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Great Britain

RML 2.5-in. mountain gun (screw gun)

Mountain artillery

Contributor :
Maquetland      http://www.maquetland.com/
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Location :
United Kingdom
Royal Artillery Museum
Coordinates : Lat : 51.49520 / Long : 0.07580
General comments on this surviving gun :

Identical items in the same location : 1
Items covered by this file : 1

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     RML 2.5-in. mountain gun Origin :       ( Elswick's Ordnance Company (Armstrong))             ( Royal Ordnance Factory )          

Historic context :

This small ' 2.5-in RML' ('RML' = 'Rifled Muzzle Loader') mountain gun was first built in 12 items by the Elswick Ordnance Company based on a 1877 design of the Colonel Frederick Le Mesurier of the Royal Artillery. This invention originality relied on the fact the barrel could be dismantled into 2 separate sections so they could be transported by a man or an animal. The sections had to be assembled with a thread system. This specificity sometimes make this gun called 'screw gun', this term having been made popular through texts of the famous author Rudyard Kipling.

The first tests in Afganistan in 1879 gave way to a Mark II version slightly improved, and this mountain gun then entered in service. The gun participated to the second Boer war in South Africa (1899-1902) where it showed its limits. This model was replaced from 1901 by the BL 10-Pdr that introduced the Breech Loading concept in British mountain artillery, allowing increased fire rates.

Although obsolete, the RML 2.5 inches mountain gun participated in very small quantities to WW1, with the British Empires troops fighting in German East Africa. An export version of it was employed in 1916 by Romania under the name '63 mm Armstrong Gun 1883', this year being the one when that country bought 36 such guns to Great Britain.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : Rifled Muzzle Loading mountain gun 2.5 inches (screw gun)
  • Design year : 1877
  • Calibre : 63.50 mm (2.5 inches)
  • Weight in firing position : 363 kg
  • Weight for transportation : same, transported in 4 separate loads
  • Tube length in calibres : 0.00 (1750 mm total length, 1680 mm barrel length only)
  • Grooves : 0 unknown
  • Projectile weight : 3.35 kg (shrapnel) - 3.69 kg (ring)
  • Initial speed : 438 ,/s
  • Fire rate :
  • Range : 3018 m (3300 yards) shrapnel - 3658 m (4000 yards) ring
  • Elevation range :
  • Direction range :