The Ordnance BL 15-pounder, otherwise known as the 15-pounder 7 cwt, was the British Army’s field gun in the Second Boer War and some remained in limited use in minor theatres of World War I. It fired a shell of 3-inch (76 mm) diameter with a maximum weight of 15 pounds (6.8 kg), hence its name which differentiated it from its predecessor ’12-pounder’ 3-inch (76 mm) gun which fired shells weighing only 12.5 pounds (5.7 kg).
349 guns were in service in the Second Boer War 1899–1902 and fired 166,548 shells out of the British total of 233,714.
While the gun could fire a shell up to approximately 5,800–5,900 yards (5,300–5,400 m), the No. 56 time and percussion fuze in use in 1899 could only be set for a maximum timed range of 4,100 yards (3,700 m) because it only burned for 13 seconds. The shrapnel shells in use were usually time-set to burst in the air above and in front of the enemy. Hence the gunners had to get within approximately 4,200 yards (3,800 m) of the enemy to fire on them. The fuze could be set to explode on contact (percussion) up to the maximum range, but shrapnel exploding on contact was of little use. This was rectified later in the war by the No. 57 “blue fuze” which could be time set up to 5,800–5,900 yards (5,300–5,400 m).
Casing from two (2) 15 pound field artillery rounds