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Thread: .310 Martini Cadet question......

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    .310 Martini Cadet question......

    I've had a little Martini action Cadet rifle for years, but never shot it much because stamped on the barrel is "32-20". Now, we all know that the 32-20 bullet is far too small for the Cadet bore, so I just put it aside for future study. A shame too, because the bore is gorgeous.

    While rummaging through my pile of stuff I found three boxes of Kynoch .310 ammunition, so I compared one of them to a 32-20 and discovered that:

    The 32-20 case is longer than the .310.
    The 32-20 is a mild bottleneck, compared to the straight taper of the .310.
    The 32-20 case is smaller in diameter at the mouth by quite a bit.
    Bullet diameters are, of course, different.

    Now, here's my question. This little rifle was no doubt one of the imports back in the early 1960's, but wasn't sporterized or changed other than the barrel marking. I've seen countless articles stating that a 32-20 reamer was run into the chamber in order to make them more "saleable" here in the U.S. So ASSUMING this is true, how in the world did they get the reamer in there? Remove the barrel? Doesn't look like it at all, yet the 32-20 AND the .310 will both chamber. If indeed they reamed it, it would only lengthen the chamber somewhat but not change the contour. In other words, the .310 bullet might have to travel a bit to reach the rifling, but it will shoot. For that matter, I could shoot 32-20 in order to fireform the case and reload with the correct bullet, assuming the case didn't split (that's an awful big expansion for that little case!).

    If the above is true, I can still load and shoot the .310 Cadet cartridge with some hope of accuracy. All I would need is a mold for the correct diameter heeled bullet which is available from Australia I believe.
    Last edited by 3006guns; 04-21-2010 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Your best bet is to do a chamber cast and establish for sure what you have. You are 100% correct that regular .32-20 projectiles are lacking in diameter for the .310 Cadet barrel. The ".310" is the British nominal bore you see. The actually throat/groove will be nearer .320 when you measure it.

    Jim at CBE in AU does a wonderful range of .310 Cadet heel bullets. Last count I think there was seven which is unheard of. His site is www.castbulletengineering.com
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Thanks Jeff........I'll take your advice and do a chamber cast and start looking for a mold. I'm really fond of this little rifle as it's still in "full military" costume and it's about time I started to play with it.

  4. #4
    you might be lucky and find the chamber has not been reamed,about 1/2 the 310 cadets will acept a 32-20 without changing the chamber,the chambers on these have no sholder ,they just taper from chamber to bore so even the ones that had to be reamed ,the reaming was very minamal and they shoot 310 just fine

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    how in the world did they get the reamer in there? Remove the barrel? Doesn't look like it at all,
    A friend who installs short chambered M1 Carbine and Garand barrels told me he cranks the barrel in, then used a reamer that screwed onto a special rod run in from the muzzle, giving it a turn or two at a time then checking headspace with bolt inplace, he could then get optimal headspace for the individual rifles.

    Perhaps a similar set up was used.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    After thinking about it, I'm going to disassemble the action so I can get a good look at that chamber......kind of difficult to tell if anything was done with that breech block in the way! The comment about NOT reaming struck a chord. I remember that also, so with any luck maybe the caliber stamping was the only thing done (fingers crossed).

    Again, it's such a cute little guy with its full "military" stock and kangaroo stamping it just begs to be shot! Now if I could just find a bayonet, I could charge some miniature "fuzzy wuzzys"..........

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3006guns View Post
    Now if I could just find a bayonet, I could charge some miniature "fuzzy wuzzys"..........
    They don't like the cold steel up 'em Captain Mainwarring!
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  8. #8
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    +1 on the CBE Moulds for the cadet I use the .320 diameter and 120gr mould in my 2 cadets they shoot very well with that boolit
    I trim my cases to 1.050" (the shortest in the couple of hundred Bertram cases I have)
    I use Blue Dot and Winchester 540 in my rifles
    with the above boolit the alloy I am using drops at 110gr I am getting 1400 fps and excellent accuracy using 6.5grs of Winchester 540 and SR primers
    7gns of Bluedot seems to shoot well but I haven't had them over the chrony
    some have had good results with Unique but I think it a little fast in the rifle length barrels

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I have one of the .32-20 Cadets. Accuracy with factory .32-20 ammo was poor until I got a proper .310 Cadet mould from CBE. I load these in unsized, firefromed cases over 4.8 grains of Unique and get excellent accuracy. I lube then with LLA whcih helps keep the boolit from falling out when the loaded cartridges are handled. Actually it turns out to be a lengthened .310 Cadet case with a slightly thicker rim but easier to buy over the counter. No difference in accuracy compared to my unmodified Cadet but the .32-20 case needs a bit more powder to achieve the same velocity due to its extre case volume.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I'd read that during WW2 these were sometimes issued to guards at factories and warehouses, and a higher velocity version of the .310 cartridge with balistics similar to the US .30 carbine round was developed to give the little rifle more punch.

