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Bowie Knives

topic posted Wed, April 18, 2007 - 1:54 PM by  offlineJames
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Maybe I am flogging this subject to death, but I have just received four Pakistani 'Throwing' bowie knives, mailed to me from the United States.

These knives were highly recommended on several sites as good throwing knives because they are 'cheap', about $12 each. I have to say that I am quite impressed with them. They are big, and 'beefy' knives with 10" blades that are 2" wide. Since I have ordered four of them, I have taken to wearing two of them on my belt. I have noticed though that a lot of 'tough guys' give me some pretty nasty 'big backyard' stares if I walk into a bar.

So I thought I would bring up some questions not only about these particular knives, but knives in general.

Cheap vs. Expensive. = Even on the 'discount' cutlery site where I ordered these knives, there were some smaller Bowie knives, as well as hunting knives, etc. that were priced as high as several hundred dollars. These knives are smaller than the bowies that I have, so why the extra expense? Name brand? Workmanship? Metal quality?

Big vs. Small= In some ways I can see the advantages of a big knife over a small knife, especially when it comes to such things as hacking branches off trees, and so forth. However, are there instances when a small knife is better than a big Bowie? I suppose that's like asking if a scalpel is better than a sword. You wouldn't want to use a sword for surgery or a scalpel for fighting from horseback.

However, one disadvantage seems to be that these Bowie knives are easily seen. This was a bar with about 50 to 80 people and I got some pretty 'intense stares' from about ten men. I should mention that there have been some stabbings in the area lately, however...this is a bar where the owner is also my landlord (I live above the bar.)

Carry vs. Use = It is my understanding that if you carry a knife, you should be familar with how to use it. This includes fighting with your knife. 'If you carry a knife, be prepared to draw it, use it, and go to jail, or die.' Many people have also cautioned me about the possibilty of being attacked with your own weapon.

To that end, is carrying TWO bowie knives 'overkill', or asking for trouble? I kind of feel like a bit of a 'cowboy' carrying these two huge knives on my belt. However, I feel that looking like a cowboy is asking for trouble...especially in an area where people have been stabbed.

Incidentally, these knives came dull. I could sharpen them, but it is my understanding tat throwing knives should have a dull blade for safety purposes. It is the pointy end that sticks.

The throwing bowies on the knife throwing site had their handles and crossguard removed, so that they were stripped down to nothing but blade and tang. I am reluctant to do this with my knives, although I would then have three to thow, and one to sharpen and carry around for utility.
posted by:
James
Toronto
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  • Incidentally, here is the site and the knife I am talking about.

    www.discountcutlery.net/en-us/...45.html

    The ones I ordered are 'The Original Bowie knife'. These were being sold as 'Bowie throwing knives' on the site 'Atlanta cultery' for $20 each. However, they told me that they didn't ship these to Canada. Which was good luck for me, since I found a cheaper distributor of the same knives that did ship to Canada.
  • "However, one disadvantage seems to be that these Bowie knives are easily seen. This was a bar with about 50 to 80 people and I got some pretty 'intense stares' from about ten men. I should mention that there have been some stabbings in the area lately, however...this is a bar where the owner is also my landlord (I live above the bar.) "

    To paraphrase Einstein - "You can't simultaneously prepare for war and peace." Carrying the knives advertises your willingness to use them. With stabbings in the area, you are looking for trouble and likely, in some minds, saying that you where involved in the stabbings.

    Yes, two knives is over kill - it only takes one through the heart to die.

    "Cheap vs. Expensive. = Even on the 'discount' cutlery site where I ordered these knives, there were some smaller Bowie knives, as well as hunting knives, etc. that were priced as high as several hundred dollars. These knives are smaller than the bowies that I have, so why the extra expense? Name brand? Workmanship? Metal quality? "

    There are many reasons for differences in price. A common reason is simple marketing - people will pay for the preception of quality regardless of reality. Brand name, workmanship and quality of materials are all factors in pricing. Few mass produced knives impress me - many mass produced knives are soft bladed so they won't hold an edge. I'm amused by fantasy blades - give me a practical knife any day.

    "Big vs. Small [?]"
    Use the right tool for the job.

    "Carry vs. Use [?]"
    Know how to use your tools. Lesson one in fighting - run away. Lesson two - run faster. If you need lesson three, you are probably dead.

    "Incidentally, these knives came dull. I could sharpen them, but it is my understanding tat throwing knives should have a dull blade for safety purposes. It is the pointy end that sticks. "

    A dull knife is a dangerous knife. Dull requires more force to use which reduces one's ability to control it. If you are throwing knives for sport, I recommend moderately sharp - to sharp and it will penatrate to deeply destroying the target, to dull and it will bounce of the target. If you are using the throwing knives as weapons - think razor blades.
    • Unsu...
       
