This paper examines the buckling and collapse of cylindrical shells under axial load with one end radially and tangentially fixed, with varying axial fixity, and the other end free. The bifurcation loads are found for elastic cylinders, while collapse loads are found for both elastic and elastic-perfectly plastic cylinders. The varying axial restraint is applied in the form of linear springs. The eigenvalue buckling loads are calculated with conditions matching those of a classical analysis. Bifurcation loads are shown to be a function of the axial restraint; as the axial restraint is increased, the bifurcation load increases dramatically, until it reaches that of a semi-infinite, open ended cylinder. A non-dimensional form of the axial spring stiffness is proposed, and shown to be applicable across a range of geometries.The collapse load and imperfection sensitivity of cylinders with the boundary conditions examined here is also found to be a function of the axial restraint. Cylinders with low axial restraint are shown to be imperfection insensitive, with collapse loads above, or close to, the bifurcation load. As the amount of axial restraint increases, the collapse behaviour displays a degree of imperfection sensitivity associated with more usual boundary conditions. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.