Western bowie w49 dating websites
I have owned alot of these knives and in fact the picture is of my knife.
Just when you think you have them figured out one turns up that does not fit the mold.
I have always thought that the Western Bowie with the bigger handle bolts, thick handle, W49 guard marks and ringed sheath was post Vietnam but then came across this on ebay. It still could be post Vietnam presentation item but who knows.
The ones marked on the blade with "BOWIE" (Pictured) are definately Vietnam era. Western made at least two different stock numbered bowies during the Vietnam time period.
With the above in mind at this time I would advise you to look for knives with one of the following markings: This is generally excepted as the first variation of the W49 W49pic2 W49pic1This is the next version of blade marking the W49 W49pic1IMHO many more variations on these knives also fall into the proper Vietnam time period.
But without more evidence to support them the above examples are my recommendation at this time.
The letters A through O can be seen on their knives depending upon the year of manufacture during the years '77 to '91.
My knife has an abbreviated guard that was done by a previous owner and is currently semi-Bagwellized.
Western made at least two different stock numbered bowies during the Vietnam time period.Also they produced the stock number (649) a bowie with a handle made of synthetic stag for the handle.According to Westerns 1986 catalog they started producing the W49 in 1964.It's all kind of murky and just passed on like we are doing here. I have been trying for some time to compile dating info and as you probably know there are some gray areas. It can also be identified by the smaller pins in the handle.But I feel like your chart is about as accurate a depiction as one is likely to find. I had put together this table that I'm going to post but not sure how it'll show up. The 4th variant, I believe, is similarly guard marked and stamped "W49" instead of Bowie, like the 3rd variant, on the pile side. WESTERN / USA / W49 with the letter "A" which signifies the first year that Western implemented the alphabetical date code (1977).