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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,

I recently bought a Cadet Martini action which I believe was previously modified. It came without a barrel. I plan to build a small center-fire rifle on this action.

This being my first time to own a Martini, knowing nothing about this action, I need help identifying the previous caliber based on visual appearance of the existing extractor.

It appears that the firing pin hole has been modified but knowing nothing about this action, this may be the original design.

From the images presented, can you tell me if the extractor is designed for a rimmed or a rimless cartridge and what possible caliber?

What can you tell me about the "block face" and firing pin?

Thanks,
Harold
 

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Rimmed cartridge, see if a 38 spl/.357 Mag case fits. Breech block has been bushed. This is done so the gun will shoot smokeless powder.

Yes there are rimless extractors for the gun, but they are expensive. Besides there aren't to many rimless cartridges that will work on this gun.

What calibar were you thinking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The current extractor looks like it would provide practically no support at the base of the cartridge. Thoughts?

I was thinking of using the 218 Bee. I'd rather use a .222 but I don't know if the action would hold the pressure.

Any suggestions regarding caliber?

How must is a rimless extractor? What is "expensive"?

Thanks,
Harold
 

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It is hard to say if this extractor has been altered, but it looks like it is still for the original .310 Cadet cartridge. The small Martini action, before its more common use for the .22 rimfire, was used for a variety of small rook rifle cartridges. But assuming it is actually one made for Australian cadet training, the only possibilities are .310 Cadet (actually quite a useful cartridge as it comes) or .297/.23) (relatively useless and troublesome to reload.) The .287/.230 by far the less common of the two, and the rifles for it usually made by Francotte in Belgium, with slightly different metric dimensions for the barrel threads etc.

All are quite strong actions, but considerations of barrel thread wall thickness, and insertion of rounds under a scope if you plan on using one, make it inadvisable to use a cartridge of larger than .357 Magnum or so head and rim diameter. You can ger or make rimless extractors, but they tend to be expensive and I mistrust their reliability. sometimes people make over-fine distinctions of performance between cartridges which are actually very similar in effect. It is hard to think of a job to be done by such a rifle, for which you can't find a satisfactory rimmed cartridge.

There are various .22 centrefire wildcat cartridges based on the .357 Magnum or .357 Maximum, which means cheap brass and bullets, but often quite expensive dies, or a loss of brass unless form dies are used. The .357-based .22 Super Jet is a better shape than the very tapering .22 Super Jet. The Australian .222 Rimmed is a good cartridge, but will probably let you in for more expensive and perhaps less durable limited production brass, which might vanish from the market someday. (I think it is longer than the rimless .222 Remington.) My favourite is the European 5.6x50R, for which fairly good Sellier and Bellot brass is probably still available. You can use .222 Magnum dies and reamer.

If I wanted a cartridge for cast bullets, the .357 Magnum takes a lot of beating. A sound small Martini can handle any load a revolver will. I think some will accept the .357 Maximum and others won't. If you are in any doubt about whether any cartridge will enter the chamber, it is a good idea to make up plastic dummy rounds and rear barrel before you lay out money, because this involves a complex interaction between rim diameter, cast length and taper, and the curve of the breechblock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good Morning Guys,

It's another Alaska morning ...... dark as pitch and very cold as I sit here reading this. Naturally, this conjures all sorts of questions.

The first question is, "Where do I buy extractors"?

The second question is, "Several have mentioned that some extractors are expensive but have yet to mention a price. What are we talking about in actual dollars" (rimless and rimmed)?

Thanks for all the replies.

Harold
 

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The pictured extractor is the standard .310 Cadet configuration. It emulates it's big brother Martini Henry's configuration. Later BSA extractors were solid and supported the bottom half of the cartridge.

Bob Snapp makes the only rimless extractor that I aware of; last I heard it was around $100. You can find him on the Martini internet resource list at www.martinihenry.com/links.htm. You'll have to scroll down the list to Gunsmiths to get his contact info.

