Oct 4, 1998
I think Iam going to get a new knife. A Jim Hrisoulas "Rifleman's Knife" the only problem is not 100% sure this is what I want, he doesn't have a picture of it on his site. I e-mailed him and he called it an old "Sheffeild" style of "California" Bowie knife A slender and gracefull blade. It has a 12" blade that is 1.5" wide. I think I know what he is talking about, but I though maybe somebody could help me before I talk to him again.(don't want to sound stupid)

If I'm not mistaken, it'll look a little like this:

That's a Harald Moeller Bowie very close to a late 19th century English production piece. At least 3" - 4" of the upper spine will be sharpened, sometimes a lot more than that. Harald's variant shown here has a "coffin handle", fairly common. It's both functional and a "black humor visual pun".

There really wasn't a standard pattern of Bowie, they varied all over the place.

Jim H. is well known for good steel and high quality - and GREAT "bang for the buck" factor. The few specs you have (1.5" height by 12" long) suggest it'll be light enough to handle well, and given he's mainly known for swords I suspect he'll get the balance right.

The only thing some people don't like about these is the lack of "flexibility in grip styles", referring to how you hold it. The large upper guard messes up some forms of reverse-grip holds. The grip type is fine for utility, especially if there's an unsharpened area of around 1" just ahead of the lower guard (choil) so you can "trigger it", wrapping the forefinger around the lower guard. Triggering increased control at the expense of leaving that finger unprotected in a fight; historically many old-west fighters took that risk to increase tip control. Harald's specimen here has *just* barely enough choil, which is good unless you've got very fat fingers.

As long as you like point-forward fighting holds, this type of critter makes for a superb weapon. Mad Dog's Panther is basically a Bowie-oid, but lacking an upper guard he allows flexible reverse grips.

Jim March
Thanks that helps. I think you are right, Mine will look a lot like Harald Moeller Bowie except that mine will have stag handles and nickel silver bouble branched guard.
If you like forward-reach grip styles and a meaty blade, ya, this should be great. One thing, "Sheffield" type implies there's no deep sharpened concave "scallop" out towards the tip on the upper edge, it'll be more "slender and graceful" like this Moeller piece.

Which is good; to support that scallop and upswept tip people usually visualize with "Bowie" you need a lot of "blade beef", you get a real heavy monster that way.

Note: I don't think any of Jim H's work is as overtly "pretty" as this "art knife", his tends to be more "blue collar" stuff, decent cosmetics and tough as nails. Harald's knowledge of balance comes from making throwers so he's no slouch in that dept.

Jim March
That is a nice photo of a fine bowie. Most of the traditional "Sheffield" type bowies dont have such a long clip. there is a wide variation of this type among makers, if you are serios have Jim H. send you a photo or at least a sketch.

What is Jim H.'s web site??????