A pulsed water jet consists of a series of discrete water slugs travelling at high velocity. Immediately after striking a target, these slugs apply high-intensity, short-duration transient stress pulses reaching an amplitude known as the water hammer pressure, followed by low-intensity, long-duration stationary stress at a lower stagnation pressure. The magnitude and duration of the water hammer and stagnation pressures are controlled by the size and quality of the water slugs. The use of water jets for rock cutting in mining operations is a centuries-old technology; however, practical methods for producing high-energy water slugs repeatedly have proven difficult. This can be partly due to the fact that the geometrical properties of a jet and so its effectiveness in creating damage is controlled and influenced by the method that is employed to generate the water slugs. This paper investigates the quality of a single water slug produced using an impacting technique where a hammer strikes a piston, resting on top of a water-filled chamber. The coherence and integrity of the jet core was of concern in this study. The impact impulse of the formed water jet was measured in a Kel-F target material using an embedded PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride) shock gauge. The recorded stress waveform was then used to determine the unity and endurance of the water slug stream once travelled through air. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.