Dating Western L66

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Meneldor, Dec 28, 2018.

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  1. Meneldor

    Meneldor

    58
    Dec 28, 2018
    Hi all, long-time lurker, first-time poster. I’m slowly building a collection, and just acquired a Western L66 with sheath. I was wondering if anyone could help in dating it? As well, the pics I’ve seen online all have a sheath with a snap-retention strap, not a pouch-style that came with this knife. Is this likely the original sheath, or a later addition?

    Thanks!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    That dangling pouch sheath looks like a nice home-made one to me.
     
    GABaus likes this.
  3. Meneldor

    Meneldor

    58
    Dec 28, 2018
    It’s in great shape, and made by someone who knew what they were doing. Rubbed a little beeswax to keep it from drying out.
     
  4. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    [​IMG]

    Nice ol' Western.
     
    Rhinoknives1, pjsjr and afishhunter like this.
  5. Whetstone39

    Whetstone39 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2013
    Ask it out nicely, buy it some flowers :D

    Sorry, I couldn't resist, welcome to the Porch :)
     
  6. Meneldor

    Meneldor

    58
    Dec 28, 2018
    Thanks. Looks like the two tang stamps closest to what’s on the knife are the c.1928-1931 or the 1935-1950.
     
  7. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    I was helped out recently on "show us your fixed blades". I have to go back and make a note of who I owe these notes to, but it's before 1973 because that's when they dropped the "Boulder Colo".
    Model number on the ricasso makes it 1954-1967.
     
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  8. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Gold Member Gold Member

    631
    Apr 9, 2018
    That tang stamp reference that gets posted here has a lot of inaccuracies, and a lot of omissions. Unfortunately there isn't a better referece available that I've ever been able to find.

    Best I can say is that the OPs knife has the same tang stamp as a knife that I know to be from the mid 70s. Western moved to Longmont in '78. I wouldn't be surprised if Boulder-stamped knives found their way into the market after '78, chances are that your knife isn't any newer than '78.
     
  9. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Nice L66.
    My favorite Western sheath knife.

    Since it has no letter date code, no "Coleman" on the tangstamp, and the model number is on the 'tuther side, I'll hazard a guess that it is pre c.1983.
     
  10. Meneldor

    Meneldor

    58
    Dec 28, 2018
    Thanks a lot, guys. Seems like I came to the right place to find out more about these fascinating sharp pointy things!

    Any thoughts on what steel Western was using back in the day? It was as dull as a rock when I got it, but it sharpened up quickly.
     
  11. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    zzyzzogeton is our resident Western expert, it was probably him.
     
  12. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    You're right.
     
  13. zzyzzogeton

    zzyzzogeton

    Feb 17, 2013
    I know this is an old post, but somehow I missed it back then. Mea culpa.

    That one is a VERY rare example of a "transition" knife. The mark side stamp is 1946 to 1953/54 - It is post WW2 since it has "PAT'D Made in USA". The pile side stamp, the L66 model number, is a 1953/54 to 1967 stamp.

    So this knife was made in either 1953 or 1954, whenever the L66 model started getting pile side model stamps, but before they ran out of blades stamped with the 3 line PAT'D MADE IN USA die was replaced with the 3 line "no PAT'D included" stamp.

    And yes, the sheath is not original. The L66s always had pancake sheaths,either decorated with the well-known oak leaf/acorn pattern, or a less often seen (1940s/early 1950s) basket weave style decoration.
     
  14. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    My understanding is that the L66 is 1095, regardless of when it was made.
     
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  15. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Western advertised their sheath knives as having chrome vanadium steel, most likely 1095 CroVan. It takes a screaming good edge.
     
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  16. Bartleby

    Bartleby

    Oct 28, 2005
    This was my first fixed blade knife when I was a kid, carried it everywhere.
     
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  17. Meneldor

    Meneldor

    58
    Dec 28, 2018

    Wow. Just seeing this now - been away for awhile. Thank you for this info. Fascinating, and makes me appreciate this knife that much more.
     
  18. Robbit71

    Robbit71

    2
    Jul 26, 2020
    New member, largely because of this post that helped me date a friend's Western L66. Thanks for the info!

    When did Western stamp the model on the hilt? The one I'm referring to has 3-line "WESTERN / Boulder, Colo. / U.S.A." stamped at base of blade and "L66" stamped in brass hilt.
     
  19. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    No letter date code after the model number = pre-1977 (They added the letter date code starting in 1977, with "A". 1980 was "D".)
    The L66 always had a 1095 carbon steel blade, at least before they were bought By Coleman.
    I don't know if Coleman or Camillus used stainless blade (if either did, it was most likely 440A), or if Camillus went back to carbon steel when they bought Western, if Coleman did use a stainless blade, or if Camillus stuck with the stainless, if that is what was being used when they acquired the company, and ran out of the Coleman produced parts.

    It as to be a post "1953" to 1976 tang stamp. If memory serves, the L66 didn't come out until between 1959 and 1961, from what I remember of the research I did on mine a few years ago.
     
    Robbit71 likes this.
  20. Robbit71

    Robbit71

    2
    Jul 26, 2020
    Thanks! Since the earlier posts were discussing the model number stamped on the tang opposite the brand mark, I didn't know if it meant anything date wise when the model number is stamped on the brass hilt instead.
     

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