It was a thoroughly conventional gun, being a modernized version of Krupp's FK 73 gun, but failed to incorporate any recoil system other than a partially effective spade brake, and fired a 12-pound projectile. Thus it was rendered obsolete when the French introduced their Canon de 75 modèle 1897 the following year. Most guns were rebuilt to modern standards (only the barrel was retained) in 1904 as the 7.7 cm FK 96 n.A. (neuer Art) [new model] which served throughout World War I as one of Germany's main light field guns. The remaining unmodified guns were then known as the 7.7 cm FK 96 a.A. (alte Art or old model).
A number of 7.5 cm Krupp L/24 quick firing guns, similar to the 7.7 cm Feldkanone C/96 (FK 96 a/A) guns, were sold to the Boer republic of Transvaal. These guns were used with good effect against the British in the Second Boer War between 1899 and 1902. A number of 7.7 cm FK 96 a/A guns were also used by German Colonial (Schutztruppen) batteries during the 1904 Herero Wars and during the South African invasion of German South West Africa, 1914-1915.