The most notable event in the career of the British unarmoured cruiser Shah was in 1877, when the Shah and the Amethyst fought an action against the Peruvian ironclad Huascar. The main lesson from the battle was that large cruisers needed some protection in the form of armour. The Shah and Amethyst were unable to damage the Huascar. Had the Peruvians been able to fire accurately, William Hovgaard thought that the Huascar might have defeated the two unarmoured cruisers. The Shah was nominally 6,250 tons and carried 2-9in MLR, 16-7in MLR, and 8-64pdr MLR. The Shah had a maximum speed of 16.2 knots.