Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40

Posted by: BroncoBirnbaum

Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 08:20 AM

I have a 310 Cadet in very nice condition. I would like to convert it to 32-40, NOT 32-20. I am looking for feedback from anyone who has already done this.
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 10:16 AM

blaspheme!
Posted by: crossfireoops

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 03:40 PM

Originally Posted By: BroncoBirnbaum
I have a 310 Cadet in very nice condition. I would like to convert it to 32-40, NOT 32-20. I am looking for feedback from anyone who has already done this.


That cartridge ( 32-40 ) is getting a little onto the LONG side to feed into that sharply swamped block.

The Cadet is all about SHORT cartridges.

PLEASE don't let some idiot GRIND on it for clearance,....several have turned up around Tombstone so butchered and bodged,.......guess what the owners were looking for,.....Repairs, and correct replacement blocks.

GTC
Posted by: shrapnel

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 03:49 PM

I have one that I got as a kid about 40 years ago, it was chambered in 32 Winchester special. 32-40 would work if a 32 special did.
Posted by: Oregon45

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 04:37 PM

Sherman Bell in this quarter's issue of Double Gun and Single Shot Journal has an article on the beginning of his project to convert a small Martini action to 32-40. Apparently this was a reasonably popular conversion at the time; so long as you don't intend to hot-rod your handloads, I say go for it.
Posted by: doubletap

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 06:42 PM

Ross Seyfried wrote an article for Handloader on getting the 310 Cadet to shoot. Sounded like a fun project. You might want to try shooting it as is. You can always convert it later. Just a thought.
Posted by: BroncoBirnbaum

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 07:55 PM

Oregon..I read the Double Gun story just this week. The author is using a brand new Krieger barrel. I presume the author then gets the correct spin rate to stabilize a .322 170 grain tip. I don't know what the rifling twist rate is of an original 310 barrel. I have heard that only 120-ish grain tips will stabilize in the original barrel. I am a BPCR shooter which is why I want a 32-40 instead of 32 Special.

Doubletap..I know of this article by Ross but I can't find a copy of it online and I have never read it. I have been shooting this gun for two years already, reloading it by hand. I have about 50 original 310 cadet casings and 50 modified 32/20 casings. I buy healed tips from GAD. In original caliber it is very accurate, but the caliber has no pizazz for me.

I am looking for someone who has already done this to give me some feedback, or someone to name the right guy in Central Texas that can make this modification. If the twist rate is wrong on the original barrel for 160 grain 32/40's I need to know that.

Bronco
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 08:02 PM

Cadets in original condition are starting to get pricey. Reaming the chamber will pretty much put an end to ones value. 32-40 is going to be too much cartridge for the rifle unless you keep it loaded down and if you're going to keep it loaded down, you might at well keep it in the original chambering.

It's not all that much trouble to load for,..and it's a lot of fun making the .310 chambering work much better than it did in its original form.
Posted by: doubletap

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 08:52 PM

If you're not happy with the rifle the way it is, I understand. You gotta do what makes you happy. I just never thought of the 32-40 as a cartridge with pizazz.
Posted by: BroncoBirnbaum

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 08:57 PM

Hi Bristoe...Thanks for the reply, I enjoyed your insights.

Cadet sale prices are an interesting thing to study. I have been watching Gunbroker Cadet listings and actual sales for the last two years. The average 310 with no rust or modifications that actually sells goes for $350 or less. The average 32/20 sells a bit faster for the same money based on condition. 357Mag Cadets sell in the $500 range in one week. 32 Specials sell slowly in the $350 to $400 range. Zipper/zappers in high speed .22 caliber don't sell at all. The highest selling Cadet in the past year was a 32-40 conversion for $750 and had multiple people bidding on it. I check Gunbroker Cadet prices almost daily through automatic programmed searches. I never take stock in listings, I focus only on actual guns sold to determine market price. BTW, Cadet sales have slowed down a bit since the national economy broke down. Prices have not changed, just the number of closed sales has thinned out.

You are correct, the 310 is easy to load. Dies are very expensive for 310, so I do it by hand without loading dies since no sizing or crimping is required. I described my technique in depth on a different BPCR forum about five months ago.

