8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun

The Type 41 3-inch (76 mm) naval gun otherwise known as the 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun was a Japanese dual-purpose gun introduced before World War I. Although designated as 8 cm (3.15 in), its shells were 76.2 mm (3 in) in diameter.

8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun
Japanese Type 3 Navy 80mm AA Gun.jpg
A 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun at the Yasukuni Shrine.
TypeNaval gun
Place of origin Empire of Japan
Service history
In service1897–1945
Used byImperial Japanese Navy
Republic of China Navy
Royal Romanian Navy
Royal Thai Navy
WarsWorld War I
World War II
Production history
Variants8 cm/40 (3") 11th Year Type
8 cm/40 (3") Type 88
8 cm/25 (3") Type 41
Mass2,401 kg (5,293 lb)
Barrel length3.2 m (10 ft 6 in) L/40[1]

ShellFixed Quick Fire 76.2 x 405R ammunition[2]
Shell weight5.7–6 kg (12 lb 9 oz – 13 lb 4 oz)
Caliber76.2 mm (3 in)
BreechSliding block breech
CarriageHigh/Low Angle
Elevation-5° to +75°
Rate of fire13–20 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity670–685 m/s (2,200–2,250 ft/s)
Effective firing range5.4 km (18,000 ft) (ceiling) at +75°
Maximum firing range10,800 m (11,800 yd) at +45°[1]
Feed systemManual
8 cm/25 Type 41 naval gun
TypeNaval gun
Place of originJapan
Service history
In service1915–1945
Used byImperial Japanese Navy
WarsWorld War I
World War II
Production history
Mass316 kg (697 lb)
Barrel length1.87 m (6 ft 2 in) L/25

ShellFixed Quick Fire
Shell weight5.7–6 kg (12 lb 9 oz – 13 lb 4 oz)
Caliber76.2 mm (3 in)
Rate of fire15 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity450 m/s (1,500 ft/s)
Feed systemManual


The Japanese Type 41 3-inch (76 mm) naval gun otherwise known as the 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun was a direct copy of the English QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval gun. The original 12-pounders were built-up guns with a single-motion interrupted screw breech that fired Fixed Quick Fire ammunition and had bottom mounted hydro-pneumatic recoil systems.[4]

Many were mounted on low-angle pedestal mounts in casemates as the standard anti-torpedo boat gun on Japanese warships built between 1890 and 1920. Later guns changed to an autofretted monoblock barrel, taller pedestal mount for increased angles of elevation -5° to +75°, top mounted recoil system, and 45° sliding block breech. The guns fired a 5.7–6 kg (12 lb 9 oz – 13 lb 4 oz) high-explosive projectile.[4]

After 1915 the guns were mounted on high/low angle mounts to serve as dual-purpose guns on most ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was still in service as late as the Pacific War as an anti-aircraft, coastal defense, and submarine deck gun.[5]


  • 8 cm/40 (3") 11th Year Type (Model 1922) - Anti-aircraft gun.
  • 8 cm/40 (3") Type 88 (Model 1928) - Submarine deck gun.[5]
  • 8 cm/25 (3") Type 41 - This was a related gun with a shorter barrel. There were three sub-variants each with slightly different barrel lengths. Length varied from 23 to 25 calibers depending on whether the length was measured from breech to muzzle or just the rifling was measured. This short gun was often used on smaller auxiliaries and submarines as a dual-purpose gun.[4][6]


The first guns were bought from the English firms as "Elswick Pattern N" and "Vickers Mark Z" guns. The gun was officially designated as the Type 41 3-inch (76 mm) naval gun from the 41st year of the reign of Emperor Meiji on 25 December 1908. Thereafter production was in Japan under license. On 5 October 1917 during the third year of the Taishō period, the gun was redesignated as the 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's conversion to the metric system. Although classified as an 8 cm gun the bore was unchanged.[4]

The 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type was also widely used as a coastal defense gun and anti-aircraft gun to defend Japanese island bases during World War II. Guns with both English and Japanese markings were found on Kiska, Kolombangara, Saipan, Tarawa, and Tinian. Japanese Artillery Weapons CINPAC-CINPOA Bulletin 152-45 calls the guns "8 cm Coast Defense Gun 13th Year Type (1924)" but it isn't clear how they came up with that designation.[7]

Imperial Japanese NavyEdit

The 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type was deployed aboard armed merchantmen, battleships, cruisers, gunboats, minelayers, minesweepers, and submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Ship classes:

Foreign UsersEdit



  1. ^ a b c Chamberlain, Peter (1975). Anti-aircraft guns. Gander, Terry. New York: Arco Pub. Co. p. 35. ISBN 0668038187. OCLC 2000222.
  2. ^ "77-77 MM CALIBRE CARTRIDGES". www.quarryhs.co.uk. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Reports of the U.S. Naval Technical Mission To Japan (1945 – 1946) O-54(N); Japanese Naval Guns" (PDF). The Pacific War Archive. 1945–1946. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. S. Yorkshire: Seaforth Pub. p. 279. ISBN 9781848321007. OCLC 751804655.
  5. ^ a b DiGiulian, Tony. "3"/40 (7.62 cm) 41st Year Type". NavWeaps.com.
  6. ^ "Japan 8 cm/25 (3") Short Guns - NavWeaps". www.navweaps.com. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  7. ^ Japanese Artillery Weapons. United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas. 1 July 1945. p. 33. OCLC 51837610.
  8. ^ Scurt istoric al artileriei de coastă (Brief history of coastal artillery) PDF, pp. 14–15 (in Romanian)


External linksEdit