James Rosier of Victoria, Australia Rook/Kangaroo Rifle circa 1871 - 0.450 Calibre, which case?

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James Rosier of Victoria, Australia Rook/Kangaroo Rifle circa 1871 - 0.450 Calibre, which case?

rook1888
O/R
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

19 Aug 2014, 12:21 #1

Hello members, new to join but lurking for a while. From Victoria, Australia Mostly interested in cast bullets in the 30-30 , then obtained a MH in 577/450 and started playing with that.  Subsequently begain to appreciate the Martini action and picked up this piece of colonial Victoria history.


James Rosier was Melbourne gun smith. He worked at this location 66 Elizabeth street Melbourne between 1871-1888 producing rifles and handguns.
This is a small commercial Martini of some type,only 2.35kg (5.1pounds), barrel 598mm(23.5"), total 1020mmg(40.1").  There was a safety(missing), three express type sights marked 100, 200, 300, a thin stock with metal butt plate, horn tip and simple engraving.
Only obvious marks are Rosier's name on the left and the Martini Patent acknoledgement monogram right lower front reciever. Serial number is under the forewood 16892A.  The rifle has been abused with file or gouge marks on the receiver body and destroyed screw heads.  Along with the missing safety, both the pin through the breechblock and front lower reciever have been replaced with commercial bolts without a true split pin. It cocks and the trigger seems to drop the striker. The ejectors are both present and free moving.

The lightness of the receiver compared to a MKI MH is apparent:



A slug is 0.468 groove diameter, seven grooves and there is this interesting chamber cast:


The measurements are  2.075"(52.6mm) case length, 1.885" (48.0mm)from base to neck, .575" (14.8mm)above rim and a .6570" (16.08) rim.  That ludicrously short neck measures only 0.175"(5.5mm), much less than one calibre long.  Here the chamber cast  next to a fired, un-sized 577/450 Bertram Brass:


Any thoughts?  I presume it would be a British rather than US chambering.  Has someone re-chambered at a later date?

Some research suggests this is the same rim and base as the 450 No. 1 Westley Richards Carbine, No 1 Carbine 450 bore, No. 1 Musket 450 bore and No. 2 Musket 450 bore.  It is longer than a No 1 Carbine 450 bore but shorter than the rest.  The case is shorter with a smaller head and rim than the No.1 450 rifle. 
Last edited by rook1888 on 20 Aug 2014, 19:58, edited 2 times in total.
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fallingblock
Lance Corporal
Joined: 21 Oct 2002, 23:48

20 Aug 2014, 01:21 #2

I would guess it is chambered for the .450 No1 for Kangaroo Rifles. I tried to post a picture and it did not work will try again later.
Cheers,
Laurie
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rook1888
O/R
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

20 Aug 2014, 01:50 #3

fallingblock wrote:
I would guess it is chambered for the .450 No1 for Kangaroo Rifles. I tried to post a picture and it did not work will try again later.
Cheers,
Laurie
 
Thanks Laurie.  I used tinypic.com to post my images.  Go to their website, browse your computer to find the image you want to display then complete their CAPTCHA to check you are human.  Their website will then spit out a line of text of different options for email, forum boards.  Just copy and paste here the one for forums that has blahblahblahblah [/I M G]
And when you post your reply the image should appear.
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fallingblock
Lance Corporal
Joined: 21 Oct 2002, 23:48

20 Aug 2014, 02:02 #4

Last edited by fallingblock on 25 Sep 2015, 00:26, edited 1 time in total.
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rook1888
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Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

20 Aug 2014, 02:38 #5

No, unfortunately it is not that one, if the cartridges that you post an image on have these measurements (which is likely given powder, projectile weights match):

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rook1888
O/R
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

20 Aug 2014, 09:44 #6

When I get a chance I will pull the forewood off and look for proof marks to see if there is anything Belgian/Albanian or otherwise. Jjust had a look, no proofmarks.  There is the serial number and a WT stamped against the end of the reciever.  There are seemingly unrelated 2, 3, 4 stamped along underside of barrel between knoxform and fore-end hanger.
Doing some ferreting around I wonder if this is anything like the 11x53R, talked about in this thread.

Which suggests that 50-90 brass may work although initially a bit skinny in the head until fired up a few times.

HOwever then according to this website , The 11x53R did not come into use until 1889, after when this rifle should have been made.  There is also a 11.3x52R Beumont which has a correct base and length, different neck shape.
Last edited by rook1888 on 20 Aug 2014, 10:52, edited 4 times in total.
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MichaelNH
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: 16 Mar 2002, 02:59

20 Aug 2014, 12:41 #7

Are we sure that's a neck and not just a generous chamber? For a commercial cartridge, it doesn't seem like you would be seating the bullet into the rifling like you would for target shooting. Maybe what you're taking to be the neck of the cartridge is just the throat of the chamber leading to the rifling?
Nitakupa ng'ombe watatu kwa mke wako.

Inachukua kijiji kumpiga mtoto.
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rook1888
O/R
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

20 Aug 2014, 19:56 #8

MichaelNH wrote:
Are we sure that's a neck and not just a generous chamber? For a commercial cartridge, it doesn't seem like you would be seating the bullet into the rifling like you would for target shooting. Maybe what you're taking to be the neck of the cartridge is just the throat of the chamber leading to the rifling?

