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 the 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.
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 knives 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.
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 hunt, 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?
In 1986, ballistic knives were banned across the US. Nowadays, they’re still banned in the US and a lot of other countries.
Ballistic knives with a spring-operated blade are forbidden to own, produce, sell, or import in 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.
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 with some glue and 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.
You’ve had an informative read about ballistic knives, from their features and the history behind them to their uses and position of the law.
So if you have this knife handy or ever come across one, simply be vigilant and conscious of its use.