Applications: Ballistics

Sabre Ballistics, a Sydor Technologies company, is the world’s most comprehensive ballistic testing equipment manufacturer and consultancy. We provide complete ballistic testing systems and instrumentation—including comprehensive, integrated solutions for everything from project specifications, to range design and construction, to installation, to technical support and training.

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Our products and services can be used for critical testing applications in a wide range of military, commercial and scientific settings. So whether you need testing and analysis of munitions, impact testing for car windshields or helmets, or scientific experiments on launch and shock physics, Sabre Ballistics can provide the equipment and expertise you require.

Some of our typical applications include:

Powder Test Guns and Gas Launchers

Sabre Ballistics Measurement Systems are used for the control, development, testing and evaluation of weapons, ammunition and armor—and meeting a range of International Test Standards, including NATO, Stanag, CIP, JIP, and are particularly suited to undertaking EPVAT ammunition testing. We offer a variety of barrels and mounts covering a range of calibres from standard 5.56mm through to 40mm. Our barrels can be supplied in a thick-walled format, or drilled with holes to enable measurement of internal chamber pressure or more conventional barrel-accuracy testing requirements. Also, we can provide various types of weapon mounts to simulate human interaction, or allow the measurement of recoil forces.

In some customer facilities (such as university environments), it’s often difficult or impossible to use conventional powder weapons. So to fulfil test requirements in these situations, we can provide gas guns, which utilize helium at high pressure as the propelling medium, and provide a gas gun installation which can produce maximum muzzle energy of 900 Joules (equating to a 1grm projectile being launched at 900 m/s).

There are other application areas for powder guns and particularly gas guns. Examples of these include:

  • Bird guns (simulating bird strikes on aircraft)
  • FSP launchers (simulating fragment attack on personnel and personal protection equipment)
  • Animal scarers for farms and airports
  • Manufacturers of less lethal rounds for law enforcement agencies
  • Testing IED initiators (e.g., mobile telephones)
  • Door and lock enforcers
Ammunition and Weapon Verification

There are a number of verification criteria that new ammunition or new batches of ammunition must satisfy before they can be accepted into service. Particularly relevant to this application is NATO publication AEP-97, The MOPI document controlling the issue of 5.56mm, 7.62mm, 9mm and 12.7mm ammunition.

One of the more important aspects of ammunition production is that the bullet functions correctly when it is required to. To facilitate such testing requirements, Sabre offers a primer sensitivity rig. This equipment, utilizing a falling mass to strike the primer cap, ensures that the primer functions within the appropriate range.

Another important aspect of ammunition verification concerns the mounting of the bullet within the cartridge case. If the bullet is not properly constrained within the case, this can adversely affect the external ballistics of the bullet. Sabre Ballistics has designed specialized bullet pull test equipment capable of measuring the force required to extract the bullet from the cartridge case. This equipment can be fully computer-controlled, ensuring that both the rate and the force of extraction are measured precisely, and the data is stored digitally for subsequent analysis.

Waterproof testing is another important aspect of ammunition verification. In this test, ammunition is immersed in a waterbath from which the air is gradually evacuated until a vacuum is established. Bubbles released from the bullet indicate an unsatisfactory seal and that the ammunition may be deemed not fit for purpose.

Data Processing

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to record large quantities of information—but not so easy to display it in a format that can be easily assimilated. The standard applications for software products are the specific parameters listed in international test procedures (e.g., EPVAT, NIJ, CIP, Stanags). These are typically displayed in graphical and tabular format to incorporate information necessary to satisfy auditing requirements. Word and Excel formats are traditionally employed, but we can attempt to output data to meet your specific requirements—indeed, we offer custom software solutions and can transform your data into a format that can be readily and comprehensively analysed.

Product Worthiness

Once products are in the marketplace they often require continuous assessment to ensure they continue to meet original requirements, remain fit for purpose (efficacy), and that each new production batch is consistent with quality parameters (companies manufacturing to ISO-requirements commonly have to undergo such testing).

Our typical product worthiness applications range from safety helmet testing for the building industry; aircraft components testing for bird infiltration; safety footwear; vehicle safety airbags; and testing for spectacle manufacturers—yet Sabre Ballistics testing equipment could be suitable for any product which requires impact testing.

Product Materials Development

Personal body armor and personal protection devices are an important aspect of modern society. And such equipment requires extensive testing before it can be produced and proven suitable for issue. NIJ test procedures are often the basis for such testing, and we can provide a complete package of equipment that meets these demanding requirements.

In addition to our test instrumentation, Sabre Ballistics can also provide a broad range of target mounting equipment to allow efficient testing and evaluation to be performed by remotely controlling the impact point on the target.

Personal body armor design also requires rigorous testing against knife attack and other blade or spike devices. Sabre Ballistics offers a Stab Test Rig which enables a knife, or similar device, to be dropped under controlled, measured and safe conditions against the test material.

Some of the typical applications for product development testing include car windshields, Kevlar vests, aircraft components, personal protection equipment such as helmets, footwear, and safety goggles.

Strafing and Scoring Systems/Miss Distance Indicators

The Sabre Ground Scoring Target is a multi-role scoring system used for gunnery training and weapons assessment for ground targets. It can be fitted to static and moving targets and it reports shot positions around the target.

The system can detect the shock wave from supersonic projectiles and measure the projectile location through sensors placed within the targets. Telemetry is employed to transmit the scoring data to a base station in digital form, ready to be presented graphically with running totals, status and session information—so users can get immediate feedback.

The Sabre Ground Scoring Target equipment is highly ruggedized and has been designed for harsh environmental conditions for use in a naval, airborne or ground-forces arena.

Fragmentation Arena

When a submunition explodes at the target, it’s important to understand the fragmentation pattern of the device. The fragmentation arena system, developed by Sabre Ballistics, can help determine precise dispersal patterns—location, quantity and velocity—of all the fragments emanating from the explosive device. This is a fully computer-controlled system including multiple digital channels of recording capability. Additionally, the provision of high speed digital cameras, which can be incorporated into the equipment, can provide a valuable tool for understanding and developing the design characteristics of explosive devices.

Although this technology was developed for weapons testing, it is equally applicable in other situations where airborne fragments are produced, such as in fireworks manufacturing, mining, and building demolition.Other Areas

Other Areas

Other applications that could benefit from Sabre Ballistics equipment—and technical expertise—include:

  • Aircraft manufacturing
  • Personal protective equipment design and testing
  • Pistol and rifle clubs, score marking systems
  • Automobile crash testing
  • Avalanche initiation in mountainous regions
  • High-speed digital data recording
  • Oil and gas pressure installations
  • Explosive potential environments (such as dust, flour, cement)
  • Vibration- and shock-testing
  • Impulse noise testing
  • Environmental/noise vibration testing
  • ATEX testing
  • Mining, including explosive-driven mining
  • Building demolition by explosives