Ballistics Testing

Ballistics Testing

Ballistics testing is a critical component of the QA processes associated with MIL-STD-810 and other regulatory guidelines. At NTS, we have more than 50 years of experience helping defense contractors meet these challenges while developing more effective tools and technologies for America’s troops. With a number of ballistics testing facilities throughout the country, we specialize in meeting your project’s requirements in a safe and cost-effective manner. Our team of in-house engineers is comprised of recognized experts in their field, and our testing labs are equipped with some of the most sophisticated measurement and analysis tools available today.

NTS Ballistic Test LabsBallistic Gel for Testing

NTS maintains multiple ballistics ranges used for materials, components, and systems impact testing using pistol, rifle ammunition, and Fragment Simulating Projectiles (FSP). Service and loaded velocities are available for proof and ballistic limit testing.

The following NTS facilities feature ballistics testing equipment suitable for wide range of simulation and certification purposes:

  • NTS Camden: NTS Camden hosts the National Ordinance and Ballistics Test Center, a modern, fully equipped weapons testing lab featuring several different firing ranges, a warhead test arena, rocket range and more. In addition to ballistics testing, NTS Camden is a multidisciplinary testing facility offering cost-effective environmental and climatic simulation, dynamics testing and other services.
  • NTS Chesapeake: located northeastern Maryland near Aberdeen Proving Ground, our Chesapeake facility is a state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot laboratory providing ballistic experimentation and non-destructive testing services in support of munitions and protection systems.  
  • NTS Wichita: NTS Wichita features three ballistics test ranges, each of which is large enough to test full-scale products. All ranges employ advanced technologies for velocity measurement, including fully redundant Oehler Model 55 chronographs and Model 34 ballistic computers, as well as Doppler measuring technology. A protected viewing room is available for remotely launching ballistic tests using a pneumatic triggering device.
  • NTS Dana Point: The NTS testing lab in Dana Point, California is a national leader in interior ballistics modeling. Test facilities include the ability to perform sophisticated projectile and rocket motor analysis and performance modeling, including trajectory simulation, aerodynamic analyses and more.
  • NTS Rustburg: NTS Rustburg offers a number of relevant testing services for naval defense contractors, including environmental and dynamic simulation, with an emphasis on shock and vibration.

All NTS ranges have the ability to fire a wide range of projectiles. Unless factory loaded rounds are requested all rounds are hand-loaded to ensure precision and accuracy. Projectiles used at include:

  • Ball and armor piercing projectiles
  • Ball and armor piercing incendiary projectiles
  • Fragment Simulator Projectiles
    • .22-cal
    • .30-cal
    • .50-cal
    • 20-mm
  • Right Circular Cylinders
    • 2-gr through 64-gr
  • Light gas gun operations for fragmentation low velocity tests (<1,300 ft/sec)

NTS utilizes the most advanced equipment and instrumentation available. These include:

  • FARO laser scanners and point probes
  • Doppler Radar System for continuous velocity measurements
  • High speed cameras (color & monochrome)
    • 1ms exposure, up to 100,000 frames per second
    • 2D & 3D video analysis (velocity tracking)
  • Highly accurate and calibrated velocity measurement equipment
    • Optical screens
    • Magnetic screens (for small fragments)
    • Paper break screens for special requirements
  • Ballistic Clay and Gel testing (US Army, FBI, DEA, DHS)

In-Door Ballistic Ranges

NTS has eleven indoor ballistic ranges. The majority of our ranges measure 15' x 70' in accordance with NIJ standards. Additionally, our larger indoor range measures 18' x 102' and is designed to accommodate large caliber, 30-mm and specialty weapon system testing. This large indoor range also has drive-in capability for vehicle testing and large component/sub systems. Each range has an independent HVAC system with an advanced HEPA filtration system that exceeds EPA and OSHA standards for air quality.

Each range has its own loading/firing room and data collection/management area. Here is where NTS technicians and customers can safely watch and evaluate each shot in work space connected to each range. The customer rooms are equipped with the most up-to date electronic technology including Wi-Fi so that customers can bring their office with them as testing is conducted. Ranges are also equipped with video cameras that transmit range activities to viewing screens in the firing room. With the investment in safety, customers are encouraged to be present in the firing room to observe their testing.

For more information about ballistics testing services at any NTS facility or to request a free quote for your project, contact our head office today. We will work to provide fast, cost-effective service that meets your timelines and your budget.