.310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

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.310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 29 Jul 2018, 10:23 am

Hi Folks,

I've been interested in getting a Cadet rifle for some time and have recently found a good BSA 2nd Pattern with all the reloading accessories included.
While researching info into reloading the .310 cadet, I can't believe the amount of contradicting information I am reading, both here in Australia and from overseas. I am hoping somebody can help clear the fog for me without adding to the volume of contradiction; so please don't make statements unless you really know. Unless of course, you are just making statements on what works for you and your rifle, but please make that clear.

So the greatest amount of contradiction is around the following points:
- design bore and groove diameter for the 310 cadet (310 Greener)
- manufactured bore and groove diameter for the BSA supplied Australian order
- what of the generally two available manufactured projectiles will work best? .316" or .323" ?

My research has uncovered claims that bore diameter is anything from .311" to .321", with a few seemingly knowledgeable statements that the standard bore diameter is .316". If this last statement is true, then why do Australian manufacturers offer projectiles of .316", which theoretically, when shot through a hundred odd year barrel, should just about rattle down the tube?

I understand that the correct projectile needs to be a couple thou greater than bore diameter, and so many people just slug the barrel and order the appropriate bullet mould. I understand that some barrels may be either shot out or rusted out from lack of care, but where was the starting point for bore and groove diameter for these barrels?

I have also read statements, that without a heeled bullet, then the cartridge will not chamber? Well that can't be true either, or otherwise manufacturers wouldn't sell too many non-heeled projectiles.

Any and all info will be greatly appreciated,

Regards,

Goldie
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by gunnnie » 29 Jul 2018, 3:59 pm

Mate,

can't really shed light on the bore diameter issue but can pose a reason behind the negativity on the heeled projectile issue.

I use Redback .321 122gn heeled cast pills in my 310's. When I began reloading for it I too had issues with trying to chamber the reloads. The solution was pretty simple, seat the pills correctly! The projectile should seat into the case mouth only so far as the case mouth will snug into the top of the heeled section of the projectile. I was seating too deep which meant the case was above the heeled section of the base and effectively too large a diameter for the chamber.

Once I began seating the cast pills correctly I had no problems.

I do this with my reloads for both 310's and I haven't had an issue and both rifles shoot well.
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by No1_49er » 29 Jul 2018, 4:11 pm

Lots of good info here, and in the parent forums.
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/british ... -forum-f3/
Proud member of "the powerful gun lobby" of Australia :)
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by No1Mk3 » 29 Jul 2018, 6:36 pm

G'day goldiexxxx,
Sorry to tell you but the info is not contradictory. Cadets (and to a degree many rook rifles in this chambering) are highly variable as to bore diameter and chamber dimension. Add to that literally thousands of Cadets had a 32-20 reamer shoved in them with no markings added to the receiver and things can only get worse. BSA made slightly different to Greener who was slightly different to Westley Richards. I have a Westley Richards Cadet with a near new barrel that measures .3185 and several well used BSA that average .3165, as well as a Greener that measures .319. The chamber, which is tapered, varies so much that only 2 of 7 rifles can share ammo unless the cases are trimmed right back to 26mm. The original was 27.6mm and a heeled bullet of .314 diameter. Load a straight pill of .318 and the tapered chamber might inhibit loading. From all this and all you have read you will understand the Martini Cadet is a very indivdualistic rifle and to get the best from your you really must tinker with the ammo to suit your own rifles quirks. What works in any of mine, may not work in yours, so start at the original Greener spec, then adjust to suit. That is half the fun of Cadets, finding your own "best" load, Cheers.
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 07 Aug 2018, 12:14 pm

Hi All,

Thanks very much for clearing this up, I understand now why there is so much differing information to be read across various sources on the internet. It seems that when various commentators make statements about the cadet rifles without the condition that it is only specific to their own rifle, then that is where contradiction can prevail. I think this would be compounded where certain owners don't actually understand that their rifle may have had modifications they are unaware of.
I am looking forward to picking up my own cadet later this week and start learning what is going to work for me and my rifle.

