These links this is the earliest model of what became known as model w Western usa w49 big bowie knife gro? Western started making the w49 in In western started the practice of adding a date code to most of the knives they produced.
The earliest western bowie will be marked on the blade: I'm new here and need help dating a western w49 bowie knife. W49 bowie knife blank unground carbon steel. Vintage western w49"m" hunting fighting bowie knife w sheath.
How to collect western w49 bowie knives. Back in the early, and late 70's, all the guys I approached for any type of knife, especially SOG knives, said they left them in Vietnam. Very few guys that I can recall actually had theirs. In fact in 20 years of service, was never given a Vietnam carried knife. The ones brought home were kept, or given to some relative. How easy or difficult is it to come across a Western Bowie that actually looks like it may have seen use during the Vietnam War.
Many of the examples of Vietnam War vintage Bowies do not appear to have traveled any further west than the California shoreline. Is it uncommon to come across a Bowie with that "been there and done that" look? I'd sure like to find one and would pay good money to acquire it. Posted 12 January - The only sure way to get one that was in Vietnam is from a vet that can document the knife.
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.
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.
This thread is started as an information repository for folks trying to identify/verify/ date their Western Bowie knife. It will only contain information. Knife in question is the bottom knife w/ the bigger handle pins. This is not marked like my other Western, this one is marked on the guard and.
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. 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. The marking are very important. If there is a letter on the blade under the Western name it is post The ones marked W49 with large handle bolts are questionable to me.
Charlie A naive question, most probably - but, was this chroming ever done in-country?