What is Ballistic Knife? Everything You Need To Know!

A ballistic knife is a knife that has a detachable blade and is propelled by a spring-operated system. The blade, when ejected, can go several feet when you switch a lever on the handle or press a trigger.

If you’ve heard about these knives and would like to know more, this article is just for you. We’ll give you all the information you need about ballistic knives and how they’re used. So let’s hop in, shall we?

What Are Ballistic Knives?

A ballistic knife, as you may have guessed from its name, is a knife that shoots. It fires its blade just like a gun ejects a bullet. Some say it has helped fill the gap between guns and knives.

Additionally, some tactical magazines have advertised it as possessing the ability to kill swiftly and silently. This feature makes it frightening to career politicians, media houses, the general public, and those who naturally fear weapons. That’s why ballistic knives are unavailable to the general public even today.

It’s important to note that ballistic knives are as dangerous as switchblade knives which were banned in 1958.

History of Ballistic Knives

This knife was the special weapon for Spetsnaz, a Russian special force. A Russian company called Ostblock made these knives and provided them to the Spetsnaz groups in large numbers throughout the 1980s. However, in the early 1980s, unlicensed forms of these knives were seen in the United States.

The knife’s blade can travel 15 feet at a speed of 40 mph with just a single push. This is why the Spetsnaz soldiers used these knives when they were unable to meet up with their target.

Some of the training routines for the Spetsnaz soldiers included throwing ballistic knives to remove their target without any noise. The knives were then nicknamed the silent killers because of this feature.

The military planners who trained the Spetsnaz soldiers noticed that the ballistic knives were simple to design and use. Also, less practice was needed to learn to throw this knife.

Types of Ballistic Knives

The types of ballistic knives available today vary depending on the manufacturer and design. Generally, ballistic knives are divided into two categories: spring-loaded knives and gas-powered knives.

Spring-loaded ballistic knives are typically the most common type and use a spring-loaded mechanism to propel the blade from its handle. Gas-powered ballistic knives, on the other hand, use a gas-powered system to launch the blade from its handle.

The design and construction of both types of knives may also vary significantly. For instance, some ballistic knives have a detachable blade that can be ejected by pressing a trigger, while others have a permanently attached blade.

Additionally, some ballistic knives feature handles made out of various materials, such as wood, plastic, or metal. Additionally, the blades of some ballistic knives may be made out of different materials, such as stainless steel or titanium.

Using a Ballistic Knife

A ballistic knife is a hybrid tool. Besides being used as a projectile once the blade is locked in and then pressing the pin, it could be used as a standard tool for cutting when it’s not locked in.

When using this knife as a projectile, you have to learn how to fire it effectively. First, you grab it as a tool to stab with to give your enemy the impression that he’s at a safe distance. Then you press the trigger. The blade would fly from the knife with a strong force at 15 feet to pierce clothing and shields.

But keep in mind that the shock released by the knife because of the expansion of the spring sometimes leads to misfiring. So to ensure your blade transmitted a killing blow, you have to target a close range within a few feet.

Though some controversies are surrounding the use of these knives, you’ll find them useful in self-defense, animal hunting, enforcing security, and comical and artistic purposes.

Also, if you’re making your way through a forest, a ballistic knife can come in handy, helping you cut branches in your way. In addition, the knife is typically used during adventurous trips and outdoor events.

Although you can use the blade without needing to fire it, note that it’s still sharp and lethal, even to the user, just like any other knife.

Are They Illegal?

Due to the risks associated with ballistic knives, they are illegal in many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In the United States, the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958 prohibits the import, manufacture, sale, and possession of ballistic knives.

In 1986, ballistic knives were banned across the US. Nowadays, they’re still banned in the US and a lot of other countries.

Federal law defines a ballistic knife as follows:

United States Code, Title 15 Section 1245
(d) “Ballistic knife” defined. As used in this section, the term “ballistic knife” means a knife with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism.
Pub. L. 85-623, Sec. 7, Oct. 27, 1986. Amended Nov. 18, 1988.

Ballistic knives with spring-operated blades are forbidden to own, produce, sell, or import into the United States under federal law. Using or possessing a ballistic knife during the commission of a federal crime of violence is a separate crime with a minimum of five years in prison.

However, you can make one yourself or request someone to make it for you. But you must check your local law first before doing so.

