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Thread: Need some martini cadet help.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Need some martini cadet help.

    I have read as much as I can on these of late and hate to have to ask but....

    Been playing with a new to me martini cadet in 310.
    Bit of a dark bore but it seems to shoot ok. Sort of.

    I made some cases out of 32-20 brass and a CBE paint coated heeled bullet was a nice tight fit in neck.
    They shot OK to good considering.
    A bit of a leading issue but not bad.
    I flared some Bertrum 310 cases and they shot excellent considering how they were made to fit into the new brass.

    So there I am all good and dandy.
    All groups shot at 50 yrds
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tried some fixed ammo with a wrap of paper around the heel to make them fit in the now expanded cases.
    Patterns at best ...some leading.

    The bullets heels are loosy goosy in the case necks now.

    So off I tried breach seating with a plugged case and the CBE heeled bullets.

    Better but still leading issues....some groups some splatterings.
    Even with lube

    So I tried some pp'ed 308241 150 gn unsized cast bullet wrapped so as to make a long nose riding bullet.
    Works a treat.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not complaining at all.....but

    I can't get fixed ammo to shoot.
    Obviously the gun is up to it.

    What have I done wrong then???


  2. #2
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I would say those are outstanding groups for a original 310. I have fooled with 310 very little, got
    them to rebarrel. The only ammo I have shot was made from 32/20 with cast boolits. The load ?
    I don't know, got a cigar box full with one of the rifles. I do have a handful of original cartridges
    but have never fired one. The best groups I got were about 21/2" at 50yds and lots of leading.
    Never had one with nice bore.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    I shoot soft cast boolits in mine. Maybe a little tin to help fill out. I use Bertram and formed 32-20 brass. I find that I have to run the loaded round into the sizer just a bit to remove any flare. No decapping rod.
    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    One of the keys to getting the .32-20/310 cadet rifles to shot accurately without leading is using the correct diameter (.319-.322) heeled boolits cast of ACWW alloy at about BHN12-15. CBE in "Straila" makes the best .310 cadet moulds for the money. Slug your rifle first. Another tip is using the "wax gas-check" or a 1/8" dental wax wad under the boolit. Shooting smokeless powder means the breech pressure is not sufficient to obturate the boolit enough to seal powder gas blow by until the slug is 2 or 3 inches down the bore. This is the source of the "leading." The wax wad fixes this problem. Some years ago, Ross Siefried wrote an extensive article on getting the .310 Cadet and the .32-20 conversions to soot accurately. Copies of this article are probably out there in cyberland.

    MY go-to load for the .310 Cadet and the .32-20/310 cadet hybrid is 4.5 to 5.0 grains of unique, a 1/8 inch wax wad under the 120 grain CBR .310/322" heeled boolit lubed with Lee liquid Alox. This load shoots to the sights on the Cadet rifles out to 300 yards which is all the distance I have to shoot locally. Plenty of information out there on the web about doing this. Some of it is actually true!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    It IS an absolute myth that only a "heeled" boolit will work in a Martini Cadet. Original rifles with original BSA barrels had bores of 0.316". Later vintage, replacement barrels by Greener were supplied at 0.319" to 0.322". Ammunition made by the Colonial Cartridge of South Australia was modified when it was evident that a normal 0.317" boolit would not shoot accurately so the "heeled bullet" was made. World War 2 ammunition by the same manufacturer was a 0.316" copper jacketed boolit.

    I use this 0.317" plain based bullet except fo a Greener rifle (0.322") that requires a heeled boolit.

    http://www.castbulletengineering.com...-triple-cavity
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master BigEyeBob's Avatar
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    I use the CBE heeled bullet from thier mould and 4.3gns of Red Dot powder ,I dont size the bullets just shoot them as they drop from the mould , lubed with 50/50 alox and beeswax ,my alloy is 2lbs of lead to one pound of coww. IIRC . Im punching 11/2 groups at 90meters.

  7. #7
    I use a 120 grain rcbs bullet on top of 3.5 grains Vhit N320. Very clean and consistent load for 950fps. Liquid allox for lubrication.
    Previously I used 4 grains trail boss but it was dirtier.

    2.2 grains Vhit N310 gives a nice quiet load at 750fps. This works well with softer alloys. N310 is a very fast powder- I wouldn't go this low with anything else.

    Best sizing die I've found is the Nagant pistol die from Lee. It is very close to the original 310 dimensions

    The Bertram cases are thicker than 32-20s and, when combined with bullets with wider heels, like RCBS ones, may mean that the tapered chamber grips the neck. If the bullets don't go in to the chamber easily, watch out for this. This may just be my gun that does this.


    I made a 140 grain mould from a .323 Lee mould with the nose shortened. Then sized the nose section down to .309 in a lube sizer. Fired backwards the nose is the heel and the base is a nice wadcutter.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    The bullets I got off noel are the tumble lubed bullet.
    It doesn't seem to be in the list but is described somewhere or other.
    It has a pointer nose and maybe 0.323" before the paint job and maybe .310 on the heel.

