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RML 9-pounder 8 cwt gun
RML 9-pounder 8-cwt Field Gun, NBMHM, CFB Gagetown (5).JPG
RML 9-pounder 8 cwt Field Gun, at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.
Type Field gun
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1871–1895
Used by British Empire
Production history
Designer Woolwich Arsenal
Manufacturer Woolwich Arsenal
Variants 9 pdr 8 cwt Mark I (Land Service)
8 cwt Mark II (Naval Service)
6 cwt Mark I (N.S.)
6 cwt Mark II (L.S.)
6 cwt. Mark III (N.S.)
6 cwt Mark IV (N.S.)
Weight 8-long-hundredweight (400 kg) or 6-long-hundredweight (300 kg)

Shell 9.1 pounds (4.1 kg) (common shell)
9.8 pounds (4.4 kg) (shrapnel)
Action RML
Breech none – muzzle-loading
Muzzle velocity 1,330 feet per second (405 m/s)
Effective range 3,500 yards (3,200 m)

The RML 9-pounder 8 cwt gun and the RML 9-pounder 6 cwt gun were British Rifled, Muzzle Loading (RML) field, horse and naval artillery guns manufactured in England in the 19th century, which fired a projectile weighing approximately 9 pounds (4.1 kg). "8 cwt" and "6 cwt" refers to the weight of the gun to differentiate it from other 9-pounder guns.

Service history

An 1871 diagram showing the gun and carriage of the RML 9-pounder 8 cwt field gun.

The 9-pounder 8 cwt Rifled Muzzle Loader was the field gun selected by the Royal Artillery in 1871 to replace the more sophisticated RBL 12 pounder 8 cwt Armstrong gun, which had acquired a reputation for unreliability.[1] The gun was rifled using the system developed by William Palliser, in which studs protruding from the side of the shell engaged with three spiral grooves in the barrel.[2] In 1874, a 6 cwt version was introduced for horse artillery and was later adopted for field artillery use, replacing the 8 cwt version. All variants used the same ammunition, which took the form of shrapnel shell, case shot and common shell.[1]

The 9-pounder remained in front-line service with the Royal Artillery until 1878 when the RML 13 pounder 8 cwt gun was introduced, however it remained in use with colonial forces until 1895 and saw action in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, the First Boer War of 1881[1] and the Anglo-Egyptian War in 1882.[3] A number were issued to British Artillery Volunteer units, with the 1st Ayrshire and Galloway Artillery Volunteers being issued with some guns as late as 1901.[4]


  • 9-pounder 8 cwt Mark I (Land Service): Introduced into the Royal Artillery in 1871. It was later withdrawn and modified for sea service.
  • 9-pounder 8 cwt Mark II (Naval Service): Introduced in 1873 by the Royal Navy.
  • 9-pounder 6 cwt Mark I (N.S.): A few were made for experimental trials but they proved to be too short; some were issued to the Royal Indian Navy. In 1873, forty five were completed for use as boat guns.
  • 9-pounder 6 cwt Mark II (L.S.): A new design in 1874 for the Royal Horse Artillery, it was longer than the 8 cwt gun but had the same carriage.
  • 9-pounder 6 cwt Mark III (N.S.): Introduced in 1879, a modified Mark II for naval service.
  • 9-pounder 6 cwt Mark IV (N.S.): Similar to the Mark III with a steel jacket instead of wrought iron previously used, and with a strengthened cascabel.[5]

Surviving Examples

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hall, DD (Major). "Military History Journal, Vol 3 No 5: June 1976 – AMMUNITION – PART II 9-PR 8 cwt RML". The South African Military History Society. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Skaarup, Harold A (2012), Shelldrake: Canadian Artillery Museums and Gun Monuments, ISBN 978-14697-50002 (p. 131)
  3. Goodrich, Caspar F (Lt Cdr), Report of the British Naval and Military Operations in Egypt 1882, Navy Department, Washington, 1885, p.231
  4. Lt Gen Sir James Moncrieff Grierson, Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force 1859–1908, William Blackwood & Sons Ltd, 1909, p146
  5. Moore, David. "List of British Service Artillery in Use During the Victorian Period". Victorian Forts and Artillery. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  6. Boxell, A L (2010), The Ordnance of Southsea Castle Tricorn books, ISBN 978-0-9562498-4-5 (pp. 1–9)
  7. "ARTILLERY REGISTER – RML 9-pounder 6 cwt Mark III". The Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  8. "19 century military cannon" (in en-US). 2014-11-11. 

Further reading

External links

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