The Ultimate Cowboy Action Blade

By

Cree Vicar Dave – SASS Life # 49907

Participating in Cowboy Action Shooting™ is by far the most enjoyable sport I have ever been involved with. The experience is akin to my eighth Christmas morning when my parents gave me my first set of irons, a pair of cap pistols with holsters and a double barrel cork gun. With every match a new set of memories are made. Half of the fun for me is dressing up in the garb of the 1800’s. We all have our unique uniforms that blend quite well when we gather for a contest.

Part of the dress for many shooters is some type of blade. My outfit depicts a Circuit Riding Preacher with a few embellishments. It says in Ephesians 6:11 to put on the full armor of God. So I chose a stag handled 8"toad stabber for enhancement. But after carrying those extra pounds of steel around for five or six stages a day I had second thoughts. Last Spring a member of our Church showed me a knife he made out of a caribou femur bone with a deer antler handle. I was impressed. It looked great and was lightweight. I wanted a wider blade so I went to the local slaughter house and explained to the head butcher what I had in mind. He gave me a large cow femur bone. I cut the knuckles off each end, with a hack saw, and discarded them. Then it was boiled for 20 minutes. After cleaning it out I used a band saw to cut the wide flat side in a linear fashion. This produced a blade stock of around 3/16" x 2" x10" long. I then cleaned it with bleach, rinsed it with water then used peroxide to whiten and another rinse. Use care, safety equipment and a well ventilated area. I then fashioned a Bowie style blade. It is 6" long with an extra

1 1/2" extending into the antler handle (7 1/2" total length). I used a band saw, bench grinder and a 4" portable grinder to rough it in, and then finished it with file and sandpaper. A deer antler drop was used for the handle. The base of the antler is the top of the handle. I cut the deer antler around 5" up from the base and then cut a slot in it

1 1/2" long, parallel to flat side, and just wide enough to accept the handle end of the blade. After a dry fit, I placed clear DAP acrylic silicone caulk in the handle slot and slid in the blade. Then holes were drilled through the handle and blade and fasteners were installed to hold blade in place. Leather lacing was applied to dress it up. My alias was scratched into the base end of the antler handle. The whole project took less than four hours. The sheath was made from an old holster I had laying around. I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on it. It looks typical of the period and is so light I forget I’m wearing it. This is the ultimate knife for a game that is based on make believe immersed in nostalgia.

Remember to use appropriate safety equipment; safety glasses, ear plugs, face shield, well ventilated area, etc. and a dust mask since working with bone products produces much fine dust.

 

 

Hope ta see ya on the trail.

God Bless,

Cree Vicar Dave