Indoor ballistics range facility

This specialist facility offers a small-arms ballistics and fragment firing capability to assess the ballistic effects of weapon performance.

The indoor ballistics range allows Dstl to undertake vital protection studies and has played a key role in informing the development of armour and protection systems for UK armed forces, especially during the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Based at Porton Down, the range provides Dstl with a unique capability to evaluate the effects of injury on the human body and enables research teams to bring together ballistics technologies with injury models, such as the blunt impact head injury model, to develop methods of protection and medical management.

The results of tests done at this advanced facility help provide better protection for UK military personnel.

Dstl’s indoor ballistics range

The facility includes:

  • 10m x 10m enclosed firing chamber
  • tunnel up to 100m in length
  • 50m low velocity ballistics range
  • Fragment firing room

The range also has instrumentation for the collection of data from trials, and high-speed video recording equipment. Other capabilities include a special rig for testing body armour and the ability to alter the speed of projectiles by adjusting their charge. The range also provides capability to test other items requiring a controlled environment of up to 100m in length.

Managed and run by specialists at Dstl, the facility is also available to other government departments for use. For further information, please contact

Published 17 March 2015