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.

Physical Description

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.


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in the Museum's 1949 catalogue of the firearm collection, added that they were issued to Victorian cadets until being withdrawn in 1911 when Senior Cadet training was introduced.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.

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