8-inch M1888

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8 inch M1888MIA1 railway gun
M1918 8 inch railway gun.jpg
8 inch M1888MIA1 railway gun
Type Railway gun
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1918–1946
Used by United States
Wars World War I,
World War II
Production history
Designed 1888
Manufacturer various
Number built 47 ordered, 18 produced?
Weight 33,700 Lbs.
Length 40'6" (car)

Shell separate loading HE, and AP.
Caliber 8-inch
Breech Interrupted screw, step cut
Recoil Hydrospring
Carriage M1918MI railway
Elevation 42 degrees
Traverse 360 degrees
Feed system hand

The 8-inch Gun M1888MIA1 Barbette carriage M1918 on railway car M1918MI was a U.S. Army coast artillery gun, used during World War I, and World War II.


The M1888 8 in (203.20 mm) gun was a coastal artillery gun mounted on a barbette carriage. At the start of World War I, the United States and its allies needed a medium range heavy artillery piece that could be transported easily. The quick solution was to take the existing coast artillery guns and mount them on a drop bed rail car. This was done with a number of different weapons, like the 10 in (254.00 mm), and 12 in (304.80 mm) guns, as well as mortars.


Model Size Length Weight
M1888 Rifle 8 in (203.20 mm) 278.5 in (7,073.90 mm) 32,218 lb (14,614 kg)
M1888MI Rifle 8 in (203.20 mm) 278.5 in (7,073.90 mm) 32,218 lb (14,614 kg)
M1888MII Rifle 8 in (203.20 mm) 278.5 in (7,073.90 mm) 33,200 lb (15,059 kg)
MkVI-M3A2 Rifle 8 in (203.20 mm) 369.12 in (9,375.65 mm) 42,000 lb (19,051 kg)

Sighting and fire control equipment[edit]

The following sighting equipment was used with the gun.

  • M1 fire adjustment board
  • M1A1 Range correction board
  • M3 Spotting board
  • M1912 Clinometer
  • M1 Percentage corrector
  • M1A1 Height finder, or M2A1
  • M8 Helium filling kit
  • M1 Gunners quadrant
  • M1818 Aiming rule
  • M1 prediction scale
  • Bore site
  • Firing table, 8-G-2
  • M1923 Telescope
  • M1922 Panoramic telescope

Support cars[edit]

  • M1918 fire control car
  • Ammunition car (modified box car)

Surviving examples[edit]

  • One 8-inch Gun M1888MIA1 (#32 Watervliet) on Barbette Carriage M1918MI (#9 Morgan Eng.)

Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa, FL (gun formerly at Battery Bowyer, Fort Morgan, AL)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]