RML 64 Pounder 64 Cwt Gun
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RML 64 Pounder 64 Cwt Gun

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
TypeNaval gun
Fortification gun
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1865-190?
Used byBritish Empire
Production history
DesignerWoolwich Arsenal
ManufacturerWoolwich Arsenal
Elswick Ordnance Company
VariantsMk I, II, III
Mass64-long-hundredweight (3,300 kg)
Length9 ft 10 inches[1]
Barrel length97.5 inches bore

Shell64 pounds (29 kg)[2]
Calibre6.3 inches (160 mm)
Breechnone - muzzle-loading
Muzzle velocitywrought-iron tube : 1,252 feet per second (382 m/s)
Mk III steel tube : 1,390 feet per second (420 m/s)[3]
Effective firing range5,000 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.


The calibre of 6.3 inches was chosen to enable it to fire remaining stocks of spherical shells originally made for the obsolete 32 pounder guns if necessary.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

The sole surviving Mk I gun, at Fort George, Scotland.
Children posing with the Armstrong gun in the Toowoomba Botanic Gardens, 1912.

Surviving Examples of Ammunition

  • RML 64pdr shell that has been fired, and RML 64 fuse at Fort Lytton Historic Military Precinct, Brisbane, Australia
  • RML 64pdr Mark I shell (no fuse) is held in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ http://riv.co.nz/rnza/hist/gun/rifled5.htm
  2. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b 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.
  6. ^ The two 1878 guns are still fired regularly "Gun-firing Re-enactment | Fort Lytton Historic Military Precinct". fortlytton.org.au. Retrieved 2016.


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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