As it turns out, the Bowie knife is a fighting knife that was named after a guy James Bowie. This guy was living a life like a movie back in the early 19th century.
He was from Texas (no surprise there), and was a real hot-headed guy.
He always got himself in fights with all kinds of people. After an incident with the local town’s sheriff, he got shot. After that he decided that he’s going to carry a knife with him at all times.
That’s what you do when a law enforcement officer shoots you.
You start carrying weapons.
Anyway, some time after the incident with the sheriff, he managed to get himself into a bar fight in Natchez, Mississippi. During the bar fight, his opponent shot him in the hip.
James Bowie got so pissed off, that he drew his knife and threw himself towards his opponent. The other guy hit Bowie in the head and managed to break his empty pistol, then drew a sword, and stabbed Bowie.
As Bowie was laying on the ground, bleeding, his attacker put his foot on James’s chest and tried to pull his sword out.
At that time, Bowie managed to pull his opponent down on top of him, and with his knife did that slashing guts and intestines thing from Game of Thrones.
Tough Friday, I guess.
Anyway, then James Bowie was announced as a major bad ass knife fighter, and couple years later after the incident in a bar, blacksmith James Black made him a knife, and called it a “Bowie fighting knife”.
I don’t think the story about knife’s origins can get any better than that. I mean what kind of a bar allows sword fighting, and stomach slashing? The answer is: a good bar.
Okay, moving on.
Bowie Knife types
Traditionally, the Bowie Knife is supposed to be from 12 to 30 inches in
length, and the blade is anywhere from 5 to 24 inches, depending on the handle’s size.
Bowie knife always comes as a fixed-blade, so if you run across some dude who’s telling you that he has a Bowie knife, and then shows you some sort of switchblade, or a pocket knife, you have my permission to tear his guts out.
You can hit him in a face though.
The Bowie knife is supposed to be big, it’s not for concealed carry. It was made to be carried on your belt, where everyone would see it.
It’s a fighting knife, so I guess you could say that armies across the world carry Bowie knives in a sense. It can be classified as a survival knife as well, but its main purpose is killing, not cutting down bushes and whatnot. The traditional design has a handle made either from deer antlers, or from high quality wood.
Today you can get one with “high tech silicone covered ultra grip” bullshit handle.
You think James Bowie would like that? Hardcore guys like him choose wood. You should too.
Bowie Knife fighting
There’s a lot of fighting techniques and styles with the Bowie knife.
It’s a fighting knife, what did you expect?
Just like the Karambit, every fighting move is designed to make your day a lot worse than it is now, so if you want to learn any of that stuff, be careful and use practice knives. And if a guy is coming at you with a Bowie knife, I would suggest running and/or praying.
Anyway, you can check out some of the fighting techniques right here:
Couple of questions before you really decide about getting yourself a Bowie knife:
1. Is it legal in your country? Check it out first, because it is a knife made for killing.
Don’t get yourself in jail for stuff like that.
2. What you going to do with it? Want to learn some fighting techniques? Do you have anyone to teach you?
You should get a training knife first.
Be prepared to spend at least 80-100 dollars on a good Bowie knife.
Buy a cheaper one, and you’re risking quality. A knife like that should not break in your hands or between your opponent’s ribs at any time.
Invest in quality.