A set of Diemaco/Colt Canada C7A2 furniture


In today’s installment of what I spent money on that I shouldn’t have is a set of C7A2 furniture.

But first, what the hell is a C7A2?

Well . . .

Back in the days of the Colt M16A1, the Americans and the Canadians wanted to improve and upgrade the rifle. These changes lead to the M16A2 in the U.S.A. In Canada, they ordered from Colt, a model number “715”. The Colt 715 was much like a M16A2, but had what became known as a C7 upper. It had the field sights like the M16A1, but added the “Brunton Bump” AKA a brass deflector. They also skipped the silly burst option that we Americans stupidly added to the M16A2.

Colt 715/Diemaco C7 Rifle

Here is a picture of a C8 Carbine that uses the C7 upper that has A1 “field sights” and the brass deflector.

Before the US adopted the M1913 Picatinny rail, the forward thinking Canadians came up with their own flat top using a modified Weaver rail. Diemaco made a model they called the C7FT (for Flat Top) which was adopted by the Canadian military as the C7A1. These flat top rifles often wore an Elcan C79 optic (3.4x, not the later 1-4x Elcan Specter DR). Diemaco also made a nifity A1 style detachable carry handle. These are rare in the US and command top dollar when they go up for sale.

I will admit that I really want one of those detachable A1 carry handles.

Then Canadians proved them selves to be more forward thinking than us when they adopted the C7A2 service rifle. This was the C7A1 with a 4 position collapsible stock. They also added ambidextrous controls, and changed the furniture to green. I am told that many of the black stocks of the earlier rifles were just spray painted green during the transition.

They started buying furniture in green, and used green covers on their Elcans. They have this cheap looking plastic back up rear sight that is designed that it can be mounted in front of an Elcan on the top rail. Instead of using a quad rail handguard like we did, they added a little clamp on tri-rail to the front sight base. These Diemaco TRI-AD accessory rails are hard to fine down here. Bravo Company made a copy for a short while, but have since discontinued them. Most likely, all the people that told BCM that they would buy one didn’t, leading BCM to discontinue them due to poor sales. That is my guess.

Let us take a look at these parts I got.

The charging handle on the C7A2 has a massive ambidextrous latch. To help prevent breaking, a solid pin is peened in place for it to pivot on. There are more than a few complaints about troops catching this on their gear and bending or breaking it.

Our northern friends use a 4 position receiver extension with a “HH” marked buffer. It is the same weight as our H2 buffers. Diemaco green “CAR” stocks are different than the old Colt stocks as they are textured on the top. Diemaco also installs a rubber pad on these stocks.

At first glance the ribbed A2 standard hand guards look normal, just green colored. But these have additional tabs in them compared to our black A2 hand guards.

Colt black A2 hand handguard top, C7 on the bottom.

The tabs are on the inside of the handguard, allowing it mount just fine with a non-Diemaco hand guard. I don’t know why they would have felt the need for these additional internal tabs.

The pistol grip looks just like a standard A2 grip, but green. Looking inside you can see the Diemaco stamp.

Now for the piece de resistance.

I bought this entire set just to get the following part. A Diemaco “TRI-AD I” rail.

Yup, I wanted that thing.

I’m told that the Canadian government didn’t want to spend the money on Knights Armament rail systems. So the TRI-AD was developed instead to give three rail surfaces that lights and lasers could be mounted on. There are plenty of complaints of the awkward positioning of these items. I once read a report that stating that they thought the weight of these accessories so far forward on the barrel was causing the barrel to bend slightly causing accelerated wear. Etc.

Still I think it was a nifty solution. Nifty enough that I bought one.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these parts yet. I’ve had half a notion to have a little carbine with the narrow CAR handguards and the TRI-AD rail.

I’m debating selling off the other parts. I’m holding off throwing them on a rifle as I fear if I do I will end up keeping them.

Diemaco ended up being purchased by Colt and is now called Colt Canada. Despite this, we don’t get to get the cool Colt Canada unique parts down here. A real shame.

Diemaco has been pretty forward thinking and has made some pretty interesting products.

While I like the idea of a Sniper Carbine, I think this was not the ideal implementation of that ideal.


  1. The extra tabs, according to CAF stories, are because of a sgt. Maj slapping the original handguards off during drill. Kind of silly, I think.

    But that is what the story is, anyways.

    I always find the triad rail nigh on unusable with a rifle length handguard, however on the C8 it is definitely better.

    A lot of guys will mount their peq’s(4’s for most, 2’s for leadership, and basically infantry only) directly to the handguards on C7’s so that they’re in a useable position, despite obvious zeroing issues.

    For the stock, I have lost more of those buttpads than I can count. So at least five. They fit securely, it’s just that mounting your sling on the stock tends to put the weight of the rifle onto the pad itself, pulling it off. Fortunately the end plate(not sure of the technical name) has a sling mount on the left side, so that gets used more often. All too often with single point slings.

    Ah, and before I forget, our issued sling is one of two. Either a barely adjustable, and certainly not quickly, black parade sling, which only the armoured corps actually uses as a parade sling, and most people set up as a single point, or an awful patrol sling which I have never seen a satisfactory method of using.

    Slings are one of the only pieces of non-issued kit that are accepted by every unit that I have ever seen, worked with, or been in.

    C7A2’s and C8A3’s are fantastic rifles, just badly in need of updates. They were forward looking back when they were first made, but they haven’t evolved since.

    The funny thing with those “iron” sights as well is that they’re horrible to use in that position, and they force the C79 sight back farther than most would mount it without the presence of the irons, thus just for the presence of a cqb/back up sight in a less-than-optimal position, we compromise the primary optic.

    They are A1 styled though, and despite their fragility, I find them very useable. Definitely prefer them over A2 sights as far as up close work goes.

    And I only call the irons CQB sights because that is what we’re taught to use in those situations, taking off the C79. Which then loses zero. Yeah.

    Horrible goddamn “solution”, when we could simply teach people to use the C79 up close anyways.

    And yeah, the charging handle catches on everything. Newer ones are slightly shorter to alleviate that problem, but our newish gunfighter program heavily emphasizes the tired old argument of “gross motor skills” vs. “Fine motor skills” and encourages using that damned handle during every single dry reload. New trainees apparently get yelled at for using the bolt release as anything other than a bolt catch now.

    Sorry for the wall of text. I read the site often, and rarely have anything to add. I hope somebody gets something from this.

    • LMAO. Thank you for the explanation!
      In USMC Boot Camp, knocking the A2 handguards off during drill was the holy grail of performance. Of course, some guns had their handguards come off easier than others. I only managed to do it once. Our Platoon Guide started leaving the delta ring ajar on his rifle so that the guards would come off more often.
      Silly times.

      • So are you selling the parts??
        Where did you find them by the way?

        I’ve been looking for C7 parts to build a replica since I got to use one while cross training with Canadian Army in Meaford. Rifle was a tack driver at 600m.


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