A lightly reinforced column is commonly believed to be relatively brittle with a very low drift capacity. A research project has been undertaken to investigate collapse behaviour of such columns. The effect of variation of axial load ratio and longitudinal reinforcement ratio on flexural, yield penetration, and shear displacement as components of the drift capacity were observed. Interesting outcomes showed that lightly confined reinforced concrete was able to sustain gravity axial load considerably greater than the code recommendations. Moreover, the present shear predictions available are deficient for lightly reinforced columns, since they tend to overestimate the nominal shear strength of the column.