SOME FIREARMS MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE MAY HAVE BEEN RECLASSIFIED TO "PROHIBITED" STATUS AS OF MAY 1, 2020. INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE MAY BE OUT OF DATE.
Non-restricted, semi-auto rifle ... with ten cartridges? How is this possible?
Everyone who takes the Canadian Firearms Safety Course is quickly familiarized with the rules of firearm classification in Canada. Firearms are either non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited based on whether they meet certain design criteria or appear in voluminous lists set by the government. For handguns, they are almost exclusively in the latter two categories. For rifles, very popular and widely owned, they can be found in any of the three categories.
A conundrum for many new shooters is selecting a rifle they can reasonably use for both hunting and sport shooting, that is practical and also fun to shoot - one that is non-restricted and can be enjoyed anywhere it is legal to shoot.
The "Canadian" Beretta CX4 is increasingly the "magic" answer to many new shooter's wishes. It is a reasonably priced modern semi-auto carbine that features a ten-round capacity, and is non-restricted, meaning it requires no range memberships, or authorized purpose for transporting, and can be purchased or transferred with nearly no encumbrances as it is not required to be registered.
How is this possible?
When the Beretta CX4 first came on the market in Canada, it was available in several "pistol" calibres, but was a restricted rifle, requiring registration and an ATT to transport, like any other restricted rifle. It shipped with a five-round magazine, but accepts other Beretta handgun magazines which have a higher legal capacity of ten rounds. It was restricted because it was a semi-auto, centre-fire firearm with a barrel length under 18.5", one of the "restricted" criteria under the law.
Beretta apparently likes the Canadian firearms market, because a little while ago, they released a "Canadian" version that is non-restricted. The barrel is slightly longer, at 19", taking it out of the restricted category. It is now regularly shipped with Beretta 92 pistol magazines which allow for ten round capacity. It is currently only available in 9mm parabellum.
Spare magazines are easy to come by .
We now have a "long-gun" in a popular pistol calibre that is semi-auto but offers a capacity previously only available on pistols or rimfire firearms. As a bonus, shooting clubs that normally do not allow centre-fire rifles will normally allow the CX4 Carbine, as it uses a popular pistol calibre.
But, and this is the best part -- you aren't limited to only taking it to a shooting club. You can use it anywhere that it is legal to shoot. With mounting rails for accessories and optics, and a price point of around $1,200, it's easy to see why this carbine is so popular with Canadian shooters.