Law & Policy

Trouble Brewing: RCMP Judge .50 Beowulf Magazines to be Prohibited

Update From CSAAA Communique re: Beowulf Magazines

Despite some recent social media surrounding Beowulf magazines, the CSAAA is confirming that no ban on the sale of these magazine in Canada has been issued by the R.C.M.P. or the Minister of Public Safety at this time.

All six 50 Beowulf firearms FRT numbers remain listed as legal with a five round capacity and retailers should continue to sell this product at this time:

#121656 Alexander Arms
#124566 Alexander Arms
#128962 MGI
#122716 Stag Arms
#136602 VLtor Arms

A recent letter from the R.C.M.P. addressed to Aztech Armoury in response to a denial of their International Import Certificate for these magazines was shared via social media and has caused widespread speculation that the magazines themselves have been banned. This was a private letter to one company regarding one shipment, not a Special Bulletin.

The CSAAA continues to work with the office of the Minister of Public Safety regarding this issue and will release further updates as needed.

Original Post

Well, that was awfully quick. Less than 30 days into a new government and things are moving.

Credit for this little burst of bad news goes to Calibre. It’s worth heading over┬áthere to read it.

The raw text of the RCMP letter to Aztech Armory explaining their position is here:

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.

Yours Sincerely,
Specialized Firearms Support Services
Firearms Investigative and Enforcement Support Services Directorate
Canadian Firearms Program
Specialized Policing Services

Alberta, Canada: The perfect place to play with black rifles, tactical shotguns, and all manner of other fun gear. Plenty of wilderness, and plenty of toys to try out.