U.S. Model 1909 Bolo Knife Reproduction

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Alvin
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U.S. Model 1909 Bolo Knife Reproduction

Postby Alvin » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:37 pm

This is a review of the "reproduction" of the U.S. Model 1909 Bolo Knife offered by International Miltary Antiques (IMA).

While the blade markings are not the usual ones found on Middle Earth weapons, I think that the knife could make a nice heavy duty woods tool for a MER, and as a weapon for defense against the foul creatures of Mordor. The wood grip, large blade, and scabbard could provide opportunities for the application of Middle Earth style decoration.



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I recently purchased this bolo from IMA for $109.95. I have always been pleased in my purchases from IMA. The items always arrived within a few days of purchase, products were as advertised, and arrived in excellent condition. This purchase was no exception. I am very happy with the quality of the bolo and the scabbard.


IMA website
http://www.ima-usa.com/u-s-model-1909-b ... bbard.html

This knife is also listed at Atlantic Cutlery
http://www.atlantacutlery.com/p-2441-19 ... knife.aspx


STATISTICS + or -

Overall length …. 19.25 inches
Length in scabbard …. 20.25 inches
Blade length …. 13 7/8 inches
Blade width at narrowest point (at the guard) …. 1 5/16 inch
Blade width at widest point (4.75 inches from point) …. 2 3/16 inches
Blade thickness at guard …. 5/16 inches
Guard length …. 3.75 inches
Guard thickness …. 1/8 inch
Grip length - guard to end of pommel …. 5.25 inches
POB …. 3 5/8 inches
Weight of Bolo …. 1 lb. 10 oz.
Weight of Bolo and scabbard …. 2 lbs. 3 oz.

BLADE

The blade has a nice fairly shiny, glossy finish. Shiny enough that I have given a couple looks towards a tube of Birchwood Casey Perma Blue. But I think that I will leave it as is – for now.

The back of the blade is fairly straight along the top; the point drops just a little; and shows a nice distal taper - for a fairly thick, short blade. I believe that the point is sufficiently “pointy” to permit decent thrusts, especially if held with the flat of the blade parallel to the ground.

The edge side has a typical bolo shape and has a very heavy blade presence with that 3 5/8 inch POB. Which should make for a knife with a powerful chopping capability. The edge came very sharp from IMA, and has a nice bevel on both sides that runs from the point to within 1.5 inches of the guard.

The IMA bolo blade is marked like the originals with a “U.S.” and serial number on the obverse side. On the reserve side, the blade is marked like the originals with a “SA” – for Springfield Armory - above the “flaming bomb” ordinance symbol, and the model number 1909.

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The photographs of original Model 1909 Bolos that I have viewed seem to have one side flat - running from back edge to cutting edge, while the other side has the edge beveled.

HILT


The guard has a shiny finish matching the blade and has a small hole on the end below the blade that accepts a pin-like projection on the scabbard locket.

The grip is made of an unknown wood - to me anyway - that encloses the tang. It appears to be a hard wood with nice grain and a varnish finish. There are three brass pins through the grip and a brass disk at the end of the pommel. The grip has a square-shaped insert on one side that is apparently a repair where a knot was removed. All-in-all, The wood is nice to look at and provides a secure grip, and provides good indexing of the edge, though it is maybe a tad beefy in girth.

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The original bolos that I have seen in photographs have a full – full tang – i.e. the tang can be seen from the top and bottom of the grip. The IMA reproduction has a concealed tang. The tang on the IMA bolo does appear to be quite thick and wide, so any worries about it’s strength are probably not justified. The originals also have three large rivets holding the grip scales to the tang and the brass disk at the pommel end is secured by a screw.

SCABBARD

The IMA scabbard is like the bolo – of quality construction. The leather is thick, evenly died a dark brown, and the the stitching is tight and even.

The “locket” is made of bronze, or another metal that has the appearance of bronze. Like the originals, it has a “pin” projection, approximately 7/16 inch long that fits into a hole in the bolo’s guard. After working with this pin and guard arrangement, I tend to believe that it functions as a retainer.

The end of the scabbard has a ¾ inch metal ring through which to pass a cord to serve as a leg tie-down.

The back of the scabbard has a ¾ inch wide leather loop that serves as as belt loop. The loop is large enough that it can easily accommodate a 4.75 inch belt. It appears to match the originals.

The scabbard holds the knife very securely – the knife will not fall out of the scabbard even when held upside down and shaken.

A well constructed scabbard. It appears in all respects to be a very close copy of the original M1909 bolo scabbards that I have seen photographs of online. The only difference is that most original scabbard photographs show a metal reinforced hole at the end of the scabbard rather than the ring of the IMA scabbard, though I have found one example of an original scabbard with the same ring set up as the IMA version.

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All-in-all, I like this knife. I do believe that the differences between the hilt construction and blade edge on the IMA bolo and the original Model 1909 bolos are great enough not to justify the term reproduction or the blade markings.

This knife should serve well as a very high quality, and tough, woods/camp knife, even taking the place of a light axe. And in a pinch, a fine whopper-chopper for defense against orcs or wargs, or in the coming zombie apocalypse.


http://springfieldedge.com/bolo_knife_m-1909.html


The following two photographs will give an idea of the size of the bolo.



Photograph of an 8th Cavalry Regiment trooper wearing the Model 1909 Bolo

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Photograph of a reenactor wearing the M1909 Bolo

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Peter Remling
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Re: U.S. Model 1909 Bolo Knife Reproduction

Postby Peter Remling » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:28 pm

Nice review thanks. I have been interested in picking up this other model bolo:

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=403245

I want to strip the slabs and create new ones, do a little hilt work and make a new scabbard.

I believe they are made by the same manufacturer so your review helps with m decision. Thanks again.
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Alvin
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Re: U.S. Model 1909 Bolo Knife Reproduction

Postby Alvin » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:50 am

Thank you Peter. The M1917 looks to be a great knife to modify. And, like the M1909, a great camp/woods tool. I see that KoA's price is $30 less than IMA's price for the same M1917 bolo knife !! I have had nothing but good experiences in my dealings with KoA over the years.
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Fallsofdragon
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Re: U.S. Model 1909 Bolo Knife Reproduction

Postby Fallsofdragon » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:30 pm

That is heavy duty Alvin 8) Thanks for review
I also like Peter's idea on modifying a M1917
a middle earth type ranger blade
multi task weapon tool
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Ringulf
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Re: U.S. Model 1909 Bolo Knife Reproduction

Postby Ringulf » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:34 pm

Peter Remling wrote:Nice review thanks. I have been interested in picking up this other model bolo:

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=403245

I want to strip the slabs and create new ones, do a little hilt work and make a new scabbard.

I believe they are made by the same manufacturer so your review helps with m decision. Thanks again.


Not sure if you remember it Pete, but I have that original 1918 I posted up on the boards when I first joined, with the antler slabs fitted to the handle and the bare wood sheath. It is not finished and is still available. If you are interested in a project let me know, it could be fun for you. :mrgreen:
A heartening sight by Day or Night, Dwarven warriors bold! To add their Might to any Fight, Precious more than Gold! A Dwarven friend is to the end, Never shall they fail! Their word does not bend, wherever they wend,
through Cavern, Hill or Dale!"

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