Thin-walled cylindrical shells are widely used in many industrial sectors as light structural elements. Determination of their buckling strength under various types of loading conditions is a crucial work for engineering design. Due to the needs of research of crashworthiness, dynamic buckling of cylindrical shells subjected to the strong axial impact becomes a frontier issue in recent years. The axial impact is a very complex dynamic process because of the coupling of multiple effects. In this paper, the buckling mechanism of cylindrical shells subjected to axial impact and the influences of boundary conditions, and energy absorption properties have been investigated by experiments.