3"/23 caliber gun

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3 Inch / 23 Cal Gun
Diagram of a 3"/23 Mark 14/Mod 11 gun
Type Anti-aircraft Naval Gun
Place of origin  United States
Service history
Used by US Navy
Wars World War I
Weight 531 pounds (241 kg)
Barrel length 69 inches (1.8 m) bore (23 calibres)

Caliber 3-inch (76 mm)
Elevation 75 degrees
Muzzle velocity 1,650 feet per second (500 m/s)
Maximum range 10,100 yards (9,200 m)

The 3"/23 caliber gun (spoken "three-inch-twenty-three-caliber") was the standard anti-aircraft gun for United States destroyers through World War I and the 1920s. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 23 calibers long (barrel length is 3" x 23 = 69" or 1.75 meters.)[1]

The built-up gun with vertical sliding breech block weighed about 531 pounds (241 kg) and used fixed ammunition (case and projectile handled as a single assembled unit) with a 13-pound (6 kg) projectile at a velocity of 1650 feet per second (500 m/s).[2] Range was 10100 yards (9235 meters) at 45 degrees elevation.[2] Ceiling was 18000 feet (5500 meters) at the maximum elevation of 75 degrees.[2]

Surviving United States destroyers built with 3"/23 caliber were rearmed with dual-purpose 3"/50 caliber guns during World War II. The 3"/23 caliber gun was also mounted on submarine chasers, armed yachts, and various auxiliaries.[2] Some major warships carried 3"/23 caliber guns temporarily while awaiting installation of quad 1.1"/75 caliber guns.[2]

The 3"/23 caliber gun was mounted on:


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  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4. 
  • Fahey, James C. (1939). The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, War Edition. Ships and Aircraft. 
  • Fairfield, A.P. (1921). Naval Ordnance. The Lord Baltimore Press. 
  • Lenton, H.T. and Colledge, J.J. (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company. 
  • Fairfield 1921 p.156
  • 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Campbell 1985 p.146
  • 3.0 3.1 3.2 Fahey 1939 p.14
  • Lenton&Colledge 1968 pp.90-92