“Ballistic Knife Kit For Sale”? Buyer Beware

Ballistic Knife Kit

The Soviet ‘Pilum’ ballistic knife has been an object of obsessive and often poorly-informed discussion ever since it was featured in Call Of Duty: Black Ops. I’ve never seen one in person, so I couldn’t possibly speculate as to whether they’re actually more lethal than a torso hit from a .50 BMG at ten yards. But I can spot an internet scam when I see one . . .

What could possibly be wrong with this offer? I’m sure you can find it on the intertubes if you really want to, but I’m not linking to it because I don’t want anyone to inadvertently go there. Or blow their hard-earned rubles.

Ballistic Knife Ad

This one is pretty easy to spot. The first clue is the fact that ballistic knives are totally illegal under Federal law. Just like classified ads offering ‘Full-Auto AR-15 Conversion Kits,’ most offers to sell ballistic knives (or kits) are either scams to steal your credit card number or passive ‘sting’ operations run by law enforcement. Can you really buy plutonium cores, black tar heroin or powdered anthrax spores over the world wide web? Hell no, and you probably can’t buy an illegal ballistic knife either. So don’t try.

The second clue is the generic name of the website (a bridal registry? really?) with its dirt-cheap appearance, no custom graphics, and a single crappy photograph of the alleged product. An image which was probably scraped from a Blade Forum post or Wikipedia entry years ago.

The third clue is the clumsy ‘Google Translate’-ed English text in the ads and web pages themselves. Dig this:

Congratulation !!!, You have got cheap price for Ballistic Knife Parts Kit. Don’t waste time, take it to your cart in store, to getting best price.

Since when did Borat start selling knives?

The final clue, if you haven’t gotten the picture already, is that the ‘Get Discount Price Here’ button only takes you to a succession of other similar websites with no actual product to sell. Congratulation !!! Your computer is probably infested with malware by now.

Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to play with and test a real Pilum ballistic knife some day. I’d also like to test an M240B machine gun and, fire a live-warhead MANPADS missile at a flying target drone, and blast a Soviet tank hulk to smithereens with the main gun of an M1 Abrams. Since they’re all illegal and more or less equally impossible, I’ll have to learn to live with my disappointment.

But I sure as hell won’t give some scammer my credit card number in the hopes of buying a ballistic knife.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    “But I sure as hell won’t give some scammer my credit card number in the hopes of buying a ballistic knife.”

    C’mon, live dangerously! Don’t you want to feel alive?

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      I’ve considered getting a small prepaid (cash, in person, no ID) credit card for this kind of internet gambling. Too much trouble to be worth it.

      1. Matt in FL says:

        I was sorta kidding, but on the subject, there are some credit cards (I used to have one from Citi) that offer a web-based service where you can generate a one time use card number for situations like this.

  2. Aharon says:

    It’s time to start The Truth About Buying Online. TABO.

  3. Mike L says:

    I guess the guys at DD can add whatever this thing is to their 3D playlist.

  4. jwm says:

    At 10 yards which would you rather take 1 hit from, a .50 cal or a ballistic knife?

    1. Id rather take a hit of crack

  5. Out_Fang_Thief says:

    This thing always sounded like a gimmick, that had a very limited use.
    Now that I’ve seen one, it has only confirmed those original suspicions.

    1. scott says:

      the soviet/ east german version which the kit is based on,, was basically for use by spies during the cold war. a few special forces types spetznaz etc also carried them,,, but they are in the same category as the 22 short umbrellas, ice bullets etc. like most inventions it takes many tries to come up with a practical version. ballistic knives were limited to very few actual uses and issued to even fewer people. you can see several versions in the spy museum,, anyway, they are fun to mess around with and have the secret agent type attraction but in truth,, like remote viewing as a spy tactic they fell out of use very quickly and into myth even quicker.

  6. CTrees says:

    To be fair, given that silkroad is a thing, you probably *can* buy heroin on the Internet.

    1. Matt in FL says:

      Y’know, I had the same thought when I read that line, I just chose not to put it here.

  7. gyrfalcon says:

    What law prohibits an individual from making a ballistic knife?

    1. DMM says:

      15 USC § 1245 – Ballistic knives
      (if you make one to sell to any one else)

  8. rik says:

    Might be a scam, but did u ever heard about Paypal?

  9. sega says:

    Um you can buy all of those things listed in paragraph 3 on the web you just have to use the deep web.

  10. Youareretarded says:

    You can buy plutonium, heroin, hit men and fully auto rifles on the Internet. It’s call the deepweb you [moderated]

  11. Tlott says:

    I know this is two years old, but i just came across it, and i really wish people would do some research instead of just assuming that something is completely illegal…
    ballistic knives with a spring-operated blade[16] illegal to possess, manufacture, sell, or import “in or affecting interstate commerce.”[17] This means they are illegal to import from outside the United States, as well as buy or sell over state lines, including possessing or making them with intent to sell over state lines. The federal law also makes it a separate crime to use or possess a ballistic knife during the commission of a federal crime of violence, with a minimum sentence of 5 years in a federal prison. Federal law does not prohibit the possession, manufacture, or sale of a ballistic knife within a state’s boundaries, and the individual laws of each state or territory must be consulted to determine whether possession, manufacture, or sale within a given state is legal (many states have statutes that regulate or prohibit the acquisition and/or possession of ballistic knives, and penalties vary from state to state).

