The 16pr Rifled muzzle loading gun of 12 cwt. was used by the Volunteer artillery as a movable armament piece and for batteries of position. It could be stored within a fort during peace time and taken out of the fort to engage the enemy in the field during time of invasion. Drawn by six horses (Volunteers used four) it could be quickly employed and was light and manoevreable.
It was a field calibre gun loaded at the muzzle although it was rifled, which made it a great improvement over the earlier smooth bore pieces which had preceeded it. Intoruduced in 1871 the 16pr was used bu the regular artillery until about 1890. The volunteers used it until at least 1902.
It fired a common shell to a distance of 4,200 yards. The rate of fire varied according to the ability of the crew and whether of not it had to be relaid accurately. Three rounds in two minutes was normal for a well trained crew
The Portsdown Artillery Volunteers prepare to fire a 16pr. Rifled Muzzle Loading field gun at Fort Nelson.