The Model 1902 Field Gun (also named the M1905 3inch after a slight modification) was an American made Field Artillery piece that fired a 3in caliber 15lb shell. This was the first all steel manufactured Field Gun used by the US Army.
The Model 1902 Field Gun was among the first Field Guns to be fitted with recoil reducing components, which greatly improved the rate of fire of the M1902. The anti-recoil system absorbed the recoil energy with a system of springs which would then push the M1902 back into its original firing position, reducing the time it took to set up the M1902 for the next shot.
The M1902 was also developed to use an all steel breech loading and rifled barrel system, a new feature for American Field Artillery pieces. The use of steel was prompted by its strength compared to the conventional use of cast iron, as well as its relatively cheap cost (although iron remained slightly cheaper to obtain) and meant that the M1902 could cope with more powerful charges.
Another feature of the M1902 was the mounting of a protective shield infront of the breech. This would protect the crew from incoming fire as well as protection from any potential failure from the front end of the gun. The protective shield would eventually become standard across all field guns, however the M1902 was the first to be fitted with the shield from its production.
The M1902 was designed to fire a 15lb (6.8kg) shrapnel shell. This was of a heavier poundage than the older guns, in its role, could cope with (the use of steel provided this benefit) meaning that the M1902 could fire a shell (when taking note of the use of tighter rifling) at a greater muzzle velocity at a greater accuracy than any other Field Gun of American origin to that point. The M1902 could also fire a 15lb Explosive shell.
The M1902 Field Gun would first see action during the twilight of its existence, being used during the First World War (although very few would be used on the front line). The majority of M1902s would be used as training guns, which meant that newer Field Artillery pieces would be put straight into use, and meant that the M1902's service life lasted into the 1920's despite large developments in Field Gun design.
Several examples of the M1902's exist in several American states and military museums. Most examples are fully intact having been restored to some degree although a fair few, such as the example located in San Antonio, Texas, were left in their original state.