These guns were originally known as "6-pdr Hotchkiss guns" and were introduced in 1884 for use against torpedo boats. Used during World War I on the Arethusa and early "C" class cruisers and a few submarines as well as on Monitors M.15 through M.33.

Many were subsequently used as sub-caliber and saluting guns which meant that they were still available in 1939. That gave these guns a new lease on life, as many were hurriedly converted back to shooting guns for small ships such as MTBs, MLs and "Flower" class corvettes. Some weapons were also adapted for coastal defense.

The original Mark I gun had a barrel and short jacket with a locking hoop screwed to the front of the jacket. The Mark I* had a different recocking lever, but in 1890 all guns were altered to this standard and all guns were then redesignated as Mark I. During World War II, the converted ex-saluting guns were designated as Mark I*. Mark I** was apparently not in service, while Mark I*** were converted single tube guns left over from the First World War. The Mark II was an army gun converted to fit on naval mountings. All had vertical sliding breech blocks.

A total of 3,984 guns were on naval lists, but at least 2,344 of these had been stricken by 1939. Of those that remained, almost all were Mark I.

Gun Characteristics

Designation Hotchkiss 6-pdr / 8cwt QF Marks I and II
Ship Class Used On Many
Date Of Design 1883
Date In Service 1884
Gun Weight 849 lbs. (385 kg)
Gun Length oa 97.63 in (2.480 m)
Bore Length 89.8 in (2.280 m)
Rifling Length 76.91 in (1.954 m)
Grooves 24
Lands N/A
Twist Uniform RH 1 in 30
Chamber Volume 46 in3 (0.754 dm3)
Rate Of Fire 20 rounds per minute


Type Fixed
Weight of Complete Round 9.7 lbs. (4.4 kg)
Projectile Types and Weights AP: 6.0 lbs. (2.72 kg)
HE: 6.0 lbs. (2.72 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length N/A
Propellant Charge Prior to World War II: 0.243 lbs. (0.11 kg) CT
World War II: 0.55 lbs. (0.249 kg) HSCT or 0.70 lbs. (0.318 kg) NF
Muzzle Velocity 1,765 fps (538 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life 6,000 rounds
Ammunition stowage per gun 1 Monitors: 500 rounds
Others: N/A
  • ^Outfits for most ships included both AP and HE rounds.


World War I

Range with 6.0 lbs. (2.72 kg) HE
Elevation Distance
45 degrees 8,700 yards (7,955 m)
AA Ceiling 10,000 feet (3,050 m)
Effective AA range 1,200 yards (1,100 m)

World War II

Range with 6.0 lbs. (2.72 kg) HE
Elevation Distance
45 degrees 9,400 yards (8,600 m)

Mount/Turret Data

  • Single Mounts
    • Cruisers: Mark IC HA
    • Flower Class corvettes: Non-recoil
    • Small craft: Mark VI
    • Coastal Mountings: Mark VI* and VI**
    • Monitors: Mark IC HA and Mark IV HA
Weight 896 lbs. (406 kg) (? - 8cwt conversions)
Elevation Mark IC HA: -8 / +60 degrees
Non-recoil: -5 / +38 degrees
Mark IV HA: -15 / +90 degrees
Mark VI, VI* and VI**: -5 / +70 degrees
Elevation Rate Manually operated, only
Train 360 degrees
Train Rate Manually operated, only
Gun recoil N/A

Some mountings were modified during World War I to allow HA fire.

Additional Pictures


Data from:

  • "Big Gun Monitors: The History of the Design, Construction and Operation of the Royal Navy's Monitors" by Ian Buxton
  • "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
  • "British Cruisers of World War Two" by Alan Raven and John Roberts
  • "Navy and Army Illustrated Annuals, Volume VI - 1898"

Special help by Dave Perkins

Page History

28 May 2008
15 December 2013
Added photograph of casing