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gunner500 may be writing a poem called "Ode to Saint Bagwell."
He sent some inspirational images to be posted here, with thoughts on Saint Bagwell:

"Pic 1, Old buffalo rifle in half cock with firing pin pulled firmly to the rear from the new firing pin Saint Bagwell gave and installed for me, there's also a new firing pin inside he turned down on his lathe."

[Linked Image]

"Pic 2, The small screw between the triggers is one Saint Bagwell saved in his box for over 30 years, said he always knew he'd need it someday, he installed that and set my triggers on the old 45-110 buffalo rifle."

[Linked Image]

"Pic 3, The shot from the video at 700 yards landed a bit right and high using the factory barrel ladder hunting sight and old copper penny front, high and right stands to reason, Saint Bagwell was often high and right, high on knowledge, ethics, history, friendship, dedication and morals, and damn right on everything else ; ] " (There is a video of this shot at the 700-yard gong by gunner500, I need to figure out where to post it.)

[Linked Image]

Pic 4: "Headed out to the shop to trim 458 Win Mag+ brass, along for the trip was Saint Bagwell Damascus Bowie, Model 70 458 Win Mag+, Colt LW Commander 38 Super, and my favorite sweatshirt for ardotcom members and liberals the world over!"

[Linked Image]

Bill would get a chuckle out of that sweatshirt. I sure did !

[Linked Image]

Above image was heading up an obituary: https://www.vivianfuneralhome.com/obituary/bill-bagwell

BILL'S OBITUARY
Bill Bagwell was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on January 11, 1944 to Alice Posey Bagwell and William Bagwell. He grew up in rural northwest Louisiana and was introduced to the outdoors at an early age by his uncles, who were avid hunters and fishermen. Bill was also a talented athlete and lettered in football, baseball, and track during his high school career. His senior year at North Caddo High School saw him named to the High School All-American Football team as a tackle, and he attended Louisiana Tech University on a football scholarship. He also attended Northwestern State University and had an educational background in engineering, English, and history.

Bill was always fascinated by knives. He made his first knife at the age of 10 from an old saw. While he was in high school he began to forge knives in the industrial arts shop, and by the time he was 15 he was forging hunting and Bowie knives as a hobby. He made and sold knives while he was in college and became a full-time professional bladesmith in 1969. Bill's skill and talent as a bladesmith was due in part to the fact that he grew up in an area that was rich in the lore of James Bowie and the early history of both Texas and Louisiana. The Bowie knife played a prominent role in the early history of the area, and the young Bill wanted a good one for himself. Since none were available for purchase, he began to make his own. Bill always sought excellence, and his early quest for a better Bowie knife ultimately brought his knives to the point where they are today.

Bill was one of the true pioneers in the making of Damascus blades in the United States. He completed his first successful Damascus blade on December 1, 1973, after about six months of trial and failure. In early 1976, with the late Don Hastings, B.R. Hughes and Bill Moran, Bill became one of the founding members of the American Bladesmith Society and wrote the original charter for that organization. He also served as the society's first secretary and was on its first board of directors.

Bill lectured on blades and forging at the University of Wyoming at Dubois, the University of Florida at Tallahassee, and Texarkana College at its facility at Black's Forge in Washington, Arkansas. Bill also made wootz steel and began work in that field in 1979.

In 1984, Bill became the knife editor for Soldier Of Fortune magazine, and the monthly "Battle Blades" column was begun under his byline. He continued to write the column until 1988 when pressing family matters called him to Belize for 18 months. Upon his return from Belize, Bill resumed his knifemaking career. Paladin Press released the long-awaited anthology of Bill's "Battle Blades" columns, entitled Bowies, Big Knives, and the Best of Battle Blades. Advance copies were on display at the Soldier Of Fortune Convention in Las Vegas.

In September 1995, Bill attended the prestigious Paris Knife Show, where one of his Damascus Bowies won the award for the best fixed-bladed Damascus knife at the show. The following spring he was commissioned to go to Theirs, France, and conduct a forging and knifemaking demonstration by the Theirs Department of Commerce and Industry.

Bill focused his knife energies on his "Hell's Belle" fighting Bowies. The Hell's Belle is acknowledged by many to be the finest fighting Bowie knife ever made, and those examples hand-forged and made by Bill himself were without a doubt, in a class by themselves. Bill's research and studies into tactics and application of the fighting Bowie knife in a combat environment have not gone unnoticed, as he served as an instructor to selected units of the U.S. Army's Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

Bill was also an accomplished rifle shot. His primary interest was in black powder firearms, and he served as a consultant to GOEX from 1993 - 2009. His love of the outdoors remained strong over the years, and his interest in history led him to study the arms and weapons of early America. While Bill's early studies were focused on muzzleloaders (which ultimately led him to good Hawken rifles), he also developed the knowledge and skills necessary to shoot the black powder cartridge rifles. The long-range marksmanship of the buffalo hunters of the plains was not just legend, and Bill could take a Sharps rifle and hit a gallon jug at a quarter of a mile with cast lead bullets, black powder, and iron sights.