A BP load of 32-40 can never be too much cartridge, even in a light rifle. Winchester invented the 32 Spec for the 1894 lever action to out perform the aged 32-40 and the 94 is a wisp of a rifle. No one complains about shooting a 32 Special in a Win94. A Trapdoor 20 inch carbine also weighs just a wisp. Shooting a 405 grain .459 bullet over 65 grains of 2F in that gun smarts just bit too much but is shot by many. I think that a 170 grain .322 bullet over 35 grains of 2F in a 24 inch Cadet will be fun.

Bronco
Posted by: BroncoBirnbaum

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/28/09 09:12 PM

Doubletap... You are right, I never defined the meaning of pizazz. Around the turn of the 20th Century, 32/40 was considered a top choice for long range target tourneys. Light cartridges were 32/40 and 38/55. Medium cartridges were 40/65. Heavy cartridges were 44/77, 45/70, 45/90 etc. In the shooting competitions that I join monthly, we shoot all of these in single shot rifles at long range steel plates. That is my definition of pizazz. The 310 just does not fit in with that culture, thus no pizazz for me.

Thanks for the post.
Bronco
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/29/09 05:09 AM

Originally Posted By: BroncoBirnbaum
I think that a 170 grain .322 bullet over 35 grains of 2F in a 24 inch Cadet will be fun.

Bronco


A 125 grain .322 cast bullet with 15 grains of AA1680 can be fun in the original chambering, also.

Posted by: Mike Armstrong

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/29/09 09:37 AM

Not sure ANY BCPR shooters would agree with the choice of .32-40; it's the primo Scheutzen ctg. but that's a whole different game.... The lightest ctg. I know of that is used for BCPR is .38-55 or better .38-56, and most BCPR shooters consider them quite marginal at the longer BCPR ranges/heavier steel targets. The .32-40 might work for chickens, but certainly is not ideal for rams.

A .32-40 Cadet with the right barrel would be a SWEET rifle, but only within its practical capabilities: medium distance target shooting, including Scheutzen, and game up to deer-size, IMO.
Posted by: Grasshopper

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/29/09 01:36 PM

Mike,

It's a moot point talking about BPCR in a Martini action. They are NOT legal for BPCS. Rules specify the rifle MUST have an open hammer. Which is why no one shoots the Ruger #1.

GH
Posted by: BroncoBirnbaum

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/29/09 07:54 PM

To start off, I am just looking for a fun single shot with a decent sized cartridge to fire in it. Both Mike and Grasshopper are correct. Martinis are illegal in BPCR and 32-40 is great for Scheutzen. At our local club we have 10 SASS inspired cowboy stages and a 10 position 400 yard range (soon to be 700 yards). On the long range field we shoot a modified cowboy tourney every month and practice on the other weekends. It is a form of DCM meets BPCR meets Scheutzen. Locally we call it "buffalo shooting matches" but that is hard to describe to many and our rules are unique. We are cowboys at heart. Our main desire is to learn how to use our rifles and sights at different yardage distances. Soule and Creedmore sights prevail on our guns. During our match we change yardage six times. Our targets are hanging steel of all different sizes from 8 inches in diameter to 36 inch rectangles. The primary rifle style used on our range are single shots. Rolling Blocks and Sharps are most numerous. High Walls, Trap Doors, Handi Rifles and Martinis are also used. Lever guns appear regularly: Big and Medium bore Marlin's and Winchesters. Every once in a while the Wild Bunch guys show up with Krags. We don't care if you shoot black powder or smokeless powder, as long as you shoot lead tips only, we are open minded to anything. The 45/70 is most prolific and thus most winning, but all traditional cartridges are fired. So I just tell everyone that we shoot BPCR because I get tired of explaining what unique course of fire we shoot. Our matches are fun. Little focus is spent on winning, most focus goes to people who hit the smallest and longest targets. We shoot on the line like at a Trap Shoot. One shooter at a time, all watching each other, cleaning barrels or reconfiguring sights until next shot. It goes fast.

