archive.org/web/20130702173958/http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/bulletins/bus-ent/20110323-72-eng.htm
• There are specific firearm magazines that are exempted from capacity restrictions under law (see list below).


Semiautomatic Rimfire rifle magazine capacity limits:
There is no limit on semiautomatic rimfire rifle magazine capacities. However if the magazine is designed for use in both a rimfire semiautomatic rifle and a rimfire semiautomatic handgun the 10 cartridge handgun limit applies.
RCMP example "Example: Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle and 15-22P pistol chambered for 22LR caliber:
• The 10 round magazine is unregulated
• The 25 round magazine is a prohibited device"



Magazines designed solely for bolt action rifles and shotguns do not have capacity limits.

Magazines designed solely for lever action rifles and shotguns do not have capacity limits.

Magazines designed solely for pump action rifles and shotguns do not have capacity limits.


Current wording of RCMP bulletin 72 on magazine capacities: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/bulletins/bus-ent/20110323-72-eng.htm

Calibre Magazine Article: http://calibremag.ca/magazine-capacity-explained/

Specific firearm magazines that are exempt from capacity limitations:
"• Magazines designed or manufactured for use in U.S. Rifle M1 (Garand), including Springfield Armory, Breda and Beretta M1 Garands
• Magazines designed or manufactured for use in Charlton rifle, Farquhar-Hill rifle and Huot Automatic Rifle that are not reproductions
• Drum-type magazines for .303 Lewis Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, Lewis SS and .30 Savage-Lewis; .303 Vickers Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, Mk4B, Mk5, Mk6, Mk7, as well as Bren Light MG including Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, and any variant or modified versions of them that are not reproductions
• Stripper magazines for Hotchkiss Model 1895, 1897, 1900, 1909, 1914, 1917 machine-guns, including Hotchkiss (Enfield) No. 2, Mk1 machine-guns and any variant or modified versions of them that are not reproductions
• Double drum–type magazines designed or manufactured for use in MG-13, MG-15, MG-17, MG-34, T6-200, T6-220 machine-guns and any variant or modified versions of them that are not reproductions
• Ammunition belts (metallic or fabric) that are "not a reproduction and was originally designed or manufactured for the purpose of feeding rounds into an automatic firearm of a type that was in existence before 1945".
• Semi-automatic handgun magazines that were manufactured before 1910
• "Snail-drum" type magazines that were originally designed or manufactured for use in the "Parabellum-Pistol or Luger", Borchardt-Luger, Model 1900, 1902, 1904 (Marine), 1904/06 (Marine), 1904/08 (Marine), 1906, 1908, 1908 (Artillery) and any variant or modified version of them
• Magazines that were originally designed or manufactured as an integral part of the Mauser C96, including Model 1895, 1896, 1902, 1905, 1912, 1915, 1930, 1931, M711 and M712 and any variant or modified version of them
• Magazines that were originally designed or manufactured for use in the semi-automatic Webley&Scott, Model 1912 and 1915"

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Canada

For additional information of magazine capacity restrictions in Canada visit: http://gundebate.ca/magazine-capacity/




Video demonstrating how magazine capacity limits serve no purpose.



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