By the middle of the 1890s, the Spanish Naval Ministry was investigating a replacement for the obsolete 28 cm Hontoria gun, which was at the time the standard weapon for most of their larger ships. Brigadier de Artilleria de la Armada Don Enrique Guillen, with the help of the French armament firm of Schneider, designed a more modern weapon based on previous Hontoria and Canet designs. The mountings for these weapons used electric motors for most functions.

The Italian-built Cristobal Colon was to be armed with these guns, but she was sunk during the Spanish-American War before they could be installed.

Although more were planned, a total of six guns were actually built and delivered. Two were made by Schneider in France and the other four at the Carraca Arsenal factory in Spain.

Some of these guns were later used as coastal artillery, as can be seen in the photographs below.

Constructed of A tube, half length sleeve and four jackets covered with another layer of jackets over the full length of the barrel. Actual overall length was 42.5 calibers.

Gun Characteristics

Designation 24 cm/42 (9.45") Guillen Model 1896
Ship Class Used On Cardenal Cisneros, Principe de Asturias, Cataluna, Emperador Filippe II, Cristobal Colon
Date Of Design about 1894
Date In Service 1900
Gun Weight 22.5 tons (23 mt) not including breech mechanism
Gun Length oa 401.6 in (10.200 m)
Bore Length about 373 in (9.480 m)
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire about 1 round per minute


Type Bag
Projectile Types and Weights AP: 445.3 lbs. (202 kg)
Common: 440.9 lbs (200 kg)
Bursting Charge N/A
Projectile Length N/A
Propellant Charge 165 lbs. (75 kg) CSP2 1
Muzzle Velocity 2,997 fps (700 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun N/A
  • ^Propellant was in two bags.


Range with 330.7 lbs. (150 kg) AP
Elevation Distance Striking Velocity Angle of Fall
2.5 degrees 4,590 yards (4,200 m) 1,690 fps (515 mps) 3.35
5.0 degrees 7,330 yards (6,700 m) 1,296 fps (395 mps) 7.98
7.5 degrees 9,300 yards (8,500 m) 1,115 fps (340 mps) 13.15
10.0 degrees 9,140 yards (10,000 m) 1,033 fps (315 mps) 18.30
15.0 degrees 13,450 yards (12,300 m) 984 fps (300 mps) 27.68
20.0 degrees 15,310 yards (14,000 m) 968 fps (295 mps) 35.65

This table is a result of calculations, not actual firing trials.

Armor Penetration

Armor penetration with 330.7 lbs. (150 kg) AP against Krupp Armor
Range Side Armor Deck Armor
4,590 yards (4,200 m) 9.8 in (248 mm) 0.2 in (4 mm)
7,330 yards (6,700 m) 6.6 in (168 mm) 0.4 in (10 mm)
9,300 yards (8,500 m) 5.2 in (133 mm) 0.7 in (17 mm)
9,140 yards (10,000 mps) 4.5 in (115 mm) 0.9 in (24 mm)
13,450 yards (12,300 m) 3.8 in (96 mm) 1.5 in (38 mm)
15,310 yards (14,000 m) 3.3 in (84 mm) 2.0 in (52 mm)

These values are from calculations using Jacob-de-Marr's armor penetration formula.

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Emperador Filippe II (2): Twin barbette
Cristobal Colon (2): Single barbettes
Weight N/A
Elevation about -5 / +20 degrees
Elevation Rate N/A
Train about -125 / +125 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A
Loading Angle N/A

Mountings were designed by Canet.

Additional Pictures

Breech engraving reads as follows:

Engraving Explanation
24 cm GUILLEN M 1896 24 cm Guillen Model 1896
SCHNEIDER & C AU CREUSOT Built at the Schneider and Company works at Le Creusot, France
No. 3133 Serial number 3133
1898 Built in 1898
No 2 PESO 23726 Number 2 gun, Gun weight of 23,726 kg (52,307 lbs.)


Data from:

  • "Ships of the Spanish Navy" by Juan Luis Coello-Lillo and Agustin Rodriguez-Gonzalez
  • "Pocketbook of Fighting Navies" by B. Weyer

Special help from Javier Villarroya del Real and Nicholas W. Mitiuckov.

Page History

24 November 2008
26 January 2009
Fixed typographical