One of my cowboy pards shoots a beautifully stocked Martini in 38-55. It has a tapered octagon barrel with a wonderfully matted rib and engraved action. I think it will be cool to shoot a baby Martini at these targets, but the Martini has to have a cartridge big enough to make the steel ring at long distance. If the line judges can't see the hit or hear the hit, it is not a hit. At 400 yards, a hit on steel with a 150 grain lead tip is sometimes hard be sure of.
Bronco
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/29/09 09:41 PM

It's your rifle,...mutilate it if you want to,..but it's never gonna be a coal burner and you're not going to like it in 38 40 shooting black powder.

That's not what it is and you can't change that.
Posted by: Grasshopper

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/30/09 06:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Bristoe
It's your rifle,...mutilate it if you want to,..but it's never gonna be a coal burner and you're not going to like it in 38 40 shooting black powder.

That's not what it is and you can't change that.


Bristoe,

I just read this entire thread, and I failed to note any mention of the .38-40 . Thus I can't see where your comment is justified.
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/30/09 08:31 AM

okay 32 40
Posted by: BroncoBirnbaum

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/30/09 06:54 PM

I started this thread to ask for first hand information that could help me make decisions about my Cadet and the thread took me down a different path.

To remind and repeat: I have a 310 Cadet in very nice condition. I would like to convert it to 32-40, NOT 32-20. I am looking for feedback from anyone who has already done this.

I know there is a guy out there named Oldgunsmith that has the answers I need.
Bronco
Posted by: Toadman

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/30/09 08:00 PM

I grew up on a California ranch, and our .310 Cadet was a great little rifle for squirrel shooting: we reloaded it at the kitchen table with a tong tool and it shot very well. Hits out to 200 yards were common. I have to ask you not to mess with it. Sell it to anyone. Sell it to me. But don't mangle it: it's too sweet a gun without being thrashed. Just my opinion. smile Next stop: gunsamerica to get one. They fall under the C&R jurisdiction, don't they?
Posted by: tex_n_cal

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/30/09 08:30 PM

Well, I had a Stevens 44 & 1/2 in .32-40. The bore was somewhat rough, so I only shot jacketed bullets in it. I was able to get up to 1970 fps out of the Stevens with 170gr Hornadys and H335. The 44 & 1/2 was a forged action, and considered fairly strong. This is about where Ken Waters said to whoa, and I never tried to go higher. Accuracy was very good. I shot a doe with it at about 40 yards, found a good blood trail, but never found the deer. Only deer I have ever wounded and lost.

For fun shooting it's your gun & your money. I don't know how a Martini cadet compares in strength to a 44 & 1/2, but about 1950-2000 fps is all I would try for for with 170 gr bullets, and an action of similar strength to the Stevens. You'll have to judge if that's enough power to "ring your bell". I would not use one again on deer, unless I had bullets that I knew would expand well.
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/30/09 08:36 PM

Originally Posted By: BroncoBirnbaum
I started this thread to ask for first hand information that could help me make decisions about my Cadet and the thread took me down a different path.

To remind and repeat: I have a 310 Cadet in very nice condition. I would like to convert it to 32-40, NOT 32-20. I am looking for feedback from anyone who has already done this.

I know there is a guy out there named Oldgunsmith that has the answers I need.
Bronco


Sell me the Cadet and use the money as a down payment on a rolling block.
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 12/30/09 08:40 PM

$375 + $30 for shipping.

Hit my PM button if you're interested.
Posted by: Mathsr

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/04/10 08:36 PM

I have a Martini Cadet that has been re barreled to 32-40 with the correct pitch for 170 gr bullets. There is no problem with the cartridge turning the corner at all. It made a light weight little rifle that is fun to shoot. I left the military stock on mine and the barrel has been cut back to just a little longer than the fore end cap. The original bore left a lot to be desired and the stock was pretty beat up. It still is. It needed a new lease on life and the 32-40 barrel was just the thing to do it. A peep sight and new ramp front sight finished it off. It shoots better than I can hold and in close I would not hesitate to use it on deer. I would do it again in a second if the rifle warranted it.

