Ordnance jointed BL 10-pounder mountain gun

The Ordnance jointed BL 10-pounder was the standard British mountain gun at the start of the First World  War, but was rapidly replaced by the more modern BL 2.75in Mountain Gun.

The 10-pounder was developed to replace the 2.5in jointed gun, a good design for its day, but badly outdated by the time it saw service in the Boer War. The jointed gun had a barrel that could be split into two parts to allow it to be carried by mules, but was otherwise a conventional rifled muzzle loading gun, with no recoil system. The 2.5in gun was still in use during the Boer War, where it was outranged by just about every Boer gun, while its outdated black powder charges produced clouds of white smoke that made it easy to locate.

The 10-pounder mountain gun was produced to solve some of these problems. It was a slightly larger gun, and its shells used cordite charges, allowing for an increase in range, and removing the clouds of white smoke. In other ways it was already outdated when it entered service in 1901, in particular because of the lack of any recoil buffer or recuperator, by that point standard features of most new guns.

The 10-pounder had a hollow box trail. The trunnions were located about half way along the barrel, making it easier to balance. It had wooden spoked wheels. The barrel could be split in two, and the entire weapon was designed to come apart to be transported on mules.

The 10-pounder was the main gun of the mountain batteries in the Regular Army from its introduction until 1914, when the more modern BL 2.75in mountain gun began to enter service. It was also used by the Territorial Force.

The 10-pounder saw some front line service during the First World War. The Argyll and Ross Batteries, 1/4 Highland Mountain Brigade, RGA (TF), took their 10-pounders to Gallipoli, where they were light enough to be moved into the front lines. The gun was also used in South-west Africa and in Egypt, and late in the war was used by Lawrence of Arabia’s column. In this operation the guns were moved by truck.


Ordnance jointed BL 10-pdr gun Mk.I on carriage mountain BL 10-pdr Ml. I



Barrel Length


Weight for transport


Weight in action






Shell Weight

10lb shrapnel

Muzzle Velocity


Maximum Range

3,700 yards shrapnel
6,000 yards HE

Rate of Fire


Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 September 2018), Ordnance jointed BL 10-pounder mountain gun , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ordnance_BL_10pdr_mountain_gun.html

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