An analysis based on elastic rod theory is given for the early-time axisymmetric response of pointed penetrators. Results of measurements by laser interferometry of the back surface particle velocity of laboratory scale penetrators impacted by sandstone targets are presented. Values of the initial pressure on the penetrator tip are determined which give good agreement between the analytical and experimental results. These initial tip pressures are found to be approximated by the stress-particle velocity Hugoniot for the target material.

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