This gun was jointly designed by the British armament firms of Armstrong and Vickers. The design was generally similar to the British 12"/50 (30.5 cm) Mark XI. All guns were produced by Nihon Seiko Shi (Japanese Steelworks), the Japanese subsidiary of W.G. Armstrong-Whitworth and Vickers, Sons & Maxims.
These guns were used on Japan's last pre-dreadnoughts Kawachi and Settsu. This class had a mixed battery, with the 30.5 cm/50 (12") guns in the bow and stern turrets and 30.5 cm/45 (12") guns in four amidships turrets. This mixed battery was a result of the poor financial situation in Japan resulting from the Russo-Japanese War which limited the Navy to manufacturing only a few of the higher-performance weapons. This combination of 45 and 50 caliber guns would have made centralized fire control on these ships very difficult.
Wire-wound construction with autofretted barrel and used a Welin breech mechanism. Coastal artillery used hydraulic power for the breech and rammer. Ammunition used electrical primers.
After these ships were scrapped, the two turrets from Settsu were given to the Army who used them in the coastal defenses at Nagasaki and Tsushima Island.
Redesignated as 41st Year Type on 25 December 1908. Redesignated in centimeters on 5 October 1917.
|Designation||12"/50 (30.5 cm) Armstrong/Vickers
12"/50 (30.5 cm) 41st Year Type (Model 1908)
30 cm/50 (12") 41st Year Type (Model 1908)
Official Designation: 50 caliber 41st Year Type 30 cm Gun
|Ship Class Used On||Kawachi Class|
|Date Of Design||about 1905|
|Date In Service||1912|
|Gun Weight||67 tons (68 mt)|
|Gun Length oa||N/A|
|Bore Length||about 600.0 in (15.240 m)|
|Twist||Uniform RH 1 in 28|
|Rate Of Fire
|2 rounds per minute|
The post-war US survey of Japanese Seacoast Artillery states that these guns could fire 2 rounds per gun per minute.
|Projectile Types and Weights
|APC - 850 lbs. (386 kg)|
|Propellant Charge||294 lbs. (133.5 kg)|
|Muzzle Velocity||2,850 fps (869 mps)|
|Approximate Barrel Life||N/A|
|Ammunition stowage per gun||N/A|
The post-war US survey of Japanese Seacoast Artillery states that these guns fired 881.6 lbs. (400 kg) AP shells. Whether this was the naval shell or a new Army projectile is not defined. Muzzle velocity with a 294.5 lbs. (133.6 kg) charge was 2,800 fps (850 mps).
|25 degrees||about 27,600 yards (25,240 m)|
|33 degrees||32,200 yards (29,440 m)|
|Elevation||Ships: about -5 / +15 degrees
Coastal artillery: 0 / +33 degrees
|Train||About +150 / -150 degrees|
"Battleships of the World: 1905-1970" by Siegfried Breyer
"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
"The Big Gun: Battleship Main Armament 1860-1945" by Peter Hodges
"Taisho Gan-nen Kaigun Dai Enshu Shashin-cho" (Photograph album of the great naval drill in the first year of Taisho)
US Army Report "Survey of Japanese Seacoast Artillery, 1946"
Iki fortress Kurosaki Fort
Special help by Mozi Hashimoto
26 September 2007 - Benchmark
11 May 2009 - Replace poor side view photograph of Settsu with a better one of Kawachi
30 June 2012 - Added gun details and information about use as coastal artillery
26 April 2014 - Corrected captions on photographs and added new photograph of stern turret on Kawachi
01 November 2016 - Converted to HTML 5 format