The blade is only tapered on one side, like an old straight razor. The flat or bottom side will lay on the muzzle and create a scissor like cut between the steel of the barrel and the blade. When held in the left hand, the taper is correct for cutting. The twisted handle doubles as a flint striker. It may be too soft to work well but it's mainly for looks.
I hardened the entire knife as hard as I could with a water quench. I don't think I need to temper any because it is still fairly easy to file and sharpen. I figure it's better than a prison shank and maybe as good as most frontier steel but nothing like a good 1095 blank, etc.
Thanks for looking.
Oh yea, the finish is left somewhat rough for period appearance and the finish is straight bee's wax applied while black hot. The wax is from my own bees too. A real homemade project.