6500 Mile Collaboration Arm Guard
I have convinced myself that I never hit my arm when shooting, this of course is utter rubbish. But try as I might I can never find a bracer that I'm truly comfortable with, either too long or too short, too tight or always working loose, finding a good one is next to impossible.
Along that great search I have the pleasure of owning and using this wonderful arm guard. The 6500 mile collaboration for this quiver is a joint venture by the leather worker Tim Roberts and the knife maker Rob Tattoo, Tim located in the US and Rob in Scotland. Tim would ship some wood to Rob who would then make the knife which was then in turn shipped back to Tim for inclusion in the arm guard. I have been lucky enough to own some of Tim's work in the form of a back quiver and also Rob's in the form of a knife, both are wonderful craftsmen and this arm guard is no exception.
The leather is thick originally it was a lighter shade of yellow but 12 months of use has made it much darker and more orange. Everything is hand stitched which is no mean feat with such thick leather to work with. The guard is secured using elastic cords which are tethered to sections of deer antler and there is some adjustment available by shortening or lengthening the elastic cord. The deer print decoration is raw hide and pretty solid but makes a nice platform to deflect the string should it hit the guard at any time. The sheath for the knife is tight so there is no movement when wearing it and it is further held in place by a leather strap and brass pin.
Rob makes a range of knives and I'm not really sure what this one would be for, but it's a good sturdy blade which I use to dig arrows out of wood etc. The handle is Osage and as per the norm for Osage it darkens over time, you can see form the picture there is a lighter band where the leather strap has covered the wood.
Of course with any bit of archery kit the important thing is how is it in use, the obvious question would be does the knife get in the way. In short no, when worn the knife is over the top part of your lower arm and there is no danger of it getting in the way. It performs really well as an arm guard but it is rather uncomfortable to wear. The leather is thick and on my skinny arms it used to dig in unless I had a thick jumper on. Also the three straps didn't really do a good enough job of holding it on, due to the weight they needed to be tight which then restricted the lower arm to the point of being uncomfortable.
It seems like I have just criticised it a bit, but I do love it. Somebody not too bothered about the restriction issues would not have a problem but I'm a bit fussy when it comes to being comfortable when shooting and I like everything to be just so. I did use this for around a year but the leather never softened enough to make it more comfortable, but I do really like it and I might look at some other options to see if I can make it comfortable to shoot in.
Features & Design
Great to look at and extra functional with the addition of a knife.
Really good as an arm guard and the limited use the knife has had has been fine.
Value for Money
Wasn't cheap but it's made by two master craftsman.
A really nice arm guard, only criticism is that the leather is a little too thick to be comfortable, but that's really a personal