The 5 cm SK L/40 was developed for torpedo boats of the 1890s. The 5 cm Tbts KL/40 was an improved version that was used to replace some of the older guns and used on a few submarines built during World War I. Still in use during World War II on minor warships and auxiliaries.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 5 cm/40 (1.97") SK L/40
5 cm/40 (1.97") Tbts KL/40
Ship Class Used On Cruisers: Gefion and Hela classes
Torpedo Boats: S7, S66, S82, A1, D1, D7, D9, D10 and S90 classes
U-boats: UB18 class
Date Of Design 5 cm SK L/40: about 1892
5 cm Tbts KL/40: about 1913
Date In Service 5 cm SK L/40: about 1893
5 cm Tbts KL/40: 191
Gun Weight 5 cm Tbts KL/40: 0.280 tons (0.284 mt) including BM
5 cm SK L/40: 0.236 tons (0.240 mt) including BM
Gun Length oa about 78.7 in (2.000 m)
Bore length about 72.0 in (1.830 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire 10 rounds per minute (?)


Type Fixed
Complete Round Weight N/A
Projectile Types and Weights HE - 3.86 lbs. (1.75 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length N/A
Propellant Charge N/A
Muzzle Velocity 2,152 fps (656 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun Gefion and Hela: 250 rounds
S7, S66 and S82: 156 rounds
A1: 120 rounds
D1, D7 and D10: 165 rounds
S90: 84 rounds
UB18: 200 rounds


Range with 3.86 lbs. (1.75 kg) HE
Elevation Distance
12 degrees 5,290 yards (4,840 m)
20 degrees 6,780 yards (6,200 m)

Mount / Turret Data

  • Single Mountings
    • Gefion (6) and Hela (6): N/A
    • S7 (1), S66 (1), S82 (1) D1 (3), D7 (3), D9 (3), D10 (5), and S90 (3): Tbts C/93 (?)
    • A1 (1): Tbts C/14
    • UB18 (1): Tbts C/14 (?)
Weight N/A
Elevation -5 (?) / +20 degrees
Elevation Rate Manual operation, only
Train N/A
Train Rate Manual operation, only
Gun recoil N/A


Data from:

  • "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
  • "Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906-1922" by Randal Gray and Robert Gardiner (Editor)
  • "German Warships 1815-1945" by Erich Gröner

Special help from Peter Lienau and Cliff McMullen

Page History

21 June 2008
06 February 2011
Added gun details