It was suggested tonight that I ought to test the blade before heading out with it. It's always a good idea to test your kit.
I set up an old paperback atop a stool, and gave it a good stab. With no trouble at all, it sank through about two hundred pages of pulp, and deep enough into the stool that I could firmly lift the thing off the floor -- and hold it suspended -- without loosening the blade.
UPDATE: If you're looking for a good Bowie yourself, let me recommend my favorite custom smith's latest blade.