What is a Ballistic Knife? is a most asking question nowadays, it is a knife with a separable blade that can be ejected several meters/yards away via a lever, a handle, a switch, or a trigger.
These knives are powered by springs and were introduced in 1970 among Arm Forces of Soviet Eastern Block.
USA Federal Law explains Ballistic Knives as;
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.
To elaborate, the law states that a Ballistic Knife is a blade attached to a handle that gets fixes in another hollow empty handle. The second hollow handle has a coil-shaped spring inside it, which is compressed by a lash. This lash holds the blade against the pressure built by a spring force.
Hence, the latch, when released, the spring expands and the force is transferred that makes the blade ejected across several meters- and this ejection-Ballistic motion makes a Ballistic Knife.
Ballistic Knives and Switchable knives are subjected to the same legislation except for the fact that a person can own a switchable blade of 3-1.5′ in length if he has does not own any other armor.
In simple words, irrespective of the amendments in legislation Ballistic knives are still banned in many states.
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Table of Contents
What is a Ballistic Knife? Legality and Where to Buy?
History of a Ballistic Knife:
As mentioned earlier that this knife was introduced by Russia in 1970 to be used by Eastern Soviet army forces. It was regarded as a Spetsnaz’s Weapon. Spetnaz was the name of the Soviet special task force. An in-measurable number of these knives was illegally produced in the 1980s by a Russian company, OstBlock.
Although the company was producing it for Spetsnaz a huge amount was unlicensed copies were discovered in the United States also.
These Knives are commonly popular under the name of Silent Killers. The troops were given special training on How to Throw the knives and remove the target in one go without making a noise. The basic underlying concept is the projection, ballistic knives are designed in Hybrid blades along with a projectile.
When a trigger is pressed the blade follows the projectile motion and covers a distance of nearly 5m at the speed of 40mph. The tool was immensely used in the ’70s and ’80s by Russian forces. A soldier was trained to throw it when he wants to chase the target from a distant place.
Although a large number of Ballistic knives were produced in Russia still the amount was insufficient to fulfill the needs of the Soviet Force. Moreover, the training requires hours of learning and then practicing.
Indeed throwing a knife is not a hard thing to learn but for arm force, there is a trick which states that a fighter should hold a knife as he is going to stab someone. This is just to make fool of an opponent.
It is then, a blade should be projected with the force that it pierces the cloths and armor shield of the poor credulous enemy and achieve a target in a single strike.
As time progress, the knife was modified and the detachable blade system was advanced. The top-up feature of this knife showcase that the blade of the knife can be used for ordinary purposes like an ordinary fix- blade knives but there is a shaft/button that lies on the side to make it wild and get it ready for its blade projectile at just one push
But there was a drawback observed in these knives.
When the latch was released and the spring expands to project the blade a vibration /force produced in the opposite direction often causes inaccuracy. But still, the fear of that flying blade in seconds was enough for Russian forces to plan their next move.
That’s why it was concluded that these knives perform perfectly when used across a few feet. But there is a controversy prevailing in data available online especially in western countries that Russian forces do not use those Ballistic Knives. They say that the NRS-2 knife was used by Russian Forces. NRS2 was the knife that had a firearm attached to its handles.
Well, whatever the situation was, it is confirmed that these knives were introduced by Russia initially, and later their commercial production was allowed in the USA IN 1985.
Even print media supported the production and played a major role to make spring-based knives popular in the USA. Later in 1986, legislation was passed and the commercial production of these knives was banned. Still, these knives are banned for the common public.
How Does Ballistic Knife Work?
A ballistic knife is a Hybrid Blade with a projector at one side. The knife follows the principle of projectile motion. The blade is attached to a handle that easily gets fits in another hollow handle. This hollow handle has a coil spring inside that is keep compressed.
There is a lash that keeps the blade in place when the spring is compressed. As soon as we press the trigger, or a button available on the knife, the spring expands and the force is transferred in opposite direction making the blade fly across 5 meters at the speed of 40mph.
Hence, the coil spring is the major body part that allows the ejection of the blade.
Uses of Ballistic Knife:
As silent killers, these knives can work best where it is not possible to use the firearm. Moreover, these knives work best on the way to cut branches and serve other ordinary purposes when a blade is secured and lock.
As the spring mechanism is now advanced and you can use this knife like a normally fixed blade knife too. This makes many speculate that Russian forces used these knives.
Although arm forces are instructed to use ballistic knives in specific situations but these knives can serve best in self-defense too.
Are Ballistic Knives Illegal:
In the doctrine of the Soviet Union, these knives were the Ballistic Silent Killers. The projected blades silently pierced the prey’s body. Such a wild response of these knives subject the tool to defame already in the late 1980s.
Things triggered when in the mid-1980s, samples of these knives were presented for sale commercially in the general public.
A campaign was run by critics and the knife gets ban for citizens under Ballistic Knife Prohibition Act with an exception to be used by police. Well, this fact is yet to be confirmed because many states that the ACT was presented in the assembly but is not passed.
Senators of Arizona and South Carolina participated actively for the cause and later in 1986, the ” Ballistic Knife Prohibition Act ” was passed which is now a part of the law.
This law clearly states that the ownership, import, sale, and manufacturing of Ballistic Knives to the general public is prohibited in USA territory under the law of Regional Trade and Commerce.
Current Legal Status of a Ballistic Knife:
Current Federal Law states that it is completely prohibited to own, sell import or manufacture a Ballistic Knife Regionally. Nearly all spring-based blades subject to this law. Moreover, it is clearly stated that using these knives at the crime scene will be considered as another offense, whose penalty is 5 years of imprisonment.
But here is a piece of good news! Federal law does not prohibit to own, manufacture, and sale of these knives within the border. But still is advised to go through the “State Knife Laws” before procuring or owing one. It is because every state has different rules and regulations so the penalties differ too.
Like in the case of switchable blades and OTF, few states give an exemption of 3-1.5’ length while other states ban the blade thoroughly. For this, you need to research more specifically the State rules and regulations in which you are planning to own, sell this knife.
Furthermore, the sale of ballistic knives under a contract to US Army Forces is allowed. It has a separate contractual procedure to be followed. But, here is your chance that you can own one Ballistic Knife under the name of an authorized person where you are subjected to use it for a specific designated purpose.
But still, it is very essential to thoroughly go throw the State Knife Laws, otherwise, the price to be paid will be much higher.
Additional reading:- Why its illegal
From Where To Buy These Ballistic Knives:
I assure you, that there is no way to get this knife online legally. If you still find that is cent percent illegal or a case of the dark web. Else you can get it anonymously from a person selling it somewhere in the state or ask someone to make one for you. But, read the State Knife Laws first before making any move.
Conclusion: What is a Ballistic Knife?
For now, it is clear that “What is Ballistic Knife”- Is just like another fire gun that uses spring pressure, compressed air, and gas pressure to eject a blade instead of the bullet. The commercial production, sale, and ownership of these knives are strictly prohibited in USA at the Regional level.
However, every State has separate Rules and regulations under “State Knife Rules” that you must dig deep into Legislation for better insight before planning to make any move.