14-inch M1920 railway gun

14-inch M1920 railway gun

Diagram showing gun barrel in elevated, normal and traveling positions
Type Railway gun
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1925 to 1946
Used by United States
Wars World War II
Production history
Designed 1920
Manufacturer Watervliet Arsenal
Produced 1925
Number built 4
Weight Tube and recoil band- 230,000 Lbs
Length (18.1 m) 59 feet 6 inches

Shell separate loading, HE, and AP
Caliber 14-inch (355.6 mm)
Breech Interrupted thread, (step-cut)
Recoil hydropneumatic
Carriage railway truck, 14 axles
Elevation 50° fixed, 19° on track
Traverse 7° on track, 360° fixed
Rate of fire 1 rpm
Muzzle velocity 2,650 feet per second (808 m/s)
Effective firing range 48,220 yards (44,090 m)
Feed system hand

The 14-inch M1920 railway gun was the last large caliber railway gun to be deployed by the United States Army. It was an upgrade of the US Navy 14"/50 caliber railway gun.


After the close of World War I, the US Army wanted to incorporate the lessons learned from other railway gun mounts and fulfill coastal artillery requirements for hitting a moving target. An effort to design a more universal mount for the Navy's Mk. IV 14"/50 caliber gun was undertaken.

The primary difference from the earlier Navy versions lies in the M1920 carriage, which could be raised and lowered. Prepositioned fixed mounts were installed at the forts, and the gun's rail trucks could be taken out from under the frame. After the removal of the rail trucks, the gun was lowered and bolted onto a pivot point for rapid 360 degree movement, necessary for tracking ships in coast defense. The M1920 carriage made the gun much more flexible. It allowed for the standard practice of using a curved piece of rail to traverse the gun, and it enabled the gun to be used in a fixed position.

Two guns were deployed to Fort MacArthur. The remaining two guns were deployed to Fort Grant and Fort Randolph in the Panama Canal Zone. The two guns deployed to the Panama Canal Zone could be moved to either coast on the Panama Canal Railway.


The Mk.IV gun was manufactured in two models:

Sighting and fire control equipment

The following sighting equipment was used with the gun:

Support cars


All four guns were cut up for scrap in 1946.

See also


    External links

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