Characteristics of Bowie Knives

Nov 16 08:31 2009 Dave Sabot Print This Article

Knives have always played a prominent role in human affairs. From the first flint knife blade to today's carbon steel weapons, the knife has a long and illustrious history.

However,Guest Posting few types of knives have ever matched the mystique, mystery and magic commanded by the Bowie knife. You'll find that this legendary weapon has spawned numerous modern derivatives, some so altered that they can scarcely be recognized as Bowie knives. What qualifies a knife to claim such heritage? Actually, this can be a sticky question to answer.

Actually, Bowie knives got started in Louisiana. The first one was actually commissioned by James Bowie's brother, Rezin. The original knife was a little over 9 inches long (blade length), had no cross guards and did not have the clipped point that is such a hallmark of Bowie knives today. The next version of the knife differed slightly. In fact, the number of versions between the knife commissioned by Rezin and what you would recognize today as a Bowie knife are truly not known. What is know is that James Bowie eventually commissioned a blacksmith by the name of James Black to create a knife based off a wooden version that Bowie had made. The result was unique.

The "original" or "true" Bowie knife today is actually based on the "Sheffield" Bowie, which differs from the version used by James Bowie at the Alamo. Today's version has a much less pronounced clip at the front, with a longer, though shallower, curve leading from the tip of the point to the top of the spine. The knives are also usually thinner than the one that James Black produced and the false edge is usually sharpened (though not always).

The tip of a Bowie knife is a special case. All knives tied to this particular heritage should have a clipped point. That is, the point of the knife should be located well below the spine of the blade and should connect with the spine via a curve that runs back toward the hilt and up to the spine. Any knife that does not have a clipped point should not be considered a Bowie knife (even though some very early versions of the original did not have this feature). The false edge of the tip can be sharpened or left blunt (sharpened edges indicate that the knife is a Sheffield Bowie).

Obviously, determining what is a real Bowie and what is not can be a complicated process; however, let your own preferences be your guide. If you purchase a Rambo-style knife and feel that it qualifies, then that should be good enough.

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Dave Sabot
Dave Sabot

Dave Sabot is the owner of an online bowie hunting knife store featuring Cold Steel bowie knifes. Additionally, Dave is also the President of a specialty lighters store.

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