    1. This one was Dan’s post, and I really don’t know much about them or where I would even look for my State. Frankly, malware infestation aside, I really don’t have the desire to play around with one.

      Thanks for your clarification.

    2. Loll says:

      They are legal in my state lol

  12. Wolfgang Peter-Michel says:

    Quote: “I’ve never seen one in person, so I couldn’t possibly speculate as to whether they’re actually more lethal than a torso hit from a .50 BMG at ten yards.”

    Information about this is available here:
    M. Hirt, B. Karger: Fatal brain injury caused by the free-flying blade of a knife – case report and evaluation of the unusual weapon. in: International Journal of Legal Medicine, August 1999, Volume 112, Issue 5, pp 313-314

    The case reported there relates to a man who suffered a fatal injury from a self-inflicted accident while handling a ballistic knife. The blade protruded the persons eye, perforated the orbital cavity and the frontal lobe at the right side. Death was due to central disregulation. The initial velocity of the blade was measured to be 15 m/s. In a total of 20 experimental shots to a fresh pig cadaver, the blade always penetrated the skin and 5–10 cm of soft tissue as long as the distance did not exceed 1 m. Thin layers of bone were also perforated. The free flight of the blade did not remain stable if the distance was more than 1 m, which resulted in superficial wounds only.

    So in real combat these items seem to be next to useless.

  13. Stone says:

    Hey all,
    I know some of you are not going to believe me but I used to own one of these knives. I bought it at a gun show in Virginia. I actually had to buy it in two separate transactions. One was the knife exactly as shown in the image above and the other was the spring that I received about a week later. Both pieces were sent to me by way of UPS but separately in two different shipments.

    I had my fun with it and it did work very well in the beginning. From about 6-8 feet it would penetrate a phone book that was about 1 1/2 inches thick. The knife flew straight within that distance but further than that it would start to tumble. Also, don’t forget that once you shot the thing you no longer had a weapon to protect yourself with. And you couldn’t just go and pick up the knife from where ever it landed and put it back in. You literally had to lean on the knife with most of your weight to load the darn thing. Also, after shooting it a bunch of times the trigger mechanism started to wear out and it became very dangerous to have without the pin in it, which stopped the trigger from firing. The knife was only meant to be used a few times then it was time for a new one.

    Anyway, my point with this comment is that they were/are real and do work, a limited amount of times. They are extremely powerful but do not match the power of a .50 cal anything! They are fun to play with until they start to wear out then they are just plain dangerous and unpredictable.

    So, that’s my experience with a ballistic knife.

    Thanks for letting me post in your forum.


  14. Jon says:

    The genuine Russian ballistic knives are offered for sale on Gunbroker.com here:


    And they are 100% legal in South Dakota per South Dakota law…as spelled out here:


    1. EAA says:

      I could see these being useful in a one time self defense scenario. Or for a thug or assassin who does not want to attract attention. Like firearms, you would not want them to be readily available to thugs (or people who might shoot themselves in the eye.)
      Once intention is established in the commission of a crime, it should not matter what is used to inflict injury or death. But Ly-ers who make the laws frequently don’t make sense.

  15. pjh421 says:

    The utility of this thing is low compared to an equal weight of additional rounds for my Smith 640. No matter how worn the trigger on my Smith gets, it won’t shoot a knife blade into my brain. Interesting? Yes. Useful? Doubtful at best.

  16. E jihbson says:

    I just bought heroin, the zombie virus and a cursed ring for raising horny she-demons off the deep web!! I got an we mail that said UPS is delivering Friday, you stupid morons, so that proves it is real. It was just very VERY expensive. Cant wait to **** my first she- demon in her **** and hot little********with peanut butter, ****, and her gannys ***** too!!

  17. me says:

    I had two of these knives I bought them both out of a mail order magazine back in 1984 they were still legal then, they weren’t banned until two years later in 1986. I had the ones made by Florida Knife Works. They were fun to play with in my backyard that’s all I ever used them for, shooting the blade at a dart board. In 1984 I was only 12 years old but I bought the knives through the mail since a face to face transaction wouldn’t let them sell me the knives due to my age at that time. Anyhoo, they launched that blade out hella fast and it stayed straight for about 10 feet then it arched down so I had to aim high. In 1993 the spring in one of them broke rendering one knife useless. Then in 1996 the other knifes spring broke too. By thst time Florida Knife Works wasn’t making any replacement parts anymore. They are still in business today. I couldn’t find any Springs that would fit the handle and I tried every hardware store and mattress outlet I could find, no luck. Wound up selling the rest of the parts whitch consisted of two handles, two blade with stabilizer tubes, two end caps, two safety pins and both covers for the blades all in a packaged deal for a grand total of $100.00.
    At least I was able to get something for them.

