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Rifle - Martini, Francotte Patent, Birmingham Small Arms Co, circa 1890 Object Reg. No: ST 034544

Australian Service rifle, Francotte Patent Martini, cal. .230in. (297/230), steel rifled (five groove) round barrel, 699 mm long. Made by Birmingham Small Arms Co, Ltd, circa 1890.

This was one of several variants of 'Cadet Martini' rifles that were used in Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for cadet training.
Francotte's Patent Martini falling block single shot breech loading action, steel triggerguard, loading lever, foreend and butt plate. Barleycorn foresight, graduated rear sight, barrel fastened to stock via two steel barrel bands, the rear one being a baddely band with a recessed screw head, cleaning rod not original.
Statement Of Significance:
This was one of several variants of 'cadet martini' rifles that were used in Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for cadet training. Skennerton (Australian Service Longarms, 1975) states that the Victorian Government purchased the first 500 Francottes in 1887 at a cost of 3 pounds each, while Penrose, in the Museum's 1949 catalogue of the firearm collection, added that they were issued to Victorian cadets until being withdrawn in 1911 when Senior Cadet training was introduced.

The principal characteristic of the Francotte Patent Martini action is the removal of the action in one complete section, after the removal of split pin. The model was manufactured by A. Francotte and W.W. Greener and the receivers can be found marked 'VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT, 'WESTERN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT', or 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA'. The barrels were marked by the manufacturer: in this instance the Birmingham Small Arms Company. However, this particular item carries Francotte's cartouche on other components, suggesting that while the barrel itself was made and proofed in England, the rifle was manufactured under contract in Belgium by Francotte. This was not uncommon for several models of British/ Australian service rifles. The item is stamped in several locations with the Sale or Disposal mark, denoting that it has been sold outside of military service to the public.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Rae Burn, 1983
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 16.20 cm (Height), 3.60 cm (Width), 105.00 cm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Barrel length: 69.90cm

More information

Tagged with: rifles muskets australian, rifles muskets military, victorian colonial defence forces, daf
Themes this item is part of: Arms Collection, Victorian Colonial Military Forces Units, 1854-1901
Primary Classification: ARMS & ARMOUR
Secondary Classification: Firearms
Tertiary Classification: longarms
Inscriptions: Stamped on L.H.side of receiver: VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT; 2630; 2801
Stamped on L.H.side of receiver: FRANCOTTE'S/ PATENT
Stamped on barrel top: crown over TP (Tower proof); 230 L (calibre stamp)
Stamped on barrel top: 2454; 2; two broad arrows facing inwards to an S (Disposal mark denoting sale to public)
Stamped on L.H.side of stock: VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT (partly illegible); 2454; two broad arrows facing inwards to an S (Disposal mark denoting sale to public)
Stamped on L.H.side of front barrel band: crown/ AF (Francotte cartouche)
Model Name/Number: Francotte's Patent Cadet Martini
Manufacturer: Auguste Francotte & Co, Liège, Belgium, circa 1890
Manufacturer: Birmingham Small Arms Co (BSA), Birmingham, England, Great Britain, circa 1887


Greg Baldwin Posted on 20 Mar 2015 4:24 PM
I have an undated and unsigned letter written by my great grandmother, Amelia Benton [nee WHITEHOUSE] McLEAN, parents George & Ann [nee BENTON] WHITEHOUSE. Amelia Benton WHITEHOUSE was born on 28 Jun 1865 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.

This letter would have been written circa 1945.

The letter provides details of the involvement of her ancestors, two gentle man bearing the same name of Joseph BENTON.

Would be very pleased if I could find our the individual names of the persons involved in setting up BSA.

Greg Baldwin

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