5"/51 caliber gun

5"/51 caliber gun
5 inch gun closeup USS Texas 1914 LOC 16025.jpg
5"/51 caliber Mark 8 gun on starboard forecastle of USS Texas, March 1914
Type
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1911–c. 1947
Used by
Wars
Production history
DesignerBureau of Ordnance
Designed1910
Manufacturer
No. built
  • Mark 7: 93 (Nos. 357–449)
  • Mark 8: 1004 (NGF 539 Nos. 450-unknown)(see builders)
    (No Nos. 1357–1456, 1519–1604 or 1633–1704)
  • Mark 9: 3 (Unknown Nos.)
  • Mark 14: relined Mark 8s
  • Mark 15: enlarged chamber Mark 14s
VariantsMarks 7, 8, 9, 14, 15
Specifications
Weight
  • Mark 7: 11,274 lb (5,114 kg) (with breech)
  • Mark 8: 10,834 lb (4,914 kg) (without breech)
  • Mark 8: 11,300 lb (5,100 kg) (with breech)
  • Mark 9: 10,824 lb (4,910 kg) (without breech)
  • Mark 9: 11,375 lb (5,160 kg) (with breech)
Length261.25 in (6,636 mm)
Barrel length255 in (6,500 mm) bore (51 calibers)

Shell50–55.18 lb (22.68–25.03 kg)
Caliber5 in (127 mm)
Breechside swing Welin-type
Elevation
  • P13: -10° to +20° (late version)
  • P15: -15° to +20°
  • Mark 18: -8.5° to +25°
Traverseup to 360° depending on location
Rate of fire8-9 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity
  • 3,150 ft/s (960 m/s) (full charge)
  • 2,300 ft/s (700 m/s) (reduced charge)
Effective firing range17,000 yd (16,000 m) at 20° elevation
Maximum firing range20,142 yd (18,418 m) at 45° elevation (World War II ammunition)

5"/51 caliber guns (spoken "five-inch-fifty-one-caliber") initially served as the secondary battery of United States Navy battleships built from 1907 through the 1920s, also serving on other vessels. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 5-inch (127 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 51 calibers long.[1]

Description

The different marks of the gun were Marks 7, 8, 9, 14, and 15. The built-up gun consisted of a tube, full-length jacket, and single hoop with side swing Welin breech block and Smith-Asbury mechanism for a total weight of about 5 metric tons. Some Marks included a tapered liner. A 24.5 lb (11.1 kg) charge of smokeless powder gave a 50-pound (23 kg) projectile a velocity of 3,150 ft/s (960 m/s). Range was 15,850 yards (9.0 statute miles or 14.5 kilometres) at the maximum elevation of 20 degrees.[2] Useful life expectancy was 900 effective full charges (EFC) per liner.[3]

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