Saturday, 15 September 2012

The guns of HMS Gannet: 5-inch BLR Gun

When her 64-pounder MLR guns were removed, HMS Gannet was rearmed with two Ordnance Breech Loading 5" Mk.III Guns. The latter was used as the main armament of many of the Royal Navy's smaller 'cruising' ships (i.e. sloops, corvettes, gunboats, and third-class cruisers) during the latter part of the nineteenth century and it remained in service (albeit obsolete) until 1918.

The gun was introduced into service during the 1880s to replace the muzzle loading guns that were then in use, and it was originally designed to use gunpowder charges. During its service it went through a number of Marks (I to V) but all of them had similar characteristics. The gun fired a 50-pound shell and had a range of 8,700 yards.

The gun was also used to arm some coastal defence positions, and during the Boer War a number of guns were mounted on obsolete 40-pounder RML gun carriages to form part of the British Army's siege artillery train in South Africa.

The gun was replaced in general service by the 4.7-inch QF Gun.

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