U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Characterization of Weapons used in Stab/Slash Attacks

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2014
52 pages
This project's goal was to provide scientific support and guidance to a newly formed Special Technical Committee tasked with reviewing and revising the current National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Standard 0115.00 Stab Resistance of Personal Body Armor, so as to ensure that it accurately addresses the requirements of its current user.
A stab weapon typology and taxonomy were developed to identify potentially aggressive stabbing threats based on descriptive information; and quasi-static performance tests were developed to characterize tip, edge, and system performance for initial down-selection of stab weapons. Two bladed and two spiked exemplar weapons were developed from the geometric and performance characteristics of weapons obtained from correctional facilities in the United States. The proposed exemplars require a lesser number of armor layers to meet the current penetration limits of NIJ 0115.00 compared to the P1/A and S1/G body armor exemplars. Greater use of the exemplars from the practitioners is required to gain a full understanding of their implications for armor design, relevancy, and test variability. Additional work is required to establish confidence levels and potential for quality control measures of the exemplars. The first phase of the project involved a survey of correctional and law enforcement agencies across the Nation, requesting that they provide all sharp-edged weapons that had been confiscated over the last few years. This produced ,just over 1,300 weapons from 20 States. All the weapons received were logged, photographed, and measured to produce a typology database nomenclature. Phase II of the study finalized the typology for the improvised weapon exemplars, using the knowledge gained in Phase I. The final phase compared the relative performance of the new improvised weapon exemplars to the P1, S1, and Spike threat found in the NIJ 01150 Standard. 34 figures, 19 tables, 18 references, and appended supplementary data and information

Date Published: June 1, 2014