In this study dynamic buckling behaviors of an aluminum alloy cylindrical shell with axial linear variable thickness, discontinuity and conical shaped have been numerically investigated for high velocity impact by means of finite element method. The validation of finite element model was provided by the results of previous studies in literature. Throughout study commerce finite element package program LS-DYNA3D was used and all simulations were fulfilled as explicitly. According to results obtained, the minor changes in the geometry are able to convert the dynamic plastic buckling into dynamic progressive buckling behavior. This study indicates that which of the dynamic buckling or progressive buckling mechanism will be dominant is sensitive to geometrical properties for cylindrical aluminum alloy shells under the high velocity impact. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.