Danger to the User

In addition to the potential for abuse, ballistic knives are also dangerous because they can malfunction and cause serious injury to the user. The spring-loaded mechanism or compressed gas that propels the blade can break or malfunction, leading to unintended or accidental firings.

Potential for Abuse

One of the main issues with ballistic knives is their potential for abuse. Because the blade can be fired from the handle, it allows the user to attack from a distance and potentially catch their victim off guard. This makes them a potentially deadly weapon, especially if they fall into the wrong hands.

How Are Ballistic Knives Made?

This knife was once created as a single homemade piece until it was recognized for its work. You can replicate this homemade process, but it may not work as effectively as those produced by industries.

However, you should know that possessing this knife or using it will be at your own risk, especially in places where it’s banned. But if you’re wondering how these knives are manufactured, continue reading.

You’ll need a sharp 6-8” blade, a PVC pipe, a fitting spring, a strong cork or wood piece, a screw, and a small metallic backplate, accompanied by some glue and a hacksaw. Then, follow these steps:

  • Fix a backplate onto one end of the PVC pipe. Use glue to ensure it fits steadily.
  • Split the wood piece halfway longitudinally and insert the blade using some glue.
  • On the open end of the pipe, draw out a short L-shape and cut along.
  • Drill a hole into the other unsplit half side of the wooden piece and fix it directly into the pipe, ensuring it meets the branched L-shaped cut-out.
  • When it fits perfectly, fix the spring of your preference and drive the screw into the drilled wood. Then, flip it to the right side of the L to keep the blade locked in the pipe.
  • You can now use your loaded knife by flipping the screw to the open end of the L-shaped cut-out to eject the blade under the force of the compressed spring.

Clearly, you’ll need a bit of technical expertise to put this gun together without hassle.

Modern Ballistic Knife Variants

With the advent of modern technology, ballistic knives have evolved to include a variety of new and improved variants. These knives are now available in a range of materials and styles, including stainless steel, titanium, wood, plastic, and even carbon fiber.

Some models feature non-spring mechanisms such as gas or electric propulsion systems. These knives are much more powerful than the traditional spring-loaded versions and can be easily fired at long distances. Other models feature folding blades or blades that are integrated into the handle of the knife.

There are even some designs that feature both a folding blade and a spring-loaded mechanism, allowing for the ultimate versatility. Whatever your needs, modern ballistic knife variants provide an excellent range of options for those looking for a powerful and reliable knife.

Features of the Ballistic Knife

The ballistic knife is quite different from other knives. The handle consists of a hollow tube with a compressed spring that’s mostly double the handle’s length when not compressed. The spring is held by the blade once it’s locked in. You can flip the switch using your thumb to activate the lock.

Then, once you press the trigger, the spring inside the handle propels the blade, creating the ballistic effect.

Additionally, some ballistic knives used compressed air and gas propulsion to gain the power to work. This form of the knife is often more destructive than others. Their springs also don’t wear out with time.

However, the spring-powered ballistic knife is less noisy than the compressed-air one. Also, the spring of the Russian version can propel the blade to 20 feet. With a throwing motion, it can penetrate garbs, flesh, and even police bullet-resistant vests. That’s how powerful ballistic knives are.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the legal status of ballistic knives?

The legal status of ballistic knives varies from state to state. Generally speaking, they are not considered a weapon in many states, but they may be restricted in certain areas. It is important to check with local laws and regulations before carrying one.

How do ballistic knives work?

Ballistic knives work by using a spring-operated mechanism to launch the blade from the handle. The blade is inserted into the handle and, when the trigger is activated, the blade is propelled forward at a high velocity.

Are ballistic knives safe to use?

Yes, ballistic knives can be safe to use, provided that proper safety precautions are taken. It is important to make sure that the blade is securely attached to the handle and that all safety features are engaged before use. Additionally, it is important to wear eye protection when using a ballistic knife.

Are ballistic knives considered firearms?

No, ballistic knives are not considered firearms. This means that they do not fall under the same laws and regulations as firearms. However, it is important to check local laws before carrying a ballistic knife.

Final Words

Overall, ballistic knives are a potentially dangerous and abusive weapon that has been banned in many countries due to the risks they pose to individuals. It is important to exercise caution when handling any type of knife and to only use them for its intended purpose.

So if you have this knife handy or ever come across one, simply be vigilant and conscious of its use.

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