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Old 08-28-2005, 04:42 AM   #1
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holster molds?

I'm not sure I'm willing to try making a holster using my actual pistol for the mold. It somehow seems wrong to wrap it in wet leather intentionally, but the idea of making a holster fascinates me.

What do real holster makers use and is it possible to purchase these in small quanitities?

Thanks
Todd
 
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Old 08-28-2005, 08:31 AM   #2
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Holster makers use real guns/aluminum molds/blue guns or what ever they have that will work.
DONT worry about buying a mold if you are gonna make one holster for a gun you have.
Get a wood dowel 1/8 or 3/16" diameter, cut it so it fits between your sights and tape it in place. Then wrap you gun in saran wrap a couple of times...with no bunching of the plastic.
Now your set to use your gun as a mold......dont leave it in wet leather for long periods of time.....mold the holster and let it dry. Take the gun out and wipe it down with CLP.......
Shoot well.......Eric
 
Old 08-28-2005, 10:43 AM   #3
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The holster will shrink a little bit as it dries? I'd thought about that method, but since we often hear about putting the pistol in a plastic bag to stretch the holster, I figured that'd give me too loose a fit??

Thanks,
Todd

PS) where to you buy aluminum pistol molds anyway?
 
Old 08-28-2005, 11:46 AM   #4
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Here's the method used by most pros who use real guns:

Wet the holster by dipping in water until thoroughly soaked.
Allow to stand until it returns to it's natural color, but still feels cool to the touch.
This is known as "Casing" the leather.

Most people make the mistake of trying to mold while the leather is still too wet.

Apply a thin coat of lube or wax to the gun.

Insert the gun into the holster and mold it however you want, using your fingers and whatever tools you want to use.

After the holster is molded to your satisfaction, REMOVE the gun immediately.
As it's removed, the leather will open up slightly. Gently press it back together slightly.

If the holster was in the proper stage of casing, the gun will have little or NO moisture on it. Simple wipe off with a dry cloth and reapply lube.

Allow the holster to dry completely, then finish to your personal preference.

NEVER allow the holster to dry with the gun in place. This will make the leather stretch and the holster will not fit properly ESPECIALLY if it's been wrapped in plastic.

Note that the only leather that REALLY shrinks, is rawhide. Holster type leather can only stretch.

We all have our own variations on this method, but this is the basic process.
 
Old 08-28-2005, 03:20 PM   #5
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Thank you,
I'll give it a try.
Todd
 
Old 08-29-2005, 05:20 PM   #6
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dfarriswheel is correct; the leather will not shrink, and you don't want it overly wet. I barely dip the leather in hot water for more than a few seconds tops. I have numerous aluminum and polymer replicas, but prefer using a real pistol to mold when ever possible. I NEVER wrap the pistol in cling-wrap. I did it that way when I first started out and hated the lines the bunched-up saran-wrap could create on the interior, and a sometimes occasional loose fit. I wipe the pistol with a cloth coated with Birchwood Casey Sheath rust preventative and then wet-mold. I have several blued pistols and mags that I regularly use and they show no signs of pitting or rust, and they have been used for this almost daily for years.
 
Old 08-31-2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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Thanks Mark,

The more I read, the more difficult this entire undertaking appears to be. I'm still going to try this, but I ordered a blackbird from Mike at PCS in the interum. It may be a little while before I make anything usable.

This may be a stupid question, but do you mold the front and back halves of the holster before you sew them together. I've been making mock ups in craft foam (go ahead and laugh), and I can see that if I sew before molding, I won't be able to get a really close fit because I need more slack to push the foam against the pistol.

Todd
 
Old 08-31-2005, 01:12 PM   #8
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Toddler,
I'm sewing the holster first, then wet-molding. I believe that's how most of the makers here are doing it. It takes some trial and error. After a while you learn how much clearence to leave for each particular pistol, some being thicker than others.
 
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