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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 8-long-hundredweight (400 kg)

Shell 9.1 pounds (4.1 kg) (common shell)
9.8 pounds (4.4 kg) (shrapnel)
Action RML
Breech none – muzzle-loading
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 and the First Boer War of 1881.[1]


  • 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 It was later withdrawn and modified for sea service.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.[3]

Surviving Examples


  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. Moore, David. "List of British Service Artillery in Use During the Victorian Period". Victorian Forts and Artillery. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  4. Boxell, A L (2010), The Ordnance of Southsea Castle Tricorn books, ISBN 978-0-9562498-4-5 (pp. 1–9)
  5. "ARTILLERY REGISTER - RML 9 Pounder 6 cwt Mark III". The Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 

Further reading

External links

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