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RML 64 pounder 64 cwt gun
64 pounder gun firing - fort glanville.jpg
Fortification mounted MK III gun firing at Fort Glanville Conservation Park, South Australia
Type Naval gun
Fortification gun
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1865 - 190?
Used by British Empire
Production history
Designer Woolwich Arsenal
Designed 1864
Manufacturer Woolwich Arsenal
Elswick Ordnance Company
Variants Mk I, II, III
Weight 64-long-hundredweight (3,300 kg)
Length 9 ft 10 inches[1]
Barrel length 97.5 inches bore

Shell 64 pounds (29 kg)[2]
Calibre 6.3 inches (160 mm)
Action RML
Breech none - muzzle loading
Muzzle velocity wrought-iron tube : 1,252 feet per second (382 m/s)
Mk III steel tube : 1,390 feet per second (420 m/s)[3]
Effective range 5,000 yards (4,600 m)[2]

The RML 64 pounder 64 cwt gun was a Rifled, Muzzle Loading (RML) naval, field or fortification artillery gun manufactured in England in the 19th century,[2] which fired a projectile weighing approximately 64 pounds (29 kg). "64 cwt" refers to the gun's weight rounded up to differentiate it from other "64-pounder" guns : 1 hundredweight (cwt) = 112 pounds.


The calibre of 6.3 inches was chosen to enable it to fire remaining stocks of spherical shells originally made for the obsolete 32 pounder guns if necessary.

Mark I (adopted in 1864) and Mark II (adopted 1866) guns, and Mark III guns made from 1867 - April 1871 had wrought-iron inner "A" tubes surrounded by wrought-iron coils.

Mark III guns made after April 1871 were built with toughened mild steel "A" tubes, and earlier Mark III guns were re-tubed with steel and were classified as a siege gun in land service. Remaining guns with iron tubes were used for sea service.[4]

Rifling of all guns consisted of 3 grooves, with a uniform twist of 1 turn in 40 calibres (i.e. 1 turn in 252 inches).[4]


The gun's standard shell was "common shell", for firing on troops in cover, ships and buildings, weighed 57.4 pounds (26.0 kg) when empty with a bursting charge of 7.1 pounds (3.2 kg). Shrapnel shells could also be fired; a 66.6 pounds (30.2 kg) shell with a 9-ounce (260 g) bursting charge propelling 234 metal balls.[5]

Surviving examples

The sole surviving Mk I gun, at Fort George, Scotland.

See also

Notes and references

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Guide to Fort Glanville, South Australia. Semaphore Park, South Australia: The Fort Glanville historical association. 2000. 
  3. 1,252 feet/second firing a 64-pound projectile with 8 pounds R.L.G. gunpowder is quoted for wrought-iron tubed guns in "Treatise on Construction and Manufacture of Service Ordnance, 1879", page 363. 1,390 feet/second firing a 65-pound projectile using 10 pounds R.L.G.4 gunpowder is quoted for Mk III steel tube gun in Table XII in "Text Book of Gunnery 1902".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Treatise on Construction and Manufacture of Service Ordnance, 1879, pages 292, 261-265
  5. "The 64pr. 64 cwt gun Mark III". Palmerston Forts Society, Fareham Hampshire U.K. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 


External links

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