From The Scalp Hunters, Or, Romantic Adventures in Northern Mexico, by Mayne Reid, a memoir published in 1851:
We are all somewhat similarly armed and equipped. For my part, I may say that I am "armed to the teeth." In my holsters I carry a pair of Colt's large-sized revolvers, six shots each. In my belt is another pair of the small size, with five shots each. In addition, I have a light rifle, making in all twenty-three shots, which I have learnt to deliver in as many seconds of time. Failing with all these, I carry in my belt a long shining blade known as a "bowie knife." This last is my hunting knife, my dining knife, and, in short, my knife of "all work."