      In fifty some years I've only met one person who was skilled enough to use a throwing knife for killing purposes. He was ex-OSS and a former knife thrower in a circus. He made the point that the only reason to throw a knife is as a last resort, especially if the other guy has a gun and you are too far away to gut him.
      If you're walking into a bar full of toughs, even if you live above it, maybe you should find a different bar. Carrying two knives openly can be considered a threat to alot of louts with too much booze on the brain.
      Despite the often confusing laws pertaining to carrying a knife openly on a belt (the state may allow it, but cities can outlaw it here in California) I always carry anything larger than a pocket knife concealed. I do nothing to catch the eyes of law enforcement or thugs.
      A dull knife is useless. Sharpen it.
      Pakistani knives are often given a bad rap, but generally the workmanship is decent, and the costs are cheap because they pay the poor wretches slave wages. The simplest Paki blades are often the best. I've had one for nearly 20 years, and if it were a woman I would have been arrested for abuse long ago.
      cg
      • <<In fifty some years I've only met one person who was skilled enough to use a throwing knife for killing purposes. He was ex-OSS and a former knife thrower in a circus. He made the point that the only reason to throw a knife is as a last resort, especially if the other guy has a gun and you are too far away to gut him. >>

        Well the sites that I have seen for throwing knives state quite clearly that you should NEVER throw a knife at an Animal or a person. I suppose that this is obvious but really can't be overstated. I really can't ever see myself being in a situation where I would have to throw a knife at someone, since no one really carries pistols in Canada and if someone is that far away, I would simply run.

        <<If you're walking into a bar full of toughs, even if you live above it, maybe you should find a different bar. Carrying two knives openly can be considered a threat to alot of louts with too much booze on the brain.>>

        I figured that this might be the case. I normally carry nothing larger than a folding buck-knife in a leather belt holder. I suppose these bowie knives might be useful for camping...although even then they are a little big for that.

        <<Despite the often confusing laws pertaining to carrying a knife openly on a belt (the state may allow it, but cities can outlaw it here in California) I always carry anything larger than a pocket knife concealed. I do nothing to catch the eyes of law enforcement or thugs.>>

        In Canada you can carry a knife of pretty much any size openly, even for 'self-defence', so long as it isn't a sword and so long as it isn't concealed. Of course, if you have a big, beefy knife called 'The Exterminator' or something like that, the Police will still hone in on you and want to know 'why' you NEED to carry around a big knife in the middle of a large city, and you should definitely have a better answer than 'for self-defence'.
    • Thanks for the advice Troy. I certainly have no intention of 'sticking around' if someone pulls a knife on me.

      <<A dull knife is a dangerous knife. Dull requires more force to use which reduces one's ability to control it. If you are throwing knives for sport, I recommend moderately sharp - to sharp and it will penatrate to deeply destroying the target, to dull and it will bounce of the target. If you are using the throwing knives as weapons - think razor blades. >>

      I saw one site which said that you can use ordinary paper playing cards to throw as effective weapons (but recommends that you do this only for entertainment purposes). One of these paper cards was thrown with such force, that it went through a watermelon. There are also special 'metal' cards that you can use for this purpose, but this approaches the category of 'throwing stars' which are illegal weapons in Canada. When you are talking about throwing razor blades as weapons, wouldn't they be too light? I already know that some throwing knives which are too light are considered as 'floaters' because they become aerodynamic and sail off in the breeze during a spin.
      • Sorry but you missed the point. I was talking about how sharp a knife should be to be used as a weapon, such a blade should be razor sharp.

        Yes, playing cards can be used as thrown weapons but they really only work against stationary veggies and maybe hotdogs, no one will ever die from a thrown playing card.
        • Ahh, ok. Razor sharp. I suppose that bayonets might be the exception...at least this is what they told us in the Army. 'Knives sharp, bayonets dull'. The reason being is that a dull, pointy bayonet (on the end of a rifle) made a slower healing wound than a sharp knife would.

          I did see a technique for 'flicking' safety razors at targets by placing the middle 'hourglass' part of them on the end of your finger, and then snapping your fingers. I can't imagine what would happen if you tried to do this to a person. I don't see it as being any more effective of a weapon than say, throwing a lit match at them. I would imagine you would probably get punched out or arrested by the Police. Maybe both.

          I have heard of 'Teddy boys' in England keeping safety razor blades concealed in the collars of their shirts for street fighting.

          I have seen a technique for cutting a playing card in half, and wedging a piece of thin metal in order to make it more effective as a thrown weapon. However, I'd imagine that this would put it into the 'throwing star' category...which are illegal weapons in Canada.
          • Razor blades make surprisingly deadly weapons - sharp enough to cut most things but to small to cut deeply which can lead to a lot of bleeding "non-serious" cuts that one's body may ignore in a fight resulting in one bleeding to death.

            Old strait blade razors, which are often 3-4 inches long, are very dangerous weapons. The steel is very hard and holds very sharp edges for a long time. Edges sharp enough to cut through heavy leather easily.

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