- Dec 23, 2006
My name is Stephen, a newbie to Bladeforums; and I would like to contribute to the Fighting Bowie community. The following is a relation of my journey in researching Bagwellian battle blades; and contains my frank opinions.
Earlier this year, I stumbled across Robin Brown’s (“Brownie”) Youtube video on Panther Concealment’s sheath system w/Bill Bagwell’s custom Bowie. At first, I was only interested in the sheath, but after further investigation into Bagwell Bowies, I realized I knew very little about the uniqueness of the Bowie. A new world was opened to me, and I started digging into the wealth of info available on the subject. I soon got Bagwell’s out-of-print book “The Bowie, Big Knives, and the Best of Battle Blades”, a volume of old articles from the Soldier of Fortune magazine. Most of the info therein is still relevant today.
After reading through Bagwell’s book, I wanted to get in touch with the man himself; so I could get a blade made for me. However, I was unable to reach him through the number on River City Sheath's website and later found out that he’s no longer as active as he used to be due to age and sickness.
Bill’s method of knife making is unlike any other high-end knifemaker’s methods; in that Bill tempers his blades primarily for the rages of close combat. In the 21st century, this is still relevant as you would want a long blade that could take a hit from a crowbar or bat/club, and not be damaged. 21st century fencers should be warned that most custom ABS blades are for wealthy collectors who like pretty toys that could cut down water bottles and apples. If you want an expensive art piece, knock yourself out (don't cut yourself).
Newbies who’ve never owned a Bagwell-forged Bowie are in luck, as Bill was gracious enough to entrust his techniques to Greg Covington in Ohio. Greg’s work is the closest in quality to a Bagwell blade you can find. Depending on what you want, Greg’s costs may range from $900-2000+. My Sifu once told me, “…Always go for the best…” Folks, Greg is the best we’ve got for a BATTLE blade right now. Your wallet may cry, but hopefully, you won’t be crying in a life-deathly you so i wont pass and dispersions situation (if you’ve got the right tool and the right skills).
Greg made me a big Cable Damascus blade tailored to my physical characteristics within a month’s time (though he gave a few month’s estimate turnaround time). It was hard work, but he was gracious enough to dedicate himself to my project. If you’re a serious bladesman, contact Greg on his Facebook page “Covington Edged Weaponry”.
If this information is somewhat "over your head", I recommend looking up Birth of a Bagwell Bowie Knife on Youtube, along with its related shorter clips (download those videos before they are taken down!).
I’m sorry this did not work out the way you perceived it would but it is what it is
I do not know you and I’m sorry if this has offended you and in my initial post I said that you make a nice knife if thats any conciliation
But the way I read the OP’s post was that Bill was one foot in the grave and you were the air-apparent to Billy’s style of blades
Well I know Bill and he is still making knives and taking orders the same as he always has
So my question is when you initially posted why did you not say as much ?
From the OP’s post I was concerned and confused enough that I called him to relay what I read here and to ask what was up
I’m sorry I did not reach out to you first but I don’t know you....... I know Bagwell so I figured I’d get it from the horses mouth.
Someone has told Mr Pham things that Bill has taken exception too and basically said Bill was closed for business
Bill might be getting older but he’s still making knives and taking orders and has bills like the rest of us to pay
So as his friend I want that to be known