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  1. #1
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    Default Francotte vs BSA in Australian service

    Browsing through the latest Australian Arms auction catalogue over my morning coffee, I see two cadet Martini rifles, both stamped for Australian service, but one has a Francotte patent stamp and the other is just BSA.

    Can anyone explain why BSA would acknowledge Francotte's patent on their Martini? Or maybe this is a misprint? Did Australia purchase Martinis from Francotte?

    http://www.australianarmsauctions.co...e_online_7.htm

    676

    B.S.A. MARTINI ACTION CADET RIFLE: 310 Cal; std barrel length; vg bore; std front & rear sights; COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA & Victorian issue stamps to rhs of receiver; lhs has B.S.A. trade mark & address; blue/plum finish to barrel, action & fittings; g. profiles; clear markings; g. stock with minor bruising & has W stamped twice on both sides of stock; gwo & vg cond. #68774 L/R


    668

    FRANCOTTE CADET MARTINI ACTION CADET RIFLE: 297-230 Cal; 27 barrel; g. bore; std front & rear sights with front sight having another sml addition of a v. sml target sight sleeve; lhs of action marked COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, FRANCOTTE PATENT; B.S.A. SMALL ARMS CO to breech; g. profiles & clear markings; bluish/grey patina to barrel; grey to bands, action & fittings; g. stock with minor bruising; unusual marking to butt A.C.C.C. N.S.W. (Australian Commonwealth Cadet Corp); issue date 6th month 1907; all complete; gwo & cond. #69005
    Researching Lee Speeds and all commercial Lee Enfields. If you have data to share or questions, please send me a PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    The calibre gives the answer, the 297-230 short and long cartridge was the first approved calibre for the smallbore training rifles, and predates .22 and .310 cadet.
    This was also the first calibre the War Office Miniature Rifle was made and approved in.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Did they purchase the 297-230 rifles from BSA (and BSA acknowledged the Francotte patent with a stamp?) Does anyone know the details of this contract?

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Podewils View Post
    No, these are Francotte made rifles. I understand there were a few batches of rifles ordered from Francotte in the early years (pre-Federation/1900). I think most of the BSA rifles are post-Federation.
    Thanks for your reply. Is there any primary documentation on this order?

    And, why would the rifle in question have all three markings: COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, FRANCOTTE PATENT; B.S.A. SMALL ARMS CO ?

    Something doesn't seem right there, that a rifle would be marked Francotte AND BSA Co.

  6. #6
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    Default

    It was a Francotte patent and that Rifle may have been a BSA made under License from Francotte...
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  7. #7
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    These 297-230 Cadets were made by A.Francotte and W.W.Greener,the barrels will oftern be found with BARREL MADE BY THE BIRMINGHAM SDALL ARMS CO.LTD.BIRMINGHAM 1907.These barrels are replacment barrells on earlyer rifles an will be seen on booth A.Francotte and W.W.Greener marked actions.I looked at the add and this apears to be the case ,just a confusing description

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger buckland View Post
    These 297-230 Cadets were made by A.Francotte and W.W.Greener,the barrels will oftern be found with BARREL MADE BY THE BIRMINGHAM SDALL ARMS CO.LTD.BIRMINGHAM 1907.These barrels are replacment barrells on earlyer rifles an will be seen on booth A.Francotte and W.W.Greener marked actions.I looked at the add and this apears to be the case ,just a confusing description
    Thanks for the explanation! When was the Francotte patent and what years did Greener license it?

  9. #9
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    Not sure as to when the Francotte action was patented but the small frame Australian 297-230 cadets were in diffrent contracts firstly by the diffrent colinial states in the late 1890s I think(Francotte marked) and then the comwelth goverment of Australia(booth Francotte and W.W. Greener marked)after 1907 I think the .310 cartridge was yoused on new contracts,and the 297-230 was fazed outslowly untill 1911 when the .310 took over and the 297-230s were either sold or put into stores.I may be wrong on some of the dates as I am going from memory.I made the mistake of lending my refrence and the selfish bardtard died and his family trashed the old papers

  10. #10
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    You have to remember that firearms manufacture was contracted by the Dept. of Supply. A firearm could be made by Greener, Enfield, BSA etc. and made to the pattern required, so if there was a requirement for X amount of training rifles in a particular calibre, the order would be dispersed over available manufacturers.
    I have not immediate access at the moment to my research material, but you can find all this information at UK NRA HISTORICAL ARMS RESOUCE CENTRE website, look in Miniature Calibre Rifles Research Site.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Thanks fellas!

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