310 Cadet

Was the 310 Cadet cartridge ever loaded with a ball/spitzer bullet? Thanks; Jack

Yes, the .310 Cadet was loaded with a spitzer bullet. The story I received from Australian collectors was that it was so loaded in WWII in anticipation of the emergency of the expected Japanese invasion of Australia, which didn’t happen.

Despite their age, the little Martini Cadet rifles were not sold off as surplus until after WWII, when many of them were sold in America at the outrageous retail price of $9.95. Maybe the best surplus buy ever on the U.S market. I still have one that the famour reboring specialist Ward Koozer redid to .357 Magnum. Mine was left in full military form except it was necessary to change the front sight to a shorty ramp to get the necessary height for zerioing the rifle. It was a little tack-driver for me until my eyes got too poor for the open rear sight, but I still shot it once in awhile.
Surprisingly, it is deadly accurate out to fifty yards with .38 Wadcutters. I shot shome targets at 25 yard with it and told my friends I did it with my Colt Cobra Revolver - of course, they knew I was pulling their legs!

Great little guns. Normally, I don’t like screwing with nice little military or quasi-military rifles, but these little guns were too good to own in a caliber that wasn’t available at all in the United States, and neither of the rechambering calibers appealed to me even though I like the little .32-20 for plinking around, also a very accurace round properly loaded and in the right guns, and still have a 92 Winchester and a Colt Army Special (pre-Official Police Model) in that caliber.

I think I have one round of that Martini with spitzer bullet in my stuff for St. Louis. I haven’t sealed the shipment yet, so will see if I can easily find it and post a picture, unless someone else can do it sooner.

It sure would be suprising to get good groups with a 39 wadcutter bullet out of a 457 Magnum barrel

Just funning with you. :-)

You guys on this Forum just don’t understand anything! Obviously, I use .457 Sabots with my .39 caliber wadcutters. I thought you guys were ammo experts.

O.k. pardner, thanks for your good proof-reading. My typing is getting worse and worse, and I always seem to be in a hurry lately. No excuse for not editing my own work before it gets posted! Sorry about that.

The good thing, is all you guys are so sharp that you can keep a blind, senile old fat man honest. Why, I can’t even remember the date on my “Julian” calender anymore.

Thanks Tailgunner. Edited to your corrections.

Thanks John: I have a round that I thought someone had just stuck a ball bullet in, it’s headstamped MG so I think it must be original.

Definitely original!

That is the same round I scanned - with MF headstamp. I will tell Joe not to duplicate the effort by posting it. It would be nice if we could get a scan of one with an MG headstamp to complete the thread. I don’t have one, or I would do it.

Hi John

I have both the MF and MG headstamps so I will post the MG round tomorrow.


Thanks Tony. I have asked my Forum pardner (not spelled wrong - no self-respecting SASS shooter says “Partner”) Joe Jones not to post my picture. Jim’s is better anyway, and I didn’t do the headstamp because my round is quite blackened on the head and the picture would have been poor in the extreme.

As promised, here are the pictures of my .310 Cadet rounds.

As the headstamps have not come out very clearly (they are quite finely engraved) the rounds are (l. to r.)

Unheadstamped, GM Jacket, brass cap.
MG .310, GM Jacket, brass cap.
MF .310, CN Jacket, copper cap.
Unheadstamped blank, copper cap.

I think the blank is Australian production from its appearance, but cannot be sure.


The round, a picture of which I was going to put on the Forum, but is up already by Jim, has the MF headstamp but with the GM bullet., so there’s at least five variations that are likely WWII military, including that blank.

I don’t wish to clean it to have a closer look but the bullet jacket of my MF round appears to be very brass-like in colour. Were these ever loaded with brass jackets?

Jim - I think your bullet jacket is simply discoloured cupro-nickel. One sometimes finds bullets that have that “brassy” colour on pre war CN jacketed .303s.


You probably are quite right Tony but having said that, your rounds look to have a canelure at the casemouth and mine does not. The overall length of my round is 42.7mm - has the bullet been pushed in perhaps hiding the canelure? I can’t find any reference giving the o.a.l. of this calibre loaded with the spitzer bullet so perhaps you’d measure yours to compare?

A very interesting thread. I would just like to add a footnote about the rifles. They are still holding competitions for these rifles in UK. The classic rifle boys love them and the prices reflect that interest. A good example is very expensive.
At the time these rifles were used by cadets most of the cadet forces were associated with schools. I’m not sure how many of these rifles were owned by the Government and how many were the property of the schools themselves.

One for TonyE I think if he is still following the thread.

Jim - I have measured the four specimens I have and the average overall length is 1.71 inches (43.43mm). They were all within 4 thou. so pretty consistent.


Vince - I am afraid I don’t know the answer to your question about ownership.

Use by UK cadets was a bit before my time, as when I was a cadet armourer back in the early sixties we had No.8 rifles for use on the school range, and those were all army supplied.

As far as the Uk is concerened, the easiest way to tell would be to check an example to see if it was government marked.


I don’t know if it matters or answers any ownership question regarding use of the Cadet Martini in England, but my little martini, made by B.S.A., is marked on the opposite side “Commonwealth of Australia” which is obviously a BSA factory stamp, under the blue, and then below it is added “VIC” which appears to be stamped through the blue, and below that is a 5 digit number that is not the same as the factory serial number stamped on the receiver and barrel. It is obviously handstamped. It appears again on a strip right behind the breechblock on the top rear of the receiver. There is a cute little Kangaroo stamped on the top of the forward end of the receiver. I had fogotten about him.

I’ve got to take this thing out shooting soon. I have not fired it in 10 years or more - what a shame, as I just fell in love with it all over again typing this response.