Original U.S. Post Vietnam Era Western USA W49 Bowie Knife With Custom Replacement Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. A Bowie knife is a pattern of fixed-blade fighting knife created by Rezin Bowie in the early 19th century for Jim Bowie, who had become famous for his use of a large knife at a duel known as the Sandbar Fight.
Since the first incarnation, the Bowie knife has come to incorporate several recognizable and characteristic design features, although in common usage the term refers to any large sheath knife with a crossguard and a clip point. The knife pattern is still popular with collectors; in addition to various knife manufacturing companies there are hundreds of custom knife makers producing Bowie knives with different types of steel and variations.
During the late 19th and 20th centuries, the Bowie knife served usefully as a camp and hunting tool, as well as a weapon, and is still popular with some hunters and trappers in the present day. However, as today's campers and backpackers generally rely on prepared lightweight foods, and have little or no use for a large knife as a weapon or for butchering wild game animals, the traditional Bowie pattern knife is today mostly purchased by collectors or edged weapon enthusiasts.
The Bowie remains popular with collectors. In addition to various knife manufacturing companies there are hundreds of custom knife makers and bladesmiths producing Bowies and variations. The Bowie knife dominates the work produced by members of the American Bladesmith Society. Collecting antique Bowie knives is one of the higher-end forms of knife collecting with rare models selling as high as $200,000. Even mass-produced Sheffield Bowies from the 19th century can sell in the range of $5,000US to $15,000US.
This Bowie example was produced by “Western USA” and is believed to be the later 3rd model of this knife. The earlier Vietnam War era versions were stamped on the blade while the later post war ones were stamped on top of the crossguard, like this one. The knife is in good solid condition with signs of minor use and sharpening. The fittings and guard are made of brass with lovely rosewood colored stained wood grip scales, held on by 3 brass rivets through the tang of the blade. The included scabbard was made as a replacement to give this more of a Vietnam War appearance and features a lovely wooden inner structure with a Mitchell camouflage pattern wrap on it. The “belt loop” style attachment, funny as it is, was made from a cut leather belt. The subdued patch on the face of the scabbard is for the 1079th Garrison Support Unit.
The 1079th Garrison Support Unit (GSU) was a unit in the United States Army Reserve (USAR). Based at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, the unit initially formed its first ranks in 1986 under the command of Colonel Phillip Petter. The mission of the unit was to process military pay and personnel records and prepare the units for mobilizing to combat zones overseas. In March 1996 the 1079th moved to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, which is commonly known as Fort Dix. There the unit served as an Installation Support Battalion and mobilization readiness unit. During 1999 the 1079th supported Fort Dix in handling two major military operations. Soldiers from the unit helped process troops from hurricane-ravaged Central America in Joint Horizons I and II. They also supported the post in Operation Provide Refuge. The 1079th also received many citations for their contributions and efforts in support of Kosovo refugees. In August 2008 the unit reunited at Fort Indiantown Gap to hold a discontinuation ceremony. It officially disbanded in September 2008.
This is a lovely example of a Western Bowie that comes ready to display!
Blade Length: 9 ¼”
Handle Length: 5 ⅛”
Total Length: 14 ½”
Guard Width: 4 ¾”
Scabbard Length: 10 ¼”
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