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weapons for hand-to-hand combat. The various weapons may be designed for striking (clubs, shestopery and other maces, bludgeons), stabbing (bayonets, spears, pike-rapiers, konchary), hacking (swords, axes, some types of sabers, poleaxes), stabbing and hacking (halberds, shashki and other sabers, broadswords, daggers, bayonets), and stabbing and cutting (knives, knife bayonets). Such weapons were known in the early stages of human social development; they were used first as hunting implements and later for combat. They were originally made of wood, bone, and stone, and later of copper, bronze, iron, and steel. The development of cold steel paralleled that of protective armor, which encouraged design changes in both.
Until the 15th or 16th century, cold steel was the predominant type of weapon, but its use gradually declined after the introduction of improved firearms in the 14th century. The only examples used by modern armies are the bayonet, army knife, and dirk.