Help needed to identify Japanese Martini Cadet rifle
Results 1 to 43 of 43

Thread: Help needed to identify Japanese Martini Cadet rifle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default Help needed to identify Japanese Martini Cadet rifle

    Hello Gentlemen

    I have a Martini Cadet rifle (bought it as a part of a multigun lot, my interest was in another rifle)

    It is my understanding that the most common markings are either british or australian.

    This rifle has BSA marking on the barrel but the receiver has some asian characters on the left side (do not even know what language) and it has no markings on the right side.

    Could not find any info, your advice will be greatly appreciated!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC_0011-018.jpg  

    DSC_0010-019.jpg  

    DSC_0013-013.jpg  

    DSC_0002-029.jpg  

    DSC_0004-027.jpg  

    DSC_0003-027.jpg  

    DSC_0014-016.jpg  

    DSC_0010-018.jpg  

    DSC_0005-022.jpg  

    DSC_0006-019.jpg  

    DSC_0111.jpg  

    DSC_0107-001.jpg  

    Last edited by yuriman; 03-17-2017 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    Very interesting. I think you may have Cadet rifle that was sold over to the Japanese. It also appears to be a 297/250 Morris. It is a very nice example for sure.

    There is a very dedicated group collectors who collect Japanese guns. I am going to edit your title so when they pass by here they will see the title, and stop tell us what they know.

    I don't know what other guns you got in the deal but in this gun, you got a good one!
    Last edited by DoubleD; 03-14-2017 at 07:15 PM.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Thank you so much for your help, will try to find somebody who can translate : ))

  4. Remove Advertisements
    GunBoards.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    74,652

    Default

    Definitely originally sold to the State of Victoria, and before the creation of the Australian Commonwealth. Early gun - before 1901, I believe.

    Appears to have sold out of service markings (the opposed broad arrows). Definitely made by BSA. S/N is 4104, Victoria accession marking 4711. Can't help with what appear to me to be Japanese markings.

    Agree with Douglass that you got a very nice piece there. I'd be quite pleased to run across one like it, myself. Even if 297/250 would be a PITA to load up.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Spokane WA, USA
    Posts
    851

    Default

    The barrel is BSA, but many of the early Francotte-made rifles in .297/.230L that Victoria purchased were rebarreled with BSA barrels (in original chambering). These rifles generally date back to the 1880s, so are readilly importable to the USA, unlike the post-1899 .310 Cadets.
    By the way, Clyde, the .297/.230L is a breeze to reload, much like the .310 Cadet, just use the heeled bullet in fireformed cases. Accuracy in mine has only been so-so to date, but I live in hope!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    This barrel is Marked .250L not .230L

    There were three lengths of .297/230 Morris cartridges. I have never seen one of these guns in this chambering without a rotted out chamber and bore. A few years ago, either here or on British Militaria Forum there was one reported with a good bore. I relined my bore and rechambered it to 297/230 L and shot .bullets for the .22LR that I get from North American Arms. https://northamericanarms.com/parts/parts-cb/

    Now that being said I just went into my photo host to see if I could find photos of my barrel markings, and I did.

    I can't tell if this says 230 L or 250L



    What ever mine says, the OP barrel is still marked .250L The 297/250 Rook is a different cartridge than the 297/230 Morris L.

    This is indeed a vary interesting gun.

    I suggest yuriman, that you find a Japanese arms collector board and post this gun up for more info on the Japanese side of this gun.
    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

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Thank you gentlemen!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Spokane WA, USA
    Posts
    851

    Default

    Douglas & all, I just got home from work & pulled my Victorian-issued .297/.230L cadet off the wall for a closer look. Now, I know for a certainty that mine is still in the original chambering, & my caliber marking looks almost identical to Yuriman's rifle.....the '3' is deeply struck & could be mistaken for a '5'. I still maintain that both rifles are chambered for the .297/.230L(ong), as the .297/.250 bore the name Rook in its title & was not offered in different case lengths, whereas the .297/.230 was offered in both a Short & Long versions.....so if the subject rifle was chambered for the .297/.250 why does it have an L suffix when there was only one version of that caliber available & there would be no need to distinguish?
    Not the best photo I'm afraid, but these are the markings on my rifle:Click image for larger version. 

