16"/45 caliber gun

The 16"/45 caliber gun (spoken "sixteen-inch-forty-five-caliber") was used for the main batteries of the last class of Standard-type battleships for the United States Navy, the Colorado-class. These guns promised twice the muzzle energy over the Mark 7 12-inch/50 caliber guns of the Wyoming-class battleship and a 50% increase over the 14-inch/45 caliber guns of the New York-class, Nevada-class, and Pennsylvania-class battleships.[1]

16"/45 caliber Mark 1, 5, and 8
USS Colorado (BB-45), steams through rough seas, circa 1932, with her 16"/45 caliber gun turrets aimed to starboard.
TypeNaval gun
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1921–1947
Used byUnited States Navy
WarsWorld War II
Production history
DesignerBureau of Ordnance
Designed
  • Mark 1: 1913
  • Mark 5: 1935
Manufacturer
Produced1914–1920
No. built
  • Type Gun (45 cal): 1 (prototype)
  • Mark 1: 40 (Gun Nos. 2–41)
VariantsMarks 1, 5, and 8
Specifications
Mass
  • 230,948 lb (104,756 kg) (without breech)
  • 235,796 lb (106,955 kg) (with breech)
Length61 ft 4 in (18.69 m)
Barrel length60 ft 0 in (18.29 m) bore (45 calibers)

Shell
  • AP Mark 3: 2,110 lb (960 kg) armor-piercing (AP) (Mark 1 gun)
  • AP Mark 5:2,240 lb (1,020 kg) AP (Mark 5 and 8 guns)
  • HC Marks 13 and 14:1,900 lb (860 kg) High explosive (HC) (Mark 5 and 8 guns)
Caliber16 inches (406 mm)
Elevation-4° to +30°
Traverse300° max/280° min
Rate of fire1.5 round per minute
Muzzle velocity
  • AP Mark 3: 2,600 ft/s (790 m/s)
  • AP Mark 5: 2,520 ft/s (770 m/s) Full Charge
  • HC Marks 13 and 14: 2,635 ft/s (803 m/s) Full Charge
  • AP Mark 5: 1,935 ft/s (590 m/s) Reduced Charge
  • HC Marks 13 and 14: 2,075 ft/s (632 m/s) Reduced Charge
Effective firing range
  • AP Mark 3: 22,900-yard (20,940 m) at 15° elevation
  • AP Mark 5: 23,000-yard (21,031 m) at 15° elevation
Maximum firing range
  • AP Mark 3: 34,300-yard (31,364 m) at 30° elevation
  • AP Mark 5: 35,000-yard (32,004 m) at 30° elevation

Design

The 16-inch gun was a built-up gun constructed in a length of 45 calibers. The Mark 1 had an A tube, jacket, liner, and seven hoops, four locking rings and a screw-box liner. When the gun was designed in August 1913 it was referred to as the "Type Gun (45 Cal.)" as an effort to conceal the gun's true size of 16 inches. Gun No. 1, the prototype, was proof fired in July 1914, less than a year after it was designed. After some minor changes the gun was re-proved in May 1916 with production approved in January 1917, for Gun Nos. 2–41. Bethlehem Steel was given a contract for 20 guns and an additional 20 castings were ordered from Watervliet Arsenal for assembly at the US Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard.[1][2]

The Mark 1 guns were upgraded to Marks 5 and 8 in the late 1930s. The Mark 5's have a larger chamber to permit larger charges and a new liner with a heavier taper carbon steel along with a liner locking ring and locking collar. The Mark 8, similar to the Mark 5, had a uniform rifling with a chromium plated bore for increased life.[1][3]

Ship Gun Installed Gun Mount
USS Colorado (BB-45) Guns: 16"/45 caliber Turrets: 4 × Two-gun turrets
USS Maryland (BB-46) Guns: 16"/45 caliber Turrets: 4 × Two-gun turrets
USS Washington (BB-47) (cancelled 1922) Guns: 16"/45 caliber Turrets: 4 × Two-gun turrets
USS West Virginia (BB-48) Guns: 16"/45 caliber Turrets: 4 × Two-gun turrets

See also

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era

References

  1. "United States of America 16"/45 (40.6 cm) Mark 1". Navweaps. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  2. Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 157–158. ISBN 978 1 84832 100 7.
  3. "United States of America 16"/45 (40.6 cm) Mark 5 and Mark 8". Navweaps. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.

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