The 3-Inch/50 gun has been with the USN since 1900 when surface fire mounts began to be placed on destroyers. With the development of combat aviation, a dual
purpose gun capable of surface and anti-aircraft fire was needed. The dual purpose gun arrived in 1915, when they were mounted on the USS Texas and
subsequent construction. In 1944 the USN developed the 3-Inch/50 Mk 22 gun. As World War Two progressed, enemy aircraft became larger and harder to bring
down. The 20mm Oerlikon was great in 1940 and 1941 but by 1944 they lacked punch. Even the 40mm Bofers mounts were lessening in ability. The Navy thought
that the Mk 22 was the answer. It was semi-automatic in that it had an automatic loader. A program was developed to replace twin Bofer mounts with single
3-Inch/50 Mk 22 guns and quadruple Bofer mounts with twin 3-Inch/50 Mk 22 mounts. These guns were in use from 1946 to 1950 and were fitted to
Essex Class
aircraft carriers and
Sumner and Gearing Class destroyers. Black Cat Models has produced a superb 1:350 scale 3-Inch/50 Mk 22. Four of these guns are
included in each pack. Each gun has two parts, the mount and the barrel.
Steve Backer