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QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss: Wikis


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QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss
Typical Royal Navy deck mounting, 1915
Type Naval gun
Coast-defence gun
Anti-aircraft gun
Place of origin  France
Service history
In service 1886 - 1950s
Used by  France
 United Kingdom
 United States
Wars WWI
Production history
Designer Hotchkiss et Cie
Designed 1885
Number built 2,950 (UK)
Barrel length 74.06 inch (1.88 m) bore (40 cal)

Shell Fixed QF. Shell 3.3 lb (1.5 kg), Steel Shell, Common Lyddite
Calibre 47-millimetre (1.850 in)
Breech vertical sliding wedge
Rate of fire 30 / minute[1]
Muzzle velocity 1,873 ft/s (571 m/s)
Maximum range 4,000 yards (3,657 m)

The QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss was a light 47-mm naval gun introduced in 1886 to defend against new small fast vessels such as torpedo boats, and later submarines. It was also used ashore as a coast defence gun and later occasionally as an anti-aircraft gun.


French service

Model of gun in French service on "Elastic Frame" mounting, at the Musée national de la Marine Paris

United Kingdom service


United Kingdom History

HMS Majestic showing 7 guns mounted in crow's nests circa. 1897

In 1886 this gun was the first of the modern QF artillery to be adopted by the Royal Navy as Ordnance QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss, built under licence by Elswick Ordnance Company.

By World War I the Hotchkiss gun was obsolete, and was gradually replaced in its class by the more powerful Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers gun. But many were brought back into service on merchant vessels used for auxiliary duties in World War II, or as subcalibre guns for gunnery practice until the 1950s. Early in WWII it was also pressed into service in ports around the British Empire to defend against possible incursions by motor torpedo boats, until the modern QF 6 pounder 10 cwt gun became available in numbers for that purpose.

United Kingdom ammunition

QF 3 pounder Round with Steel Shell.jpg
Steel Shell round circa. 1898. Photo courtesy of Patrick Rushmere
Mk IV base percussion fuze
Mk V N.T. lyddite shell, 1914

Russian service

47 mm Hotchkiss guns were used during the Russo-Japanese war and showed inefficiency against Japanese torpedo boats.

US service

Surviving examples

The Noonday gun at Causeway Bay, Hong Kong


  1. ^ 30 rounds per minute is the figure given by Elswick Ordnance for their 40-calibres model. Quoted in Brassey's Naval Annual 1901


  • I.V. Hogg & L.F. Thurston, British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition 1914-1918. London: Ian Allan, 1972.

See also

External links


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