Freedom Arms' New Holsters


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn




Here at, 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 comfortable.

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:, 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.                                        

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Freedom Arms' new high-ride cross-draw holster exhibits superb craftsmanship and excellent fit.



Author found the Freedom Arms holster to be very comfortable and solid for extended carry.



The retaining strap can be snapped around the gun for maximum retention, or snapped out of the way for maximum accessibility.



Freedom Arms' design has a higher ride and greater cant than some makes, allowing much greater comfort and easier accessibility.



Freedom Arms' design also allows for weak-hand draw.



Craftsmanship of the Freedom Arms holster is evident upon examination. Only the finest-grade materials are used, and first-rate workmanship is exhibited by the quality of the molding and stitching.



Although designed for their own large-frame revolvers, Freedom Arms' holsters fit other large-frames, such as the Ruger Vaquero and Blackhawk, perfectly.



Freedom Arms' holsters represent top-grade craftsmanship at a price well below much of their competition. Highly recommended.