Ordnance, RCL, 3.45 in

The 3.45 inch RCL was an 88mm British recoilless weapon, designed by Sir Dennis Burney during the Second World War. Delayed by problems due to breech wear because of gas erosion upon firing, it did not see action, as was hoped, in the Far East, particularly Burma. However it did lead to the post war Mobat and Wombat recoilless rifles.

Ordnance, RCL, 3.45 in
Class Manportable
Type Rifles
Manufacturer Broadway Trust Company
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1950
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Broadway Trust Company View

The 3.45 inch RCL was built by the Broadway Trust Company, a company formed by Sir Dennis himself. Sir Dennis was privy to the design of the 20mm m/42, a recoilless rifle designed by the Swedish Bofors Carl Gustaf company during World War 2, but it had little bearing on his work as the Carl Gustav was a large bore rifle design intended to remove the recoil experienced with anti-tank rifles such as the Rifle, Anti-Tank, .55 in, Boys or similar large calibre bolt-action rifles which required large cartridges to deliver high velocity rounds. The usefulness of anti-tank rifles was lost as tanks were built with much thicker armour during the war. Although Burney's designs did not have high muzzle velocities, this was compensated for by the use of a shell which relied on a HESH explosive instead of speed and weight to penetrate the armour.

Type Recoilless rifle
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
Used by  United Kingdom
Production history
Designer Dennis Burney
Manufacturer Broadway Trust Company
Weight 75 lb (34 kg)
Barrel length 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) L/14.75
Calibre 3.45 in (88 mm)
Muzzle velocity 600 ft/s (180 m/s)
Effective firing range 1,000 yd (910 m)


Ordnance, RCL, 3.45in Mk 1

  • Weight: 75 pounds (34 kg)
  • Length: 68.55 inches (174.1 cm)
  • Barrel length: 14.75 calibres
  • Muzzle velocity: 600 ft/second (180 m/s)
  • Range: 1,000 yards (910 m)
  • Ammunition: Cartridge RCL, 3.45 inch WB ("Wallbuster") 3.45 inches (8.8 cm)
  • Type: HESH
  • Propellant: 11.125 pounds (5.046 kg) cordite
  • Filling : plastic explosive
  • Weight: 16.25 pounds (7.37 kg)

End notes