Royal Navy Field Gun Competition

This video shows a competition where participants race with artillery. This brings a completely new meaning to the phrase “Race Gun”. The race is set up with some basic obstacles. However not only does the entire team have to traverse the course and its obstacles, so does the cannon. Every part of it. It looks like the cannon is setup purely for this race. The wheels are quick disconnect as well as the barrel.

Here is a description from Wikipedia:

The Royal Navy Field Gun competition was contested by teams from the Royal Naval commands of Portsmouth, Devonport and the Fleet Air Arm (although teams from Chatham and the Royal Marines have also competed). At each performance of the Royal Tournament, two crews competed to transport a 12 pounder field gun and limber over a series of obstacles.

From the start line in front of the Royal Box, the crews pulled the guns and limbers to the end of the arena where they turned and carried themselves and the equipment over a 5-foot (1.5 m) wall. The guns and limbers were then dismantled and carried to the top of a ramp on the “home side” of a 28-foot (8.5 m) “chasm”. The crew set up a wire and traveller so all 18 members of the crew and their equipment could cross the chasm. The team and equipment then passed through a hole in the “enemy wall” at the end of the arena. Each crew then fired three rounds to end the “Run Out”. The average time for the “Run Out” was 85 seconds.

The second part of the competition (the “Run Back”) involved the crews taking all their equipment back over the 5-foot (1.5 m) enemy wall and then back across the chasm. Once all the crew and equipment were back on the home side of the chasm, the wire and traveller were dismantled and three more rounds were fired in a rear guard action. The average time for the “Run Back” was 60 seconds.

In the final stage, the “Run Home”, men, guns and limbers passed back through the hole in the home wall and then the teams “hook up and pull for home”. The clock was stopped as the teams crossed back over the start line. The average time for the “Run Home” was 21 seconds.



Here is a recent video of this competition from 2013

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

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  • Cahal

    When I was a child this was on the tv every year.

    • Fruitbat44

      I too remember ‘The Royal Tournament’ on TV as well. -sigh- And I did once get to see it live. Happy days.

      My late father was ex-Royal Navy and he recalled some chaps who’d lost fingers during the competition. -ouch-

      Originally, or so I believe, set up to commemorate events in the Boer War were Royal Navy crews manned field guns on land.

      • Tom

        IIRC during the Boer War for some reason the Royal Navy needed to take guns from ships and get them to the Army the obstacle course is designed to replicate the conditions they faced across the South African terrain.

        • Fruitbat44

          That’s sounds about right.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Take that Al Qaeda.

    • Tassiebush

      I’d love to see this concept developed for storming buildings! The idea of grapeshot being fired indoors just seems magnificent!

  • Mister Thomas

    Wow – this is amazing to watch!

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    The 12 pdr field gun was always “QD”. Muzzle loading cannon were typically held together by iron straps and large tapered pins.

  • Jake Barnes

    Gun runs are a very common form of PT in most Arty regiments. They generally involve pulling an actual artillery piece for some outrageous distance.

  • Tassiebush

    Watching this artillery parkour has been the highlight of my day! It really shows how serious firepower can be moved into some quite unusual places very quickly.