|Product Tests : Milt Sparks Holster, Model 55BN|
One of the sponsors of our Forums Site, is Milt Sparks Holsters Inc., whose owner Tony Kanaley I've met during his visit in Greece, this summer, for the Olympic Games. Tony is a great guy, and together with him and his wife Pam, we spend a lovely evening, near the seashore, enjoying some Greek delicacies. Tony was kind enough to offer to send me one of his holsters to try it out, and of course I accepted. Well, this holster is the subject of this test.
Milt Sparks Model 55BN, is a typical slot-and-loop holster. It is offered in various models, (straight-drop, FBI cant or reverse-FBI cant for cross-draw), and produced by a variety of materials (cowhide, horsehide or horsehide with sharkskin). The holster features a sight tunnel to protect the pistol's front sight, but with no protective flap, which for me is a very useful feature.
The holster that Tony send me for evaluation, was made in black cowhide. First examination of the holster showed that it is made to high quality standards. Stiching is uniform and straight. Molding, although not very tight, it is quite effective securing the pistol in the holster. The holster opening seems to be reinforced, although this is not an inside the waistband holster.
As shown above, the sight tunnel, is protecting the front sight of the pistol, quite effectively. Leather quality was excellent, and there were no rough edges, not even inside the belt slot. Even the Milt Sparks stamp, on the flat of the holster's loop, was even, and uniformly deep. Overall, excellent quality.
I used my Bianchi 1.5" belt to test the holster, and indeed, the slot and loop system pulls the gun tightly to the body, as the company's site notices. See the picture below.
One thing that you should note about this holster, is the large space between the pistols front strap and the holster. This is made possible, by cutting the leather in the proper fashion, but also, by allowing part of the trigger guard to be outside the holster (the rear-most centimeter). In that way, the user's hand can easily grasp the pistol, when in a hurry.
I used this holster to carry my Government model around for several days, and it proved itself to be a very efficient holster, making the large pistol feel very comfortable on your belt. It never shifted from the place you position it, it never allowed the pistol to print on the outside (at least, nobody told me so!).
One thing I would like to see on this holster, is a protective flap, which will prevent the rear of the slide, from making contact with the user's body. I find this flap a real bonus, on any holster I use, since my fat-around-the-waist is constantly rubbing the end of the pistol, causing an uncomfortable feel. If I wear the pistol under a shirt only, my sweat is caustic enough to cause pitting to the metal, the flap can prevent that.
Draws from the holster were very fast, the generous cut behind the trigger guard facilitating the correct grip of the pistol, when drawing quickly. The efficient molding was holding the pistol in place with enough strength to secure it in the holster, but not to hinder the drawing.
Overall impressions from this holster are excellent. Quality-wise, it is top-notch work, and it shows that the five people who are making the holsters in Milt Sparks, know their job quite well. If you are looking for a new holster, take a look at Milt Sparks line.
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