RML 25 pounder 18 cwt

RML 25 pounder 18 cwt gun

Heavy field gun

Fortification gun
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
Used by British Empire
Production history
Designed Mk I : 1874
Manufacturer Royal Gun Factory
Variants Mark I only
Weight Mk I (18cwt) : 2,016 pounds (914 kg)
Barrel length Mk I : 88 inches (2,200 mm) bore 22 Calibres

Shell 4 lb Rifled Large Grain (RLG) powder
Calibre 4 inches (102 mm)
Action RML
Rate of fire 1 round per minute
Effective firing range 4,000 yards
Sights Two side sights

The RML 25-pounder gun was a British rifled muzzle-loading light siege gun and gun of position designed in 1871. It was intended to be an intermediate gun between the 16 Pounder and 40 Pounder Rifled Muzzle Loading guns.[1] It was part of a series of guns designed after the British military reverted to rifled muzzle-loading artillery until a more satisfactory breech-loading system than that of the Armstrong guns was developed.


Ammunition for the 25 Pounder RML

The gun consisted of a central toughened steel "A" tube surrounded by two wrought-iron coils. Rifling was the "Woolwich" pattern of three broad grooves, with a uniform twist of 1 turn in 35 calibres (i.e. in 166.25 inches).[2]

They were mounted on semi-mobile field carriages, with limbers which enabled them to be moved and mounted in either field fortifications or permanent fortifications.

The guns used black powder charges in silk bags to fire three types of ammunition - common shell, shrapnel shell or case shot. A copper vent towards the end of the bore of the gun enabled friction tubes to be used to fire the gun.

Service use

Six 25 Pounder RML guns were transported from Malta and landed in Egypt in 1882 as part of a Royal Artillery Siege train formed for the Anglo-Egyptian War, however none of them were deployed in action.[3]

The guns were also deployed at Forts and Batteries around Great Britain to form part of the fixed defences. Some were located at Fort Cumberland where they were used for training by the Royal Marine Artillery.[4] They remained in service until 1902, by which time most had been dismounted and scrapped.

Notes and references

  1. Treatise on the Construction and Manufacture of Ordnance in the British Service, 1877, Page 259.
  2. Treatise on the Construction and Manufacture of Ordnance in the British Service, 1877, Page 258.
  3. Goodrich, Caspar F (Lt Cdr), Report of the British Naval and Military Operations In Egypt 1882, Navy Department, Washington, 1885, p.231
  4. Robinson, Charles N, Cdr RN, Navy and Army Illustrated, Hudson & Kearns, 21 August 1896, p84


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