Name:	My .230 Cadet Markings.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	293.5 KB 
ID:	2051282
    Last edited by X-Ring Services; 03-16-2017 at 03:08 PM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    828

    Default

    The Japanese purchased large quantities of surplus arms and equiptment in the 1920 s as a cheap way of building up a modern military force.I think they also purchased new cadet type Martinis.They certainly purchased all the Lewis guns they could get their hands on.Regards John.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Thank you guys!

    I will take a better pic of the barrel marking (230 vs 250) and post it later

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    The Japanese purchased large quantities of surplus arms and equipment in the 1920 s as a cheap way of building up a modern military force.I think they also purchased new cadet type Martinis.They certainly purchased all the Lewis guns they could get their hands on.Regards John.
    These Cadets were acquired during the first Sino-Japanese War-1894 to 1895 time period. The Japanese also acquired a number of Peabody made Martini Henry rifles.

    It will be interesting to see if the caliber marking on this rifle is 250L or 230L. Looking at my picture it is not clear.

    Martyn your picture won't open.
    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

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    39

    Default

    The Peabody-Martini rifles were bought in 1880 and 1882 as a temporary measure while the Murata was put into production.

  14. #13
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    74,652

    Default

    Sure looks like a "250L" to me. But - well, oblique view and upside down, could be a "230". I'd like a good view showing complete receiver, both sides, to see if it was a BSA or a Francotte.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Spokane WA, USA
    Posts
    851

    Default

    OK, I've got my photo to come through now (see above), though it's not the best. As I said before, the .230 L on mine does look like a 250 L, but as I know for certain that mine is a .297/.230L I have to assume it says .230 L. Plus, to reiterate, why would it say .250 L when there was only the one length of that caliber, unlike the .230 where there was both Short & Long?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Added a couple of pics, will try the good magnifying glass later to see if it is .250 or .230.

    Seinen from the Japanese Forum have translated the Japanese characters (MANY THANKS!!!), it reads "Made by the Imperial Japanese Tokyo Artillery Arsenal" , according to him a couple of thousands of cadet rifles were produced for Australian Government by Tokyo Arsenal but I am not sure (asked him already) if the barrels were imported from Britain and only receivers made in Tokyo?

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    5,679

    Default

    You're very welcome yuriman. Happy to help. Hopefully, DocAV will chime in with the full story.

    C/

  18. #17
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    74,652

    Default

    The translated markings make sense in that receivers don't have Francotte, BSA (or Greener) markings. But it certainly has a BSA barrel, and a Victoria butt-stock. And the S/n on left side of receiver matching the one on the Knox form, along with what appear to be opposed Broad Arrows with an interposed "S" don't fit anything I'd expect from a Japanese-made gun (not that I know much about them). Odd. To me - others may (probably do) know what it all means.

    Oh - still looks like a "250L" to me rather than a "230L".
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Posts
    570

    Default

    Not unusual but not common,these rifles supplied by the Japanese Tokyo Hohri Kodho in 1892 .most fitted with BSA replacement barrels.These early cadets came with miniature socket bayonets .Your rifle is a very good example

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    923

    Default

    Cadets when issued in Australia, usually had the state abbreviations stamped into the right hand side of the receiver (VIC - NSW -Q) as well as Commonwealth of Australia. The number '2' if equated to Australia would be the 2nd military district, which was New South Wales. The rack number was also usually stamped into the receiver and the butt had the state, rack number and year of issue.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    828

    Default

    The logo"Barrel made by...." is always on a replacement barrel.Notice the vice jaw marks on the wood of the butt,not matched by marks on the metal.Pre 1900 there was no Commonwealth of Aust.All this rings a bell,my memory not so good any more,but there is much detail somewhere,possibly on one of the forums.A good deal of the info that was on the web from 10-15 years ago has been wiped when the free web sites went.Regards John

  22. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Spokane WA, USA
    Posts
    851

    Default

    Brian, all that you say is correct for the later .310 Cadets, but these .297/.230 caliber Cadets go back to the 1880s so predate Federation.
    Clyde, if you look at my photo you will see that my rifle also has the Sold out of Service broad arrows & 'S', along with the 2.....only difference is the serial number, mine is 795 & Yuriman's is 4014.

