What if a knife can have a greater reach than its length along with better accuracy? A ballistic knife is a total package of those qualities. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it’s a regular hunting knife, and that’s where you will be wrong and in for a terrible surprise.

A ballistic knife is designed with a built-in spring mechanism that propels the knife’s blade to a designated direction. The knife uses detachable blades to serve this purpose. The handle stores the blade and the spring-operated machine, which it uses to shoot the blade to hit the target. The advantage of this knife is that you can use it just like any other short-ranged melee weapon too! So in one knife, you can cover both close and short-range.

The price one has to pay for the element of surprise is too heavy; this is why such a knife is illegal in many places of the globe. But due to its beguiling and awe-inspiring design and mechanism, it has been eyed by collectors and enthusiasts alike. In this post, we will explore the exciting facts about ballistic knives. Let’s start!


Overview of Ballistic Knives

Ballistic knives are infamous as one of the most dangerous knives in the country. Several acts directly go against dealing with this knife. If you don’t like risk, then I perceive you wouldn’t want anything to do with this knife. Why was this banned? Oh well, for its high-risk factor. Ballistic knives can be murderous in the wrong hands, and by some senses, they are more threatening than firearms. Because they are not only concealable but also deadly in operation. Therefore, more states opted to enforce a ban against these knives.

During the 1980s, ballistic knives were first produced in the western market commercially. For its sinister characteristics, the knife soon gained popularity among the soldiers belonging to special ops. At the same time, Spetsnaz, the Soviet Special Force adapted this knife to their equipment and made it more functional. The projectile ejected from the blade could advance about 5m distance from one press in the switch, it’s said to travel at 40mph when propelled via the spring coil.

To make full use of the knife, soldiers used to fire the blade to take out the enemy swiftly and in silence. They were even able to penetrate a police vest; that’s one of the reasons why it got banned nationwide. It is said that the soldiers were trained to wield the knife in a stabbing manner to deceive the enemy that they were safe from the blade’s reach and then would get attacked by the expelled blade.


Types & Design of a Ballistic Knife

Ballistic Knife is a type of knife that is a combination of both a knife and a firearm. This unique knife comprises a handle that is designed with a strong spring coil; when a blade is installed, it rests on the coil. The ballistic knife is a type of knife that doesn’t experience spring fatigues, even with a spring that’s twice the size of the handle.

After positioning the blade inside, the spring fits compressed inside the hollow handle, and the blade stays locked in that position with a latch. When the switch is pressed or a lever is pulled to trigger the release of the blade, the latch gets undone and the blade springs out towards the target in exceptional force and hits the aim. It’s silent in operation and very precise in short range. Another type of ballistic knife uses air compression to project the blade in the longer distance; by utilizing the built-up gas propulsion while the knife is set in its place and later using that energy to add more power while launching the blade towards the aim.

At present, you’ll find the ballistic knives in the market to be heavily different from the description mentioned above. Unless you customize one or manually have one made for yourself, the modernized model of a ballistic knife is a type of switchblade, where the blade is tucked inside the handle, which is secured with a locking mechanism. Upon pressing the button, the blade retracts but doesn’t shoot like ballistic knives.


Ballistic Knife: Features & Characteristics

Size and Weight: The length of a ballistic knife ranges from 6-10 inches when the blade is installed, and it weighs a little less than 1 pound. The weight includes the weight of the spring coil that is part of the knife. Even the fully assembled knife can be concealed within clothing and uniform easily.

Blade length & Material: Since the design entails, the blade is separately made from the body and later is assembled. The length of the body has to match the handle to complement each other and be fully effective. Therefore, you’ll see blades as small as 3-inches to blades as large as 7-inches and more. As these blades are disposable, they are constructed of high-end stainless steel, which features piercing sharpness along with a balanced and light bodyweight ideal for precise propulsion. The blades come with many designs, saw-toothed blade, hollow blade, tri-blade, etc, each with varying profile and advantages.

Handle: A ballistic knife features a 2.5-6 inches long metal handle which is hollow inside for the blade to store. The blade often has paracord winding on the body for a better grip. The handle features the locking mechanism that is used in both shooting and locking the blade in position. It has a cylinder-shaped body that offers generous circumference for a good grip, and the metal construction contributes to the balance significantly when using the knife. The locking mechanism can get triggered by pulling a lever or pressing a switch/button. A screw secures the mechanism in place.



Q: Can the ballistic knife shoot only once?

A: Yes, a Ballistic knife stores a removable blade that can be discharged by pressing a trigger or a switch. However, the blade does not have a slot for extra blades. So after the ejection of one blade, you cannot shoot before reloading another.

Q: Are ballistic knives legal to own?

A: Yes, they are legal to own. Given that you keep the ballistic knife inside the state boundary that you bought it from. Although no law bans the possession or manufacturing of a ballistic knife within a state, they are outright forbidden to transport to another state, let alone another country. The penalty of failing to follow these laws starts from 5 years of imprisonment.

Q: Where can I buy a ballistic knife?

A: Genuine ballistic knives will be hard to find because of their illegality to many degrees. So given that you won’t break any laws with it, it’s perfectly legal to have it custom made within the state to collect them. You can also get its part from eBay or similar platforms. The modernized versions of ballistics knives are more available in the market for purchase.


Uses of Ballistic Knives

Because of the unique design of Ballistic knives, they are used in similar unique situations. Since the blade can cover a decent distance when fired, these blades are said to be used by special forces such as Spetsnaz, KGB, etc. The areas of application that use its unique perk to advantage are tactical field, close and long-range fighters, hunting, etc. If the task requires you to go all melee on the target, and if you need to shoot an escaping prey or take it by surprise, the ballistic knife is the knife for you. Ballistic knives are also a great replacement for firearms in times of dire emergency.

Ballistic knives look just like regular fixed blade knives from the outside, and can also be used as such is an interesting fact. So, apart from combative purposes and defending yourself, you can also pack a ballistic knife for camping, hunting, hiking, etc., any of the similar outdoor endeavors. Because of the light yet sharp nature of the blade, which enables the blade to propel when triggered to hit the target, these knives are pretty convenient to carry around and ensure high-end functionality.

When the blade is not used for shooting, it can be used in bushcrafting, cutting ropes or bandages, carving or stripping tree barks for signals, etc. Its pointy head also comes extremely handy on several occasions. You’ll find the knife to be pretty useful in catching small animals in the wild, placing traps, digging holes, etc.



Ballistic knives are wonderful as collectives and were designed to be a formidable piece of weapon. The way it ejects its blade, some even compare it to guns. Regardless, one doesn’t have to be a specialist to understand how exceptionally these knives are made.

Whether you want to learn about this knife or are thinking of getting one for your collection, this post will cover all the desired aspects. There’s a lot to consider, and not knowing them beforehand will put you at a disadvantage. Hopefully, you’d find this post to be helpful enough in your pursuit.

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