Svord VTB Von Tempsky Bowie Knife 11" Carbon Steel Blade, Wood Handles, Leather Sheath (Black or Brown) - SVORD-VTB


Retail Price: $298.30 | You Save: $110.35 (37%)
Part #: SVOVTB | Svord Knives
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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)
  • Made in New Zealand

UPC Code: 9421901356231

Leather Sheath
Leather Sheath
Leather is known for its durability and traditional appeal. When compared to Kydex it is preferred for its silence when bumped against other objects, as well as blade retention.
Wood Handles
Wood Handles
Provides a traditional, natural look and feel to a modern tool. Wood absorbs shock well and is popular in axe handles.
4.775 (40 reviews)
4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
4 out of 5
Edmonton, Ab
Dec 26, 2017
Pros: Sheath/Scabbard, Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness
Cons: Handle Material, None
Could be better for the price...
The blade is sharp, everything is solid with no wiggle after use, and the sheath is pretty decent. The main problem I have is the fit and finish on the handle; the handle scales don't match the tang as closely as I'd expect for the price leaving a noticeable gap where the tang contacts your hand. Hockey tape would fix this but it would also ruin the overall look of the knife in the process. I'd recommend getting a lanyard for it if you're planning to use it for anything serious as the handle is completely straight and without any swell at the bottom it's liable to slip out of your hand. I like the knife, I could like it more if a bit more work went into the handle. 4/5 stars.
5 out of 5
Oct 19, 2017
Pros: Blade Material, Blade Sharpness, Overall Quality, Materials
Cons: None
Really awesome blade, thick and hefty, strong, comfy in my hand, destroys everything in your path, Wish the handle had a beak but it takes nothing away from it
3 out of 5
Sep 30, 2017
Pros: Finish, Blade Material, Blade Sharpness
Cons: Weight, Sheath/Scabbard, None
Great Knife (sheath, not so much)
This would be a 5 star review if it were only for the knife... The knife is simple, beautiful, and really huge. It is manufactured with skill and care. I found this knife on a random search for a new Bowie to add to my collection. I have several others in this price range, but this one was unusual enough to spark my interest. I did some research before purchasing. Learned about Gustav von Tempsky, the forest rangers, etc... Most of the pics I found of the item were stock photos, rather than photos taken by the reseller. All the photos showed the knife and a really nice *sewn* leather sheath. I had to have one!! I ordered and the knife arrived on time. However, I was sorely disappointed to find that the nice sewn leather sheath had been replaced with a poorly constructed, low grade leather, riveted sheath. The knife does not even fit into the sheath very well. Not what you would expect to come with an almost $200 knife. I contacted knife center, and they were polite, but said that the vendor changed the sheath and didn't let them know.... So, disappointed in knife center too.
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