10"/40 caliber gun Mark 3

The 10"/40 caliber gun Mark 3 (spoken "ten-inch-forty--caliber") was used for the main batteries of the United States Navy's last generation of armored cruisers, the Tennessee-class. The Mark 3s were the last, and most powerful, 10-inch (254 mm) guns built for the US Navy.[1]

10"/40 caliber Mark 3 Naval Gun
USS Washington (ACR-11) - 10-inch gun practice.
TypeNaval gun
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1902
Used by United States Navy
WarsWorld War I
Production history
DesignerBureau of Ordnance
ManufacturerU.S. Naval Gun Factory
No. built21 (Nos. 27–47)
VariantsMark 3
  • 74,836 lb (33,945 kg) (without breech)
  • 79,500 lb (36,100 kg) (with breech)
Length413 in (10,500 mm)
Barrel length400 in (10,000 mm) bore (40 calibers)

Shell510 lb (230 kg) armor-piercing
Caliber10 in (254 mm)
Elevation-3° to +14°
Traverse−150° to +150°
Rate of fire2 – 3 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity2,700 ft/s (820 m/s)
Effective firing range20,000 yd (18,288 m) at 14.5° elevation

Design of the Mark 3

The Navy's Policy Board call for a variety of large caliber weapons in 1890, with ranges all the way up to 16-inch (406 mm), to use the new smokeless powder that had recently been adopted by the Navy. Because of this new propellant, projectiles could accelerate all the way along the gun barrel, which allowed for barrels of 40, or more, calibers long. This led to the development of the 10-inch/40 caliber gun.[1]

The Mark 3 was specifically designed for the Tennessee-class armored cruisers, numbered in order after the Mark 1 and Mark 2s, Nos. 27–47, with No. 27 being delivered in February 1906. Nos. 27–31, 36, and 45 were all Mod 0s, with Nos. 37–44, 46, and 47 being Mod 1s. The initial Mod 2s were Nos. 32–35, with other later converted to Mod 2. These were all constructed of gun steel.[2] The 10-inch Mark 3 Mod 0 was built in a length of 40 calibers, had a tube, jacket and four hoops with a locking ring, and a screw box liner, all of which were manufactured out of nickel-steel.[1] The Mark 3 Mod 1s only differed from the Mod 0 in the shape of the front of their chambers and the Mod 2 had a conical nickel-steel liner that was the same length as the tube, with the chamber volume being slightly reduced.[2]

Ship Gun Installed Gun Mount
USS Tennessee (ACR-10) Mark 3: 10"/40 caliber Mark 6: 2 × twin turrets
USS Washington (ACR-11) Mark 3: 10"/40 caliber Mark 6: 2 × twin turrets
USS North Carolina (ACR-12) Mark 3: 10"/40 caliber Mark 6: 2 × twin turrets
USS Montana (ACR-13) Mark 3: 10"/40 caliber Mark 6: 2 × twin turrets

See also

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era



  • Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978 1 84832 100 7.
Online sources

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