    Better find the slug I made before and double check ..but I think 0.321-22 should be about right.

    http://www.castbulletengineering.com...T/320-120H.jpg

    This looks good to me.
    Last edited by barrabruce; 07-19-2017 at 02:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I loaded up some more rounds.
    This time with a wad and lube ahead of the bullet.
    I also slapped some lube on the heel shank to help stick the bullet into the unsized cases.
    See if that helps the leading issue.

    I will have I think trim one case at least to correct length to get a seal and not a jam fit for the painted bullets.
    After making 100 cases out of 32-20 with a hand drill and file I don't want to waste them being too short when I get a mold of my own.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad *** Wallace View Post
    It IS an absolute myth that only a "heeled" boolit will work in a Martini Cadet. Original rifles with original BSA barrels had bores of 0.316". Later vintage, replacement barrels by Greener were supplied at 0.319" to 0.322". Ammunition made by the Colonial Cartridge of South Australia was modified when it was evident that a normal 0.317" boolit would not shoot accurately so the "heeled bullet" was made. World War 2 ammunition by the same manufacturer was a 0.316" copper jacketed boolit.

    I use this 0.317" plain based bullet except fo a Greener rifle (0.322") that requires a heeled boolit.

    http://www.castbulletengineering.com...-triple-cavity
    I have been experimenting with non-heeled bullets in my original chambered Cadet.

    I have a few different bullets I have that are sized to .313" that seem to work decent.

    In the pic below L to R:

    32-20 case with thinned rim and RCBS 120 heeled bullet tumble lube.

    32-20 case with thinned rim and Lee 98 Gr. SWC lubed with Bronze 500 Hi Tek coating

    32-20 case with thinned rim and Lee 90 Gr. WC lubed with Bronze 500 Hi Tek coating

    .218 MB forming reject case with a NOE 129 gr. SP with gas check that is supposed to be for a 7.62x39 round. I was forming .218 Mashburn Bee cases and had 50+ get split shoulders and since there was so many I decided to keep them. I sent them along with the new Starline 32-20 cases to get the rims thinned and then trimmed them down past the splits. they work well with the longer AK bullets as they can be seated to the same length they probably would be if I had a full length case




    I also have another bullet for the AK round that is 150 gr that I have loaded in the short cases and it shoots well. It is as Ranch Dog design intended for the AK round and I got it to shoot out of my CZ 527 bolt gun in 7.62x39. Since it is sized to .313" I tried it in the short cases and it actually shoots decent. I am going to experiment more with them.

    Here it is coated in Bronze 500 Hi Tek and sized to .313" with a gas check.


  11. #11
    I tried the lee AK bullet (150 or 155gr) paper patched and put in backwards but they were too long and tumbled. Anything over 0.8" long is going to have stability problems. That limits the maximum weight to about 140 grains.

    I've also tried a oversize ball mould (350?) with the pouring hole drilled out to .310. After casting, resize to .323 and you get a longer bearing surface at bore diameter plus a short heeled section. I couldn't get them to work at subsonic speeds but a decent quantity of fast powder might be better. I would guess that a 60 grain bullet going at 1800fps could be interesting for varmints.

    BB

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Here is a pic of the bullets.
    My old non vented 308241 150gn pb mould maybe different then some.
    Cast a bit over 311 with ww ac. It's 0.890" long and the barrel twist programs all say it won't stabalise.
    With the long seating the nose is engraved by the bore fully onto the first band.
    The leade is pretty well filled with the 2x printer paper wrapped against the direction of the twist so it peels off on exit.
    I lube the exposed nose but not the paper.
    I think because it can go no where it helps some.
    The other is the tumble lube variety of CBE heeled bullet.
    I think I want more bearing surface and less nose.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It may have been a fluke with the light winds and all shooting shutzen style off the bench....but sure felt good.
    More testing at the range to be done.
    Barra

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Today seemed like a dismal disaster.
    The "proper cast bullets" all leaded despite wads and lube wads and everything else I tried.

    After some lead mining pp'd bullets were tipping badly except for 3 shots I fired at the start of the day.
    Was getting smears of lead out and tried hard several times to clean it all out.


    The bore is getting smoother and shinier from the paper patching but I fear now getting the paint and molly out may be a pain.
    It looks shinier than last time out but looking down the bore sideways with a torch reveals that the grooves are still dark looking.
    A couple of scratches and maybe a couple of rough spots have started to emerge.
    wish I had a bore scope to see whats happening down there.

    I'm thinking of cream of wheat filler may help being a straight walled case.
    Worth a big of a go with it to see how things pan out.

    May have to shoot clean shoot clean for a while.

