8 inch Coast Gun

8 inch Coast Gun

The 8 inch Coast Gun was an ex-naval Mark 8 gun acquired by the army. Only two batteries were built in the UK at Capel and Hougham in the Folkestone/Dover area. Each mounted three guns. They were in service from 1942 until 1952.
The guns were 50 calibres in length and of conventional design. The mountings were fully powered including breech opening and ramming. They had a remarkable maximum elevation of 70º. Although this was not of any use for coast defence it was put to use in an anti-aircraft role. Whether the 8 inch Coast Gun was effective in this role or not, nobody knows.


Mark 8Wire wound. Fitted with washout & air blast gear
Mark 8*Built up construction without wire
Mark 8**The inner “A” tube tapered to ease withdrawl


Weight of Gun & Breech Mechanism38,528 lbs
Total length413.1 inches
Length of Bore400 inches (50 calibres)
Rifling48 grooves, uniform Right Hand 1/30
Breech mechanismParallel screw, hand or hydraulic operation, electric fired
Elevation-3º to +70º
Traverse80º right & left
Recoil systemHydropneumatic , constant 24 inches


Firing standard 256 lbs APC Shell

Muzzle velocity2,725 feet per second
Maximum range29,200 yards


Nose fuzed, TNT filledConventional nose-fuzed with Lyddite filling. Fitted with
Percussion Fuze No. 45P
Propelling chargeFilled with 2,500 lead/antimony balls & 2 lbs gunpowder
expelling charge. Mostly used in practice & obsolete
during the war
Propelling chargeSingle bag charge of 66 lbs Cordite with gun powder igniter in base
The Royal Artillery 1939-45