 
That is an good thought.  I do have other rifles that have no freebore, a pre-64 Winchester 1894 is like that, case mouth and then rifling beginning straight away. There is a neat cut-away chamber and bore of a MH in the Stephen Manning book (unfortunately on a loan to a friend) which from memory demonstrated no or very little freebore in the MH.

That neck/freebore area measures 0.5" diameter.  If that is a large throat then I am looking at a straight sided case 1.885" (48.0mm) with a base the same as a No.1 Carbine 450 bore/No 2 Musket .450 bore
Last edited by rook1888 on 20 Aug 2014, 20:20, edited 1 time in total.
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joelblack88
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: 01 Feb 2006, 03:21

21 Aug 2014, 18:18 #9

I am pretty sure that is a Tranter Martini, which explains the "WT" on the underside of the barrel. The pointed, rather than rounded top, rear receiver also indicates a Tranter.
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Bnelson
Lance Corporal
Joined: 17 Sep 2008, 13:24

25 Aug 2014, 00:26 #10

There are several minor variations on the Comblain cartridge. I have a 11 x 50R that is very close in dimensions and has the same extremely short neck.
Bruce
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Mr Hanssen
O/R
Joined: 30 Aug 2014, 18:22

30 Aug 2014, 18:22 #11

Looks like this one?
11x50R Albini


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rook1888
O/R
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

31 Aug 2014, 13:57 #12

Mr Hanssen wrote:
Looks like this one?
11x50RAlbini
 
 
I think so, This seems like the most likely fit.  I will try and pull the breech block and make another chamber cast to get a better representation of the rim area.  Thank you for the picture with dimensions.
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rook1888
O/R
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

06 Sep 2014, 04:21 #13

I had a chance to take down and clean the rifle this afternoon. While the innards were out I repeated the chamber cast to have a better look at the rim area to ensure I was measuring the whole case (turns out I was not):

My revised case length from bottom of rim to start of rifling is 54.9mm (2.161"), from bottom of rim to neck 49.9mm (1.96")
The rim size is what I initially thought at 16.84mm(.662") and case size just above rim 14.9mm (.586)


So I think now that I am looking at the 11x50R Comblain/Belgian Comblain/11x50R Belgian Albini/11.5x50R Albini-Braenlin M1876.  This suggests that what looks like a very short neck is actually chamber.  This image is from the Kynoch  catalogue of 1884:



The internals do have the three projection tumbler of a greener action:


One thing that does strike me if (it this is the  11x50R comblain) is that the Kynoch print calls for a 380grain projectile over 77grains BP - a respectable load in a light weight and lightly built rifle like that!
 The Trapdoor 45/70 called for 70grains BP with a 405grain projectile.  The full sized Martini-Henry military load was 85grains BP under a 480grain projectile.
Last edited by rook1888 on 06 Sep 2014, 14:49, edited 4 times in total.
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rook1888
O/R
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 12:21

18 Nov 2014, 10:02 #14

I took the little martini out for a shoot today



Using the first express sight with is marked for 100 yards, obviously shooting a little high. Recipe was 50/90 brass trimmed, LR primer, 60grains Wano FFg, over powder card, wax cookie, over lube card. 300grain plain pb, PP 50gram bank for OAL 60mm (2.3")
Last edited by rook1888 on 26 Nov 2014, 16:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Keyhole
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: 12 Aug 2010, 15:33

20 Sep 2015, 15:02 #15

Gentlemen,

                     I am now the proud owner of this interesting firearm..... Thank You Simon. Whilst always wanting a Snider in .450 #1 Carbine I'll settle for this at present... It is unusual in it's choice of cartridge but I will be investigating further.... Simon has done a great job and put in a massive effort in working out the chambering of this little rifle... Well done Lad. I still have some work ahead of me .. looking forward to it....

 
Last edited by Keyhole on 20 Sep 2015, 15:18, edited 1 time in total.
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MichaelNH
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: 16 Mar 2002, 02:59

25 Sep 2015, 04:26 #16

That's great, Keyhole. I'm glad he got it sorted before he passed it on to you. That makes things a lot easier.

I see that the cartridge is also an Albini-Braendlin round. Didn't Albinis make it to Australia? I was curious what caliber they were. Would ammo have been more common then?

I'm gratified that my wild guess about the chamber ended up being right. I guess even a blind squirrel does find a nut now and again.

I'm looking forward to more range reports about this one!

Michael
Nitakupa ng'ombe watatu kwa mke wako.

Inachukua kijiji kumpiga mtoto.
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PommyB
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: 03 Sep 2009, 21:41

25 Sep 2015, 12:10 #17

The South Australian colonial government purchased a bunch of Braendlin-Albini rifles, chambered in .577 Snider if I recall correctly.
"For a man, be he ever so much resolved to do his duty as a parent, can't be flogging his children all day....."

The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. (William Thackeray).
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Keyhole
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: 12 Aug 2010, 15:33

25 Feb 2017, 14:36 #18

Gents, This poor beastie has been laying in the back of the safe along with many other neglected types... I will get onto it...
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heelerau
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: 12 Jul 2011, 19:25

05 Aug 2017, 06:08 #19

PommyB wrote:
The South Australian colonial government purchased a bunch of Braendlin-Albini rifles, chambered in .577 Snider if I recall correctly.
Pommy I saw some in the armoury at Thebarton Barracks when I was a trooper in the mounted section. They had been on issue to warders working in the old Adelaide Gaol.  Virtually unfired, I did try to get one for a visit to Para, no luck !!
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