Japanese 8"/50 Type 2 Gun

Photograph of 8"/50 gun turrets on cruiser Chokai

Naval History and Heritage Command #NH 82080


Bore diameter
Ammunition type
Bagged HE or incendiary shrapnel rounds.

Projectile weight

277 lbs
125.9 kg


2756 feet per second
840 meters per second

Maximum elevation      

40 degrees


32,150 yards
29,400 meters

Firing cycle

12-15 seconds
20-30 seconds at maximum elevation

The 8"/50 Type 2 gun was the standard Japanese heavy cruiser armament from 1940 on, and all the older Japanese cruisers were rearmed with the weapon by the time war broke out in the Pacific. It used a rather large propellant grain size that degraded accuracy, but considerable effort was put into reducing dispersion. This included developing electromechanical devices to stagger the firing of the guns in a single turret by 0.03 seconds to reduce mutual interference. The Japanese seem to have been proud of the weapon, and there were even experiments with high-angle mounts for dual antiaircraft use, for which the guns were completely unsuitable.


Campbell (1985) (accessed 2012-1-26)

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