Posted by: redcloud

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/04/10 08:55 PM

I had one of those back in the 50s rechambered to a .218 Bee worthless little round. But the rifle was a honey. I wish I
kept it around.
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/05/10 08:38 AM

Cadet's are a hoot in their original chambering once one learns to properly feed them.
Posted by: Mike Armstrong

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/05/10 09:54 AM

I would guess that a Stevens 44 1/2 and a Martini Cadet are of comparable strength in the sense of the ACTIONS handling high pressure cartridges. Both are hell-for-strong. BUT the Stevens barrel diameter may be considerably larger at the threads than the Martini, and that is where Cadet actions tend to fail--they bulge the threads at that point (creating a gunsmithing mess, not a catastrophic "blowup").

I seem to recall 44 1/2s being chambered for some serious varmint ctgs. in the old days (like 6mm/.30-30, and .225 Win), and suspect they are of comparable strength to a Win 1885 Hiwall--VERY STOUT. Big Martinis meant for the .303 are also very strong, and have thick barrel threads. Cadets have their limitations because of the barrel, not the action itself.
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/05/10 10:10 AM

You don't have to get into very high pressure to make the .310 cadet round shoot hard. You just have to use a propellant that takes advantage of it's entire case capacity and 24 inch barrel.

Pretty much the same situation exists with the Thompson Center Contender in 32-20.

It's a 40,000+ CUP firearm chambered for a 16,000 CUP cartridge,...but people load them to 25,000+ CUP.
Posted by: Bristoe

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/05/10 10:16 AM

15 grains of AA1680 will pretty much fill up a .310 Cadet case. I haven't been able to chronograph it yet, but I suspect that it's taking the .322 diameter, 125 grain bullet to somewhere near 1700 fps and the cases just pop right out and still have nicely rounded primers.

I've seen load data for the .310 which pushes a 120 grain bullet to 1500 with Red Dot. I'm quite certain that load is much higher pressure than mine.

I'm definitely not going to work up a 1500 fps load in my Cadet with Red Dot.
Posted by: redcloud

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/05/10 08:29 PM

I have only owned one of these little Cadets. I would not think that you could chamber a 32-40 due to the length of the case. As I recall they were very short actions. Don't know for sure. Can you get the original 30 cal. brass for these rifles? I know back in the 1960s they sold as new for around $15.00 and there was no ammo. Most were reamed to 32WCF with a drill bit.
Posted by: Mathsr

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/06/10 08:58 AM

Quote:
I would not think that you could chamber a 32-40 due to the length of the case. As I recall they were very short actions. Don't know for sure.


It works fine. I've got one and showed a picture of it in the post above. I have had no problems at all with it at all.
Posted by: oldgunsmith

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/08/10 01:54 PM

re Mathsr- you and I both have one chambered in 32-40, and we know what it is all about----having been a gunsmith for 20-odd years, the one thing I learned while smithing is that you can't convince some people of anything that is outside their realm of reasoning-I give up, how 'bout you?-think I'll go shoot a few 32-40's in my Martini and possibly drink a couple after reading all this BS By the way, I like your rebarrel, it's the way all Martini's should look. I just gave one away to my grandson at Christmas, its a 357 stocked in mesquite with a Neidner butt-plate, its a beauty. Trying to stay ahead of the other Grandpa!! Gave him his first BB gun at birth!!
Posted by: stray round

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/08/10 04:37 PM

Bronco, I have Seyfried's Handloader article, "Little Guns, Long Range" that I can email you if you want.

His article has made me want one of the cadets ever since reading the article.
Posted by: Mathsr

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/08/10 06:21 PM

Oldgunsmith mine was made by my brother who was a custom gunsmith for a number of years before he got into computers. I can still talk him into giving me a hand with some specialized work from time to time but mostly I just try to buy what he makes for himself. I get lucky every now and then.