  18. Jason Gifford says:

    Please read the laws.
    They are not illegal
    Pay attention to the the interstate commerce portion.

    1. Beavis and Butthead says:

      You just cannot legally buy one from out of your state, cannot make one, and here’s a doosee… If you use one on the commission of a violent crime, theres a mandatory 5 years added on to your sentence. All of this is according to Federal Law.

      1. Ken Kimmel says:

        So I’m better off stabbing someone with a 12″ inch Cuisinart kitchen knife rather than use a 5″ inch long switchblade? This is typical of the perverse logic we have in our legal system here in the U.S.!!

  19. Lithops says:

    When I first saw a pic of a ballistic knife, I thought it was just an OTF auto-knife, then I realized it was the same kind of contraption that the Spetsnaz actually use (only as a “last resort”), but they’re only expected to have a life-span of 5-6 uses, then tossed. I can’t EVEN imagine “recharging” the spring mechanism on one of these! I’d bought one of the spring-loaded auto-batons for my wife, but ye gods!…..I had to use all my strength(and weight) to get the segments of THAT device recompressed into it’s “carry” configuration!
    I can’t imagine what force it would require to do the same with ANY ballistic knife….more likely, the blade will snap under the force required.

    1. Lithops says:

      Here is a link which SHOW what types of knives are legal in various states (U.S.)

  20. Lance Larsen says:

    Actually, you can legally own a ballistic knife. And you can own a spring. You just can’t legally own a ballistic knife and the spring that goes in it at the same time. At least that’s what I was told.

    I had the opportunity to try one at a Close Quarters Combatives training class held at a government facility. They are hard as hell to load. You have to lay on the floor, and shove the hilt into the floor while gripping the blade cover. You have to push with all your strength and then open the catch to get it fully engaged.

    Once it’s loaded it’s accurate up to about 10-15 yards. We didn’t get to shoot it at body armor, but it went right through 1/4″ plywood. With the kinetic energy it has, and the sharp point on the knife, I’m sure it would go through most soft body armor–unless you didn’t own the spring. 😉

    I hope you enjoyed the first person perspective on the knife.

    1. Ken Kimmel says:

      Actually, the laws regarding Spring-loaded and ballistic knives vary in the same manner that the marijuana laws do in the United States; illegal on a federal level,but varying in legality on a state level. Spring-loaded and ballistic knives are legal in Texas, for instance, while in other states; sometimes one, and sometimes the other are legal. There are only a few cases where both are legal in some states.

      1. Mighty says:

        Does everybody on here have a law degree or something? Because you all sure do seem to think you know exactly what the law is on these, yet only about two people were even accurate in their posted comments as to what the law actually states. The rest of you all just seem to be spewing “I heards” all over the place here.

        1. Not Perry Mason says:

          Now you know why I stopped practicing law.
          Everyone is a lawyer.
          If you need to know a law, folks, find your state’s codified laws and look it up!
          Complete research could easily take an entire day, then some, for just one small
          Example: In Illinois, a ballistic knife IS illegal. Period.
          A stiletto, however, is only illegal if you carry it with intent to use it illegally.

        2. “only illegal if you carry it with intent to use it illegally.”

          That is the problem with Ohio’s laws as well. “Intent to go armed” is a mile wide loophole for an unscrupulous prosecutor.

  21. Ken says:

    Maybe you got jacked for your credit card. But these knives work. They are available online if you know how to find them. They are not illegal in all states. You need to do your research before you say stuff thats not true. These knives are made in China and they do work. Cheaply made but work lime the real thing. It will go through a vest if shot at close. Anyway I just wanted to correct yo because what your saying is not true. If you got jacked buying one… Do your research on that as well before buying one.

  22. Matt D says:

    This dude is a complete monkey. Its also against Federal law to import automatic OTF knives or ship them across state lines but yet there are many reputable companies that do just this. Different states have different laws and to tell you the truth no one is going to tell me I can carry a concealed firearm but not a knife. Lastly there are ballistic knives for sale all over the internet at reputable dealers right here in the USA. Just open your eyes dude.

  23. D lugo says:

    The knife was never intended for use in a first line scenario..i.e. like a pistol or rifle…it was invented to give a dying commrade the ability to try and slow down advancing enemies (at least one) who came close to them as a last line of defense.

  24. angela says:

    reminds me of the roarin’ 20’s…..make it illegal & someone will brew it & deliver same. as for one who’s been in cqb, a knife which shoots its blade, over 2′ away, with no guarantee it’ll hit, penetrate, & kill, is a waste of money, time, & effort. i personally & always carry 2 elbows: they are everpresent, lethal, & retractable. just a thot.

  25. Dennis M Maas says:

    Want to buy 2 kits

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

“Ballistic Knife Kit For Sale”? Buyer Beware

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email