FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

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N. Brian Huegel
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FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby N. Brian Huegel » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:16 pm

Historical Note -
Long gone are the days of the single shot muzzle loading pistol and the need for a large companion Bowie knife. As the necessity of this legendary fighting knife waned preceding the American Civil War, the smaller clip point Bowie hunter became the legacy of the pattern that formed the basis of the sportsman’s hunting knife during the last quarter of the 19th century. Beginning in the 1900s, Webster Marble introduced many of today’s well-known hunting knife patterns including the Ideal. This clip point hunter is the pattern on which the WWII USN MK2 is based; most famously known as the iconic KA-BAR of US Marine Corps renown. This knife would become the most used fighting utility knife ever produced. This almost two hundred year lineage of American knife history has a direct link to the FB33GP Bradley Bowie.
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The Knife and Design -
The Bradley Bowie is a design for many diverse and overlapping uses. It will serve equally well as a hunting, camping, bushcraft, and tactical knife. There is an understated elegance in this knife with its elongated clip point and tapered swedge. Its form follows function clean, crisp lines highlight Gayle’s design sense and celebrates Sal’s “No more than necessary, no less than perfect” motto. With a thickness behind the edge of approximately .025” (blade thickness of 5/32” or 4mm), this flat ground Bowie is an efficient slicer, yet heavy enough for tougher tasks. The excellent ergonomics allow for multiple gripping positions that provide positive purchase including the ability to choke up and utilize the concave choil for a power cut. Slightly handle heavy, the balance point being just behind the forward tubular rivet, the knife sits comfortably in the hand. It’s flattened tapered G10 handles fill the hand well making up in width what it may lack in thickness. The Boltaron sheath is a harmonious compliment to the knife; minimal, secure, ambidextrous, and multi-positional carry. I found it comfortable to carry vertically or horizontally.
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Steel -
I have known Gayle Bradley for many years and first met him at Blade Show where he generously explained the nuances of his cutting competition knife. He told of its development, design, grind and edge geometry, search for the best steel (CPM M4), its heat treatment, and sharpening. I gained a profound respect for this man from Weatherford, TX on that day that has developed into a lasting friendship. Gayle and I have had many discussions on the merits of specific steel alloys. After making numerous knives and prolonged personal testing, he now prefers PSF37 as his favorite stainless knife steel. (CPM M4 is his favorite non-stainless. Both steels first introduced by Spyderco to the cutlery market based on his endorsement.) Shown in a photo nearby is his Packer model in PSF27 that he gave my son, Thomas, to try out. http://www.bradleysblades.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
FB33GP-5.JPG
Per SB Specialty Metals’ website: “PSF27 is a chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium alloyed cold work tool steel (AISI D2 analysis +) produced using the Spray Forming Process. The Spray Forming Process allows for rapid solidification resulting in materials with a very fine grain and homogeneous structure. This structure results in improved toughness, wear resistance, crack resistance, and higher hardness. It also yields more predictable heat treatment results and dimensional stability.” I will report down the line how PSF27 compares with other similar alloys like standard D2, CPM D2, and one of my favorites, CTS XHP.

Criticism -
The only modification I would make would be to add fine jimping to the ricasso and above on the blade’s spine for additional security and stability, especially with gloves or if ones hands are wet.

The Final Word -
The maker in Taichung should be commended for their execution of Gayle’s latest design. Each model they produce is flawless to the point of being as good as or better than the custom maker’s original prototype. Their knives are a unique hybrid fusion of modern precision CNC machining and a hand finishing nuance that is reminiscent of the glory days of Sheffield’s Golden Age. The Bradley Bowie knife is fitting tribute to its heritage and its recreation for the 21st century.
brian
http://www.countryknives.com

Being vigilant in the world of sharp one edge at a time.

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tvenuto
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby tvenuto » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:28 pm

A very nice write-up. I also found this one to be very comfortable and well balanced. In lieu of jimping, though, I probably would have deepened the forefinger choil.

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swigert
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby swigert » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:53 pm

I'm assuming we will see these very soon if reviews are coming?

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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby mattman » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:25 pm

Nice review, sir.

I had already planned on this one, but you certainly helped ensure acquisition.

