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Bowie Knives Dover NH

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Kitterytrading Post
(207) 439-2700
301 U.S.Route #1
Kittery, ME
 
The Ammodump
(603) 755-9800
118 Spring St
Farmington, NH
 
Portsmouth Rent and Ride
(603) 433-6777
958 Sagamore Ave
Portsmouth, NH
 
Portsmouth Kayak Adventures
(603) 559-1000
185 Wentworth Road
Portsmouth, NH
 
Old Time Gun Shop
(603) 989-5870
257 Court St.
Haverhill, NH
 
Kds Camping Outfitters Llc
(603) 773-2999
5 French Lane
Stratham, NH
 
Dick's Sporting Goods
(603) 431-8036
The Crossings at Fox Run
Portsmouth, NH
 
Kittery Trading Post
(207) 439-2700
301 U.S. Route One
Kittery, ME
 
Mountain Road Trading Post
(603) 895-3501
68 Mtn Rd. P.O.Box 57
Raymond, NH
 
Kds Camping Outfitters Llc
(603) 773-2999
5 French Lane
Stratham, NH
 

Bulwarks of the American Bowie

Bulwarks of the American Bowie
February 23, 2009
by  Mike Haskew


When ABS master smith Wade Colter makes knives, nine out of 10 will be folders, mainly locking liners in what he calls the “Montana style.” He also makes specialty knives—dual-purpose pieces such as cut ’n shoot gun knives and other unusual designs that pique the interest of friends and potential purchasers.

So, what then is the reason for his passion when it comes to spreading the good word about the finer points of the ferrule, particularly when compared to the basic staple of fixed blades, the ubiquitous spacer? Some things, Colter says, are sacred. Though he may construct only a single hunting knife and possibly a pair of bowies in a given year, he is a purist.



“In bowies, I try to show a traditional track,” he explained, “and discipline myself with them. That’s specific to American bowie knives. Now, that’s not taking anything away from English bowie knives, but the American bowie is an icon. Doing an American bowie differently is like someone saying they can do the flag better than it already is.”

The bone that Colter picks with the English bowies is the frequent incidence of spacers rather than ferrules in their construction. A true American bowie, such as those made 150 years ago in Arkansas and Louisiana, were far and away constructed with ferrules rather than spacers, he opines. And when Colter is willing to dedicate the time and effort to making a bowie, he intends for it to be authentic.

According to Colter, the ferrule is a reinforcing band that strengthens the overall knife. What’s more, the handle material is inserted into the ferrule as opposed to butting up against it. “That’s pretty much the end of the discussion on what a ferrule is,” said Colter. “A reinforcing band can follow absolute form or absolute form and absolute function—not just strengthening the knife but beautifying it as well. It can work so well that people notice it as an extra piece of metal in front of the guard. They may not understand the advantage of improved strength and feel in the overall piece, though.”

In contrast, a spacer does what its name implies, adding an accent while filling space between the handle and guard. Usually of wood, amber, ivory or fiber, the spacer adds little in terms of strength to the piece, Colter says. Of course, there are no doubt scores of followers of Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Famers© William Scagel, Bo Randall and D’ Holder, as well as of many other makers, who swear by their spacered knives. Still, Colter stands by his guns—er, make that ferruled knives.

“Spacers are a buffer or a gasket,” he offered. “When you look at how spacers are done, it’s often butt to butt on a piece of wood or ivory, which is glued in place and offers very little added strength at all. W...

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