Description

The origins of this weapon go back to 1929, when the design of a 130 mm/45 (5.1") submarine "wet-mount" gun was started. This weapon was to have high barrel pressure in order to match the performance of the 130 mm/55 (5.1") Pattern 1913 gun. However, this design turned out to be too big for the "Pravda" class submarines. For that reason, the design was modified to allow it to be used on destroyers. Changes included lengthening the barrel to 50 calibers and lowering the barrel pressure. Wet mount features, such as using fixed ammunition, were also dropped in order to reduce the cost of this weapon. After many delays, the weapon was tested and accepted into service in 1936. Curiously, serial production actually started in May 1935. This might have been due to the fact that the Destroyer Leader Leningrad was launched in 1933 but had remained incomplete awaiting delivery of these guns.

The desire to keep the same ballistics as the 13 cm/55 (5.1") gun led to an increased barrel pressure, which in turn led to a very short barrel life of only 130 rounds. This meant that Pr. 1 Leaders and Pr. 7/7U Destroyers couldn't even empty their magazines a single time before needing to change out the barrel. After many design changes (including trying to manufacture a polygonal gun barrel), the remedy was found to be making a liner with deeper grooves. The original liner had 1.0 mm (0.039") deep grooves, while the new liner had 2.7 mm (0.106") deep grooves. In the end the fleet was equipped with what amounted to be three different guns, a design with 1.0 mm (0.039") grooves, a design with 1.95 mm (0.077") grooves and a design with 2.7 mm (0.106") grooves. Unfortunately, this meant that the guns, ammunition and range tables were all incompatible with each other, which greatly complicated the logistics for these weapons. By 1941 there were 378 guns in service, most of which were of the deepest groove type.

These weapons were widely used in World War II and remained in production until 1954 with a grand total of 1,199 guns being manufactured.

Prior to the start of World War II a development of the DP version of the B-2 turret was started. This turret was designated as B-2-U (U meaning Universal'naya - Universal). It was to use a barrel extended to 55 calibers. These turrets were intended to be used on the next generation of destroyers and destroyer leaders, but the war stopped the project and none were built.

Overall this was a good destroyer gun in its later incarnations. However, it was only slightly lighter than the older 13 cm/55 (5.1") Pattern 1913 and had a breech mechanism that never seemed to work properly.

Early guns were monobloc but later guns changed to a loose liner.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 130 mm/50 (5.1") B13 Pattern 1936
Ship Class Used On Leningrad (Pr. 1), Minsk (Pr. 38), Baku (Pr. 38bis), Tashkent (Pr. 20) , Project 47 and Project 48 class DLs
Gnevnyi (Pr.7), Storozhevoi (Pr.7U), Opitnyi (Pr. 45), Ognyevoi (Pr. 30 in all its incarantions), Project 35 and Project 40 Class DDs
Khasan (Pr. 1190), Shilka (Pr. SB-30) class monitors
Also used on auxiliary ships, river craft, coastal batteries and railway guns
Date Of Design 1929-35
Date In Service 1936
Gun Weight 5.0 tons (5.07 mt)
Gun Length oa 259.1 in (6.581 m)
Bore Length 253.9 in (6.450 m)
Rifling Length 204.7 in (5.199 m)
Grooves 40
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume 17.53 dm3
Rate Of Fire B-13 Single Mount: 6 - 10 rounds per minute
B-2LM Twin Mount: 12 rounds per minute
B-2LMT Twin Mount: 10-12 rounds per minute
B-28 Twin Mount: 6 -10 rounds per minute
B-2-U Twin DP Mount: 13 rounds per minute

