Author Topic: How good is a Western Bowie?  (Read 1879 times)

Offline Scottman

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How good is a Western Bowie?
« on: June 17, 2012, 02:43:08 PM »
I'm curious on the W49/ or other western knife bowies as a woods knife. Anyone have experience with them?

Thank you,
Scott

Offline Nate

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012, 06:00:04 AM »
My parents bought me one when I was 14 and I still have it 20 years later.  At a young age it sold me on the practicality of a big knife vs. a hatchet as a woods tool.  I used my W49 in Scouts, our SM was cool about fixed blade knives as long as we respected them and followed our totin chit rules.  I chopped and split a lot of wood on camping trips with it.  I also took it with me on my first 3 day canoe trip just after graduating high school.  Everyone was ill prepared, except me the Eagle Scout since I had my W49.  We used it to flip hamburgers that we cooked on a grate over the fire.  We also used it to prepare dry firewood on a rainy day to warm up a hypothermic friend.  Everyone commented on how that big knife saved us!

I am on the second sheath for mine.  I do not like the new one as much as it is a dangler sheath.  My old one was a traditional belt sheath with a grommet at the end for a leg tie down.

The knife survived the abuse a teenage boy gave it.  It still can take a razor sharp edge as long as I take the time to get it there.  Mine has a carbon steel blade which has a nice patina on it now and some staining from the sap of various plants and trees I chopped with it in my youth.  I have since moved on to a larger and heavier knife better suited to chopping wood as my main big knife.  My wife is from Malaysia and introduced me to the big knife from her country called a parang.  However, my W49 still holds a special place in my heart much like that first girlfriend that you still remember.  I plan on handing my W49 down to my son when he is old enough so he can use it, abuse it and care for it just like I did.
NATE

"This is the Law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall thrive;
That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive."  Robert Service

Offline Scottman

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 07:35:04 PM »
Thanks Nate, enjoyed the read.

Weight for the weight weirdos is 1 lb 4 ounces knife only. Mine is a coleman with a k stamp on it. I'm going to put a better edge on it and try it out!

here's a pic of the western along side an old trailmaster and recon. The cv recon/tm seem about twice as thick.


Offline 4bull

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 10:36:54 PM »
I love mine, its a old friend. I have put it through Hell and asked it to do things an ax wouldn't want to do.
I even skinned out a Buffalo with it , I don't like to through it but it flies right and true.

Offline RazorCityDen

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 03:58:06 PM »
Back in the days we didn't have all the big survival knife choices,and I used a Case very similar if no identical to the Western. It was 1095 steel and came with a 'dangler' sheath. I worked it over some as I'm prone to do, cutting back the brass guards and did a little profiling on the blade, then I made a new sheath for it as well  ;D

I took it to a Larry Dean Olsen class is the early 80's and also to my first Ron Hood class, I used it as my only big 'survival' knife for several years until I  bought a Buck Frontiersman. 

Offline Scottman

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 08:21:53 PM »
awesome! I have a couple

Offline blademan

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 07:29:25 AM »
I don't know about the bowie specifically, I have purchased some western knives in the past few years and I wasn't impressed with the quality. For the money, its hard to beat though.  But hey, if its a design you like go for it, its not a bad knife. Honestly though, if I was going to get something that big, I would probably go with the Ka-Bar big brother. That's if cost wasn't an option, that one is a little high.
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.
Fear is the mind killer.

Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.

Offline Kilroy

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 09:13:05 AM »
Workman like knives, not flashy.  Keep expectations low to minimize disappointment.  I own one.
Kilroy...

...was here.

Offline blademan

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 03:12:47 PM »
Agreed, if you lost one or banged it up real bad, it wouldn't make you as angry as it would if it was a ka bar or more expensive blade. It looks like it would do a lot of things well. I think that if you are going this route, some of the money you save should go toward a decent field sharpening solution, while I don't usually reccommend them, the drag through carbide sharpeners would be a good fit for this knife. Easy to carry and use and works really fast.
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.
Fear is the mind killer.

Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.

Offline Scottman

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 04:43:20 PM »
what western models did you try? when were they made?

the kabar big brother has a stick tang probably like my other kabars. The western has a full tang.

Offline blademan

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 06:44:20 PM »
Scottman,
   You are right the big brother looks to be constructed similarly to the other kbar fixed blades which is a sort of reduced full tang or rat tail tang which is still pretty stout. (There's a pretty cool walk through at the kbar website if you are interested.) I'm not personally familiar with the western bowie, just with some of western's other knives which I bought as a gift a few years ago. It was a gift set in a box which had one fixed blade small hunter skinner hybrid type and I think a single blade sort of tactical folder and a multiblade stockman or something like that. I don't remeber the models off hand.   I wasn't too impressed with the overall quality but at the price, its good enough and the recipient used them a bunch and I never heard a complaint about the knive but rather how impressed he was with them. And its not uncommon among manufactures for their quality to vary throughout their line according to price in my experience. I've always thought the western looked like a pretty good knife so if that's what you want and are familiar with, go for it. I have my own proclivities and preferences when it comes to blades myself so I understand a bias towards a particular blade. If I can I will find a picture of them and post it. Good luck with finding a fixed blade, I'm looking for a good edc folder and maybe a small fixed blade belt knife myself and its always a had decision.
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.
Fear is the mind killer.

Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.

Offline blademan

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Re: How good is a Western Bowie?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 07:05:10 PM »
Ummm,
    I'm big enoug to admit when I'm mistaken. The knives I was talking about were made by winchester. I did a little wikisurfing and found out that western was independant, then hit hard times and was purchased b Camillius. They hit had times and were purchased by Acme and are now produced in Asia. And Winchester is owned by Browning which is owned by Fabrique National de Herstal. I'm not sure were they are produced but they seem alright for the price.  Does anyone know how to post a picture on the board.
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.
Fear is the mind killer.

Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.