This one was made for just walking the woods with and it's kind of a sleeper. It shoots good and looks like the surplus rifle it is. I like it just fine and it suits the purpose it was made for. Might try to take a doe with it tomorrow afternoon. The 357 sounds sweet. I have thought about one of those to shoot some 200 gr lead sw kind of slow. It would be a hoot on armadillos and easy on the ears. There is a lucky grandson out there that I hope appreciates what he has and mostly who gave it to him.
Posted by: Bandukwallah

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/09/10 07:36 AM

Quote:
re Mathsr- you and I both have one chambered in 32-40, and we know what it is all about-
This is very interesting to me. I've a Cadet that I'm considering rechambering in .32-40. What loads have you found to be accurate in your rifle?
Posted by: oldgunsmith

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/09/10 12:57 PM

Hey Banduckwallah---if your barrel is clean and free of pits and you can find the proper bullet molds, rechambering to 32-40 is simple and cheap- finding the proper molds are the real challenge. My wife found me one on ebay, a Lyman/Ideal mold; number 32359 it is a plain base and casts a 120gr. FP. Shoots fine with this rifling twist. Bullet mold number 321427 casts a 135gr. gascheck RN that I think could be pushed a little faster. If your barrel is rough, the way to go is like Mathsr to rebarrel. (Octagon is pure sex on these little rifles) I love them because they are light and easy to carry. Many people have taken deer with a 45 cal. muzzleloader-the round ball I think weighs about 142gr. I'm here to tell you that with either rifle, a high shoulder shot will drop them in their tracks. I have invited Bronco over to shoot my rifle, we live less than 2 hours apart. Where the hell are you Bronco???
Posted by: 348srfun

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/09/10 01:19 PM

I think my brother had problems with heavier bullets, like 170 gr, stabilizing in the original barrel. That and the fact that it was a little rough is what led him to rebarrel. I'm still working on a couple of boxes of factory loads trying to turn them into brass and haven't loaded any yet myself. That is coming shortly though since I don't have much left.
Posted by: Bandukwallah

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/09/10 04:44 PM

Oldgunsmith, thanks for the information: its just what I was looking for. Methinks that I will try standard .308 bullets and paper patch them up to proper diameter. I'll probably use glue-on patches. Somewhere I have a bunch of Crane 100% rag-bond paper for just this purpose. I'll also be on the lookout for some .323 molds in case the paper patching doesn't pan out. I do have a proper .310 Cadet mold from RCBS, the 310-120-RN, that I plan to try in the .32-40. Maybe it will work, especially if I use a partial patch on the back half (the reduced diameter) of the bullet.
Posted by: oldgunsmith

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/09/10 05:47 PM

cmathews: I don't know all the answers, but I do know that the standard WIN 165gr.SP, keyhole at 30 yds. The barrel on the cadet is marked 310-12-120 this designation is blackpowder. 12gr of black behind a 120gr. bullet might kill a mockingbird. The 310 should be bore diameter, but if you slug the barrel, you'll find that it is probably around 321. At least that is what I sized my cast bullets to. As for brass, I've made quite a few from 30-30. They are a little short, but seat the bullet for overall length.
Posted by: Mathsr

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/09/10 07:26 PM

Quote:
I think my brother had problems with heavier bullets, like 170 gr, stabilizing in the original barrel. That and the fact that it was a little rough is what led him to rebarrel. I'm still working on a couple of boxes of factory loads trying to turn them into brass and haven't loaded any yet myself. That is coming shortly though since I don't have much left.


I posted this on the computer at the shop. I didn't realize that it was signed on under my brother's UN. Sorry for any confusion.

When my brother rebarreled the cadet he used the twist originally for the 32-40 so there is no problem with stabilizing heavier bullets. I am of the old school I guess, I like a heavy bullet going slow to play with. I plan on trying for around 1300 to 1400fps with a 170 grain bullet.
Posted by: oldgunsmith

Re: Aussie Martini Cadet in 32-40 - 01/10/10 11:34 AM

re the load you mentioned above, I used to load for a Schuetzen rifle in 8.15 x 46R it is much like the 32-40, same taper, just a little shorter cartridge. 2400 shot fairly well, but my 5 shot groups shrank to half the size with 4759. As for the paper patching mentioned above you, I don't think it will work at all. Had a rifle years ago that used the paper patched lead bullet, the rifling was very shallow, maybe .002 in.,and was as polished as a mirror. Because of the depth of the rifling in the Martini, and difference in bullet dia., I think this combination will shred more paper than Ollie North. Gotta go tend to my horse, I'm probably out of this one for good. Looks like Bronco sold his rifle to Bristoe anyway!