Based on the cavity expansion theory, an analysis model of normal penetration of slender nose projectile into armor targets was established, and the variation relation curve of penetration depth and initial velocity when initial velocity is below ballistic limit was obtained. By carrying out ballistic impact test using 85mm smoothbore gun, various projectile nose shapes and armor target thickness and their effect on damage were considered. The research results have indicated that the damage of target is mainly ductile reaming and the shape of crater is almost the same as the projectile nose embedded in the target. Within a relatively low velocity range, nose shape has a greater influence on penetration depth. In contrast, within a relatively high velocity range, the target thickness has a greater influence on penetration depth. It can provide theoretical basis for the design of projectile noses and analysis of anti-penetration performance of armor targets.