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what good is a bowie knife? (Read 14648 times)
bigkahuna
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #45 - Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:33pm
 
thabaill wrote on Jan 21st, 2012 at 8:26am:
Hello

What do you think about Musso Bowie knife?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v291/Nefarioso/Album2/threeknives.jpg

It is the biggest one down in the pic.



Well, some folks claim that's the knife Jim Bowie was carrying at the Alamo. It would be nice if it was. I need a little more proof than what has been provided so far. There are several other knives with documented proof of belonging to either Jim or his brother Rezin Bowie in various collections.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #46 - Jan 21st, 2012 at 1:12pm
 
thabaill wrote on Jan 21st, 2012 at 8:26am:
Hello

What do you think about Musso Bowie knife?


Well, it´s a matter of taste of course, but since you asked, I think it´s an  ugly slab of sharpened metal.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #47 - Jan 22nd, 2012 at 8:00pm
 
I don't recall it ever being mentioned that Jim Bowie's knife had that piece of brass on it's spine. The hilt does match the original description.

Kuggur: I've got to agree that as far as ugly goes, a bowie knife is pretty ugly. If I had to choose an actually 'fine' knife I'd probably go for a puuko or some type of hunting/carving knife that's meant for delicate/more precise tasks than hacking people into pieces.
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bigkahuna
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #48 - Jan 22nd, 2012 at 8:26pm
 
The brass strip is supposed to catch an opponents blade. You see it alot on old bowies.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #49 - Jan 22nd, 2012 at 11:01pm
 
bigkahuna wrote on Jan 22nd, 2012 at 8:26pm:
The brass strip is supposed to catch an opponents blade. You see it alot on old bowies.


Yep, but according to wikipedia (ghastly, I know) the original bowie did not have that strip. Only later version used it.

"Back (spine) perfectly straight in the first instance, but greatly rounded at the end on the edge side; the upper edge at the end, for a length of about two inches, is ground into the small segment of a circle and rendered sharp...The back itself gradually increases in weight of metal as it approaches the hilt, on which a small guard is placed. The Bowie knife, therefore, has a curved, keen point; is double-edged for the space of about two inches of its length, and when in use, falls with the weight of a bill hook."[10]

Most later versions of the Bowie knife had a blade of at least 8 inches (20 cm) in length, some reaching 12 inches (30 cm) or more, with a relatively broad blade that was an inch and a half to two inches wide (4 to 5 cm) and made of steel usually between 3⁄16 to 1⁄4 in (4.763 to 6.350 mm) thick. The back of the blade sometimes had a strip of soft metal (normally brass or copper) inlaid which some believe was intended to catch an opponent's blade while others hold it was intended to provide support and absorb shock to help prevent breaking of poor quality steel or poorly heat treated blades. Bowie knives often had an upper guard that bent forward at an angle (an S-guard) intended to catch an opponent's blade or provide protection to the owner's hand during parries and corps-a-corps.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #50 - Jan 23rd, 2012 at 7:38pm
 
bigkahuna wrote on Jan 21st, 2012 at 12:33pm:
thabaill wrote on Jan 21st, 2012 at 8:26am:
Hello

What do you think about Musso Bowie knife?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v291/Nefarioso/Album2/threeknives.jpg

It is the biggest one down in the pic.



Well, some folks claim that's the knife Jim Bowie was carrying at the Alamo. It would be nice if it was. I need a little more proof than what has been provided so far. There are several other knives with documented proof of belonging to either Jim or his brother Rezin Bowie in various collections.


There was an article in the Backwoodsman on Jim Bowie's Alamo "death bed" knife back in 2011(march/april issue). Pretty good article and a much better looking knife. 10 3/4in overall, straight antler handle and more of a spear point than most bowies today. Arrowhead Forge makes a very close replica. Their number is 605-938-4814, no website though to my knowledge.

Also, a great issue of The Backwoodsman they are like 6 bucks and you can buy it if you really want more info or you could just look around online.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #51 - Jan 24th, 2012 at 2:01pm
 
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #52 - Jan 24th, 2012 at 3:50pm
 
Timann, that is probably very similar to what the first one looked like, it was suspposed to have been made from a file.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #53 - Jan 24th, 2012 at 9:17pm
 
Jabames wrote on May 7th, 2011 at 1:23am:
what good is a bowie knife?


Not as good as most other purpose made knives.
Mostly it's good for showing off unles the guy you're showing it to knows his knives.

I've made Bowies from time to time and they are a lot of work.
American style Bowies are much thicker and heavier than their English cousins, which make great steak knives.
Now if only the English could make a great steak.
That being said, There are few reasons to carry a massive blade in the wilderness when a smaller, work-oriented blade will find it's way into your hand sooner.
I suppose a Bowie-sized blade made from an old carpenter's saw would do nicely.
Hey, thanks for the idea for my next project; ultralight Bowies.

Never bring a Bowie to a rock fight.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #54 - Jan 24th, 2012 at 10:24pm
 
If we were taking about the versatility of a cheese knife or a putty knife, I could understand the position that the knife is a one trick pony. Clip point sheath knives have been used by frontiersmen and military men as general utility blades for far too long for me to think that way about a bowie knife, though. My 6" bowie (or almost-bowie depending on where you draw the line) gets plenty of use. It's short enough to not be totally unweildly for finer tasks, thick enough to not bend or roll with hard chopping, and light enough to be an acceptable alternative to a hatchet if I can't have both. The long straight blade is easy to sharpen and simple to use and the finger guard prevents my hand from slipping when I am doing fine tasks with the tip. A finger length ricasso between the blade of my bowie and the finger guard also lets me have fairly good dexterity with the tip of the knife. The swedge is good for skinning (and gutting, though I do prefer a smaller knife for that task). A 6" bowie knife is a perfect bridge between smaller, 2"-4" blades and the heavier, 10"-18" goloks and machetes IMHO.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #55 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 8:37pm
 
I agree with Masi, the bowie (in the states at least) has been used too often for me to consider it useless, although that doesn't mean I do like the design (mostly because I don't do many heavy duty tasks). Heck, that's why as far as my knowledge goes, the bowie design is used for all US armed forces' utility, survival, and survival knives.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #56 - Jan 26th, 2012 at 9:34am
 
Bowie knife is really just a compromise betwen your double edge and the single edge so insted of maximizing the advantages and disavantages you kind of minimize all of them, like the Mercator projection of the earth or the tomahawk. Some guys like it others don't.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #57 - Jan 26th, 2012 at 10:51am
 
Bowie was looking for a weapon, after all.  Back then in the early-mid 1800s , firearms were not very reliable and slow to load as well.
Bowies and "Arkansas toothpick" blades remained a standard item for both soldiers and frontiersmen long after the civil war.
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #58 - Jan 26th, 2012 at 2:10pm
 
Arkansas Toothpick:
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ArkToothpk.jpg (26 KB | )
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Re: what good is a bowie knife?
Reply #59 - Jan 26th, 2012 at 5:34pm
 
There ya go.   Essentially, a large dagger.   Most of the historical ones you see are more slender and have a more-pointed tip.
Some good examples on th Google Images page:

http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&q=arkansas+toothpick&gbv=2...
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