Bill was a rarity in today's world. He was a man at the top of his game who did exactly what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it. He is survived by his wife Sidra Bagwell to whom he was happily married for 24 years."

Memorial funeral services will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Gorsulowsky Funeral Home Chapel in Vivian, Louisiana.

More here:

ABS FOUNDING MEMBER BILL BAGWELL HAS PASSED AWAY

https://www.knifemagazine.com/abs-founding-member-bill-bagwell-has-passed-away/

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

KNIFE Magazine is saddened to report the passing of legendary master bladesmith Bill Bagwell, one of the four founding members of the American Bladesmith Society. Bill became a full-time knifemaker in 1969 and is believed to have been the second modern bladesmith to achieve the making of pattern welded damascus steel. In addition to pattern welded steel, Bill also perfected cable damascus techniques and frequently used plain carbon steel in his blades as well.
Working from locations in Vivian, LA; Niceville, FL; Marietta, TX and a stint as the resident ‘smith at the recreated James Black forge in Washington, AR, Bagwell was influenced by early bowie knife designs and was keenly interested in knife fighting techniques. He built his reputation not only on his knives, but also on the knife writing he did for such magazines as Soldier of Fortune and Tactical Knives. He also authored a book: Bowies, Big Knives, and the Best of Battle Blades (2000). His knife combat techniques have even been taught as part of the Special Forces training at Ft. Bragg.

Two Bagwell fighting bowies. Top is an example of the “Hell’s Belle”.

[Linked Image]

Many of Bagwell’s bowies had long but well balanced blades that were very quick in the hand. His best known design is surely the “Hell’s Belle”, a slender coffin hilt with clip point blade and a C-shaped guard derived from the Bart Moore bowie. In the late 1990s Ontario Knife Co. offered a well executed production version of this knife and a couple more Bagwell designs, which have a strong collector following today.
A fiery and opinionated personality, Bill Bagwell pulled no punches and held strong to his convictions. This caused some rifts through the course of his career and has certainly denied him more recognition for his contributions to our community, but I don’t think that Bill cared. He was his own man, and all will agree that he was a skilled and dedicated bladesmith who made a hell of a fighting bowie and influenced a great many knifemakers and knife-fighting practitioners.
May he rest in peace.

Photos (of Bill at the forge) courtesy Sidra Bagwell.

gunner500 photographed his Bagwell Damascus Bowie:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]





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Ron, many, many Thanks for posting the pics Sir, i greatly appreciate it, our buddy Bagwell loved that old buffalo rifle, was just thinking about both yesterday, putting his teachings together for a test run proves he was right, and this old 152 year old buffalo rifle can still get it done.

The shot at 700 yards landing high and right in a big wind out of the East, oddly enough, on the Buffalo plains, and holding behind the shoulder of the buffalo as normal, that shot would have provided a mid center double shoulder hit, a dead buffalo, i held a little farther in the wind than needed at 700 yards.

Thank You Sir.


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great write up. I wish I could have met him . we lost a good book of info with his passing

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Originally Posted by 44mc
great write up. I wish I could have met him . we lost a good book of info with his passing


Yes Sir 44MC, a whole 200 volume set of encyclopedias we lost. smile


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Great write up and pics! I also wish I could have met the man. I had hoped to go on that hog hunt in Tenn. That year but couldn't get off work. Pics Great also! Got to Love them old Buff. Rifles.


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This is really sad news.

I was honored and privileged to have spent time with Bill at his home and on his range. He mentored me as well as many other 'Fire members on the fine points of shooting BPCR, Sharps rifles in particular.
He ground and fitted the copper penny front sight on my Shiloh 1874 and taught me how to properly use the barrel sights for shooting at ranges out past 1,000 yards.
The second time at his home range he coached me on shooting my, then new, .45-70 Sharps, and when the smoke cleared , I had put 115 full power 485gr cast bullet loads downrange. I didn't mind at all. He just sat there and grinned as I worked through all that ammo. grin

His knowledge of blades, firearms, and all things black powder was truly encyclopedic.

Yup, he held strong opinions and was sometimes abrupt with them, but you could always count on him speaking the truth.

I will truly miss him. This place has lost an artist, a mentor, and a friend.

Rest In Peace, Bill.

Ed


"Not in an open forum, where truth has less value than opinions, where all opinions are equally welcome regardless of their origins, rationale, inanity, or truth, where opinions are neither of equal value nor decisive." Ken Howell



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Very nicely written Ed.


