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Garry Keown

Bowie considerations

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While doing the modern bowie hunter (rasp knife) for my friend I had it in hand numerous time in the handle making and finishing stage and became quite enamoured of the style


I got orders for another two and while I was cutting them out I decided to do something with a large slasher blade I had been given some time back. I hadn't wanted to cut it up for smaller blades so after seeing a number of larger bowies on the forum and elsewhere I decided to use it for as large a knife as I could get from it, so drew one out to see what it might look like


I welded a piece of 1084 to the end so I could get a full tang handle as I hadn't wanted to go with a hidden tang.

I DSCN0839_zpsxiurdqol.jpgdidn't want to do the hidden


And profiled it to give me a knife with an over all length of 15 3/4 inch



laid up beside these other blades with the top one having Myrtle scales, the center one having Rimu and my one having bluegum.



 so what do you guys think of the large blade as far as design and style goes. The top two are orders and made to suit the the comisions requirments 




Edited by Garry Keown

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Gary, I couldn't help but notice that lack of responses here, and I never want someone to ask for advice and not get it, so here it comes.

First off, I think you are using the Bowie label rather loosely, I do not look at any of those knives and see "Bowie" This is just my personal opinion, I don't think there is a hard definition of the Bowie Knife, but I know one when I see it.:) The larger blade shape is more of a fighter, I think. It looks like it is meant to do battle.

I do like the blade and handle shapes on the smaller knives a lot. Nice looking EDC types. The larger one looks a little out of whack to me with the humpback handle and the rising point. It looks like it would be clumsy to wield properly especially when thrusting. Typically the spine of the handle drops off and downward toward the heel with the handle not rising above the spine of the blade (on this style of fighter). This one the hump is above the ricasso area and the point rises up even more. It looks bent or broken where the blade meets the handle.

I have moved away from full tang handles on larger knives. I find it too difficult to get the balance right.

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Thank your for the reply Joshua and you are rght in that they are not bowies as such but I didn't really know what else to call them. The two smaller ones are edc hunters with one for a deer hunter in Minesota and the other for a buffalo hunter in Australia.

The larger one was really what I was asking about as I am really a drop point type of hunter knife guy. 

To answer a couple of point you make.

Sitting the blade on its spine the handle hump is clear of the table but that may not show in the pic and lead to the  impression of a raised hump (above the spine) . The hollow in the blade between the handle and the spine is really just a lowered portion for the thumb for a thumb forward hold that I found comfortable in a choping use to add thrust on the down stroke. When you say the rising tip I wonder if there is an optical illusion in the pic as the tip drops off from the spine about 3 inches back from the tip.

Not having really done much with this style of knife I simply (sort of) upscaled the paie above and came up with this.

I have looked through a thread elsewhere on big bowies and I do see what you say about the heel of the handle lowering from the spine line

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This one is off to do buffalo work



and this one will look after deer.


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