This paper reports on theoretical and experimental investigations into the buckling characteristics of a series of six ring-stiffened circular cylinders that experienced general instability when subjected to external hydrostatic pressure. Each study used between 3-5 designs with the same internal and external diameters, but with different numbers and sizes of ring-stiffeners. Four used designs that were machined to a high degree of precision from steel, while the other two were machined from aluminium alloy. The theoretical investigations focused on obtaining critical buckling pressure values, namely Pcr, for each design from the well-known Kendrick’s Part I and Part III theories, together with an ANSYS finite element prediction. The thinness ratio λ1, which was originally derived by the senior author, was calculated together with a dimensionless quantity called the plastic knockdown factor (PKD), for each model. The plastic knockdown factor was calculated by dividing the theoretical critical buckling pressures Pcr, by the experimental buckling pressures Pexp. The thinness ratio was used because vessels such as these, which have small but significant random out-of-circularity, defy “exact” theoretical analysis and it is because of this that the design charts were produced. Three design charts were constructed by plotting the reciprocal of the thinness ratio (1/ λ1) against the plastic knockdown factor (Pcr / Pexp), using results from Kendrick Part I, Kendrick Part III, and ANSYS. Comparison of the results obtained using Kendrick’s theories and experimentally obtained results was good.