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Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers
On a Royal Navy monitor circa. 1918
Type Naval gun, Anti-aircraft gun
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1910-1940
Wars World War I, World War II
Production history
Designer Vickers
Designed 1908
Manufacturer Vickers
Produced 1910-?
Number built 600
Variants Mk I Mk II
Weight 1,323 lb (600 kg) in total
Barrel length 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m) bore (50 calibres)

Shell 47x360R. 3.3 lb (1.50 kg) shell.
Calibre 47 mm (1.85 in)
Breech semi-automatic vertical block
Carriage three-leg platform
Elevation -5° to +12°
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 20 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 2,575 ft/s (785 m/s) (HE)
Effective range 2,000 yd (1,829 m)(AA)
Maximum range 5,600 yd (5,100 m) at 12° elevation;
15,000 ft (4,600 m) (AA ceiling)
Sights telescopic

The Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers (47mm / L50) was a British artillery piece first tested in Britain in 1910. It was used on Royal Navy warships. It was more powerful than and unrelated to the older QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss, with a propellant charge approximately twice as large, but it initially fired the same Lyddite and Steel shells as the Hotchkiss.[1]


Starting in 1914, the Royal Navy bought over 150 of these for use as anti-torpedo boat weapons on capital ships and to arm light craft. British production of these guns started in 1910 at Vickers and by the time production stopped in 1936 a total of 600 weapons had been made.

Royal Navy use

RNAS gun on improvised anti-aircraft mounting, Tenedos, Dardanelles, 1915. Photo by Ernest Brooks.

By 1911 about 193 guns of this type were in service, and they became standard equipment in the Royal Navy until 1915. In that year, service during the First World War proved these weapons to be ineffective and they were quickly removed from most of the larger ships. During the interwar years they were widely used to arm light ships and river craft. A number of them were converted into anti-aircraft guns and by 1927 at least 62 guns had been converted.

See also


  1. Treatise on ammunition 10th Edition 1915. War Office, UK. Page 404

External links

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