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Western Brand Bowie Knife from 1999: W49

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by 460Shooter, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I did a quick search and it sounds like Western is an old knife company from Boulder, CO that was later bought by Coleman, and later by Camilus.

    A quick eBay search showed for this particular knife prices vary quite a lot based on condition and age. This one is from 1999, or at least that’s when I bought it.

    Knowing little about it, I was curious if anyone had any good links or info on this knife or of Wester knives of that era? It’s seen a little mileage but for the most part it’s new. Are these well regarded or considered mediocre? Anyone know what steel was used.

    Sorry, I don’t know much about knives.

    3BF62AB6-80D9-4725-8AB3-8B58DF9B7C68.jpeg 73B8D532-8070-4730-BF61-CB8640D6E671.jpeg 289EBDB6-9D9D-40E8-A28D-ACF3DA74E493.jpeg
     
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  2. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Wow. That is a knife.
     
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  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I still have the one I purchased at K Mart. K Mart's had Western knife displays throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's, I don't remember when they went away. And it was from the K Mart Sporting Goods department where I purchased a number of Western Barlow's (that I lost) and the big bowie knife. Mine is beat to heck!

    The blade steel was carbon steel, took a good edge. It is a huge intimidating knife. The big brass guard limits its use for slicing fruits and vegetables, and it is heavy to carry. I never found an exact vintage ancestor, it has features from several vintage patterns, but it is not an exact historical copy. But it sure looks vintage and it is intimidating.
     
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  4. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yeah, it’s a big’un.
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    460Shooter

    Never had much of a need for a knife that large but I did happen upon a close-out sale of Western knives many moons ago. The knife shop at the mall had two different Western knives on sale: the W83 drop point blade hunting knife and the W77 boot knife. Both were priced at like $8.99 for either one and I still kick myself for not buying more of them. Actually at the time I probably couldn't afford more than one so I went with the W83 hunting knife. I think the blade is 440-A stainless and takes a decent edge. Overall a well made knife with very good overall fit and finish.

    2G75fxo.jpg

    All I have seen listed for your Western Bowie knife is that it had a high carbon steel blade. Supposedly when Camillus took over the company they started using a stainless steel blade.
     
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  6. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    :D Honestly I haven't either. That's why it's in good shape. I bought it because I thought it was interesting, and in a bad situation could be of use.

    What that situation is, I couldn't tell you. Anywhere I'd carry that thing I would also have a gun.
     
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  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    460Shooter

    Same kind of feeling I have about my Hackman Survival knife. With the exception of having a hollow handle, the 1/4" thick blade and overall size and weight of the knife make it feel more like a short sword!
    Definitely more heavy duty than I will probably ever need!

    zs009FH.jpg
     
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  8. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Saw one break off at the handle when a guy was chopping a piece of wood.
    I had one and after that I gave it away.
    Picked up a Rambo III at a pawn shop after some research. The steel is top notch. Cold bluing will not stain it. Sharpens to razor. Only complaint it's a bit light at tip.
    Best I have is a Damascus Bowie. Got it from over seas. Long ago I don't remember where. Do remember it was under 100 shipped. It's a shaver too. In the field Damascus and German steel is only ones I use.
     
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  9. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Well that’s disappointing. Note to self, don’t use as an axe.
     
  10. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Could have broke doing other thing. A defect is a defect. I really didn't like the quality of the steel. Found it wouldn't hold an edge long. Any can lose the edge over times of no use from corrosion from humidity. Long ago I started scrubbing my blade with candle wax after sharpening. Protects the edge and makes clean up after field dressing easy.
     
  11. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    There is such a thing as an empty gun.
     
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  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Essentially correct.

    BTW, always post pictures of both sides of a knife and all sides of the guard so any markings are shown.

    Western started making the W49 in 1964 and adding a date code in 1977. I suspect yours is from the Camillus ownership days after 1991.

    Enjoy - http://www.collectors-of-camillus.us/Western/Western.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  13. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I bought 2 matching Westerns at a gun show many years ago. A bowie and a smaller 3 Inch.
    Both were in good shape with nice stag scales. I think I paid $20.00 for both. I sold the Bowie for $50.00 and the 3 inch for$30.00.
    Good knives. Wish I had kept them.
     
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  14. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Copy. There’s actually no other markings on this knife. It was new when I bought it from a military surplus store in 1999. No telling how long it sat there though before selling.
     
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If I had a $100 for every time...
     
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  16. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Doc

    Sounds like me every time I think about all of the Security Sixes I once had!
     
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  17. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    I have a beater that I bought new in the 70s. Enjoyed the heck out of beating it--camping, yardwork, construction. The worst damage was when I got some roofing tar on it and didn't clean it off. It rusted under the film of tar!! It has since retired after a life of faithful service and is now living in comfort as my tactical letter opener in my desk drawer.
    Mine is a type 2 or 3 with small pins. In good shape these are slight collectibles. The newer ones, that have a letter date code, are users and there are plenty of them around. Bear and Sons and Cold steel make knockoffs in the $100 range so I think this puts a lid on the value of the letter code ones. They were made in other handle materials and stainless for a few years.
     
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