A new spring mass crash sensor has been designed which employs a novel method of gas damping. The damping is accomplished in a way which is quite forgiving to manufacturing tolerances thus reducing the overall cost of the device. Rather than using the gas damping to achieve a constant velocity threshold level, the threshold is made quite large for short duration impulses such as those arising from maintenance shocks, thrown rocks and undercarriage strikes. Thus, the need for a safing sensor is eliminated. Evaluation of this sensor is now taking place at a number of automobile manufacturers. A possibility exists that because of the extreme design flexibility afforded by this sensor, a single sensor system can be made. The sensor now has electrical output but straightforward modifications are now being made to design a version with mechanical output for use in purely pyrotechnic systems.