Freedom Arms Mount with Trijicon Red Dot Sight


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

May 4th, 2008




Freedom Arms in Freedom, Wyoming is known worldwide for making the finest revolvers on the planet. Their Models 83 and 97 are some of the tightest, most precisely built machines available, not just in the gun industry, but machines in general, with tolerances held to perfection. They are not cheap, but quality never is. However, they are a very good value compared to common handguns, because with Freedom Arms, you get better than custom quality at a reasonable price. If I was a wealthy man, I would own one of each model, caliber, and variation that they make. However, the Lord chose not to curse me with material wealth, so my arsenal is limited to just a few choice firearms. Well, maybe more than a few, but never enough! Anyway, one of my favorite revolvers is my Freedom Model 83 Premier that is chambered for the .500 Wyoming Express cartridge. This .500 WE is relatively compact compared to the other big .500 revolvers on the market. The Freedom Model 83 packs a lot of power into an easily packable handgun. For more details on this fine revolver and cartridge, I refer you to my previous articles.

Freedom Arms is now producing a dandy mount for attaching the excellent little Trijicon Red Dot sight to the Freedom Arms revolvers. The Trijicon Red Dot is a rugged, reliable, and very lightweight red dot sight that was built to mount atop their ACOG scopes. Trijicon makes mounts to attach the sight to Weaver and Picatinny bases, as well as to some other handguns. Freedom Arms recognized the usefulness of this little sight, and designed a rugged mount to mate the Red Dot to the Freedom revolvers. Good idea.

While the Freedom Arms revolvers come from the factory with an excellent set of sights, there are times, such as just at dusk and dawn, and also in the deep woods, when a set of black steel sights are just pretty hard to see. These are also some of the prime hunting times and conditions, and a good red dot optical sight is handy to have. The Trijicon unit is very small and light, and adds little bulk and only about an ounce of weight to the handgun. The Trijicon sight is quick into action, and the shooter leaves both eyes open for faster target acquisition. For me, nothing is faster. There is nothing to align except placing the dot optically upon the target.

The Freedom Arms mount comes with all the hardware necessary to mount the sight atop the revolver, including an elevation shim to use if needed. On my .500 WE, it was needed, as the revolver has a lot of muzzle rise with the big 440 grain bullets that I prefer to use. With a lighter, faster bullet, the shim would not be needed. However, the elevation shim is included along with the base to offer the most versatility possible. The base also fits the JP Enterprises red dot sight, but I am not familiar with that, and tested it only with the Trijicon unit. The Freedom Arms mount also has a sight notch milled into the base, so that if for some reason the red dot sight had to be removed in an emergency, there is still a rear sight available. Another good idea.

The Freedom Arms mount is very easy to install, and takes only a couple of minutes, removing two screws taking off the rear sight, and installing the base with two different screws. Freedom supplies two different lengths of screws for attaching the Red Dot, depending upon whether or not the elevation shim is used. The mount does not rely upon the shear strength of the screws to hold the base under recoil. The base is milled to fit down inside the rear sight recess, and four studs are on the top side to project into the base of the sight. It is a well-thought design, and should provide no trouble with recoil.

I used the aid of the Laserlyte Bore Sighter to align the dot, which saved a few cartridges, getting the sight on paper at twenty five yards. The sight is adjusted with a supplied Allen wrench, and also provided is a handy little adjustment wheel that makes the sighting easier. The Trijicon sight uses a standard CR-2032 battery, which is readily available and cheap. Trijicon states that the battery can last 35,000 hours if the cover is placed over the sight when not in use. Thatís four years! I can live with that. Also, the sight seems to be very durable and reliable. The recoil of those big half-inch 440 grain bullets has not affected it at all.

Freedom Arms also sells their excellent holster that is cut to accommodate the red dot sight, and the one shown here is a left-hand crossdraw model, identical to my other holster for this revolver, except for the sight cut.

While the Trijicon Red Dot sight did not make my Freedom Arms revolver mechanically more accurate, it did make it more accurate in my hands. In other words, I shoot better with the Red Dot than I do with the black steel sights, especially on targets that are not highly contrasted black bulls on white paper. Shooting at steel targets and rocks on the range, I get more hits using the dot, and I know that it will prove to be better on game for me. Where I hunt, it is pretty thick, and seeing open sights at dusk and dawn is impossible for me against the background of the dark silhouette of a deer or hog. The Trijicon sight is light, small, durable, and easy to use. The Freedom Arms mount is the perfect way to attach one securely to a Freedom Arms revolver. I like it.

Jeff Quinn




Freedom Arms' excellent crossdraw holster with cutout for the Trijicon sight.



Trijicon's Red Dot sight is rugged enough to handle the power of the mighty .500 Wyoming Express.



Laserlyte Kryptonyte Bore Sighter is a great tool for sighting-in.

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Trijicon Red Dot sight mounted on Jeff's Freedom Arms Model 83 Premier Grade .500 WE.





Freedom Arms base (top), elevation shim (center), and related hardware (bottom).



Base is milled to perfectly fit sight recess, resulting in a strong and precise mount.



Trijicon also sells a Picatinny compatible base.



Sight adjustment dial.



Installation is quick and easy.





Cover puts sight in "sleep" mode to save battery.