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timlara
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby timlara » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:16 am

N. Brian Huegel wrote: The Final Word -
The maker in Taichung should be commended for their execution of Gayle’s latest design. Each model they produce is flawless to the point of being as good as or better than the custom maker’s original prototype. Their knives are a unique hybrid fusion of modern precision CNC machining and a hand finishing nuance that is reminiscent of the glory days of Sheffield’s Golden Age. The Bradley Bowie knife is fitting tribute to its heritage and its recreation for the 21st century.
Very well said. Taichung is just killing it.

Thanks for the great writeup.

Iole
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Iole » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:07 pm

I keep hearing about the bowie fighting feature of the "back cut". Can the Bradley be sharpen for that feature? The pictures of the knife looks like a lot of metal would be need removed to achieve that feature.

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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby KevinOubre » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:10 pm

Wait when did these become available?

N. Brian Huegel
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby N. Brian Huegel » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:13 pm

Iole wrote:I keep hearing about the bowie fighting feature of the "back cut". Can the Bradley be sharpen for that feature? The pictures of the knife looks like a lot of metal would be need removed to achieve that feature.
The grind on the spine of the blade is a decorative relief called a swedge. Not to be confused with a false edge, the swedge is more of a chamfer, i.e., ground at ±45°, which if continued until both the obverse and reverse swedges meet would create an obtuse edge that would provide little if any cutting/penetrating advantage. One would need to grind a considerable amount of steel from the spine to create a false edge, which one could then sharpen creating a double edge. The vast majority of historical Bowie knives have swedges and false edges, neither being sharp. Modern versions of Bowie knives may be double edged (sharpened spine), but that is the maker's interpretation of what a Bowie knife should be rather than actually what it was.
brian
http://www.countryknives.com

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Iole
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Iole » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:30 pm

N. Brian Huegel wrote:
Iole wrote:I keep hearing about the bowie fighting feature of the "back cut". Can the Bradley be sharpen for that feature? The pictures of the knife looks like a lot of metal would be need removed to achieve that feature.
The grind on the spine of the blade is a decorative relief called a swedge. Not to be confused with a false edge, the swedge is more of a chamfer, i.e., ground at ±45°, which if continued until both the obverse and reverse swedges meet would create an obtuse edge that would provide little if any cutting/penetrating advantage. One would need to grind a considerable amount of steel from the spine to create a false edge, which one could then sharpen creating a double edge. The vast majority of historical Bowie knives have swedges and false edges, neither being sharp. Modern versions of Bowie knives may be double edged (sharpened spine), but that is the maker's interpretation of what a Bowie knife should be rather than actually what it was.
Thanks for that information. There is nothing new in art, but copying with variations.

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swigert
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby swigert » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:35 pm

anyone heard a time frame?

moe1a
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby moe1a » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:24 pm

Mine shipped today! I can't wait to get my paws on it.

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Blerv
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Blerv » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:34 pm

Beautiful knife. Thanks for the overview, Brian!

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sal
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby sal » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:20 pm

Thanx Brian. Very nice.

They're shipping now. Custom quality for sure.

Everyone involved did an exceptional job in the creation of this model.

sal

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RadioactiveSpyder
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby RadioactiveSpyder » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:26 pm

For sure that is one sultry looking knife! :)
It's better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a terrific cost. ––– Stephen King

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Archimedes
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Archimedes » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:48 pm

Just ordered one. Now the wait for it to get here. This is the one fixed blade I have had my eye on since they came out.

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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Surfingringo » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:57 pm

Archimedes wrote:Just ordered one. Now the wait for it to get here. This is the one fixed blade I have had my eye on since they came out.
You will be stoked. Its a very nice piece!

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Archimedes
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Archimedes » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:10 pm

My knife spent a long time in Coalville Utah????...but seems to have popped up near here in tracking. Maybe tomorrow.

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Mako109
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Mako109 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:23 pm

Archimedes wrote:My knife spent a long time in Coalville Utah????...but seems to have popped up near here in tracking. Maybe tomorrow.
Well...did ya check your mail yet? Don't leave us hanging!

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Archimedes
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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby Archimedes » Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:18 pm

I did not know they had shipping this slow. Fed Ex smart post. When it absolutely has to be there sometime in the next few weeks!!! LOL

It is scheduled to be here tomorrow.

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Re: FB33GP Bradley Bowie – a review

Postby average-Joe » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:07 pm

On top of the list.


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