QF 4 inch naval gun Mk I – III

Ordnance QF 4-inch gun Mk I, II, III

Australian troops with gun on a transport ship, circa. November 1914
Type Naval gun
Coast defence gun
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1896 - 1920[note 1]
Used by British Empire
Wars Boxer Rebellion,
World War I
Production history
Designed 1895
Weight 2,912 pounds (1,321 kg) barrel & breech
Barrel length 160 inches (4.064 m) bore (40 cal); 165.35 inches (4.200 m) total

Shell Separate-loading QF 25 pounds (11.34 kg) Common pointed or Lyddite
Calibre 4-inch (101.6 mm)
Breech Single-motion screw
Muzzle velocity 2,300 feet per second (700 m/s)[1]
Maximum firing range 9,000 yards (8,200 m)[2]

The QF 4-inch gun Mks I, II, III[note 2] were early British QF (quick-firing) naval guns originating in 1895. They all had barrels of 40 calibres length.

The gun was intended to be a more powerful alternative to the quick-firing 3-inch QF 12-pounder gun, and a faster-firing replacement for the BL 4-inch gun.

It was mounted on the following ships :

Its 25-pound (11 kg) shell proved insufficiently powerful to make it much of an improvement on the 12-pounder. From 1907 onwards it was succeeded in its class on new warships by the BL 4 inch gun Mk VIII, which fired a 31-pound (14 kg) shell.

Coast Defence gun

From 1906 a number of Mk III guns were transferred from the Royal Navy for use as coast defence guns around the United Kingdom, and remained until 1939.[3]

In 1918 three guns were in service at Dover Garrison and eight at Forth Garrison.[4]

World War I land service

On 20 September 1914 the British cruiser HMS Pegasus was sunk by SMS Königsberg in Zanzibar harbour. Her 8 QF 4-inch Mk III guns were recovered and used ashore in the East African campaign. Some were used as coast defence guns at Zanzibar and Mombasa. Two guns, and from 11 February 1916, three guns, were used by 10th Heavy Battery manned by the Royal Marines, mounted on improvised field carriages and towed by Packard lorries, supported by six REO lorries carrying ammunition.[5]

Surviving guns

See also


  1. Remaining ships were all scrapped or decommissioned following WWI, by 1921 at latest
  2. I.e. Mark 1, 2 and 3. Britain used Roman numerals to denote Marks (models) of ordnance until after World War 2. Hence this article describes the first three models of British QF 4-inch guns.


  1. 2300 ft/s with 25 lb (11 kg) projectile in 1902, using 3 lb 9 oz (1.6 kg) cordite Mk I size 15 propellant (Text Book of Gunnery 1902)
  2. Text Book of Gunnery 1902, Table XII page 337
  3. Hogg & Thurston 1972, page 96
  4. Farndale 1988, pages 398 - 404
  5. Farndale 1988, page 316
  6. Kevin Patience, Konigsberg: A German East African Raider


Wikimedia Commons has media related to QF 4 inch naval gun Mk I - III.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.