A medium caliber gun used on the last of France's pre-dreadnoughts and armored cruisers. Some weapons were reused as coastal artillery after these ships were scrapped after World War I.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 194 mm/50 (7.64") Model 1902
Ship Class Used On Model 1902: Démocratie, Edgar Quinet, Ernest Renan and Jules Michelet classes
Date Of Design 1902
Date In Service 1908
Gun Weight 33,470 lbs. (15,180 kg)
Gun Length 398.0 in (10.110 m)
Bore Length 381.9 in (9.700 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves (58) 0.055 in deep x 0.079 in (1.4 mm x 2.0 mm)
Lands N/A
Twist Inclined at 4 degees
Chamber Volume 3,188 in3 (52.258 dm3)
Rate Of Fire about 2 rounds per minute


Type Bag
Projectile Types and Weights 1 APC - 189.6 lbs. (86 kg)
SAPC - 194.0 lbs. (88 kg)
Bursting Charge APC - 3.09 lbs. (1.40 kg) Mélinite
SAPC - 9.48 lbs. (4.30 kg) Mélinite
Projectile Length APC - 20.7 in (52.5 cm)
SAPC - 23.3 in (59.1 cm)
Muzzle Velocity 3,117 fps (950 mps)
Working Pressure 17.17 tons/in2 (2,700 kg/cm2)
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun N/A
  • ^These were new projectile designs and not used on the older 194 mm/45 M1887 and 194 mm/40 M1893 guns.


Range with 189.6 lbs. (86 kg) APC Shell
Elevation Distance
15 degrees 12,580 yards (11,500 m)

As in most ships of this era, long range gunfire was nearly impossible and for that reason the maximum range figures seen in secondary and even primary sources should be viewed with a degree of skepticism. Instead, designers were more concerned about performance at a range where most combats would take place. For these ships, the French considered that 2,000 m (2,100 yards) would be the most likely combat range.

Performance at 2,000 m (2,200 yards)
Shell Type Remaining Velocity Drift Mean error in range Mean error in line
APC 2,569 fps (783 mps) 47 in (1.2 m) 80 feet (24 m) 1a 38 in (0.96 m)
  • ^The values in this table are from "Naval Weapons of World War One". However, the value given in that reference for Mean Error in Range appears to be a misprint at 8 feet (2.4 m). I believe that the value in the above table to be correct.

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Single Turrets 1b
   Démocratie (6): Model 1904 (?)

Twin Turrets
   Edgar Quinet (2) and Ernest Renan (2): Model 1905 (?) 2b
   Jules Michelet (2): Model 1907 (?) 3b

Single Casemate mounts
   Démocratie (4) and Edgar Quinet (4): Model 1902 (?) 4b

Weight N/A
Elevation Turrets: -5 / +15 degrees
Casemates: -5 / +14 degrees
Elevation Rate N/A
Train Turrets: about -135 / +135 degrees
Casemates: about -80 / +80 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A
Loading Angle -5 degrees
  • ^Single turrets were electrically trained but the gun was elevated manually. There was a working chamber under the turret which was fed by a single bucket hoist powered by an electric motor. The bucket held two projectiles and six third-charges (two complete rounds). The projectiles were off-loaded onto a horizontal ring-shaped carrier and the charges were placed into lockers beneath the carrier. The shells were lifted into the gunhouse by means of a small, hand-worked duplex hoist. Charges were passed by hand via tubes set in the gunhouse floor. Each turret had ready-use stowage for twelve complete rounds - twelve projectiles and eight charges in the gunhouse and twenty-eight charges in the working chamber. Shells and charges were loaded and manually rammed.
  • ^The M1905 twin turrets were similar in design to those of the Leon Gambetta class. Each turret had a working chamber suspended under the gunhouse. This working chamber was fed by a single duplex bucket hoist. Each bucket held a single projectile and three charges - one complete round. When the bucket reached the handling room it was tilted over by a mechanical arm and the shell was transferred to one of two manually worked clip hoists which raised the shell into the gunhouse. From there it was transferred to one of three waiting trays or transferred by a set of overhead rails to a ready-use rack at the back of the gunhouse. The bag charges were lifted out of the buckets by hand and stowed in lockers with flash-tight doors around the walls of the working chamber. Charges were moved by scuttles up to the gunhouse. Eleven ready-use shells per gun were stored at the rear of the gunhouse. Ready-use charges for these were stored in both the gunhouse and in the working chamber. Shells and charges were loaded and manually rammed. Turrets were trained by an electric motor while the guns were individually sleeved and elevated manually.
  • ^The M1907 turrets were to a new design which abandoned the tourelle-barbette in favor of an enclosed turret. This simplified and improved protection and simplified construction. Otherwise, this mounting was similar to the M1905.
  • ^Casemate guns were manually trained and elevated.


"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"French Warships of World War I" by Jean Labayle Couhat - Ian Allan Series
"Naval Weapons of World War One" by Norman Friedman
"French Battleships of World War One" and "French Armoured Cruisers: 1887 - 1932" both by John Jordan and Philippe Caresse
Tony DiGiulian's personal files
Ministère de la défense
Special Help by Michal Derela and John Jordan

Page History

28 December 2008 - Benchmark
01 May 2009 - Added picture of bow gun on Amiral Aube, added Mount / Turret information
25 February 2012 - Added mounting information for Edgar Quinet class
28 August 2013 - Added information on shell weight and model numbers
29 November 2019 - Converted to HTML 5 format, added projectile and mounting information, split off 19 cm/45 M1887 and 194 mm/40 M1893 into their own datapages