Leather Holsters: Making them more snug?

This is a discussion on Leather Holsters: Making them more snug? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, the trick of making the leather holster loose by placing a gun inside a plastic bag and putting that in the holster overnight. How ...

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Thread: Leather Holsters: Making them more snug?

  1. #1
    Member Array CDRGlock's Avatar
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    Leather Holsters: Making them more snug?

    Ok, the trick of making the leather holster loose by placing a gun inside a plastic bag and putting that in the holster overnight.

    How do I reverse the process? Is reversing the process possible?
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    First, what do you do??
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  4. #3
    Member Array mdmorgan's Avatar
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    I do NOT use a bag. Leather will stretch but it will not shrink. Just go ahead and use the gun to mould the holster, then remove it, and clean the gun. I have made hundreds of holsters and never had a gun rust from that little bit of time. Also if the jun comes out "wet" then there is too much water in the leather. The leather should look dry but feel cool to the touch. Hope this helps!

  5. #4
    Member Array mdmorgan's Avatar
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    I just realized you want to shrink a finished holster, short of adding stitches I don't think you are going to have much luck.

  6. #5
    New Member Array burton78's Avatar
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    you could try to remove some of the sealer from inside the holster then wet it again... but you would need to seal it when you were finished.

  7. #6
    Member Array luke213's Avatar
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    Depends on the holster and how it's finished and brand, but the general answer is no it's not really possible to shrink the holster.

    When you wet mold a holster there will be a little shrink that appears during the drying but really it depends on what your really trying to achieve and also whats been done to the holster. If it feels like a baseball glove because it's been over-oiled your pretty much SOL but some things you can fix to a degree but often times it's new holster time. Either way you need to provide allot more information and details to know if it really is even a possibility.

    Take care and good luck

    Luke
    I am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

  8. #7
    Member Array mdmorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke213 View Post
    Depends on the holster and how it's finished and brand, but the general answer is no it's not really possible to shrink the holster.

    When you wet mold a holster there will be a little shrink that appears during the drying but really it depends on what your really trying to achieve and also whats been done to the holster. If it feels like a baseball glove because it's been over-oiled your pretty much SOL but some things you can fix to a degree but often times it's new holster time. Either way you need to provide allot more information and details to know if it really is even a possibility.

    Take care and good luck

    Luke
    1+ I agree.

  9. #8
    Member Array CDRGlock's Avatar
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    I stretched my holster by the gun in a bag trick.

    Maybe I can put some felt or suede on the inside to tighten it just a smidge. I am taking 2 or 3 mm, here.
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  10. #9
    Member Array mdmorgan's Avatar
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    Might work if you can make it stick. Keep it away from the trigger area, Just in case.

  11. #10
    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    Wet-forming, the usual process for fitting holsters, involves considerable stretching of the leather. As was noted, some shrinkage occurs during the drying process, which is why many new holsters require a little stretching to ease the draw.

    Vegetable-tanned leather cannot be shrunk after forming by the usual processes, but there is a method that will work on some holsters. Using a deglazing agent the exterior finish can be removed to expose the top grain, then soak the holster in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) for about 10 to 15 seconds, then reform the holster on the weapon and allow to dry (isopropyl alcohol evaporates very quickly). The reformed holster, combined with a little shrinkage that is typical with the alcohol forming method, can result in a better fit. The holster will then need to be resealed, for which Leather Sheen, Super Sheen, or Resolene (available at Tandy stores) will do a good job when directions are followed.

    Much of the holster making process involves drying times. After wet-forming with water the typical wait is about 24 hours prior to proceeding with the next step, and my typical cycle of production usually requires about 3 days altogether. I have used the alcohol-forming method to expedite production, reducing the production cycle by a full day when necessary. When doing this I have noted that shrinkage during drying is more than what I would expect using water, and final rigidity of the holster is increased by using alcohol.

    Isopropyl alcohol is about $2 per quart. Deglazer and acrylic finish will probably cost around $12 or $14 in the small quantities needed for a single job. The original forming of the holster should guide you in refitting the holster to the weapon using your fingers and smooth objects (like a Sharpie marker).

    Good luck.
    Lobo Gun Leather
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  12. #11
    Member Array muzzleloader's Avatar
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    If it's for a Glock, just spray a little bed liner in there Maybe the original maker would help you out with a couple stiches. good luck.

  13. #12
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    You could try running your holster under hot water and then just very carefully setting it aside without the firearm in it.

    That should shrink it up a little bit.

    Handle it with "Kid Gloves" after you wet it because you don't want to lose the hand boning.

    Important: Wait until it's completely dry again before you reinsert your firearm.

    Really you have nothing to lose if your holster is too loose firearm right now.

    You need to either shrink it a bit or relegate it to the holster junk box.

  14. #13
    New Member Array MDYR's Avatar
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    I would try putting grip tape you can buy for your gun grips.I put the tape just below the slide.
    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    You could try running your holster under hot water and then just very carefully setting it aside without the firearm in it.

    That should shrink it up a little bit.

    Handle it with "Kid Gloves" after you wet it because you don't want to lose the hand boning.

    Important: Wait until it's completely dry again before you reinsert your firearm.

    Really you have nothing to lose if your holster is too loose firearm right now.

    You need to either shrink it a bit or relegate it to the holster junk box.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboleather View Post
    Wet-forming, the usual process for fitting holsters, involves considerable stretching of the leather. As was noted, some shrinkage occurs during the drying process, which is why many new holsters require a little stretching to ease the draw.

    Vegetable-tanned leather cannot be shrunk after forming by the usual processes, but there is a method that will work on some holsters. Using a deglazing agent the exterior finish can be removed to expose the top grain, then soak the holster in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) for about 10 to 15 seconds, then reform the holster on the weapon and allow to dry (isopropyl alcohol evaporates very quickly). The reformed holster, combined with a little shrinkage that is typical with the alcohol forming method, can result in a better fit. The holster will then need to be resealed, for which Leather Sheen, Super Sheen, or Resolene (available at Tandy stores) will do a good job when directions are followed.

    Much of the holster making process involves drying times. After wet-forming with water the typical wait is about 24 hours prior to proceeding with the next step, and my typical cycle of production usually requires about 3 days altogether. I have used the alcohol-forming method to expedite production, reducing the production cycle by a full day when necessary. When doing this I have noted that shrinkage during drying is more than what I would expect using water, and final rigidity of the holster is increased by using alcohol.

    Isopropyl alcohol is about $2 per quart. Deglazer and acrylic finish will probably cost around $12 or $14 in the small quantities needed for a single job. The original forming of the holster should guide you in refitting the holster to the weapon using your fingers and smooth objects (like a Sharpie marker).

    Good luck.
    I would heed this advice. ^^^
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    If it's loose off body, then try it while wearing it. Most holsters tighten up when worn anyway. If it's as little as you say, it might be unnoticeable when worn. If it's loose on body, you're looking at a bigger problem. And that has been addressed above.

    My advice for the future, break your holsters in by wearing them. Even if you have to wear it all weekend around the house. Manually stretching the leather or using some sort of softener should not be necessary. And if it is, it should be a last resort after wearing it a while.

    I had a holster go out pretty tight a while back. 8 hours of wearing it on a Saturday did the trick.
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