5"/50 caliber gun

The 5"/50 caliber gun (spoken "five-inch-fifty-caliber") was the first long barrel 5-inch (127 mm) gun of the United States Navy and was used in the secondary batteries of the early Delaware-class dreadnought battleships, various protected cruisers, and scout cruisers. They were also refitted in the secondary batteries of the armored cruiser New York and the New Orleans-class protected cruisers. They were later used on cargo ships, store ships and unclassified auxiliaries during World War II as well as in emergency coastal defense batteries.[1]

Chattanooga, 5"/50 caliber deck gun, probably port side forward.
Type
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1904
Used by United States Navy
Wars
Production history
DesignerBureau of Ordnance
Designed1900
ManufacturerU.S. Naval Gun Factory
No. built
  • Mark 5: 87 (Nos. 200–286)
  • Mark 6: 64 (Nos. 293–356)
VariantsMark 5 Mods 0–3, Mark 6 Mods 0–2
Specifications
Mass
  • Mark 5: 10,294 lb (4,669 kg) (with breech)
  • Mark 6: 10,550 lb (4,790 kg) (with breech)
LengthMarks 5 and 6: 255.65 in (6,494 mm)
Barrel lengthMarks 5 and 6: 250 in (6,400 mm) bore (50 calibers)

Shell
  • Mark 5: 60 lb (27 kg) armor-piercing
  • Mark 6: 50 lb (23 kg) armor-piercing
Caliber5 in (127 mm)
Elevation
  • Mark 9: −10° to +15°
  • Mark 12: −10° to +25°
Traverse−150° to +150°
Rate of fire6–8 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity
  • 50lb:3,000 ft/s (910 m/s)
  • 60lb:2,700 ft/s (820 m/s)
Maximum firing range19,000 yd (17,000 m) at 25.3° elevation

Design

The Mark 5, Nos. 200 – 286, was a 50 caliber naval gun of a simplified construction by combining the breech piece along with the chase hoop into one long tube that was shrunk on from the muzzle. Mod 1 was a Mod 0 gun that was relined with a conical nickel-steel liner and an additional gun-steel chase hoop that extended to the muzzle that was secured by a nickel-steel locking ring. Mod 2, gun No. 280, had a slightly different liner with Mod 3, gun No. 245, was a Mod 0 gun with its gun-steel tube replaced with a nickel-steel tube with a gun-steel chase hoop added that extended all the way to the muzzle. The Mod 3 gun had a longer chase hoop and shorter jacket compare to Mods 1 and 2.[1][2]

The Mark 6, gun Nos. 293 – 356, was the bag-ammunition equivalent to the Mark 5 gun. Mod 0, Nos. 323 – 356, had a single jacket constructed of nickel-steel, that replaced the jacket, chase hoop and locking ring of the Mark 5. Mod 1, Nos. 293 – 306 and 308, was built of gun-steel with a chamber of a different design with some external differences to fit it onto different mountings. The Mod 2, Nos. 307 and 309 – 322, had the same chamber as the Mod 0 but was otherwise almost identical to the Mod 1.[1][2]

Ship Gun Installed Gun Mount
USS Delaware (BB-28) Mark 6 Mod 0: 14 × 5"/50 caliber (Nos. 343–356) Mark 9 and 12
USS North Dakota (BB-29) Mark 6 Mod 0: 14 × 5"/50 caliber (Nos. 329–342) Mark 9 and 12
USS New York (ACR-2) Mark 6 Mod 1: 10 × 5"/50 caliber (Nos. 295–304) (1907 refit) Unknown
USS Denver (C-14) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber Unknown
USS Des Moines (C-15) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber Unknown
USS Chattanooga (C-16) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber Unknown
USS Galveston (C-17) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber Unknown
USS Tacoma (C-18) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber Unknown
USS Cleveland (C-19) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber Unknown
USS Chester (CS-1) Mark 6 Mod 0: 2 × 5"/50 caliber (Nos. 323–324) Unknown
USS Birmingham (CS-2) Mark 6 Mod 0: 2 × 5"/50 caliber (Nos. 325–326) Unknown
USS Salem (CS-3) Mark 6 Mod 0: 2 × 5"/50 caliber (Nos. 327–328) Unknown
USS New Orleans (CL-22) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber (1904 and 1907 refits) Unknown
USS Albany (CL-23) Mark 5: 10 × 5"/50 caliber (1904 and 1907 refits) Unknown

The 5-inch/50 caliber gun was also used on cargo ships, store ships and unclassified auxiliaries during World War II.[1]

Notes

  1. Navweaps 2008.
  2. Friedman 2011, p. 184–185.

References

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