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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.

5" L/40 Type 89

The 5" L/40 Type 89 was a dual mount navy gun that was first tested in 1931. It was adopted for use in 1932.

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

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

5" L/50

Was a dual purpose gun fitted to destroyers.

5.5" L/40 Model 1925

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

5.5" L/50

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

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.

5.9" L/40

Was hand loaded and used in the Agano class.

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.

5" L/40 Type 89

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

Specifications

  5" / 127 mm L/40
Caliber 40
Weight  
Elevation 90°
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell 14,800 m
Height of Shell 9,400 m
Shell weight 50.7 lb
23 lb
Rate of Fire 14
  5" L/40 Type 89
Caliber 40
Weight  
Elevation -8° - 90°
Muzzle Velocity 2,379'/sec
Ceiling 30,970'
Range of shell 16,075 yards
Shell weight 51 lb
Rate of Fire 8 - 14/minute
  5" / 127 mm L/50
Caliber 50
Weight  
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell  
Shell weight 51 lb
23.1 kg
Rate of Fire  
  5.5" / 140 mm L/40 Model 1925
Caliber 40
Weight  
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell 17,500 m
Shell weight 84 lb
38 kg
Rate of Fire  
  5.5" / 140 mm L/50
Caliber 50
Weight 6.25 tons
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity 2,725'/sec
Ceiling  
Range of shell 22,400 m
Shell weight 84 lb
38 kg
Shell Wieght - AP 82 lbs
Rate of Fire 12
  5.5" / 140 mm L/50 Type 3
Caliber 50
Length of gun 7.235 m
Rifling 42 grooves
Weight 5,600 kg, 8,360 kg
Elevation 20° - 35°
Muzzle Velocity 850 m/sec
Range of shell 17,220 yards
15,800 m
Range of Shell at 20° 17,220 yards
Range of Shell at 25° 19,080 yards
Range of Shell at 30° 20,820 yards
19,100 m
Range of Shell at 35° 21,600 yards
Shell Weight 38 kg
Rate of Fire 6 - 10 rpm
Barrel Life 500 - 600 rounds
  5.9" / 150 mm L/40
Caliber 40
Weight  
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity  
Ceiling  
Range of shell  
Shell weight  
Rate of Fire  
  5.9" / 150 mm L/50 Type 41
Caliber 50
Length of Gun 7.876 m
Rifling 42 grooves
Weight 8,360 kg
Elevation  
Muzzle Velocity 850 m/sec
Range of Shell  
Range of Shell at 15° 14,100 m
Range of Shell at 30° 19,500 m
Range of Shell at 45° 21,000 m
Shell Weight 43.36 kg
Rate of Fire 6 rpm
Barrel Life 500 - 600 rounds

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