Cheers everyone, thanks for all your input.
Goldie
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 12 Aug 2018, 7:29 pm

Gday All,

Well I got my new Cadet rifle out to the range yesterday........ and ............ HOW MUCH FUN IS THAT LITTLE RIFLE???

I ran into a few learning curves while starting to work up a load.

Firstly, I hadn't flared the case mouths deep, and therefore wide enough to allow easy seating of both Hawkesbury River projectiles. I have both the HR .316 (122gr) straight side, and .323 (128gr) heeled versions. Surprisingly, the heel on the .323 bullet is still .316. The new Bertram brass has an inside diameter of .310 at the mouth and so some considerable mutilation of the case occurred as I had not driven the case flaring die deep enough. Once I had this sorted out, both bullet styles sat in the flared case mouth and pushed in easily with the seating die.
Secondly, neither round would chamber in my rifle as both projectiles now bulged to accommodate their .316 bases. I overcome this by running them gently through the FL resizing die, using feel rather than camming over the press handle. This gave a little crimp around the case mouth and then both rounds now easily dropped into the chamber without any force. The .316 round suffered no swaging, but the .323 round had a little of its black coating removed to achieve this; although the .323 driving band was untouched.

So I loaded ten of each projectile at 4, 4.5, 5, and 5.5 grains of AP70N powder. I fired five shot groups of each at both 25m and 50m with very inconclusive results. My very first shot key-holed the target at 25m, but the following four were not too bad. I have a series of targets that don't really tell a clear story as I have some groups with both projectiles better than the other at either ranges. I did suffer three complete flyers with the .316 projectile though which may be an indication that the .323 may eventually work better.
I started to get pressure signs on the 5.5 grain loads as some of the primers were flattened into the firing pin hole of the breach block.
All in all, I have all my brass now fire formed and looking to do some more testing from 4.5, 4.7, and 5 grains of AP70N. Of note, the ID of the case mouth has only increased by .002" to .312", still meaning that there was no hope of "thumb seating" the projectiles as suggested on other sources.
I see good potential for accuracy once I improve the consistency of my hand loads. I have not trimmed any brass either and have made some measurements confirming a bit of a range of case lengths.
Will get some pictures up too.

Goldie
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Stoney » 14 Aug 2018, 8:02 pm

The .310/11/12/14/16/23/?/?/… :sarcasm: . Cadet is a wonderful little round once you dial in the one you have :lol: . It reminds me of a grown up .22lr. First thing you do is slug the bore and chamber cast.
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Stoney » 14 Aug 2018, 8:38 pm

The .310/11/12/14/16/23/?/?/… :sarcasm: . Cadet is a wonderful little round once you dial in the one you have :lol: . It reminds me of a grown up .22lr. First thing you do is slug the bore and chamber cast.
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Stoney » 14 Aug 2018, 8:39 pm

The .310/11/12/14/16/23/?/?/… :sarcasm: . Cadet is a wonderful little round once you dial in the one you have :lol: . It reminds me of a grown up .22lr. First thing you do is slug the bore and chamber cast.
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 14 Aug 2018, 8:51 pm

Hi Stoney,

Yes I did slug the bore but Im not sure what the final result is telling me. I used both the .316 and .323 Hawkesbury projectiles and they both measured the same bore and groove diameter.
Bore diameter - .316"
Groove diameter - .321"
So if the bore diameter is .316, then the .316 projectile should have slipped straight through without any marks from the rifling; yet it was expanded to fill the grooves and has clear rifling marks exactly the same as the other slug from the .323" projectile.

See photo of rounds pre and post FL sizing in order to get them to chamber. Notice the coating slightly removed on the black .323 projectile.
IMG_0069.JPG
IMG_0069.JPG (735.52 KiB) Viewed 3687 times


And see photo of both bore slugs used.
IMG_0070.JPG
IMG_0070.JPG (848.91 KiB) Viewed 3687 times


I have not had any experience with slugging a rifle bore, so is this what I should have expected?

