Essential Tools for Effective Impact Testing

Gas Gun

Do you need a firing mechanism that helps generate accurate impact data?

Are you trying to measure the impact of something unique and difficult to configure a test for? Is it a simple object or something more complex?

In any case, a Gas Gun is the projectile firing device needed for measuring impacts of various objects traveling at specific speeds. Impact testing is in fact very broad requirement, involving everything from a baseball hitting a helmet, simulated hail cracking windshields, to a certain calibre bullet impacting armour.

Gas Gun

However, even though there are universal receivers and test barrels for accurately measuring the impact of various types of ammunition. A Gas Gun can be the ideal alternative solution for firing and measuring the impact of various man-made and natural projectiles.

Key Characteristics needed in a Gas Gun solution:


The gas gun design provides the flexibility required to configure the system to satisfy some of the most demanding test scenarios.

Accessories can include

  • Barrels ranging from 4.5mm (.17”) to 40mm (1.5”)
  • Booster System to allow for full power shots (up to 300 bar {4350 PSI}) with near empty gas cylinders
  • Firing Tunnels and Target Chambers for non-range firing locations
  • Variety of Velocity Measurement and Data Acquisition systems.


The design of the gas gun allows for use with 3 commercially accessible gases;

  • Helium
  • Nitrogen
  • Compress Air

The velocity and power of the projectile can be adjusted:

  • Adjusting the regulator valve to allow a higher or lower amount of gas into the firing chamber
  • Changing the type of gas, Helium being the least dense will provide faster velocities, with Compressed air providing the slowest velocities, however Compressed Air and Nitrogen are more cost effective
ProjectileBarrel Length (mm)RifledApprox. Bore Size (mm)Speed (m/s)
2 Grain RCC775Yes5.56873
4 Grain RCC775Yes5.56812
16 Grain RCC1500Yes7.62900
17 Grain RCC1500Yes7.62950
64 Grain RCC770Yes12.7425
.357 MagnumUnknownUnknown.360435
14.6mm Custom Projectile1000Yes14.5300


  • Having the ability to consistently provide the same starting pressure for projectiles reduces the margin of error between shots.
  • Ability to replicate shots with ease.
  • With powder fueled projectiles from a weapon system, manufacturing tolerances may cause much larger variations

Field Tested

Having consistent and repeatable results over a period of years can aid either in the Quality Assurance of a developed or in development product, or allow external ranges to verify your test results.

Manufactured In-house

Sydor has expertise in complex measurement, and manufactures a gas gun system as well. This means that the Gas Gun system you acquire from Sydor is fully supported and if required, can be adapted to your specific needs prior to delivery.

Take Aways

When it comes to impact testing, the needs of specific tests can vary greatly, pushing the boundaries of gas gun configuration and performance requirements. This is why a gas gun must provide a high level of flexibility for various scenarios, along with adjustable power, consistent performance, and support from the manufacturer of the device that has a design that has been field tested with measured results spanning years in the real world.

Look for the next blog article in about 2 weeks! In the next installment we will dive deeper into Gas Gun best practices and common target types.

Topics include:

  • Personal Armour Testing
    • Including Helmets, Jackets and Armour
  • Composite Fabrics
    • Used in Armour Manufacture
    • Used In Aerospace
    • Used in Performance Motorsports
  • Glazing
    • For High speed commuter transport.