There are several rimless extractor designs that have appeared over the years and they all work, some better than others.

All that I have seen work, sorta. They will pull the case loose from the chamber, but they don't always toss the case clear of the action. Not a big deal with iron sights, just tip the rifle and the case is dumped out. It can be an issue with a scope. You have limited room to get a finger in under the scope to flick a case out. and dumping will sometimes hang the case up under the scope. This problem occurs occasionally with rimmed cartridges and has a history of happening a lot with rimless cases in this gun. The longer cases are worse than the short cases.

I am unaware of any one else making replacment extractors, there use to be a company selling them and shortly after being listed on the Martini Internet resource they sold out and don't have any more.

The extractor you have should work just fine for all the rimmed cartridges the fellas are recommending. There is no need to get another.

Any competent gunsmith can weld up or cut down your extractor as needed.

Your choice of .218 Bee or .222 are fine, If you decide you want the .222 you will want do the .222R. The Australians have been using this for years and it works good. I have a .222R Cadet that I picked up for parts. It's the ugliest gun in my cabinet. I am toying with just shooting it as is...just not in public :) Brass is available from Midway and Buffalo Arms as well as couple of others.

My wife's rifle is a .22 K-Hornet and it works fine. Her gun it is a bit powder sensitive. It absoulutely does not like Lil Gun, any load with this powder will stick cases, but accuracy is superb. On the other hand my .218 Mashburn Bee Cadet shoots Lil Gun and cases drop out but accuracy is defined as pattern and not groups. I suspect this is more product of the barrel being an old rim fire barrel.

Another caliber I have been running around my brain for the Cadet is the .221 Fireball Rimmed. Make the brass from .357 Maximum. Use standard Fireball dies. Use a Fireball reamer to put the chamber in, then cut a rim in with a boring bar. Use Fireball relaoding data.

Lots of Ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi DD,

I very much appreciate your comprehensive post. For certain, there is plenty of food for thought.

As I progress, I will try to keep everyone "up to speed" in the direction this challenge is heading.

Thanks to all for posting. I am certain that I will have questions from time to time and trust all will be eager to lend thoughts.

Harold:)
 

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It would always be interesting to hear or see what you achieve.

If you have some unusual requirement, it isn't impossible to make your own extractor. The simple way is to have an engineering firm drill a small and large hole the right distance from the corner of a piece of steel (3/4" thick in the case of the British small Martinis) for the pivot pin and the radius of the internal curve. Then you can hacksaw and file the rest. It's great when you finish and can stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I were to make an extractor, would the metal need to be hardened steel? I could fabricate the extractor from O-1 and leave in the annealed state or I could harden the metal up to RC-45, which would be quite brittle. Stated differently, would mild steel suffice?

Harold
 

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Tool steel would not be need but mild steel wouldn't be good either, to soft. Use some 4140 for strength.

If you arleady have an extractor there is no need to make a new one, just modifiy what you have. Even then there are plenty of spares that show up for sale that you can buy.

I say this because even though it looks pretty simple to make, this exctractor has some critical tapers, lengths and angles and you have get them right or the timing for extraction and loading will be wrong. I tried to make one a couple years ago and even though I had a broke one for a pattern it took two tries to get it nearly right.
 

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It is indeed hard work, and nonsensical if you think about the price of a part, if you can get one. The only real argument for it, is thinking you might later find a cheap Cadet with a missing or damaged extractor.

01 steel very often takes enough springiness for this application, if you just heat it red-hot and let it cool in free-moving air. The easy way is to use A-2 air hardening steel, which you can find in quite small quantities on eBay. I don't know if just hardening in air will make this hard enough for the engaging surfaces of trigger and tumbler, but for other applications it will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have access to an oven than can be used for heat treating. I wonder what RC hardness would be ideal for an extractor?

Harold

PS: As a "heads up",I am about to initiate another thread regarding measurements in preparation for cutting a barrel tang and threading of the Cadet action. Please feel free to engage when I post my question.:)
 
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