There is perhaps no more fitting persona for the bowie knife than that of the American himself. It has forever reminded the world of its scrapping inventor, James Bowie and its grizzly use in the Sandbar Fight of 1827, but has taken on its own place in the culture of our nation. Like the character of America, it is a blade built for survival and practicality. It endures long past pragmatism as a necessary tool for the outdoorsman, survivalist and hunter, and is popularly a choice blade handed down to future generations.
How exactly this particular knife has survived so well is more of a testimony to American history rather than the greatness of the blade. Though, we think this fact does not take one inch from that greatness. After all, it is a fitting multipurpose tool. It hacks like a machete through thick brush, the sturdy construction lends to self-defense, survival and hunting, even rough butchering. Handy at the campsite, it’s a bit of a chisel and an axe as well.
Bowie knives have always been a favorite of our company and our proximity to the Buck Knives Factory in Post Falls, Idaho aided in bringing to the public much of the new old stock custom knives that were being held in the archives there. This built a lasting friendship with one of America’s great knife customizers, Leroy Remer. Leroy has built hundreds of handles for bowies that we have offered. So popular were the copper bolster stag handle models, among others, that we now offer vintage Schrade blanks with parts for making the bowie with the copper bolster. Knifemakers, you simply add your own handle material.
Often we enjoyed the work of David Yellowhorse and Wild Bill Cody–both of whose work features spectacular detailed cuts of raw materials inlaid into the bolsters, spacers, and handles–right alongside and in collaboration with the Remer works.
The bowie knife is an invention, and not a brand. This may seem like an obvious statement to the seasoned knife collector, but there has been some confusion in the online marketplace world. Some sellers of bowie knives have recently endured accusations of “copyright infringement” for simply calling the knife what it is: a bowie knife. In an effort to remedy this difficulty, we would love to hear about your own experience.
Bowies vary in shape, size and design, and the large handle and blade work area for creativity means they can be elaborately customized. There are even “small” bowies, though this labeling is purely relative. The largest bowie knife is a whopping 3,000 lbs, and only in jest. And there are field models, which we do currently carry, that are ideal for backpacking, climbing and bushwhacking.
If you currently do not own a bowie knife, perhaps this is the year to acquire one. Sometimes all it takes is grasping that formidable handle and it’s yours. And if you’ve already tasted the quintessential American blade, why not entertain another? It’s a new year, how about a new tool? As always, ePrague Knives has your next Sharp Choice.