  23. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roger buckland View Post
    Not unusual but not common,these rifles supplied by the Japanese Tokyo Hohri Kodho in 1892 .most fitted with BSA replacement barrels.These early cadets came with miniature socket bayonets .Your rifle is a very good example
    Now that is something I had never heard before. That makes this rifle even more interesting.

    We need to see a lot more details about this rifle. Good full side right and left action and all the markings.

    Very interesting, thank you Roger.
    Last edited by DoubleD; 03-17-2017 at 07:13 AM.
    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

  24. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Thank you everybody for your thoughtful comments!

    I did look at the number in question with all kinds of optics and I am 95% sure it is 230.

    It is a shapeshifter and depending on the angle it does look like 250 sometimes though..

  25. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    I will try to get better pics with daytime light this weekend.

    Does anybody think that taking it apart will help with ID? I am a little hesitant to do so since Martini's are not my thing though

  26. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    Do you have a piece of chalk? wipe the number with chalk, the wipe the chalk off with your finger, leaving chalk in the impression.
    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

  27. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    Pull the trigger group out and pull the forearm off. Take pictures and post all the marks. May be/should be marks under the wood on the barrel and perhaps on the front of the receiver .
    Last edited by DoubleD; 03-17-2017 at 07:31 AM.
    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

  28. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Thank you Douglas

    Will get to it tomorrow

  29. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    This thing gets more and more interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by roger buckland View Post
    Not unusual but not common,these rifles supplied by the Japanese Tokyo Hohri Kodho in 1892 .most fitted with BSA replacement barrels.These early cadets came with miniature socket bayonets .Your rifle is a very good example
    Roger I do not mean to question your knowledge, but I see something in the pictures posted in your statement makes me want to know more. It is something that I have seen in other Japan Martini's posted in the past.





    I think the Japanese gun may be scrubbed. See the round shadow on the side? Could that be removal of the Francotte marking?



    Where did the Japanese get these guns?

    Here is something else.



    Those sure appear to draw file or stone marks to me. The number and Sold out Service marks appear washed. The Japanese characters do not.

    My pure speculation and nothing more.
    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

  30. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    5,679

    Default

    DoubleD - Turkish armed forces were among the first to purchase quantities of the Peabody-Martini service rifle, ordering some 600,000 rifles between 1874 and 1879 from the Providence Tool Company, Providence, RI. The examples imported by the Japanese for training and other purposes were among those 7,000 purchased from the Turkish government at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Hoyem speaks about these in one of his articles/books.

    These 7,000 rifles are obviously not the same as those specially manufactured by the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal (Tokyo Hohei Kosho; 東京砲兵工廠), which is the subject of yuriman's original post.

    Is this the information you had in mind?

    C/

  31. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    What I am speculating...I don't know...who made these guns-the Cadets, not the Peabody's. That is well documented

    Did the Japanese make these little cadets and sell them to the Victoria Government. Or did Victoria Government sell their inventory to Japan.

    Surely there is records on this.

    The Only reference these Japanese Cadets I have seen is in the SAIS from Skennerton on the cadets an i don't recall what it said.

    Of course when these discussion come up the reference I need to review, before I open my mouth, is in Montana and I am not.

    So, I have the salt and pepper, knife and fork prepared to eat crow.
    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

  32. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Posts
    570

    Default

    Australia bought these from Japan in 1892 with minature socket bayonets along with cavalry sabres(from Skennerton S.A.I.S page13)I do not know weather these were made in Japan but I would gess so

  33. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default Martini Cadet - more pics

    Took it apart, there are no more markings except from pictured.

    The number on the top of the barrel is 230L.

    The action has number 14 on the back, numbers 1 and 14 on the side and 3 pins holding parts together are numbered 1,2, 3.

    The bottom of the barrel (I tried to take the best pics) has big letter R on the stud, number 2292 above it, number 12 under it as well as small crown with letter B and A2 under it, letter S and something looking like inversed letter E tilted 45 degrees.