    I'll post a pic when I can find the camera again if anyones interested.

    Bruce
    Last edited by barrabruce; 07-23-2017 at 08:16 AM.

  14. #14
    What load are you using? The 310 case has a tiny capacity so pressures can go up rapidly with the heavier bullets. You might find the pressure is just too much. They are also easy to get stuck in the bore on too light loads (2" from the muzzle-that is a long way to knock I back to the breech!).

    BB

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    The lead CBE cast bullet 120 gn
    3.0 -4.2 gn bulleye.
    Up to 4.2 unique
    I did use a wad and dacron filler which I didn't before.
    The PP 150gn
    3.0 - 30.5 bulleye
    3.9-4.2 unique

    No great pressure signs or hard case extraction.

    Going to do another chamber cast and see if it has cleaned up and changed anything.

    Love to be able to take the barrel off and have a proper look and play around and even lapp it maybe.

    But with the right bullet and lube It should shoot I hope.
    Last edited by barrabruce; 07-24-2017 at 08:33 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Did a chamber cast and found to my liking a very nice chamber and with in specs of the chamber drawings
    Beutifull job and even chambering and centered.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My measurements at rifling commencement =0.3208" a slug pushed though the bore and measured with a wrap of coke can came at 0.322-0.323".
    How ever the bore seems to be on the thicker side of 0.311 maybe 0.312.

    I assume the cast lead would have shrunk a thou maybe in the chamber.
    All in all perfect.

    Just have to get the right mould now.
    I was hoping a 0.312 heel mould and 0.323 would be available.
    Just how important is the heel diameter is I don't know but I thought it would have some stabilising effect to it.
    Hmm had to have beagle a mould right out of the box thou.

  17. #17
    With N340 and a 140grn bullet, I was getting leading and signs of high pressure (hard to extract) above 4 grains. Unique is slightly faster.

    With a 155 gn PP bullet and unique I did loads up to 3 gn and got velocities up to 850fps. These worked apart from being unstable (too long).

    32 H&R magnum cases have the same capacity (but higher pressure) so you should find their bottom-end loads are good.

    Don't worry about the bullet heels fitting the rifling. Even super-light loads should expand the base.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Thnx black beard.
    Think I found my biggest problem.
    I decided to just size down the rest of those black coated bullets and paper patch them to see if they will fly.
    Talk about hard coating even with lube these tiny bullets were tough.
    The paint came off at the larger groove size area.
    Don't know what he used but there is no way they where doing anything without leaving splinters of lead and flakes of paint.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I ordered some sample pack of bullets off cbe site so will give a report on how real ones go in this rifle.

    I think I trimmed 80 cases too short now to the Bertrum length of 1.075" so fingers crossed.

    Don't think I can shoot for a few weeks thou.
    Cheers
    Bruce

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    The club had a small centre fire cat shoot going and I thought I'd have a go with the martini.
    Loaded up the pp'd bullets with 3.5 grn bulleye a darcon wad a card then bullet.
    Lubed the bullets lightly with lube and seated.
    I found I could just squish them down to the heels end on the rounds so all seamed good.


    Off the bench over a towel a "clean" barrel.
    They seemed to shoot ok.
    2nd shot is after I moved the sights from first bullets impact.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not bad I thought considering I could feel my heart pounding through the stock and couldn't control it.
    I had been given a hard time about not attending a course which I wanted to do yesterday when I had asked about what it was all about.

    I dunno...... I had a few more shots offhand and apart from 2 wild filers by me I think it will shoot just fine.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Obviously needs a little work but I couldn't do any better.

    I had got upset because my father had died and I thought it wouldn't effect me as much as it did (don't worry no love lost).
    But they persisted and I got pissed off and blurted it out.


    Anyway heres the rub.

    I was lubing up the pp'd bullet which I like to do just before I shoot them as they can get a bit soggy if you leave them lying around for many days and discovered I was getting powder contaminating my lube tin.

    One loaded with out a primer and 4 more with spent primers.
    I only had enough just enough clear thinking after a while to figure out I shouldn't shoot any more.
    I came home and took the cases apart and found no powder mix up or wrong doing but a couple with out a wad and filler like the rest.
    So no harm done.

    I survived but I think the arseholes have finally ground me down.



    But please don't do any reloading if you ever get phased by something.
    Even if you think you aren't really phased.
    Yeah I consider my self lucky.
    Cheers and thanks
    Bruce
    Last edited by barrabruce; 07-30-2017 at 06:23 AM.

  20. #20
    Sorry to hear that you lost your father.

    Your grouping is looking pretty good. BSA cadets can be really accurate.

    Tumble lubing with LLA works really well for me. It might be better than the filler and lubed wad combination.

    I'd strongly suggest you get a Lee Nagant revolver die set. The sizing die works great and the tension in the neck might improve consistency.

    BB

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check