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Thread: Western W49 Bowie

  1. #21

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    Thanks for your reply SAC Troop. I find I need a url to post pics, so an image hoasting service is needed? Photobucket or some such? There are some great shots of a S649 under compleated listings on ebay, and my handel is exactly like that, with the stampings as described in orginal post, as in a mid to later 60's
    Western Bowie. A brother in arms carried a W49 in Viet Nam, I opted for the more common Gerber, my skinny ass had enough weight to carry as it was.
    Any feedback on picture posting?

  2. #22
    Thanks for your reply SAC Troop. I find I need an image hosting service for a picture URL? Photobucket or some such? On eBay under compleated listings ther is a Western S649 with great pictures, my handel is exactly like it, so an aftermarket installation doesent look likely unless one had acess to the stock S649 handels from factory and skills to make the switch. The stampings are as stated in orginal post, likely later 60's as described. Any advice on posting pics? I cant find a
    drop down help menu. A brother in arms in Viet Nam carried a W49, I opted for the more common Gerber, my skinny ass had enough weight to carry.

  3. #23
    I use Photobucket to manage my photos and I'm happy with their service. Maybe you can get some help from one of the forum Mods here. I would tend to agree that a delrin handle from a 649 would most likely be factory installed. Why that would be done is another question. I know that Western/Coleman did offer as a service custom grips for a period of time. I haven't been able to confirm if this service was also available earlier from the original company.
    I've also wondered why the model 649-S wasn't a bigger success for Western. They didn't offer it for that many years.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by sac troop View Post
    All I can say is pictures Please! There is the possibility that this would be a (approximately 68) W49 with a custom handle. The pictures would allow for the discussion as to it having possibly being done by the factory or (more likely in MHO) done after the knife left the factory.
    The original Western Company tended to stick pretty closely to their stock number protocol. After Coleman bought the company they were known to have offered W49's with non wooden handles and not adjusted the stock number. Heres an example.
    Greetings, first time here....really enjoy this site...read all the treads ..... question: the Western 49, did Camiilus ever produce any with a crinkle black finish like the Camillus made Beckers

  5. #25
    Do you mean something like the finish on the Ontario knife below being applied to the Western W49?

    As far as I know, I don't believe so.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by sac troop View Post
    Do you mean something like the finish on the Ontario knife below being applied to the Western W49?

    As far as I know, I don't believe so.
    Yes,from what i can see.......that looks like it... I have bought 2 blade blanks from 2 different sources {they were both vague about their source]...the blanks have a crinkle black finish exactly like a Camillus made Becker , no date code ,,,I am computer challenged or else I would post picture. the blanks are ground and both are sharpened,[the sharpened edge being with finish removed] they are ready for guards and handles , they are exactly like a regular w49 but just the finish.... just wondering if they were prototypes , maybe the guys that used to work there could offer some ideas to what handle material they had in mind for it ? if that is the case. thanks for the response

  7. #27
    When the Camillus auction occurred a lot of different blade blanks started showing up. As Camillus was producing the Becker knives it wouldn't surprise me to see parts for these knives show up on the market in various stages of finish. The knife I posted above is from Ontario and I'm not aware of an exact pattern match to it from anywhere else. It is a heavy chopper and has that in common with some Becker patterns.
    In the picture above at first glance the two knives seem very similar. When you actually handle them they are very different. IMHO the early Western W49 is the one I prefer.

    Here are some knife parts credited as having come from the Camillus auction. The blade blank on the top is a Becker Companion prior to final finish and a coating being applied.


  8. #28

    looking to restore a knife

    Quote Originally Posted by CAMCO View Post
    The Western knives made by Camillus sometimes used different model numbers than the original Western Cutlery Co. The "W" indicates a Western knife and the second letter could be another "W" for wood handle or "L" for a leather handle. "WW49" indicates a Western knife with a wood handle. A "WL66" was a Western fixed blade knife with a leather handle. A "WR2" was a rubber handle hunting knife. One of the nicest Bowie knives made by Camillus had a crown stag handle. I believe that we made these for Remington. I had one in my desk at Camillus when the company closed in February 2007. Someone at the auction most likely acquired it.

    I have the blueprints for the wood plaque that was offered with the Western model #W49 Bowie knife.

