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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's 5" / 5.5" / 5.9" guns

Design

5" L/40

Had an elevation of 90° and was fitted to carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers.4

5" L/40 Type 89

The 5" L/40 Type 89 was a dual mount navy gun that was first tested in 1931.1 It was adopted for use in 1932.1

It used a Type 94 high-angle director that relied on manual input and thus couldn't keep up with fast targets.1

The 5" L/40 Type 89 had a crew of eleven.1

5" L/50

Was a dual purpose gun fitted to destroyers.4

5.5" L/40 Model 1925

Designed to be mounted on destroyers but was not use in that role.4

5.5" L/50

Used in the Tenryu class light cruisers and Ise class battleships.4

5.5" L/50 Type 3

The 5.5" L/50 Type 3 was designed before World War I to replace the 6" L/50 Type 41 gun as the 6" shell was harder to handle for the average Japanese seaman.1

5.9" L/40

Was hand loaded and used in the Agano class.4

Usage

5.5" L/50 Type 3

The 5.5" L/50 Type 3 was mounted on the Tenryu, Kuma, Nagara, Sendai, Yubari, and Katori classes of Japanese light cruisers.1

5" L/40 Type 89

The Type 89 was used as an anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapon on warships and shore installations.1

Specifications

  5" / 127 mm L/40
Caliber 404
Weight  
Elevation 90°4
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell 14,800 m4
Height of Shell 9,400 m4
Shell weight 50.7 lb4
23 lb
Rate of Fire 144
  5" L/40 Type 89
Caliber 401
Weight  
Elevation -8° - 90°1
Muzzle Velocity 2,379'/sec1
Ceiling 30,970'1
Range of shell 16,075 yards1
Shell weight 51 lb1
Rate of Fire 8 - 14/minute1
  5" / 127 mm L/50
Caliber 504
Weight  
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell  
Shell weight 51 lb4
23.1 kg4
Rate of Fire  
  5.5" / 140 mm L/40 Model 1925
Caliber 404
Weight  
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell 17,500 m4
Shell weight 84 lb4
38 kg4
Rate of Fire  
  5.5" / 140 mm L/50
Caliber 503,4
Weight 6.25 tons3
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity 2,725'/sec3
Ceiling  
Range of shell 22,400 m4
Shell weight 84 lb4
38 kg4
Shell Wieght - AP 82 lbs3
Rate of Fire 123
  5.5" / 140 mm L/50 Type 3
Caliber 502
Length of gun 7.235 m2
Rifling 42 grooves1,2
Weight 5,600 kg2, 8,360 kg1
Elevation 20° - 35°1
Muzzle Velocity 850 m/sec2
Range of shell 17,220 yards1
15,800 m1
Range of Shell at 20° 17,220 yards1
Range of Shell at 25° 19,080 yards1
Range of Shell at 30° 20,820 yards1
19,100 m2
Range of Shell at 35° 21,600 yards1
Shell Weight 38 kg1
Rate of Fire 6 - 10 rpm1,2
Barrel Life 500 - 600 rounds2
  5.9" / 150 mm L/40
Caliber 404
Weight  
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell  
Shell weight  
Rate of Fire  
  5.9" / 150 mm L/50 Type 41
Caliber 502
Length of Gun 7.876 m2
Rifling 42 grooves2
Weight 8,360 kg2
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity 850 m/sec2
Range of Shell  
Range of Shell at 15° 14,100 m2
Range of Shell at 30° 19,500 m2
Range of Shell at 45° 21,000 m2
Shell Weight 43.36 kg2
Rate of Fire 6 rpm2
Barrel Life 500 - 600 rounds2

Sources:

  1. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
  2. Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War, Eric Lacroix, Linton Wells II, 1997
  3. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  4. The Imperial Japanese Navy, A. J. Watts and B. G. Gordon, 1971
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site