Ordnance QF 2.95in mountain gun (pack howitzer)

The Ordnance QF 2.95in Mountain Gun was the first British mountain gun to use a hydraulic buffer, and was ordered in small numbers by the British Army, the Egyptian Army, the West African Frontier Force and the US Army.

The 2.95in Mountain Gun was produced by Vickers. It had a hollow box trail and wooden spoked wheels. The barrel had a guide along its base which slotted into a groove in the cradle, to keep it from rotating. The recoil system was carried in two cylinders carried low on each side of the barrel, connected to lugs at the breech and a collar at the muzzle end. It was a short-recoil hydro-spring system, with pistons to absorb the recoil, and springs wrapped around the piston rods for the counter-recoil mechanism.

Although it was an advanced system for 1897, the recoil system still couldn’t quite cope with the full forces generated, and the gun had to be held in place with ropes.

It had an interrupted screw breech, operated by a handle that both turned and swung the block in a single motion. The gun was carried on an open box trail, with two steel side plates connected by a series of cross pieces. The elevation gear was a quadrant with a worm wheel segment, controlled by a geared hand wheel on the left hand side of the trail. There was no traversing mechanism.

Known as the ‘Millimetre Gun’, it fired either a 12.5lb shrapnel shell, 12.6lb HE shell or a 18lb double shell, and could reach 4,825 yards. The ammunition was of the fixed type.

The gun itself could be split into four mule loads - the cradle, wheel and axles, trail and gun. Another four mules were needed for the pioneer tools, blacksmith’s tools, supply chest and signal tools, and more to carry the ammunition. Each mule could carry ten rounds, in two five-round chests.

The British Army wasn’t terribly impressed with the 2.95in gun, feeling that it was too heavy, and its shrapnel shell not as effective as that of the 10-pdr mountain gun. It still purchased 30 guns, which were used to defend coaling stations. The 2.95in was also used by the West African Frontier Force, the Egyptian Army and the US Army (as the 2.95in Vickers-Maxim mountain gun). The gun saw limited service in Africa during the First World War.


Ordnance QF 2.95in gun Mk I on carriage mountain QF 2.95in Mk I



Gun Length


Weight for transport


Weight in action



-10 to +27 degrees


0 degrees

Shell Weight

12.5lb shrapnel
18lb double shell

Muzzle Velocity


Maximum Range

4,825 yards

Rate of Fire


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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (14 November 2018), Ordnance QF 2.95in mountain gun (pack howitzer) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ordnance_QF_2_95in_mountain_gun.html

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