Cheers
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Stoney » 15 Aug 2018, 4:46 pm

G'day goldiexxxx ,

Yes I encountered the same problem and I can only guess that the smaller projectile at some point gets grabbed by the lands and then whilst you are smacking away the bullet " fattens " because of its softness? The resistance makes it go outwards as well as forward if that makes sense. Just like a .22lr heeled section expands somewhat into the bore. Maybe someone more qualified can answer that. I used to get a .38 wadcutter which are soft and smack that down the bore. They are all over the place when it comes to bore size and chamber size as No1Mk3 rightly said. Just when you get the right projectile you find you cant chamber it. Now I remember some of the headaches :crazy: If you haven't chamber cast perhaps give that a go as it will add to the " big picture ". Also there is an Aussie bloke on YouTube that does a series that is good. I think he end up putting a .308 barrel on for convenience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbCAQW2isv4

Lastly, off topic,. How do I get rid of my triple post? Cheers.
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 16 Aug 2018, 10:41 pm

Hi All,

I'm starting to get the feeling this rifle has been reamed out to make a longer chamber. I can drop one of the copper coloured Hawkesbury projectiles down the chamber and then put a case in behind it without the projectile seated in the case. The .323 projectile doesn't get too far into the chamber even by itself, so its just simply not going to be the correct projectile for this rifle without swaging with the FL sizing die.

What cartridge overall length are most people loading for their own Cadets?
And what case length is working with that COL?

Looking at the pictures above of the copper coloured projectile, I can seat one of them only down to the first cannelure and it will still chamber comfortably in the rifle.
Is this the correct seating depth?

Thanks,
Goldie
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Stoney » 17 Aug 2018, 7:49 pm

Soooooooooo………...you didn't chamber cast?
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 17 Aug 2018, 8:30 pm

Nooooooooo.............. not yet. Still don't know if I trust myself to pour liquid metal down the chamber. I had a look at a couple youtube clips, but ahhhhhhh. Not confident yet.
I did, however, attempt to make some crude measurement based up component lengths and displacement of those components ............ I know what I'm talking about.

So the following is only hypothetical information based upon my particular measurements taken this evening:
Bertram Brass case - 1.069" case length
Hawkesbury River 122gr projectile - 0.704"
I can put the projectile and case into the chamber, and still have space before the projectile touches the lands - 0.06" space
Not knowing exactly at what point on the ogive the lands make contact, theoretically, I could load a round for this rifle slightly less than 1.833" COL.

Does that sound right for a .310 cadet? To have a chamber length that long?

So now taking the two of my first attempts at reloading for this rifle, as pictured above, the COL for these are:
HR copper coloured 122gr - COL 1.554"
HR black coloured 128gr - COL 1.570"

That's an average bullet jump to the lands of 0.270". Does that sound sort of average? Its way more than what I load for in my .308 or .223. I mean, its not a revolver!!

Does anyone think that this is out of the ordinary and maybe the chamber has been reamed out a bit?

I have a batch of newly loaded rounds for Sunday, trying to at least see if I can get some consistency. Just need to take me out of the equation I suppose :crazy:

I know, Stoney is just going to tell me to cast the chamber and stop asking questions. I know Stoney, I'm just warming up to it. See how I go this weekend first though.

I really appreciate any info and help you folks provide too, its very much welcomed.
Goldie
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Stoney » 18 Aug 2018, 2:04 pm

I would never tell you to stop asking questions mate :D I ask a million questions if I have to, don't even care if some of them are stupid :lol: :lol: Your doing great mate. :clap: :drinks:
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 19 Aug 2018, 4:10 pm

Well back from the range today. I'm pretty happy with the results. I took another batch of handloads, having learned a bit from last week's efforts, and was confident my work should yield a lot better consistency. I was glad I decided to put a middle load between 4.5 and 5 grains of powder too.

So now I have a load for both styles of Hawkesbury River projectiles using ADI AP70N powder. Case lengths are all over the place as I have not trimmed the Bertram cases. Bit surprised there was not a little better consistency in the case length for brand new brass to be honest.

HR 122gr .316" Copperhawk
4.7gr ADI AP70N

HR 128gr .323" (heeled) Blackhawk
5gr ADI AP70N

The 128gr projectile produced a group only slightly better, but that could have just been my shooting. After all, I'm only basing this on a single 10 round group from each at this time.

