Early Western Cutlery model W49 Bowie with high-carbon steel blade, rosewood handle scales, and original leather sheath. Manufactured in the late 1960’s – no model number on ricasso or the guard; handle scales are exotic Rosewood with brass pins instead of laminated wood seen on later models. This is a nice full-size working Bowie; Because of its wide and heavy blade which would chop through just about anything, Western Bowies had quickly developed a large fan base with the GIs serving in Vietnam. A lot of these handy Bowies were privately purchased by the troops heading to Vietnam and saw action in the jungles of South-East Asia – see a period photo of a serviceman holding a Western Bowie just like this one (the photo is a curtesy of Wikipedia and is not included with the lot).
The knife is about 14-1/2″ / 36.8 cm overall; the blade is about 9-1/8″ / 23.4 cm; it’s about 2-1/8″ / 5.3 cm wide at the widest point and 4.5 mm thick. The blade has been re-sharpened and it is razor-sharp still; the tip is intact. The blade is stamped WESTERN / BOWIE/ U.S.A. on ricasso. Solid bronze “wide” S-guard is unmarked; it is solid with no play; all parts are tight as well. This big boy weights 1 pound 8.1 oz (about 0.68 kg) with the sheath. Original-issue brown leather sheath is used, but in very good overall condition, considering the age; one minor cut at the throat is noted for accuracy. These vintage pre-1971 Western Bowies are getting harder and harder to find; it would make an excellent addition to any collection.
This attractive Vietnam War era Western W49 Bowie Knife / fighting knife has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way, 100% original condition; these are the actual photos. I have a few more Vietnam era American knives/bayonets, as well as some British, Commonwealth, and German WW2 era combat knives and bayonets, plus several scarce WW1 and WW2 fighting daggers and trench knives from other countries available for sale – please take a look in our Militaria section.
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International shipping for this item will be $55 and up to most countries on our “ship-to” list.