    Thank you all for your input!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC_0030-012.jpg  

    DSC_0011-018.jpg  

    DSC_0010-019.jpg  

    DSC_0007-020.jpg  

    DSC_0025-009.jpg  

    DSC_0013-013.jpg  

    Last edited by yuriman; 03-17-2017 at 04:53 PM.

  34. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    5,679

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleD View Post
    What I am speculating...I don't know...who made these guns-the Cadets, not the Peabody's. Did the Japanese make these little cadets and sell them to the Victoria Government. Or did Victoria Government sell their inventory to Japan. The Only reference these Japanese Cadets I have seen is in the SAIS from Skennerton on the cadets an i don't recall what it said.
    The cadets were fabricated by the Japanese at the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal. The kanji markings confirm this: "大日本東京砲兵工廠製", which translate "Made by the Imperial Japanese Tokyo Artillery Arsenal." From what I recall from reading an article many years ago, the TAA had some surplus capacity at the time, so they took out a contract with the Australian government for the production of these cadet rifles. I may have missed a point or two, however, this is the gist of what I recall reading.

    Yuriman - I've looked at your receiver photos, however, there do not appear to be any Japanese proofs or inspection markings present.

    C/

  35. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,429

    Default

    Thanks. This has served as a very educational thread. I have learned.
    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

  36. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Seinen- just want to clarify:

    As of now it looks like all experts agree that it is an Australian contract early (pre 1901) BSA Martini Cadet rifle which was subcontracted by TAA.

    The receiver has TAA address but no Japanese proofs or acceptance marks.

    Since the receiver has british "out of service" broad arrow marks would it be reasonable to say that the rifle was produced at BSA for Australia (prior to 1901), the receiver was stamped in Britain with broad arrows but it was never stamped with australian address (was the australian address supposed to be stamped by BSA or australians?), upon arrival in Australia it was picked up by TAA, the receiver was stamped by japanese but the rifle never made it through japanese fire proof inspection for whatever reason?

    Just trying to put all expert opinions together.

    Thank you all very much!

  37. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    5,679

    Default

    At the very least, the receivers were produced by the TAA per contract with the Australian government. It's my understanding that the entire rifle was produced by the TAA, however, I can't address whether or not any rebarreling may have occurred subsequently.

    DocAV, where are you?

    C/

  38. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Seinen - if the receivers were made by TAA who stamped it with the british out of service broad arrow markings?

  39. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Spokane WA, USA
    Posts
    851

    Default

    I don't know that these rifles ever saw England, & that the government of Victoria contracted directly with with TAA. The Sold Out of Service markings would have been applied in Australia once the rifle became surplussed & sold to the public. My understanding with the .297/.230L chambered cadets is that the majority were rebarreled with the BSA barrels whilst in service in Australia, so I assume your rifle would originally have had a Japanese-made barrel, just as mine would have had a Francotte barrel.

  40. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    5,679

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yuriman View Post
    Seinen - if the receivers were made by TAA who stamped it with the british out of service broad arrow markings?
    These would have been added subsequent to their import by Australia. X-Ring Services' post above sums up my feelings nicely.

    C/

  41. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Got it, thank you all!

  42. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    5,679

    Default

    yuriman - PM sent.

    C/

  43. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Yuriman, seinen - thank you both for the enlightening photos and information. I did a quick check of Skennerton's "Australian Service Longarms" book (copyright 1975) to see if he elaborates anymore on the Tokyo Hohei Kosho mention in his S.A.I.S. book and sadly, no more to be found.

  44. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    828

    Default

    These rifles would have been bought by the Education Department of Victoria for the School cadet corps.We dont want to confuse the pre-federation school cadets with the 1908 Defence Bill cadets.Two different things.The 297/230 cadets and converted310s were apparently sold from post WW1 onwards,up until the general disposal of cadets.The Japanese were big buyers of wool and the desire to sell a product in return would have been there.The Japanese were also British allies with a common interest in the Russian threat.These must have been the first engineered precision product sold to Australia,now the Japs have probably 80% of the vehicle market here,and 99% of the 2 to 25 ton truck market.Regards John.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •