Stop 22: 5-inch Gun

5 INCH, 38 CALIBER GUN


Designed: 1931

Type: Single, open, pedestal mount

Model: Mark 37 (no fuse setting mechanisms that are on Mark 21)

Weight: 34,700 lb (15,700 Kg)

Projectiles: 5 inch diameter, 53 to 55 lb (24 to 25 Kg)

Barrel length: 190 inch (38 artillery caliber is ratio of barrel length to diameter)

Muzzle Velocity: 2500 feet per second - approx. 1700 mph (2700 Kph)

Elevation: −15° to +85°

Traverse: 328.5 degrees

Sights: Optical telescope

A 5 inch, 38 caliber gun was manned by the US Navy Armed Guard, whose quarters are below this open pedestal mount. The gun primarily defended the Victory ships from enemy aircraft and could fire anti-aircraft shells up to 37,000 feet (11 kilometers) or armor piercing shells almost 10 miles (16 kilometers).  Projectiles are loaded into the rammer tray, followed by a powder cartridge. A gun crew of typically 9 men could fire up to 15 rounds per minute. The Pointer, responsible for elevating and firing the gun, sat on the left side and the Trainer, responsible for rotating the gun, sat on the right side. The Gun Captain stood on the small platform with the back rest at the rear of the gun. Other gun crew members checked the sights, set fuses, loaded the gun, and removed empty cartridges.