Cop’s Pocketknife Deflects Bullet. Myth CONFIRMED!

Image: Facebook (SOG Knives)A Fresno County sheriff’s deputy escaped injury when a folding knife in his pocket (obviously not shown here) blocked a criminal’s bullet last Saturday. I’d love to know what brand of knife and what caliber bullet were involved, but maddeningly few other details are available. Here’s what we do know, courtesy of the Fresno Bee:

Deputies went to the 3600 block of Sand Creek Road just before 5:30 p.m. for the call. The deputy, a man who Andreotti described as a veteran of the sheriff’s office, was hit by a shot from downhill in the area of Mistletoe Road.

Andreotti said the bullet ricocheted off the knife the deputy keeps in his pocket, leaving only a bruise. Andreotti originally had surmised that the man was saved by his bulletproof vest.

More units were called in to investigate and a sheriff’s helicopter spotted a group of people in the backyard of a home. Weapons and ammunition were found there, Andreotti said, and five people were detained for questioning as deputies try to determine the circumstances of the shots being fired.

This looks like a case of tremendously irresponsible shooting, rather than an actual attempt on the officer’s life. But it’s yet another demonstration one of the most unlikely ways a knife can save your life.

Unlikely, but far from unheard-of. In fact this is only the latest of many documented instances of a knives blocking bullets, preventing serious injury or death.

  • U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Holubz was already hit by an Iraqi machinegun bullet, but the SOG Seal Pup shown above saved his life. The fixed-blade combat knife, purchased at the Fort Lewis PX before his deployment, deflected a second 7.62x54mm bullet that would have transversed his upper torso and killed him. A Seal Pup isn’t strong enough to block a PKM round by itself, but Holubz’ knife was attached to his Interceptor body armor, and absorbed enough of the bullet’s energy that the vest did the rest.
  • In a gun forum story from the early 1990s, an unidentified hunter set off a negligent discharge with his .44 Magnum revolver. The bullet struck a Kershaw knife in his pocket and was completely stopped. The forum post was originally documented with photos which are no longer accessible.
  • In a documented news story from 2009, A Trenton, NJ man was shot in the leg while grappling with an armed robber in a convenience store. The victim’s pocketknife took the bullet, and left him with nothing but a substantial bruise.
  • A Los Angeles man was saved by the knife he wore on his belt during a 1991 shooting, completely deflecting the bullet and leaving him completely uninjured. The knife-owner’s friend was not so lucky; he took one in the thigh and was seriously injured.

I’d say this one’s more than just ‘Plausible.’ You?



  1. Nanashi says:

    Knives save lives, and sometimes in very unexpected ways.

  2. Russ Bixby says:

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why one should always bring a knife to a gunfight.

  3. Augur says:

    I live in Fresno. Of course, on the news the guy said the bullet “sounded like a laser”. Whatever a laser sounds like.

    1. Arod529 says:

      “Pew pew pew!”

  4. jwm says:

    A lot of things will deflect a bullet from it’s path. Twigs, auto glass etc. A knife blade is steel, so there’s an even better chance it will stop or turn a bullet.

    Some people are just born lucky. Think of how little of your body would be covered by the typical pocket folder. The bullet has to impact exactly there or you’re hosed. Deputy won a different kind of lottery.

  5. David says:

    This has been known for awhile. Throughout the course of human history (usually during warfare) random items on a person have stopped bullets. Coins, cellphones, wallets, & yes knives have deflected or stopped bullets. One of the more common ones is fully loaded magazines (especially if they are steel) loaded on a tactical vest. There is alot of torso coverage there. Ironically guns have acted as shields on numerous occasions.

  6. SGT Joshua Holubz says:

    Although it was certainly not the knife’s intended use, it was still effective because it was attached to my kit in the perfect spot and the bullet impacted at just the right angle. The folks at SOG were even kind enough to send a replacement SOG SEAL Pup when they heard about my experience on 3/17/2007.

    It never hurts to carry a knife! You’ll undoubtedly need it at one point or another, just don’t expect to be lucky enough for it to stop a machine gun round.

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Cop’s Pocketknife Deflects Bullet. Myth CONFIRMED!

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