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Smooth bore cannons were used to produce plane collisions between plates of Armco iron. Projectile velocities ranged from 60 to 400 m/sec. Time resolved measurements of the target free‐surface velocities indicate that the dynamic yielding process is time dependent on a submicrosecond time scale. The shape of the Hugoniot curve in the pressure‐volume plane up to 80 kbars shows that true hydrostatic equilibrium has not yet been established behind the elastic wave. On the other hand the substantially constant free‐surface velocities behind the plastic front indicate that the material cannot be far from equilibrium after a short time. Some data on the rarefaction sound speed in the high pressure region are interpreted to imply a value very near 6 km/sec.