Ammunition

Type Separate
Projectile Types and Weights 1 SAP mod 1928 (PB-46A): 73.9 lbs. (33.5 kg)
SAP mod 1928 (PB-46): 73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg)
HE mod 1828 (F-46): 73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg)
HE-FRAG mod 1928 (OF-46): 73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg)
HE-FRAG mod 1928 (OFU-46): 75.3 lbs. (34.17 kg)
AA mod 1928 (ZS-46): 73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg)
AA (ZS-46R): 74.5 lbs. (33.8 kg)
Diving: 73.1 lbs. (33.15 kg)
Starshell (SB-46): 76.1 lbs. (34.5 kg)
Starshell (SP-46): 72 lbs. (32.67 kg)
Anti-Radiation
Bursting Charge SAP mod 1928 (PB-46A): 5.18 lbs. (2.35 kg)
SAP mod 1928 (PB-46): 3.68 lbs. (1.67 kg)
HE mod 1828 (F-46): 5.98 lbs. (2.71 kg)
HE-FRAG mod 1928 (OF-46): 7.89 lbs. (3.58 kg)
HE-FRAG mod 1928 (OFU-46): 5.95 lbs. (2.7 kg)
AA mod 1928 (ZS-46): 5.82 lbs. (2.64 kg)
AA (ZS-46R): 4.67 lbs. (2.12 kg)
Diving: 14.24 lbs. (6.46 kg)
Starshell (SB-46): 0.07 lbs. (0.03 kg)
Starshell (SP-46): 0.11 lbs. (0.05 kg)
Anti-Radiation: none
Projectile Length SAP mod 1928 (PB-46A): 5 calibers
SAP mod 1928 (PB-46): 4.82 calibers
HE mod 1828 (F-46): 4.9 calibers
HE-FRAG mod 1928 (OF-46): 5.15 calibers
HE-FRAG mod 1928 (OFU-46): 5 calibers
AA mod 1928 (ZS-46): 5 calibers
AA (ZS-46R): 4.9 calibers
Diving: 4.98 calibers
Starshell (SB-46): 4.9 calibers
Starshell (SP-46): 4.4 calibers
Propellant Charge Combat: 24.25 lbs. (11 kg)
Reduced: 11.02 lbs. (5 kg)
Special for Diving round: 2.05 lbs. (0.93 kg)
Special for Starshell: 16.98 lbs. (7.7 kg)
Muzzle Velocity
  • B-13 with shallow grooves
    • SAP mod 1911: 2700 fps (823 mps)
    • SAP, HE, HE-FRAG, AA: 2855 fps (870 mps)
    • Diving: 780 fps (237.7 mps)
    • Starshell: 2215 fps (675 mps)
  • B-13 with medium grooves
    • SAP: 2855 fps (870 mps)
  • B-13 with large grooves
    • SAP, HE, HE-FRAG, AA: 2855 fps (870 mps)
    • Diving: 780 fps (238 mps)
    • Starshell: 2215 fps (675 mps)
    • Anti-Radar: 2460 fps (750 mps)
Working Pressure 3000 kg/cm2
Approximate Barrel Life Shallow grooves: 130 rounds
Deep grooves: 1100 rounds
Ammunition stowage per gun Pr. 7 DDs: 100 rounds
150 rounds for the rest
  1. ^There were many different types of ammunition for these guns, as well as needing to be of three different styles depending upon the groove depth.

Range

B-13 with Shallow Grooves

Range with various shells
Shell Elevation Distance
SAP mod 1911 45 degrees 22,245 yards (20,341 m)
73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg) (PB-46), (OF-46), (OFU-46) 28,140 yards (25,731 m)
73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg) AA mod 1928 24402 yards (22,314 m)
73.1 lbs. (33.15 kg) Diving 3.500 yards (3,200 m)
76.1 lbs. (34.5 kg) Star Shell (SB-46) 11,601 yards (10.608 m)

B-13 with Medium Grooves

Range with 73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg) SAP mod 1928
Elevation Distance
45 degrees 27,903 yards (25,515 m)

B-13 with Deep Grooves

Range with various shells
Shell Elevation Distance
73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg) (PB-46), (PB-46A), (OF-46), (F-46) 45 degrees 27,993 yards (25,597 m)
73.6 lbs. (33.4 kg) AA mod 1928 24402 yards (22,314 m)
73.1 lbs. (33.15 kg) Diving 3.401 yards (3,110 m)

Mount/Turret Data

Designation
  • Single Mount B-13
    • Pr. 1 Leningrad class
    • Pr. 38 Minsk class
    • Pr. 38bis Baku class
    • Pr. 7 Gnevnyi class
    • Pr. 7U Storozhevoi class
    • Pr. 45 Opitnyi
    • Pr. 20 Tashkent (before B-2LM turrets became available)
  • Twin Mount B-2LM
    • Pr. 20 Tashkent
    • Pr. 7U/30 Storozhevoi
    • Pr. 30, 30K, 30bis
    • Project 48 DLs
    • Project 35 DDs
  • Twin Mount B-2LMT
    • Monitors Sivash and Perekop
    • Monitors Shilka class
  • Twin Mount B-28
    • Monitor Khasan
  • Twin DP mount B-2-U
    • MK series of light cruiser proposals
    • Project 40 DDs
    • Project 47 armored DLs
    • A mid-war Marat restoration proposal
Weight B-13: 11.8 tons (12.0 mt)
B-2LM: 48.23 tons (49 mt)
B-2LMT: 89.48 tons (90.9 mt)
B-28: 82.39 tons (83.7 mt)
B-2-U: 47.64 tons (48.4 mt)
Elevation All: -5 / +45 degrees
B-2-U: -6 / +85 degrees
Rate of Elevation B-13: 5 degrees per second
B-2LM: 9.85 degrees per second
B-2LMT: 10 degrees per second
B-28: 6 degrees per second
B-2-U: 12 degrees per second
Train about -150 / +150 degrees
Rate of Train B-13: 5 degrees per second
B-2LM: 9.7 degrees per second
B-2LMT: 10 degrees per second
B-28: 8 degrees per second
B-2-U: 20 degrees per second
Gun Recoil 19.68 to 19.88 in (50 to 50.5 cm)
Loading Angle All except Twin Mount B-28: Any angle
Twin Mount B-28: 0 / +45 degrees

Additional Pictures

External Pictures

130 mm/50 B13 at Moscow Victory Park
Pictures by Vladimir Yakubov

Sources

Data from:

  • "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
  • "Sovetskie Boevye Korabli 1941-45: IV Vooruzhnie" (Soviet Warships 1941-45: Volume IV Armament) by A.V. Platonov
  • "Entsiklopedia Otechestvennoi Artillerii" (Encyclopedia of Fatherland (Russian) Artillery) by A.V. Shirokorad
  • "Destroyers of World War Two" and "Cruisers of World War Two" both by M.J. Whitley

Special help from Vladimir Yakubov