Svord VTB Von Tempsky Bowie Knife 11" Carbon Steel Blade, Wood Handles, Leather Sheath - SVORD-VTB


MSRP* : $298.30 | You Save* : $108.35 (36%)


SVOVTB: VTB Von Tempsky 11" Bowie Knife


"Old Von was a terror with the Bowie knife"

This replica Forest Ranger Bowie Knife is based on the knife design than von Tempsky issued to his company of Forest Rangers in 1863.

Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky, adventurer, soldier and artist, learned the benefits of Bowie knife fighting in California while working in the gold fields. He possessed a fine knife of American manufacture for his own use, but had about 30 Bowie knives made to his personal design by a cutler of Shortland St, Auckland. These were issued to the men of No. 2 Company, New Zealand Forest Rangers, under Major von Tempsky's command.

The Forest Rangers were an elite corps of bush-roving scouts employed by the colonial government between August 1863 and October 1867 during the New Zealand Wars. "They were the Forest Rangers, whose very name carries a flavour of adventure in the Dangerous Lands, suggests tales of scouting and skirmish and ambuscade, and bush marching and camping in wary silence." (James Cowan, historian)

The knives were made from waggon spring steel - being one of the few sources of suitable steel available to blacksmiths in Auckland in 1863.

Von Tempsky, an experienced fighter, taught his men to use the Bowie knife in one-on-one armed combat. The knife was used to fend off an opponent's attacking blows while a revolver was used in the other hand.

The big knives were also used to clear tracks through bush, dig defensive positions, cut firewood and for general use about camp.

A 1900 interview with John Toovey, an ex Forest Ranger corporal, appeared in a 1935 issue of The New Zealand Railways Magazine: He had a farm near Te Awamutu. Customarily, out on the farm and in the bush, he wore a sheath-knife on his belt. The knife was a veteran like himself. It had been nine or ten inches long of blade, but the point had been broken off, and he re-ground and pointed it; even then it was like a young bayonet. He told its story, "That's one of old Von's Bowie knives," he said. "He had a lot made for us at a blacksmith's in Auckland when the Forest Rangers were divided into two companies and he had command of me.

"You know, old Von was a terror with the Bowie knife. He had learned to use it in Mexico and Central America. Certainly it came in handy in the bush, and as we had no bayonets it was comforting to know you had a good sticker on your hip for a scrimmage.

"I've had that knife more than thirty years. See how it's worn down. I've used it for all sorts of jobs, hacking bush tracks, pig-sticking, skinning sheep, cutting up my tobacco and my loaf of bread. It'll last my day, my boy!"

There are four elements in a Svord knife that make them a peerless investment, that will provide years of trouble free service:

  • All Svord knives utilize the best Swedish High Carbon Tool Steel available
  • All Svord knives are individually hardened and tempered using a unique and time honored secret heat treatment process
  • Each Svord knife is hand ground on a water cooled stone
  • The Baker "Convex" edge is a "razor" factory edge, providing superb "out of box" performance

Note: Svord is shipping these knives with two different color sheaths; black and brown. If you prefer a specific color, please contact us to confirm what we have on hand.


  • Blade Length: 11"
  • Overall Length: 16.5"
  • Blade Thickness: 5 mm to 7.5 mm (exact specs may vary)
  • Steel Material: Swedish l-6
  • Full Tang Construction
  • Leather Sheath with Vertical-Carry Belt Loop
  • Weight without Sheath: 27.3 oz. (774 grams)
  • RC Hardness: 58
  • Weight with Sheath: 34.6 oz. (982 grams)
  • Leather Sheath Included
  • Optional Brass Tip Leather Sheath SOLD SEPARATELY
  • Made in New Zealand

UPC Code: 9421901356231

Related Categories

Svord Knives, Svord Von Tempsky Series, I-6 Blade Steel, Wood Handle Material, Fixed Blade Knives, Made in New Zealand

Wood Handles
Leather Sheath
Svord VTB Von Tempsky Bowie Knife 11" Carbon Steel Blade, Wood Handles, Leather Sheath rated 4.745 stars out of 5 (47 reviews)
4.7 out of 5 stars
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1 star
Svord VTB Von Tempsky Bowie Knife 11" Carbon Steel Blade, Wood Handles, Leather Sheath
rated 4 stars out of 5
Oklahoma City
Apr 13, 2020
Pros: Materials, Finish, Handle Material, Weight, Blade Sharpness, Blade Material, None
Cons: Sheath/Scabbard
Svord von tempsky bowie
I was really happy about the quality of the steel keeps an edge well and shatpens easily but unfortunately the guard came loose and now rattles im contemplating having the guard tig welded to fhe blade, it is a shame the weld will ruin the look of the knife
Svord VTB Von Tempsky Bowie Knife 11" Carbon Steel Blade, Wood Handles, Leather Sheath
rated 5 stars out of 5
Nov 06, 2019
Pros: Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness, Weight, Blade Material
Cons: None
Von Tempsky Bowie
I bought this knife to replace one I unfortunately had to sell off a few years ago when things got tight . The knife is awesome in my opinion size, weight, etc. Perfect for my interests - primitive skills/ survival.
Svord VTB Von Tempsky Bowie Knife 11" Carbon Steel Blade, Wood Handles, Leather Sheath
rated 3 stars out of 5
Aug 19, 2019
Pros: Sheath/Scabbard, None
Cons: Finish, Blade Sharpness, Handle Material, Overall Quality
I'm sorry to be a downer on a review of this knife as many rate it highly.The blade steel is carbon Swedish. Nothing wrong with carbon steel if it is heat treated to talk of RC on this steel.When you purchase this knife the blade thickness is not specified.The knife you receive could have a thick blade or a relatively thin seems to be the luck of the draw.When I received mine, and it was not cheap, I put it through some tests.It rated fairly well but edge not great.I understand that this is a reproduction of an historic knife, so handle accepted.However, handle very straight, no grip points in the hand.Blade is very rough...again, very historic...however, very easy to produce.I think blades are very easy to cut out. Very roughly ground...grind lines are way out of symmetrical. Dipped in oil and then back heat treated with a blow torch to produce the bluing effect on the spine of the knife. Two handle scales attached with no attention to finish. I think over priced.To say again. If you want a rustic knife reproduction, it's a good choice, but I would think of many knives I would like to carry that would be of better performance quality than this one.On the plus side, the sheath seems to be of good quality...heavy leather.If you want a reproduction of a historic knife as a wall hanger it's a good choice.
Read all 47 Reviews »


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