Martini Cadet

Discussion in 'Rossi' started by mosineer, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    Had the opportunity to purchase a nice Martini Cadet a couple of weeks ago and thought I would share a few pics. From what research I have done so far, this Martini Cadet appears to be a standard example of a Model 4 that was manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms Co.Ltd for the Commonwealth of Australia starting in 1909. This one is marked 8.11 which best I can tell this is the service date of AUG 1911. The stock is also marked with the CMF (Commonwealth Military Forces) and Q for Queensland issue. It was originally chambered for the .310 Cadet/Greener.The Cadet I purchased has been re-chambered for the .357 MAG. and seems fairly accurate for the few rounds I have fired through it. So I'm happy:), I have a nice little piece of history that shoots well and was not all that hard on the pocket book.

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  2. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

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    Nice rifle. Does it shook black powder rounds or modern cartridges?
  3. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    Hi Cy, she is a center fire rifle originally chambered for the .310. This one was re-chambered and fires a standard .357 MAG cartridge. Many of these firearms were re-chambered after importing to the USA in the fifties because of the unavailability of the .310 round. I have read that they were re-chambered to everything from a .32 to a .44 MAG. The .44 MAG may be pushing it in my opinion, but others may disagree. It is simply a miniature version of the Martini-Henry, so is strongly built. See a few on Gunbroker every once in a while, but not many floating around in gun shops or at shows. It is old, reliable, collectible, and fun to shoot. Fits all of the requirements to enter my collection :)

    MOS

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  4. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

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    Mine too, if I can ever find one in a readily available chambering at a time when I have the money to buy it. I've been tempted more than once by the blackpowder Martini Henrys of the "Queen Victoria's little wars" days, but ammo availability has always caused me to decide against.
  5. JimB

    JimB G&G Newbie

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    Grew up with Model 4 BSA Martini

    Newby here. Had a Model 4 as a kid. Dad gave it to me at the age of 12, planned for a safe single shot for my first deer rifle. I think he paid $10 at a milsurp store. It took us two tries to find one that would shoot true. The first one had a barrel so bad that the slug would come out spinning end over end. I thought it made the neatest "whirring" sound when fired. Dad set me straight about what was happening, though.

    Never actually shot a deer with it, but it was great fun to shoot. Chambered for 32-20. Very accurate. It was stolen by a wayward cousin when I was about 16. Been trying to find a replacement ever since. Never occured to me to think about a .357 version, but that's a great idea. I will stand in line if any come available for sale

    JimB
  6. kabloona15

    kabloona15 G&G Newbie

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    Re-cahmbering to 357

    I have a Martini Cadet in the original 310 caliber, and I am interested in yours that has been re-chambered to shoot the 357. Did you have to replace the barrel, or just expand the chamber in the 310 barrel to accept the 357 shells?

    Thanks, Kabloona
  7. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    Hello kabloona and welcome to G&G!!! Good question.. Since I purchased this in its present configuration. I would say any work that was done, was done to the original barrel and since the original chamber/Throat dia. was around .318-.320 I am sure it was re-chambered and guess re-bored? to a .357 configuration. The bore and rifling are near perfect. Maybe Mooseman, Seabeescotty, or one of our gun smithy gurus can help us on this. The barrel does retain original .310 markings but has .357MAG stamped above the chamber. I am still researching this fine firearm, so am still learning.

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  8. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    Shot this little honey again today and was pretty happy with the results. Do not think I would want to deer hunt with it, but it is deadly accurate in the 30-35 yard range,but not sure how much force is represented at the target. This is using standard JHP. Accuracy seems to tail off a bit after that. But That may be the shooter with open sights and/or the shorter barrel than the normal long gun. All in all, not bad for what it is. It's an oldie but goody.
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  9. roverboy

    roverboy G&G Newbie

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    I read article in guns and ammo years ago that said these were
    very strong little rifles. I think it was by Ross Seyfried.
  10. Big Dog

    Big Dog Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

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    Martinis are great rifles. Quaint design, and often quite accurate!
    I have the BSA Mk.II International .22LR match rifle, and would love to get a Cadet to go along with it. I have read of various ways to make copies of the original .310 load, but I'd probably prefer the .357 Mag too - easier ammo logistics for one thing! With a good stout load, deer should be no problem within 100 yards.
    With many British gun clubs folding, their rifles are being imported to us! Their loss is our gain.
  11. Jim Keith

