QF 6-pounder Nordenfelt

The QF 6 pounder Nordenfelt was a light 57 mm naval gun and coast defence gun of the late 19th century used by many countries.

QF 6 pounder Nordenfelt
48-calibre version at Gyltö, western archipelago of Finland, 1999
TypeNaval gun
Coast defence gun
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1885 - 19??
Used byMany countries
Production history
Designed1885
ManufacturerNordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company
Maxim-Nordenfelt
Specifications
MassUK 42-cal version : 638 pounds (289 kg) barrel & breech[1]
Lengthvarious, 42-50 calibres

ShellFixed QF 6 lb (2.7 kg)
Calibre57-millimetre (2.24 in)
BreechVertical sliding-block with locking wedge
Muzzle velocity1,818 ft/s (554 m/s)[2]
Maximum firing range4,500–6,000 yd (4,100–5,500 m)[2]

Note that this gun should not be confused with the short-barreled 57 mm Cockerill-Nordenfelt "Canon de caponnière" or fortification gun, which was used to arm the German A7V tank in World War I.

Nordenfelt guns can be visually differentiated from equivalent and similar Hotchkiss guns by having slimmer barrels than the Hotchkiss, hence the Nordenfelt was considerably lighter.

United Kingdom

The UK adopted a 42-calibre version as Ordnance QF 6-pounder Nordenfelt [note 1] Mk I, Mk II, Mk III.

United Kingdom Naval service

They were originally mounted from 1885 onwards for use against the new (steam-driven) torpedo boats which started to enter service in the late 1870s. The Nordenfelt gun was adopted at the same time as the very similar QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss, but the Navy was not satisfied with the special Nordenfelt ammunition and fuzes. Following the explosion in 1900 of an ammunition ship due to defective fuses, Britain replaced Nordenfelt fuzes with the Hotchkiss design. Nordenfelt guns were phased out in favour of the Hotchkiss and were declared obsolete by 1919.[3]

Finland

When Finland gained its independence from Russia in 1917 dozens of QF 6-pounder Nordenfelt cannons were stationed in Finland. After the Finnish Civil War in 1918 around 35 - 40 Nordenfelt cannons became available to the Finnish army. These guns were later used as a standard light coastal gun of the Finnish coastal artillery and were in service until the 1950s. During World War II some of these guns were also used as fortification artillery and bunker guns in the Mannerheim Line.[4]

Ammunition

Diagrams showing the proprietary Nordenfelt 1-inch (top left) and 6-pounder (all others, labelled "2.2 inch") ammunition designs :

Surviving examples

See also

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era

Notes

  1. British forces traditionally denoted smaller ordnance by the weight of its standard projectile, in this case 6 pounds (2.7 kg).

References

  1. Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 39
  2. Hogg & Thurston 1972, Page 39 quote 7,500 yards (6,900 m) with muzzle velocity 1,773 ft/s (540 m/s), for the British 42-calibres model in 1914 using 7.75 oz cordite Mk 1 propellant. The Victorian Navy manual of 1895 quotes a muzzle velocity of 1,818 ft/s (554 m/s) using a 1 lb 15 oz (0.88 kg) gunpowder charge, but maximum range of only 5,000 yards (4,600 m). Text Book of Gunnery 1902, Page 337 quotes m.v. of 1,818 ft/s (554 m/s) and maximum range 4,500 yards (4,100 m). 5600 metres is quoted for the 48 calibres model at Krepost Sveaborg, Helsinki.
  3. Hogg & Thurston 1972, Page 36
  4. http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/COASTAL_ARTILLERY1.htm#5748

Bibliography

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