CAC .450 MHR Marks


Maybe I have missed an explanation from being out of touch so long, but I have been intrigued for many years about the different Marks of the .450 Martini Henry Rifle cartridges manufactured by CAC Australia.

Three types are Mark A, Mark X and Mark Z.

Does anyone have any definite knowledge of the differences, if any, in these Marks. Or the meaning of the letters.

My initial guess was they represented the State for which they were produced (before Australian Federated), However both South Australia and New South Wales had Mark A produced which would seem to negate that theory.



CAC Australia?
the booklet "The COLONIAL AMMUNITION COMPANY Ltd. A Pictorial Listing of Metallic Centerfire Cartridges Made by the Company in New Zealand by B.W. Gracia only shows Marks III in ball, carbine & blank.

Apparently I’m missing something.

FWIW “Australian-Military-Small-Arms-Ammunition-Production-1888-2003” by Mayne (2004); page 17, a 10 round .45 MHR packet is shown with the label “C.A.Co. Ball Cartridge M.H.R. Mark Z Victoria 1890”.

I probably know only enough to be dangerous, but CAC did have a facility in Australia in the early years. The early years I have in mind are up to 1918 or perhaps a bit later. Jack

Pete, Unfortunately I am way behind with published data, which is frustrating, however I guess Barry’s book relates only to New Zealand production.

bdgreen, Back in the 70’s I came across a source who had a number of these packets. Excited is hardly the word for it, as CAC Australia only started manufacture in the middle of1890

Jack, Yes, CAC did have a separate facility in Australia, which was a different company entity. They operated from mid 1890 until 1921, when the factory was leased to the Australian Government.

I’ve shown packets of the .450MHR cartridges which were manufactured for the different States. The two without any markings I suspect to be Australian because of the X, but it’s possible they were from NZ. The fact that Captain John Whitney was heavily involved in both facilities is a cause of confusion.

Hi John
yes Barry’s book is totally about NZ production.

Could you e-mail me your photos? not for reproduction but only for my files. I can see them on your photobucket account, but would like to have them from you.

Just use the e-mail link in my post, if your willing, & ta.

Hi Pete,

More than willing to forward the photos. Will add a few other CAC MH packets and you can keep what you like. My main aim in life is to document as much as possible about Aust. ammo production and clear up a few of the errors. For instance I often see MS being referred to as No 7 Small Arms Ammunition factory. It was an Explosives factory with the facility to load tracer composition into .303 projectiles and never known as No. 7 SAAF.