Dating western bowie knives

Yes it's the real deal. Western started making the W49 in In Western started the practice of adding a date code to most of the knives.
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Please log in to reply. I knew your research was fairly extensive and that you had more info than I could ever find in a short time Just when you think you have them figured out one turns up that does not fit the mold. I have always thought that the Western Bowie with the bigger handle bolts, thick handle, W49 guard marks and ringed sheath was post Vietnam but then came across this on ebay.

It has alot of documentation and looks good. It still could be post Vietnam presentation item but who knows. Also has medal with his name and paper documents dated Charlie AH, I was unaware of this point.


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This information will be very helpful in my search. Tim Tim, They come all sorts of ways. But you know that. Chrome is very hard and resist a lot of the normal scratching that would show on other knives.

The Western Bowie / W49 Identification Thread - All About Pocket Knives

I have handled about five Western Bowies that were used in Vietnam. They all had really good documentation. Of the five two were chrome plated and three were not. The chrome plated ones were in really nice shape other then some chipping to the chrome and handle wear and maybe minor pitting. The other three were heavly pitted from the jungle. Expect to see hard use and pitting on any knife used in Vietnam as the jungle destroyed them pretty good.

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When I see a Vietnam used knife for sale that is in mint condition I usually pass. If the knife has the original leather sheath I expect to see some pretty hard use on that leather. The chrome one I own has a replacment sheath made of canvas. I have two other knives my cousin gave me in when he returned from Vietnam. They all have heavy use and both have the sheaths replaced after they rotted away.

Bottom line if you want a western Bowie that was actully used in Vietnam you need good provinence on the knife. It should show jungle use. If you can located a chromed one I would say there was a good possibility that it was used in Vietnam. From to Western knives also incorporated a blade stamp or etching along the blade. Between and , the etching was composed of a tic-tac-toe- looking graphic with information in each section.

A "W" in the upper left and an "S" in the upper right section stood for Western States.

From to , the blade stamp combined "Western States" with an etching of a buffalo head. You may have to open all the blades on a multi-blade pocket knife before finding the tang stamp, as not all of the blades have it. However, the biggest blade on the knife is generally your best bet. Some Western knife sheaths also incorporate the Western logo. However, do not just assume that the knife inside the sheath is a Western. Always look for a Western tang stamp. It can be a fine line sometimes, but try to stay on the non-commercial side of it. Ads, promotions, product announcements, giveaways, AMAs, kickstarters, and links to self-owned businesses, facebook pages and blogs will usually be removed.

How to Identify Western Knife Company Knives

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View our Public Moderation Logs here or here. Old Western bowie knife identification help! I got this old knife. W49 and what appears to be a "C" underneath. I'm just trying to find out some information about this knife and any help would be appreciated.

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The guard may simply have been bent by a previous owner, perhaps while doing the handle repair. They appear to have bent where I'd expect them to, right at the end of the groove where they are weakest. It was also the last year they were made in Boulder, CO. The letters A through O can be seen on their knives depending upon the year of manufacture during the years '77 to '