The two gentlemen pictured below used to be my very good friends. Now, in addition to being my lifelong friends, they are my holster testers! One is my best friend from elementary school and the other is my long time brother in arms who served with me in the military for many years. Both of these two friends prioritize their time during the summer to accompany me on my annual backpacking trip. Well, before I built holsters we called the trip a backpacking trip...now it is called a holster testing trip!
Trailmaster Holsters is a relatively small business and is, by every sense of the definition, a mom and pop business. I design and manufacture all of the holsters. My wife helps with the paperwork and keeps me in line which, by the way, is the hardest job of all! Because Trailmaster Holsters is limited by the size of its operation and footprint, I only build holsters for a few types of firearms. As the business grows, I intend to add holsters to fit more types of firearms. The following is a list of firearms I design and build holsters for: Ruger’s Redhawk, Super Redhawk, Super Blackhawk and GP 100 revolvers. The Redhawk and Super Redhawk revolvers fit in the same holster, minus the barrel length. Not all of Ruger’s Blackhawk revolvers fit in my holster designed for the Super Blackhawk holster so, I don’t recommend using my Super Blackhawk holsters for the standard Blackhawk. I also make holsters for Smith & Wesson’s X-Frame revolvers such as the 460 and 500.
Prior to starting Trailmaster Holsters, I served 24+ honorable years in the U.S Air Force retiring as a First Sergeant in 2006. I spent the next 3-years training and working for BNSF Railway eventually becoming a Division Trainmaster. I resigned from the railroad and literally spent my last cash on an industrial leather sewing machine. I started Trailmaster Holsters in February 2009, working out of a bedroom in my home. After outgrowing the home where Trailmaster Holsters started, we moved outside of a rural town in Montana (Fairfield) where I’ve turned a large garage into the new Trailmaster Holsters’ shop. Nothing fancy, nothing corporate, nothing union just a small sole-proprietorship business based on hard work and rock-solid core values.
I received the nickname “Trailmaster” from close friends after the many extended wilderness backpacking trips I've helped plan and successfully executed over the last 20+ years. A few of those friends are still in the military and are scattered abroad in service of our freedom. I've shared many a warm campfire with these gentlemen as we have enjoyed a humble meal, often from the same tin heated over an open fire. Each trip with these men was an adventure of a lifetime. I'm truly blessed with the opportunity to have had so many trips and it is my honor to have served with these men, both on and off duty.
Since the early 1990s, I’ve logged 1,500+ miles on foot hiking and backpacking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Montana, and many other states to include the California and the Alaskan outback (mosquito heaven). I was born in Western Colorado and raised in Northwest Colorado on a small farm south of a little town called Craig. I worked for the Forest Service for two full summers building and maintaining trails in Colorado's remote wilderness areas. My explorations in the wilderness eventually lead me down a path in designing, making and using holsters for my own personal use. Shortly thereafter, my friends requested my holsters. One thing lead to another and now I offer my personal style of holsters and other leather products to those outdoors people who, like myself, love our country regardless of its faults and are proud to live in a free land where we have the right to own and carry firearms of our choosing.
I normally carry a firearm when in the backwoods regardless of the activity whether it is backpacking, hunting, fishing, or just hiking around with friends and family. I feel blessed to have the freedom, while it lasts, to enjoy the choice and right to own, carry and use firearms of my choice in many of my recreational activities. May God Bless Our USA!
Thanks for considering my holsters. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 406-564-3220. If for some reason I’m unable to answer your phone call, please leave a message and I will get back with you.
Very Respectfully, Earl Southard, Owner/Operator Trailmaster Holsters