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First time I ever bought anything on an ebay auction:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

It may be a weak sister to the real thing, but remarkable enough for show and tell.
Maybe Ontario Knives will bring it back, as it seems to have some collector appeal,
Mrs. Bagwell might get some royalties from that.
5 years ago there was a 3-year wait for the real thing.
The price for a genuine Bagwell must have doubled at least on February 17, 2021.
4 figures instead of 3 figures now ?
Bill ain't making them anymore.
Pester Ontario Knives for the return of the Hell's Belle replica.



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Originally Posted by saddlering
Great write up and pics! I also wish I could have met the man. I had hoped to go on that hog hunt in Tenn. That year but couldn't get off work. Pics Great also! Got to Love them old Buff. Rifles.


I missed this post, i wish you could have made that pig shoot too saddlering, Bill put on quite the show and tell with his Bowie's, he demonstrated the 5 lethal cuts deal, he done that on a piece of cardboard in less than one second, really spooky if you see and think about it for a sec.

It forged in my head were i to ever see anyone approaching in the wrong manner [look/stance] with a Bowie i would repeatedly shoot the shlt outta them.


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Originally Posted by Riflecrank
First time I ever bought anything on an ebay auction:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

It may be a weak sister to the real thing, but remarkable enough for show and tell.
Maybe Ontario Knives will bring it back, as it seems to have some collector appeal,
Mrs. Bagwell might get some royalties from that.
5 years ago there was a 3-year wait for the real thing.
The price for a genuine Bagwell must have doubled at least on February 17, 2021.
4 figures instead of 3 figures now ?
Bill ain't making them anymore.
Pester Ontario Knives for the return of the Hell's Belle replica.


CONGRATS Sir Ron, that's a cool blade, did you know they call that handle the Coffin handle? NICE!


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Jerry, is that a rhetorical question ? You do know that I have read Bill's book.
The coffin handle is sort of a streamlined version of the dogbone and bird's head handles,
without the glamor-pretenses of his ruby-eyed, eagle-motif, bird's head handles.
Just back to basics of a "Nawlins" knife handle with a design befitting the Hell's Belle name,
a master stroke of marketing like chopping a 2x4 with one blow.
Handles of black locust harvested from near the Sand Bar Fight are preferred, of course, or stag.
Can you image a coffin-shaped stag handle ? (Rhetorical question.)
That would be a nice trick.

" And if I had to be in a knife fight, what would I want more than a Bowie or kukri?
That's easy. I'd want a 12-gauge pump shotgun."

Bill Bagwell, in SOF February 1986



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LOL, OOPS, i had forgot you found and purchased a copy of Saint Bagwells book, they're beautiful, very deadly works of art, if we ever get together on a hunt r meet for a steak dinner somewhere, i'll bring mine so you can feel the balanced speed, i cant explain it, you have to have it in hand.

BTW, the lead pot is heating up, the big 570gr Smerker mould is on the stove warming nicely, going to cast you some of those missiles and end em up to You

Did you know Mr. Smerker was an American Airlines pilot? with that, guess what he designed the nose of the big 458 cal Smerker bullet after, yep, a 747 Jumbo Jet, they fly through the air with relative grace and ease, so do his bullets. cool


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Jerry,
I get it.
I need to try those 20/1 bullets grease-lubed and .458" diameter with a swift kick of BP.
Thanks.



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There is only one error in that on that the University of Florida is in Gainesville and FSU is in Tallahassee


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Originally Posted by Riflecrank
Jerry,
I get it.
I need to try those 20/1 bullets grease-lubed and .458" diameter with a swift kick of BP.
Thanks.


Rah-Jah. cool


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Sir Ron, great news! our friend Pacecars here says he can try to post the videos of the old 45-110 buffalo rifle in action, said he'd put em up in this thread! cool

Thanks Pacecars!


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Alrighty then. Popcorn emoji here: happy happy

Photograph of incoming from OK:

[Linked Image]

gunner500 was well trained by Saint Bagwell.

Maybe I will divide them between a .458"-grooved McGowen (23" long, 1:14" twist) barreled .458 WM+ with BP
and a Pedersoli-barreled Ruger No. 1 that is supposed to be .458"-grooved but might have a little choke
down to .456" or 457" near the muzzle (28"long, 1:18" twist), .45-2.6"-Sharps Winchester-Throated, aka .45-70 Elko Magnum.
Yee ha !



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Originally Posted by pacecars
There is only one error in that on that the University of Florida is in Gainesville and FSU is in Tallahassee


Yes, that local obituary might get the Seminoles riled up saying the Gators had moved into Tallahassee.
I was living there from '88 to '92. Wonder when Bill was lecturing on bladesmithing at FSU ?



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LOL, BTW Sir Ron, you can see on the patched bullets, i long and short patched them, shoot to see if one or the other gives and accuracy/clearance difference, then record for further application. smile it was my sincere pleasure learning from Saint Bagwell, the guy was Gold.


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Well, maybe shoot all the paper-patched in one rifle then, McGowen or Pedersoli ... decisions, decisions ...



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