This gun was used on the early Russian pre-dreadnoughts. By 1917 only 2 remained in service on board Imperator Alexandr II.

Imperator Nikolai I surrendered after the Battle of Tsushima (Battle of the Japan Sea) and then served as the Imperial Japanese Navy Training Ship Iki following the Russo-Japanese War.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 12"/30 (30.5 cm) Pattern 1877
Ship Class Used On Ekaterina II class, Alexander II class, Gangut, Dvenadtsat' Apostolov
Date Of Design 1878
Date In Service 1883
Gun Weight 50.6 tons (51.3 mt)
Gun Length oa 360 in (9.144 m)
Bore Length 323.5 in (8.217 m)
Rifling Length 245.3 in (6.230 m)
Grooves 70
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire Ekaterina II: 1 shot every 3 min 50 seconds (by 1904 it was one shot every seven minutes)
Imperator Nikolai I: One shot every 4 minutes, 14 seconds


Type Bag
Projectile Types and Weights AP and HE: 731.3 lbs. (331.7 kg)
Shrapnel: 890 - 869 lbs. (390 - 394 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length AP and HE: 33.6 in (85.3 cm)
Propellant Charge AP and HE: 266.8 - 271 lbs. (121 -123 kg)
Shrapnel: 162.5 lbs. (73.7 kg)
Muzzle Velocity AP and HE: 1,870 fps (570 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun Gangut: 80 rounds
Others: N/A


Range with 731.3 lbs. (331.7kg) AP
Elevation Distance
10 degrees 12,010 yards (10,980 m)
6 degrees 5,570 yards (5,093 m)
? degrees 10,000 yards (9,150 m) 1
  • ^This is maximum distance given in the Range Tables, but the elevation is not noted.

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Twin Barbette Mount
Single Barbette Mount
Twin Turret Mount
Weight 114 - 158 tons (116 - 160 mt)
Elevation -5 / +15
Rate of Elevation Imperator Alexandr II: 3 degrees per second
Imperator Nikolai I: 0.6 degrees per second
Train About -100 / +100 degrees
Rate of Train As designed: 2 degrees per second
Imperator Alexandr II: 1.75 degrees per second
Gangut: 3 degrees per second
Gun Recoil Imperator Nikolai I: 37 in (94 cm)
Loading Angle N/A


Data from:

  • "Entsiklopedia Otechestvennoi Artillerii" (Encyclopedia of Fatherland [Russian] Artillery) by A.V. Shirokorad
  • "The Battleship Gangut" by L.I. Amirkhanov and A.V. Lukoshkov

Special help from Vladimir Yakubov

Page History

10 May 2006
16 May 2011
Added note about Iki, redid photograph of turret on Iki