Here at Gunblast.com, we receive many different
products for testing and evaluation. Some are, as far as I can
determine, quite useless, at least from a shooterís
perspective. Other products are a good idea, but poorly
executed, rendering them almost as useless as the previously
mentioned category of products. An example of this type would be
a riflescope that is a good, practical sighting device, but
apparently assembled by apes in a remote third world country.
We also receive products that are very useful,
well designed, expertly crafted, and pleasing to the eye. An
example of this type of product is the subject of this
article; the new line of very practical and high quality
holsters from Freedom Arms. The fine folks at Freedom
Arms have offered a line of quality leather for their revolvers
for many years. These new additions to their holster line are
designed to carry the gun high and out of the way.
Freedom Arms is offering these holsters in both
strong-side and cross draw models. There are holsters sized to
fit the Model 83 and also the smaller Model 97 Freedom guns. The
larger of the two sizes will also fit revolvers such as the
Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero, adding to the usefulness of the
holster. The smaller holster can accommodate other single
actions as well.
The holster reviewed here is of the cross draw
design, and sized for the larger-framed revolvers. Most makers
of cross draw holsters make two mistakes in their design. First
of all, they design the holster to ride too low on the belt,
resulting in discomfort while sitting and wearing the gun. The
second mistake is that of making the holster without enough cant
or tilt on the belt, resulting in a difficult and uncomfortable
draw of the weapon. Freedom Arms has made neither mistake in the
design of their cross draw holster. The holster is designed to
ride high on the belt with enough cant for a comfortable and
quick release of the weapon.
For several days I have been wearing the holster
while going about my daily activities. I used it with a Ruger
Vaquero and also a Ruger Blackhawk, finding it to be a good fit
with either. I have also found it to be a most comfortable and
practical holster to wear while seated, whether driving in a car
or truck, or riding an ATV. I find that most hip holsters, both
strong side and cross draw, to be in the way when working from
the seat of my John Deere tractor, but the Freedom Arms
holster rode unnoticeably on my belt for several hours of
tractor work. It never got in my way while climbing on and off
of the tractor, or while hooking up equipment.
Riding most anything, be it machine or beast,
usually requires sitting, and sitting while wearing a poorly
designed holster usually results in discomfort. Driving with the
butt of a sixgun poking the ribcage is both painful and
impractical. The Freedom Arms holster rides high and
A good feeling, easy riding holster is no good
if you canít get your hands on the gun for a smooth, quick
draw. As can be seen in the photos, a good cross draw holster,
properly worn, allows access to the gun with either hand. It is
extremely difficult to quickly access a strong side gun while
seated, but the cross draw is easily reached with the weak hand
in the event that the strong hand is busy or wounded.
Another good case in favor of a well designed
cross draw holster is wearing a revolver while carrying anything
on your back, such as a rifle while hunting, or a pack frame.
The cross draw places the gun out front and out of the way, just
forward of the hip. Cross draw holsters designed to ride in a
straight up position with little or no cant require that they be
worn too far back on the side of the body to allow for bending
at the waist. This places the gun in a position that is
difficult to reach with the strong hand. The Freedom Arms
holster places the gun at an angle which allows for comfortable
bending, and ready access to the gun.
The fit and finish on the Freedom Arms cross
draw holster is beautiful. The leather is thick enough to retain
its shape and the stitching is strong and well executed. The
design of the retaining strap is another thoughtful feature of
this holster. The strap can be snapped over the hammer of the
gun for safety and retention, or it can be snapped out of the
way for quicker access to the weapon. Great idea.
There are many holsters on the market from which
to choose, both strong side and cross draw. This new holster
from Freedom Arms is one of the best, and reasonably priced at
just under 70 bucks.
You can check out Freedom Armsí excellent
firearms and other products on the web at: www.freedomarms.com,
or call them at: 307-883-2468 to obtain a catalog.
For a good holster that is comfortable,
accessible, well-made, and practical, you canít go wrong with
this holster. I like it.
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