Western W47

Jul 9, 2001
I came across a Western seven inch blade bowie, model W47, for sale the other day. I believe the seven inch version is no longer made. Does anyone own, or have an opinion on this knife? I like the design, but I fear the steel might be poor quality.
I've always liked the style of the Western bowies, but I've never owned one. (I do own some Western boot knives that are very attractive, but the steel in them is hardly going to see the same level of use a heavy Bowie would.) Seems like Western goes out of business every now and then and the rights to its line get purchased by someone else...
I believe that model is high carbon and not stainless like the newer bowies. Good steel. Get it if you like it. I owned a larger high carbon model and really liked it after I modified the guard.
Western is now owned by Camillus I think. You could post this question in the Camillus forum and Will Fennel could get you an answer on the steel. It's probably something like 1095, a high carbon (non stainless) steel. If that is the case, it should make a good user. I have a W49, the larger model, as a collector rather than a user. It took a good edge. If you get it and decide not to keep it let me know. I'd like to have the w47 to go with my w49.

Steve Ferguson
I have a Coleman/Western W-49 Bowie that I got in a trade a couple of weeks ago, and I can say that it is a very good knife. I have removed 7/8th an inch off both ends of the LARGE hand-guard (right where the curve starts), and the feel of the knife and "look" is much "better" that way. I have also sanded-down the excellent rosewood handle, and matched it 100% flush to the steel, as well as "dishing-out" the first 1&1/2 inches of the handle, which gives me an "index-finger" index (it also makes the knife feel more secure in my hand).

I don't know what steel the knife is, but it seems to take (and hold) a pretty good edge, and the steel does polish-up to a very nice mirror-finish.
I have a Crawford Cutlery catalog I got less than a year ago, and it shows some Western knives that were discontinued closeouts at the time of printing. This includes the W47, which has a 7 and 1/2 inch blade which is made of "ss" - stainless steel. The W47 I saw was in new condition in a store, so it is probably one of the last ones made. The catalog does not tell what kind of "ss" was used to make the blade. I am guessing it was 420, since companies who describle their blades only as "stainless" usually do so because they don't want to identify the poor grade of steel used.