New From Cold Steel: 1917 Frontier Bowie

Image courtesy Cold Steel Knives

 Cold Steel’s latest Really Big Knife is this footlong ‘1917 Frontier Bowie.’ The overall length of nearly 18″ renders it a tad too big for discreet EDC, but it will give you a real Mick Dundee moment when you draw it.

The sword-like blade has a deep fuller, and is made of quarter-inch thick 1055 low-carbon steel. This is the same steel that Cold Steel and other manufacturers use for heavy-use machetes; the blade hardness isn’t specified, but 1055 machetes are typically left somewhat soft to prevent brittleness.

I thought my Becker BK10 was a honking huge knife, but this monster has it beat hands-down. It weighs nearly 24 ounces, which is only slightly less than a fully-loaded Glock 19. It comes with a heavy-duty leather sheath with blued steel throat and chape, as well as a detachable frog.

The Cold Steel website lists the 1917 Frontier Bowie for $200, but says they’re currently backordered. That’s not a bad thing (if you want one) because Knife Center has them in stock at press time for $120. If you wear this knife, be sure to wear suspenders too.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    This is an example of something that I wish I had a reason for.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      I’m right with you there. Dunno what I’d use it for, but still cool.

    2. jwm says:

      Florida. Really big pythons. Go mick dundee on their asses. effing big bugs too. Hurricanes driving you back to the stone age. Do I gotta go on?

      1. David says:

        . . . Ultimate weird west/steam punk prop, intimidating girlfriends when they come to pick up your sons for dates (hey, it’s the 21st century), stabbing a T-Rex through a car door, when AK’s & Glocks fail, and it’s March The Purge is coming:

        As if guys don’t buy $500.00 guns and find a niche later.

  2. Sam L. says:

    Looks nice, but I kinda like a kukhri for a big knife.

  3. Last Marine out says:

    sounds great to use in the tranches …..or cutting off zombie heads too…

  4. Edgehill says:

    I know a lot of guys who easily conceal carry a knife like this. If you use a proper sheath, you would never know it’s there. If you were to carry it, make sure you have plenty of training on large knives. In Florida, it’s completely legal to carry this, but other states, not so much.

    That being said, I’m not a fan of fullers on large knives. They can weaken the blade unnecessarily since in large knife fighting, you usually only use the first three to four inches from the tip. Fullers work well on smaller knives, but they are not necessary on the larger ones.

    1. Dan says:

      A long history of fullers on swords, plus I beams would beg to differ that they “unnecessarily weaken the blade” A fuller is less important on a small blade as little material is removed and thus less weight removed. For a fighting knife shedding some oz’s is very important and a fuller does this without messing with the blades integrity.

      1. Duncan Idaho says:


    2. ChuckN says:

      You’re half-right about the fullers. It really depends
      both on the knife design and the manufacturing
      process. Modern, machine made fullers are generally
      made by milling out metal. This, essentially, removes
      structurally important metal for weight savings.
      A forged fuller, on the other hand, forces a change
      in the grain of the metal and actually strengthens
      the blade. This is why many quality forged knifes,
      particularly bowies, have fullers.

      1. dan says:

        well I’m not a materials engineer, at one point in time i was interested in becoming one. I have however taken plenty of statics based classes
        the geometry of the construction in combination with the choice of material is much important in the distribution of forces.
        for example I beams can be made by either hot rolling or welding
        And though a fuller is not an i beam, they do share many properties
        I can’t personally add much about grain but i did find this site to be an interesting read with sources stated at the end

        I personally believe that a fuller added, regardless of how it was added, would offer only negligible effects on the blade save for weight reduction and perhaps lessen its abilty to pry open a car door

    3. d tonge says:

      as a blacksmith of over forty years experience a correctly forged fuller should not weaken a blade at all if you took two identical blade blanks fullered one left the other one alone same grind same profile and then weighed them i think you would be very surprised by the similarity in the weight but the fullered blade would be stiffer and faster

  5. GC says:

    If any knife was deserving of a promotional video with Lynn Thompson stabbing and hacking stuff, it’s this one.

  6. fliteking says:

    Very nice. Good to see a knife made that appears historically correct. No zombies or ninja’s on the blade etc. Would love to have one.

  7. billdeserthills says:

    It does look nice, but if it is made in china they can keep it

  8. 2hotel9 says:

    Looks a lot like the pirate dirk they have, different handgrips.

    I like a big blade to carry on occasion, thats why I own a KaBar. I do own an old Original Bowie Knife. Not sure who made it, that is engraved on the blade. The other print on it, just above hilts, is not readable. Found it in an old car’s trunk, very rusted, cleaned it up and it still has a pitted appearance that looks nice, actually.

    1. jwm says:

      A lot of the old bowies, pre 1890, or thereabouts, were made in Sheffield, England for the American market. A buddy of mine had one. It was a well made knife and had seen a couple of lifetimes of use.

  9. 2hotel9 says:

    I have tried to get the print clear but the rust ate into it too much. The Original Bowie Knife etching is pretty deep, only reason it is legible. It has very nice antler scales on the grips and an oblong, rounded butt cap that has a recessed nut threaded to the tang. Kinda afraid to take it off to see if there are proof marks on the tang, though.

  10. Steve says:

    Pretty cool monster sized Bowie! Btw, 1055 is a medium carbon steel and not low carbon steel. I don’t know what CS is running these at, but 1055 is fully capable of reaching 60 RC. Also, to the comments on fullers- they do NOT weaken the blade, and as a blacksmith I can tell you that on modern steels it makes ZERO difference if the fuller is forged or machined in.

  11. Ramon Rodriguez says:

    What kind of tang does a Gill Hibben old west have? Is the damascus version a good Bowie knife?

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New From Cold Steel: 1917 Frontier Bowie

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