U.S. 3”/50 Antiaircraft Gun

Photograph of U.S. 3"/50 dual-purpose gun in action
Naval Historical Center #NH 80138


Ammunition type
Weight of projectile 13 lbs
5.9 kg
Velocity 2700 feet per second
823 meters per second
Maximum elevation       85 degrees
Range 14,590 yards
13,340 meters
Altitude 29,800 feet
9080 meters

The 3"/50 was the first antiaircraft gun adopted by the U.S. Navy, and the standard type battleships completed from 1915 on were allocated a battery of four, and later eight, guns. These guns were obsolescent by 1941, but continued to be employed in large numbers on smaller or older warships and on submarines simply because they were available.  They were produced in several models, but all were mounted in hand-driven semiautomatic mounts.  Many were subsequently replaced with 5"/38s (if the platform was large enough) or various light automatic antiaircraft guns. A few of the older models had  low-angle mounts and thus were not usable as antiaircraft guns.


Campbell (1985)

Friedman (2013)

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