The holster maker, Bianchi, recently launched a new website and updated their logo, and asked us to spotlight a few holsters to bring that fact to light. Bianchi has been in the holster making business for more than four decades, and have continued making all types of holsters for armed citizens, law enforcement, and the military under Safariland’s umbrella. Despite Bianchi’s new logo and website, they still remain under Safariland’s ownership. Today, we’ll focus our attention on Bianchi’s Military Universal Revolver holster, model UM84R. This holster is configurable in many different ways to mate numerous different carry styles into one, do-it-all, outside the waistband (OWB) holster. Since I’m an contributing member of TFB’s Wheelgun Wednesday squad, I specifically chose to review this Universal Military Revolver holster from Bianchi, let’s see if this older design is still relevant.
Bianchi Holsters @ TFB:
- Allusion Series 126GLS Concealment Holster by Bianchi
- Bianchi Cowboy Wild Clearwater Rig
- Glock 43 Holsters From Bianchi
BIANCHI MILITARY UNIVERSAL REVOLVER HOLSTER – UM84R
Bianchi’s Military Universal Revolver holster is made in the same vein as their Universal semi-auto holster that you may have seen Beretta M9’s residing in. The UM84R holster officially has six different ways to attach to a belt or web gear via rubberized molded coverings with belt loops on both sides for right or left-handed people. These molded belt loops allow for horizontal or vertical mounting to a belt, or, for vertical only mounting when using the supplied metal belt clip that makes for easy donning or doffing. The Bianchi Military Universal Revolver holster is quite modular in that the flap doesn’t have to be used, nor does the metal belt clip. The UM84R also shows its utilitarian side with the inclusion of a slot for a supplied plastic cleaning rod that’s secured via flap and button closure to retain the cleaning rod. This hearkens back to the World War II holsters for the 1895 Nagant revolver and Cold War era Walther PPK holsters that also accommodated a cleaning rod.
Between the official mounting options, the flap to keep out debris, the nylon body and rubberized plastic shell, and the cleaning rod, Bianchi’s UM84R felt like it could really stand to be used in any tough environment and protect the gun you may have to trust your life with. I happen to think it’s a good-looking holster from a strictly practical point but perhaps won’t win a beauty contest when compared to a traditional or custom leather holster. When the flap is in place and secured, there are only three small holes for debris or precipitation to enter, which is right around the trigger guard, as long as the gun you’re holstering doesn’t have too long of a barrel.
BIANCHI UNIVERSAL REVOLVER HOLSTER: FIELD USE
Having spoken about barrel lengths, I should mention that I had originally hoped to use the UM84R holster with my Ruger GP100 with a six-inch barrel. The holster does still work with it, but not quite as snugly, and with more inlets for debris. I also had to use the uppermost molded hole to latch the flap and the trigger guard was exposed, however, the flap prevented the hammer from traveling. I then tried my S&W Victory revolver with a five-inch barrel and it fit perfectly. However, most of my work and carrying with the Bianchi holster involved the S&W 586 that I have on loan for a future review for TFB’s Wheelgun Wednesday.
The Bianchi Universal Revolver holster was never meant for concealing the fact that you’re carrying a firearm, so its primary fielding would usually be saved for hunting, farm or homestead work, for hiking, or for professions like security work that issue revolvers. While I don’t always have an everyday use for this holster, I really liked carrying a larger frame revolver, a really nice one at that, and having 90 percent of it protected by the holster.
The belt clip is quite simply made but was simple to thread between my belt and pants, and to secure the fingers into their tabs. Removing the holster is just as easy.
For the longest time, I thought the flap on these holsters was secured by a button closure, but it’s uniquely secured by a metal hook attached to a hidden elastic strap. The hook fits into a molded slot between the plastic shell and nylon body of the holster and is held in place by the tension of the hidden elastic strap.
One drawback to the pull tab that helps the user secure and release the flap hook is made of hard plastic, which when jostled, hits the nylon part of the holster and reverberates loudly. Whenever I was walking, it got pretty annoying. There are a couple easy DIY fixes to this; one of which is to remove the plastic loop and replace it with a loop of paracord. The second option would be to place something soft between the plastic loop and the holster, either by wrapping the loop in paracord or placing a strip of foam or something between them.
Drawing the revolvers from the Bianchi UM84R holster was easy, but I had to take some care due to the fact that the metal hook was in the way of the gun coming out. I found that keeping my thumb extended towards my body against the holster’s flap protects the gun from getting scratched.
The Bianchi Universal Revolver Holster turned out to be pretty useful wearing it on the homestead, was easy to draw from, albeit a bit slower than an open topped holster, and didn’t feel cumbersome. I liked that it felt solid and was designed to protect the guns from getting banged up or rained on. For people that like to conceal their carry pieces on a daily basis, this holster may have more limited use as I mentioned above, however, for those that subscribe to OWB carry regardless of where they’re at, this is certainly a sturdy holster that would hold up to long term use.
The Bianchi UM84R holster is not yet listed on their new website, but can still be viewed on Safariland’s page HERE with a stated price of $94.00, due to the softer launch, the holster should be available on the new website soon. You can check out their main page to view the rest of Bianchi’s products. If you’ve used one of these holsters for revolvers or semi-autos, how has your experience been? Did you do anything to silence the pull tab on yours?