Conceived during World War I as being a more powerful weapon than those arming contemporary foreign destroyers. Its superiority was more theoretical than real, as it had a slow rate of fire for a destroyer weapon and was difficult to load at low angles of elevation. Used a Welin screw breech mechanism.

It had been planned to replace these guns with the 138.6 mm Model 1923, but lateral stability problems on these ships prevented the change.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 130 mm/40 (5.1") Model 1919
Ship Class Used On Tigre/Jaguar (2,100 tonnes) and Simoun/Bourrasque (1,500 tonnes) classes
Date Of Design 1919
Date In Service 1926
Gun Weight 3.35 tons (4.05 mt)
Gun Length oa 212.8 in (5.406 m)
Bore Length 204.7 in (5.200 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire 4-5 rounds per minute


Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights 1 2 3 SAP M1923: 70.5 lbs. (32.05 kg)
HE M1923: 76.83 lbs. (34.85 kg)
HE M1932: 76.72 lbs. (34.83 kg)
Starshell M1925: 70.54 lbs. (32.0 kg)
Bursting Charge SAP: about 4 lbs. (1.8 kg)
HE M1923: about 8 lbs (3.6 kg)
HE M1932: N/A
Projectile Length SAP: 25.6 in (65.0 cm)
HE M1923: 25.6 in (65.0 cm)
HE M1932: 26.1 in (66.3 cm)
Starshell: 23.0 in (58.5 cm)
Propellant Charge SAP and HE full charge: 17 lbs. (7.7 kg) BM9
SAP and HE reduced charge: N/A
Starshell: N/A
Cartridge Case Type, Size and Empty Weight Model 1919, Brass, 177 x 674, about 21.6 lbs. (9.8 kg)
Muzzle Velocity SAP and HE full charge: 2,379 fps (725 mps)
SAP and HE reduced charge: 1,919 fps (585 mps)
Starshell: 2,024 fps (620 mps)
Working Pressure 16.3 tons/in2 (2,570 kg/cm2)
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun Tigre: 160 rounds 4 5 6
Simoun: 110 rounds 7
  • ^This same ammunition was also used for the 130 mm (5.1") Model 1924. See that datapage for ammunition sketches.
  • ^
    Actual French designations
    SAP M1923 OPFA Mle 1923
    HE M1923 OEA Mle 1923
    HE M1932 OEA Mle 1932
    Starshell M1925 OEcl M1925
  • ^Dye was introduced about 1938 with red issued for the lead ship in the flotilla, green for the second and white (later yellow) for the third.
  • ^The Tigre class were originally to have six guns. The magazines were not reduced in size when this was changed to five guns which explains the difference in the ammunition stowage between this class and the follow-on Simoun class.
  • ^All guns except the amidships gun on the Tigre class were given ready-use stowage for 24 rounds. Due to the separation of the amidships gun from the magazines, this mounting was given 30 ready rounds.
  • ^The Tigre class carried 398 projectiles and 468 charges in the forward magazine and 404 projectiles and 418 charges in the after magazine.
  • ^The Simoun class magazines carried a total of 440 projectiles, 462 charges and 68 practice rounds.


Range with 76.83 lbs. (34.85 kg) HE
Elevation Distance
36 degrees 20,670 yards (18,900 m)

Armor Penetration

Cemented Armor Penetration with 70.4 lbs. (32 kg) SAP
Range Vertical Armor Horizontal Armor
10,900 yards (10,000 m) 3.15" (80 mm) ---
19,700 yards (18,000 m) 1.77" (45 mm) ---

This data is from "Destroyers of World War Two" and "French Destroyers."

Armor Penetration with 76.83 lbs. (34.85 kg) HE
Range Vertical Armor Deck Armor
3,820 yards (3,500 m) 7.87" (200 mm) ---
18,150 yards (16,600 m) 3.46" (88 mm) ---

This data is from "Warships after Washington" which notes that the low muzzle velocity of this gun made it inaccurate at long ranges.

Mount/Turret Data

Designation 1a Single pivot mounts
   Tigre (5) 2a and Simoun (4): Model 1919 3a
Weight 11.5 tons (12.5 mt) 4a
Elevation -10 / +36 degrees 5a
Rate of Elevation Manually operated, only
Train about +150 / -150 degrees
Rate of Train Manually operated, only
Gun Recoil 18 in (45 cm)
Loading Angle Any
  • ^A twin mounting, Model 1921, was planned but trials aboard the sloop Amiens showed that these were cramped and difficult to work as the loaders interfered with each other. Rate of fire was was significantly less than two single mountings and the weight was nearly the same.
  • ^The amidships gun on the Tigre class was supplied from the aft magazine hoists.
  • ^Following the cancellation of the 138.6 mm Model 1923 replacement program due to top-weight stability problems, modest improvements were made to the Model 1919 mountings. An automatic loading tray was fitted to increase the firing rate and a raised circular platform was added for the loaders. Stability problems persisted and led to the removal of No. 4 gun from most of the Simoun class in 1940. However, following the Armistice, these guns were re-installed during 1941 and other equipment including DCT on some ships was removed.
  • ^The guns originally had only light shields but these were replaced with more substantial "wrap around" shields shortly after completion. These provided the crews with better protection from spray and splinters but added about 2.46 tons (2.5 mt) to the mounting weight.
  • ^Originally the mountings were to have a lower maximum elevation, but they were redesigned to raise the trunnions to 59 inches (1.5 m) in order to increase the maximum elevation to 36 degrees. This change did hamper working the gun at low elevations as the heavy projectiles were difficult to lift up to the breech. Ammunition was supplied by electrically-powered chain hoists which delivered both projectiles and cartridges horizontally.
  • During refits in 1943 and 1944 the gun sight ports on the few surviving destroyers were enlarged and new cross-hair type sights fitted to facilitate barrage fire against aircraft up to the full elevation of 36 degrees. Time-fuzed ammunition was supplied with the fuzes being set before loading.


"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"Warships after Washington: The Development of the Five Major Fleets 1922-1930" by John Jordan
"French Destroyers: Torpilleurs d'Escadre & Contre-Torpilleurs 1922-1956" by John Jordan and Jean Moulin
"Destroyers of World War Two" by M.J. Whitley
"Merkbuch: über die Munition für die 13 cm K Mod. 1919/24 (Französische Beute)" M.Dv. Nr. 170,76 by Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine
Special help from John Jordan and Thorsten Wahl

Page History

16 May 2006 - Benchmark
28 March 2012 - Updated to latest template
14 June 2012 - Added information on armor penetration and mountings, added sketch
29 August 2015 - Added ammunition and mounting information
09 October 2015 - Added note regarding changes to the gun sights
19 February 2019 - Converted to HTML 5 format, reorganized notes, added ammunition information from M.Dv. Nr. 170,76
07 May 2019 - Added "Cemented" to SAP armor penetration table
15 October 2020 - Corrected empty casing weight