    Jim Keith G&G Newbie

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    I have an old Cadet also that is .357. I have owned the rifle for over 25 years, and still haven't tried it at the range. I sure like this old gun, it scares Coyote's really well with the big bark of the .357. I like shooting .38's in it as well. Much easier on the ears. Mine has a really wierd stock that I can't identify the wood, and looks as if it has been cut down. I shoot it with a slip on recoil pad to make the stck long enough. There is a long forend, but barrell band is missing. I am looking for another stock, but it is a slow go on this one. I think I paid 75.00 for it yrs. ago. When I was young I could have had a .22 target model cheap, but hind-site is 20/20.
  12. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    Hello Jim... Love to see a pic of it. There were different models with different stock configurations, and many were sporterized. Great little guns for sure. Just getting set up to reload .38 specials and will try them in the old girl to see how they fly...

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  13. Jim Keith

    Jim Keith G&G Newbie

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    I will try to get a photo or 2 on here. I am glad to see I'm not the only one who likes the old single shots.
  14. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    They ARE fun to shoot and I always keep a look out for another like it, in any caliber, but have not seen any locally for quite a while. Would not hesitate to pick up another if the opportunity arises... and if I can afford it at the time. Good luck, looking forward to some pics if it can be managed to do so. As many gun loving folks that peruse G&G, there is bound to be more than just a few of these little Martinis out there. Be nice for them to post their Martini Cadet pics also.Take care and good shooting!!

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  15. TomcatPC

    TomcatPC G&G Newbie

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    I have a BSA made Martini-Henry Mk.II .577"/.450", which I have never fired yet. Needless to say, I'm grateful to actually have a Martini-Henry regardless.

    I'd love to find a small sized Martini one of these day. I'd love to have BSA Martini No. 12 (I think?) basically a .22" calibre Martini-Henry. Just for the "shootability" factor.

    Also love to find a Martini-Metford or Martini-Enfield .303" calibre as well. Hope you have fun with your Martini-Cadet.
    Thanks
    Mark
  16. herbert rogers

    herbert rogers G&G Newbie

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    Nice find mosineer and a Queenslander too!

    I also am fond of the Martinis and have a few in 222 rimmed, 310, 32/20, 303 British, 450 Martini Henry and one in 500/450 No 2.

    Cheers :wave:
    Herb Rogers
  17. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    G'day to ya herbert and welcome to G&G!!! Looks to be ya got some mighty fine Martinis... Get a chance, would love to see some pics... My lovely little Cadet is again being used as a training rifle. She is a great fit for one my younger grandsons. So he is getting his youthful training with a historical firearm that was designed just for that same purpose many years ago. Glad you found us here herbert, and hope you enjoy the forums....

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  18. herbert rogers

    herbert rogers G&G Newbie

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    Hello MOS,

    Below is a group shot of some of my Martini Cadets plus three Martini Henry .450’s. From top to bottom are:-
    1. Martini Henry .450 M-H Trade Pattern by the Braendlin Armoury Co., dated 1870.
    2. Martini Henry .450 M-H made for the Z.A.R. by Westley Richards, dated 1897 and used by the Boers.
    3. Martini Henry Rifle Mark 111, shortened and with reworked barrel, butt and forend for Cadet use.
    4. Martini Cadet .310 by Westley Richards and used by New South Wales Public School Cadet Corps.
    5. Martini Cadet .310 1st Pattern by BSA.
    6. Martini Cadet .310 2nd Pattern by BSA.
    7. Martini Cadet 297/230 Morris by Greener.
    8. Martini Henry Cavalry Carbine .450 M-H by L.S.A. Butt Roundel stamped RIC for Royal Irish Constabulry.

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    No 1, is in nice condition and complete in every detail bar the sling. This specimen is fitted with the safety catch.

    No3, the Cadet carbine is unique to Queensland. They were converted in 1900 from M-H Rifle Mark 111’s. The butt was shortened by .75 of an inch and the barrel re-profiled and reduced in length to 21.4 inches. The forend was shortened and the rear barrel band being moved back by 1.8 inches. The barrel thickness at the muzzle is very thin walled and I suspect they were used for drill purpose only and not with ball ammo.

    Cheers
    Herb Rogers
  19. roverboy

    roverboy G&G Newbie

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    Awesome collection. I've never even
    seen one. My wife's cousin had one
    in .450. I think a trade pattern. His
    son has it now.
  20. mosineer

    mosineer G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

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    WOW!! Thanks Herb. Simply beautiful collection you have. From your pics, I take it one of the differences between the BSA 1st and 2nd Pattern was in the front and rear sights.. were there any others? Thanks again for the pics...awesome..:hump:

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