B.G. asked:

A friend of mine who was a guide & outfitter for years tells me that a semi auto hunting rifle with with a four shot clip is considered a “restricted” gun.
At the same time, a long term, well respected gun dealer tells me it is not considered restricted.
Who is right here?
I have long wanted to buy one to replace my tired old Parker Hale bolt action 06 but sure don’t want to buy trouble

This is one of those situations where the opinion of the gun dealer should prevail over the longtime guide and outfitter.
In Canada, a semi-automatic rifle can be classified as “restricted” if any one of the three following conditions apply:

a) It is a centrefire rifle that has a barrel length of less than 470 mm (18.5 inches); OR

b) It can be fired when it can be reduced by folding, telescopic stock, etc. to an overall length of less than 660 mm (26 inches); OR

c) It is prescribed as restricted by Order-in-Council (such as the AR-15 family of rifles)

As you see, ammunition capacity will not affect the classification of a firearm. Of course, a magazine that can hold more than the legal capacity for its class will become a prohibited device. For example, a magazine that is designed for a semi-automatic rifle cannot legally hold more than 5 rounds. This prohibition, however, affects only the magazine, not the rifle itself.

I should note, however, that certain provincial hunting and conservation laws may limit the number of rounds that a rifle (or shotgun) can contain when hunting. Consult your local conservation officer for further clarification. Once again, of course, this would not affect the classification (non-restricted, restricted or prohibited) of your firearm.
Otherwise, enjoy your new (non-restricted) rifle!

(Note: Like all of the material on this site, this post does not constitute legal advice. Consult counsel with the specifics of your situation for advice. This material is presented as legal information only.)