  11. #11
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    the CMF (Civilian Military Force) were issued 310 cadet rifle in WW2 for the pending Japanese invasion (YIKES) No1 Footscray (MF Headstamp) ammunition factory loaded a 120gr FMJ for the Cadet it was a pointed round as the lead boolit was against a treaty (Hauge?)

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have a cadet with a 32-20 chamber and load the Lee 185grn 8mm boolit over 15grns of 2207(4198) and it shoots really well out to 200m. Pat

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    I have recently acquired a Greener 310 Cadet chambered for 32-20 (barrel stamped). Early test results with 310 rounds is proving encouraging. I am loading 9.5gn of AR2205 behind Hawkesbury River Blackhawke 128gn .323 heeled boolits. I am using both old once fired Super brass, and new Bertram brass. 10 rounds in 1.5 inches at 50M is the best so far. Next opportunity will be to shoot this load over my chronograph, and try 9gn and 10gn of AR2205.

    Interestingly I have some 32-20 brass and I cannot get it more than 75% into the chamber.
    High on Black Powder Smoke

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    I have recently acquired a Greener 310 Cadet chambered for 32-20 (barrel stamped). Early test results with 310 rounds is proving encouraging. I am loading 9.5gn of AR2205 behind Hawkesbury River Blackhawke 128gn .323 heeled boolits. I am using both old once fired Super brass, and new Bertram brass. 10 rounds in 1.5 inches at 50M is the best so far. Next opportunity will be to shoot this load over my chronograph, and try 9gn and 10gn of AR2205.

    Interestingly I have some 32-20 brass and I cannot get it more than 75% into the chamber.
    Try 3.5 to 4.5 grains of AP70n behind a CBE HB boolit. I settled on 3.5gn for a nice moderate load. Pill sized to .317.

    Chrispy

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    With out question slug the barrel (pure lead slug)to check dia. I have one which is.316. RCBS makes a mold for this round. The lead boolit has a heel that goes into the brass case. Like Chrispy 32-20 would only go into the chamber about 75%.

  16. #16
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    I'd give up on 2205 in the cadet AP70 and AP100 are the most popular powders at my club
    I use Winchester 540 it makes a great load accurate easy extraction and no leading with the 128gr Blackhawke and my own cast CBE 310 boolit (LLA lubed) chrony around 1350fps
    I have been playing with some Bluedot it looks like it will be a good powder as well
    most people at my club are loading 4-5gns of AP70 my rifle wont digest 4gns which is why I went looking at slower powders I believe that AP90 (if it was still made ) would have been just about perfect

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    Strange but I never checked my Cadet barrel. I was told when I bought it it was a 32-20 so I bought some brass and loaded the Lyman 313 SWC 85 grn and 4227. It shot well enough to hunt squrrils (sp) so I just had at it. It has always been a great walking about rifle. Full dress except for a home made front blade.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    'Ironbark' ammo made a recreation of the WWII load using a Taipan 316 JHP with 7.8gn of 2205 behind it. Shot really well in my cadet, but split a few cases.

    Chrispy

  19. #19
    Hey all new to this thread. I just purchased my first martini 310 cadet rifle in 310 cadet. I have heard that you can simply reload the cases by hand but am not sure it this is good or even safe. need some advice and i have never reloaded rifle or pistol ammo in my life. Can you guys help with an inexpensive propisition to get me in the "game" so to speak. I would like to do it the simplest way possible without having to build some huge reloading room. hand loaders seem interesting and simple. Not sure if they offer a hand loader for the 310 cadet but you all should know. Thanks

    New

  20. #20
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    New2daGame,

    310 not the best to learn reloading with, but will try to get you the basics.

    First you should search this forum for everything you can find on 310 Cadet. Also try thr Britsh Military forum. There is a wealth of info on both sites. After you digest all the info then it is time to start.

    You will need to slug the bore to find out just what size it is. The 310 runs around 323 groove diameter. The booliit used in it is a heel type. That is there is a short sahnk that seats into the case and the rest of the boolit is the same diameter as the case.

    Cases are available from Bertram Brass out of Austrailia. That is what I use and they have been very good. It is also possible to make them fro 32-20 brass.

    To do the actual reloading you will need a punch to deprime the case and a way to reprime. You might be able to do it with a 32-20 Lee Loader.

    Once you have got the brass fireformed( fired in the rifle) you will not need to resize.

    There are guys on here that can and will lead you through this who can explain the process better than I, but that is the basic.

    The warning I will give is that once you start shooting the Cadet you will be hooked. They are a fun little rifle. You just have to learn the quirks.

    Also you will get hooked on reloading and casting boolits so be ready. It is relaxing and frustrating at the same time.

    If I didn't make something clear or you have more question please ask. No way to learn without asking questions. Some one here can answer all the ones you have.

    If you decide too try I can send you some of the proper boolits for the Cadet. I have a mould for it, as I feed a pair of them.

    Once you know all that's involved the it is time to discuss loads.

    Welcome to the forum. Lots of info here and a good bunch of people.

    swamp

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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