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Armstrong gun

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Armstrong gun

Malta is rich in sights, among which there are many military facilities: bunkers, forts, fortresses. The Armstrong cannon is a legend that a small museum in the territory of Fort Rinella is dedicated to: in fact, the entire fort is built around one cannon, about which you will learn amazing stories, having bought an excursion and embarked on an exciting journey into the past. Today, there is only one analogue of such a gun - all other Armstrong guns are destroyed.

Appearance story

In 1866, the Italian fleet was defeated at Liss and thought about ordering new 100-ton guns for their ships. The authorities of Malta earlier refused to use Armstrong’s guns in armaments due to the complexity of their operation, however, having learned that the Italians had built two warships with 4 such guns, they decided to install similar guns for the defense of the island’s capital.

In 1884, 2 Armstrong cannons were installed on both sides of Valletta: in the forts of Cambridge and Rinella. In 1956, a gun located at Fort Cambridge was cut into metal. The second gun was more fortunate - in 1991, social activists decided to create a museum, which opened its doors in 1996.

Gun feature

Due to the huge size and power of the gun it was quite difficult to control it:

  • In the basement there were guidance and reloading systems
  • To control the gun used hydraulics, not preserved to this day
  • The cannon was rotated using dozens of wheels and a large rail
  • There is an opening for reloading in the side wall: the gun turned 90 degrees and tilted, combining the barrel with the hole for supplying charges.

The gun could use three types of shells: HE shells, shrapnel and armor-piercing shells - their weight was more than 900 kilograms.


The ticket for the tour costs 12 €, the fort is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The optimal time is recommended - around 2 p.m.: Fort employees are demonstrating, which demonstrate different types of weapons, and show military techniques. The tour takes place with an inspection of the cannon and utility rooms, the guide tells the story of fortifications and guns.

Interesting Facts

  • Caliber guns - 450 mm
  • Recharge time - 6 minutes
  • Served gun 35 people at a time
  • The exact weight of the gun is 103 tons.


The object belongs to military tools.

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