Q:I just bought a Cadet Martini rifle in .310 that I’d like tosporterize. It came with a pistol grip stock as the previous ownerhad the same idea, but never got around to having the job finished.Can I have the rifle rechambered to save the cost of a new barrel? Ifso, what calibre? My local gunsmith told me that the action isrelatively weak and it wouldn’t be safe to rechamber it, and the bestchoices would be either the .22 Hornet or .218 Bee. Can you tell mesomething about the origins of this rifle? What should I do to makeit effective on feral goats and pigs?
A: These fine little single-shot rifles were made by BSA in England,when the Australian Government commissioned the company to develop alightweight rifle capable of good accuracy to train Officer Cadets inmarksmanship. BSA developed the small Martini action and the .310Greener cartridge – unquestionably one of the most accurate big-borecartridges ever designed. Back in the 1950s large quantities of theserifles were sold as surplus and many had the chamber reamed to firethe .32-20 cartridge. These rifles were also sold in the US and thebasic rifle was modified to suit the requirements of Americanshooters following exhaustive pressure-safety tests by the H.P WhiteTesting Laboratory. Actions safely withstood pressures of 60,000 psi- far in excess of those generated by the .22 Hornet and .218 Bee.Many were rechambered for the .32 Special, a hard hitting mediumrange deer load which gave excellent accuracy despite its bulletdiameter being 321″ against .324 for the .310 Greener. Theserifles have also been rebored or rebarreled for the .357 Magnum, butI think you could save money by having your Martini rechambered forthe .32 Winchester Special.