Anyway, here is the best group of the day.

Cheers, Goldie

IMG_0072.JPG
IMG_0072.JPG (767.72 KiB) Viewed 3582 times
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Tank » 15 Nov 2019, 8:27 pm

Hey Goldie! Nice work!
Bertram cases in my experience are terribly inconsistent in length.
I have a couple of hundred Super brass which at least are all the same length.
Just about reacquaint myself with 310 having not shot it in years.
Thanks for doing this ground work for me as I’d pretty much forgotten the ‘dark art’ of 310 reloading.
They really are a stack of fun!
Good shooting and thanks again!
Regs,
Tank.
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 16 Nov 2019, 4:36 am

Thanks Tank.

So maybe I could share some info after 12 months of shooting the Cadet also.

I reduced the load for the .323 projectile back down to 4.7gr of powder because the cases were becoming a little sticky to extract once the rifle heated up. Whilst the accuracy was best at 5gr, functionality is more important as it becomes annoying having to tap out the cases with a cleaning rod more than a couple times.

I am able to shoot my rifle at a 4" steel plate set at 85m with consistent repeatability. That's just the range at which I can consistently hit that size target, with my eyes, using the open sights.

Whilst the .316 projectile is not terrible in my rifle, I do get a flyer say 1:10 rounds. This would be indicative of the bore and groove size of my rifle, and makes the .323 projectile better suited for me. As was highlighted at the start of this thread, the Cadets are very much an individual beast when sorting out reloads. At least the learning curve I had gone through would be common among other loaders of the .310 Cadet. I'm using up the box of .316s I have before I buy another box of the .323s.

Since posting this thread I have acquired myself an 1876 MkII Martini Enfield (.303) which was a whole lot more difficult to get shooting. With a worn out rusted sewer pipe barrel, this took some work to develop a load. I have had to order unsized .303 projectiles directly from Hawkesbury River Bullet Company to find a projectile wide enough to fit the worn barrel (not interested in casting my own yet). Whilst the bullets are not sized, they are also not consistent in their diameter either, but at least they are just large enough to squeeze into the barrel. They measure .3135" - .314" but I feel I need a full .314" projectile to achieve best results. Regardless, they do the job with a gas check and I have settled on a load of 30gr of AR2206H. Les from HR was really helpful and I am grateful to him for supplying a custom batch of projectiles for me.

Goldie
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Tank » 16 Nov 2019, 6:36 am

Cheers Goldie.
I’ve just ordered a mould from CBE (and a set of Simplex Master dies as my Super Simplex dies are no good without a press.....not sure where that went) which
goes .321 I reckon(?). Also have a couple of hundred of the HRBC 128gr RN’s you’re using. We shoot a scaled back silhouette match at my local pistol club and this info will be of great assistance in getting my Cadet knocking those pesky little turkeys over!!
Just on the .303 situation.....I reckon you’re on the right track. The best shooting cast proje I have for .303 is the old Lyman 314299 casts at 192gr with range trash. .314 (seen worn examples using .316.....really nice stuff using .312).
Cheers again and good luck with the .303!!
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by Tank » 01 Dec 2019, 8:28 pm

97E24866-185C-4BC7-84AE-6451ED314121.jpeg
6 shots at 25m in the bull. 1 shot I held off at 4o’clock as I couldn’t see previous shots and one a mate shot at 2....colour me pleased!
97E24866-185C-4BC7-84AE-6451ED314121.jpeg (335.42 KiB) Viewed 556 times
Quick update!
Great advice man. Put 20 together settling on 4.8gr AP70N in the slightly long Bertram cases and.....load development over! (Chroni average of 1,260fps....so the sights should regulate nicely too)
Cheers again!
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Re: .310 Cadet - Why so much contradicting info?

Post by goldiexxxx » 14 Dec 2019, 6:48 am

That's a great result Tank. I have also found the load to be correct for the 2nd Pattern sights also. I'm only shooting at less than 100m anyway, and with only two graduations of 50 and 100 yards on the sights, there is not a whole lot of granularity available; regardless, the sight marks align as expected to whatever range I'm shooting. Good luck shooting your Cadet in those club competitions.

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