The 1902 3-inch gun was the Army’s first steel, rifled, breech loading, recoiling field gun.
These characteristics dramatically improved the range, accuracy, and rate of fire of artillery weapons, allowing them to be used more effectively in operations with infantry. These new capabilities allowed guns to provide accurate indirect fire on targets not in a direct line of sight, providing crucial firepower for infantry attacks. It was also one of the first artillery guns to have an armored shield to protect the crew from small arms fire.
General Pershing brought several guns with him during the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916-17 but they were not fired in combat.
The M1902 was used from 1905-1917. During World War I, the Army used the French 75s instead of the M1902s, which were kept in the states for training. They were phased out in the 1920s.
Caliber: 3 inches
Ammunition: Shrapnel or Explosive
Shell Weight: 15 Pounds
Muzzle Velocity: 1700 ft/sec Effective
Range: 6500 yards
Maximum Range: 8500 yards
Maximum Rate of Fire: 15 rounds/minute