Military Wiki
6"/53 caliber naval gun
Type Naval gun
Service history
In service 1920 - 1945
Used by United States
Wars World War II
Production history
Variants Mk 13, Mk 16, Mk 17
Barrel length 8 meters (315 in) bore (53 calibers)

Shell 105 pounds (48 kg)[1]
Caliber 152 millimeters (6 in)
Muzzle velocity 900 meters per second (2,950 ft/s)[1]
Maximum range 23,130 meters (25,295 yd)[1]

The 6"/53 caliber gun (spoken "six-inch-fifty-three-caliber") formed the main battery of United States Navy light cruisers and submarine cruisers built during the 1920s. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, and the barrel was 53 calibers long (barrel length is 6 inch x 53 = 318 inches or 8 meters.)[2] The gun with side swing Welin breech block and Smith-Asbury mechanism weighed about 10 tonnes and used a silk bag containing 44-pounds (20 kg) of smokeless powder to give a 105-pound (47.6 kg) projectile a velocity of 3000 feet per second (900 m/s). Early Marks were built-up guns with a liner, tube, full-length jacket, and 2 hoops; but the Mark 14 gun was of monobloc construction. Useful life expectancy was 700 effective full charges (EFC) per liner.[1]

Mark 13 casemate mounting

These guns were intended for the secondary battery of the Lexington-class battlecruisers and South Dakota-class battleships. They were installed in Omaha-class cruisers when the intended ships were canceled under provisions of the Washington Naval Treaty. Maximum range was 21,000 yd (19,200 m) at the maximum elevation of 20 degrees.[1][3]

Mark 16 turret mounting

This two-gun turret was a design modification to improve the range and broadside of the Omaha-class cruisers. Maximum range was 25,300 yd (23,130 m) at the maximum elevation of 20 degrees.[1][3]

Mark 17 wet mounting

These single open mounts were installed fore and aft of the conning tower on USS Argonaut (SM-1), USS Narwhal (SS-167), and USS Nautilus (SS-168). Maximum range was 23,300 yd (21,310 m) at the maximum elevation of 25 degrees.[1][3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Campbell 1985 pp.132-3
  2. Fairfield 1921 p.156
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 DiGiulian, Tony (8 February 2008). "United States of America 6"/53 (15.2 cm) Marks 12, 14, 15 and 18". Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 2011 07 21. 


  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4. 
  • Fairfield, A.P. (1921). Naval Ordnance. The Lord Baltimore Press. 

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