    Tom Williams
    I remember my father having one of those knifes and plaques, with the leather sheath. The home place burned a few months ago, I dug the knife out, only today. Id sure like to buy some handles, sheath and plaque, if it is doable. thank you

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Camillus, N.Y., Onondaga
    Posts
    539
    Send me an email to camco@live.com and I will see if I can help you with restoring your Western Bowie knife. Can you send me a photo of the blade? I need to see the spacing on the holes in the tang where the rivets go through the wood handles. Please place a ruler under the tang when you take the photo.
    Tom Williams

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Free State of TN
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by KC Huntin View Post
    I am quite happy knowing that mind is CS. Sac troop do you know what kind of CS they made the earlier ones with?
    Hi, saw your question. The WESTERN W-49 was chrome vanadium, it was closest to the steel known as 0170-6c, from Camillus, I have THE EXACT CHEMICAL RUNDOWN of a Western W-49, in my book KNIFE TALK 1 and KNIFE TALK 2 by Ed Fowler, he had some knives tested, including a W-49, Cold Steel (Trailmaster I think)"CARBON V steel", and the CARBON V is VERY close to 0170-6c, hence also close to the steel in the W-49. The famed CARBON V is a dead ringer for the 0170-6c, I can send you the exact chemical content, and the book page # it is on, if you want, I don't mind lookin' it up! The W-49's are great knives, I stunned my teenage buddies when I got mine at 17, and cut trees 2" across, in one clean cut (diagonal, of course) They all laughed at my "redneck knife"! Still got it 22 years later.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Free State of TN
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by camillus fan View Post
    Greetings, first time here....really enjoy this site...read all the treads ..... question: the Western 49, did Camiilus ever produce any with a crinkle black finish like the Camillus made Beckers
    What a beautiful W-49! I sure wish they made those back in the days Western was still around.Is it real stag or Delrin?

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Beaufort, SC
    Posts
    3,108
    The Western W-49 was a great knife. Here is a picture of mine, it is a 1987 or K. It is with two smaller Western boot knife friends.


  13. #33
    Some more information from CAMCO.

    Can you post the attached information on the #WW49 Western Bowie Knife on BladeForuns? There have been several posts lately on the Bowie knife and I located some information that I have that the BF members would enjoy seeing.
    *
    ** Please note that there are two sets of wood handles and the holes for the rivet closest to the guard is in two different locations. The early Bowie knife had the holes closest to the guard. Wallace Rockwell, who worked in the Model Shop, moved that rivet farther from the guard. This was done to compensate for the taper in the wood handle where it meets the guard.
    *
    ** I also included a scan of the parts list for the #WW49 Bowie knife and a photo of*a Bowie knife on a wood plaque. This particular #W49 Bowie knife was one of the last ones made by Western. Several of the Bowie knives and plaques were purchased by Camillus at the Western factory in 1991 when the WESTERN trademark was acquired. Five #W49 Bowie knives (date stamped "M") and wood plaques were sold at the September 2007 auction at the Camillus factory. The buyer of these Bowie knives sent them to me to restore the knives and plaques.
    *
    * Please note that I describe the Bowie knife as both a Model #W49 and #WW49. The original Western factory designated the Bowie knife as the Model #W49. Camillus changed the model number to #WW49 to indicate the first "W" as Western and the second letter "W" as meaning the knife had a wood handle.
    *
    ** Thank you.
    *
    Tom



  14. #34
    A couple of things that CAMCO sent me from his collection of old Western documents. I especially like the piece from the 82 Airborne/Special Forces news letter dated 1964. This is the first year that Western made the W49 BOWIE. Guess it was making an impression right away.


  15. #35
    I've read somewhere that the steel used was 0170-6c. I don't know if this means anything to anyone, & I don't know what years used this steel.

  16. #36
    Hello All - Just registered and first time poster. I also have a Western Bowie that looks exactly like the one in the picture posted by KC Huntin. The stamps on mine are a little different than what I've read on here so I wanted to get more info from you folks.

    The stamps are on the blade of the Bowie and look like this (except they are centered on the blade):

    WESTERN
    U.S.A. W 49
    A

    What does the "A" stand for? And about when was this knife produced? I've had it for more than 20 years now. It was given to me by a military buddy who didn't want it anymore so I don't know much about it.

    Thanks.

    -Z-

  17. #37
    Also, what type of steel is it?

    Thanks.

    -Z-

  18. #38
    It’s a date code. The A is for the year 1977 the year they started date coding the knives. 1977 is also the last year that Western produced knives in Boulder Colo. The next year they moved into their new factory in Longmont Colorado. The practice of date coding the knives continued for the next 15 years until 1991 when Western was sold at auction to Camillus. The letters A thru O can be seen on Western Knives depending on the year of manufacture.
    Your knife blade is made of high carbon steel. Chrome Vanadium is all that I’ve ever seen Western or Coleman/Western ever call it. Check out post #30 above.

  19. #39
    SAC Troop - Thanks for the info. Very helpful. I do have a couple more questions for you.

    The blade and brass guard on the knife look tarnished/discolored. I will try to attach a picture of a knife that looks to be in the same condition as mine as a reference. (I'm at work so I'm "borrowing" the picture from an eBay posting.)

    It looks like all it needs is a good cleaning and polish. What cleaners/polishes do you recommend for getting this knife back to it's original glory? Is there anything I need to be aware of before trying to clean it?



    Thanks again.

    -Z-

  20. #40
    OK - Doesn't look like that worked.

    Here's the link:

    http://tinyurl.com/ay34h2u

    Thanks.

    -Z-

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