Holster Leather Weight

This is a discussion on Holster Leather Weight within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a metric crap-ton of leather tooling sides at my home and for the fun & experience am thinking about making a holster (for ...

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Thread: Holster Leather Weight

  1. #1
    Member Array GhostRed7's Avatar
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    Holster Leather Weight

    I have a metric crap-ton of leather tooling sides at my home and for the fun & experience am thinking about making a holster (for no other reason than fun...NEVER gonna make them for sale...ever). What weight leather is most common? My wife & I looked at my Don Hume IWB and looked to be ~6oz....which IMO seems a little thing b/c it's already getting soft in a cpl of places.

    What weight is good vs. too little/too much?

    I think what we have is ~6-8oz and wondering if I should go for something thicker like in the 8-10oz range....or if that's overkill. I have a friend with an industrial sewing machine that can punch throuh 3 belt blanks at once (that'd be equivalent of ~24oz roughly since the belts were about 8oz) effortlessly.
    "Sir, could you please not bleed so much? I have to clean the store after they haul you off and I'd like the rest of my shift, to be, like, you know, better."

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  3. #2
    Member Array jrcholsters's Avatar
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    I would recommend 8-9oz if you are going with regular leather and 6-7oz for Horsehide. Whatever you use, be sure to buy a quality piece of leather, it really makes a huge difference in your finished project. Once you get over 9oz, it get's hard to make a nice molded holster.
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  4. #3
    Member Array GhostRed7's Avatar
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    Cool, thx. 8-9 is what I was hoping the answer would be. We have a wholeseller acct w/ Tandy (we make armor & such for ppl that do SCA/Renfaires/Dragoncon/etc) so I should be able to pick one up. I've never worked with horsehide before. I'm sure my 1st couple of holsters will be a disaster (read: make, take pics, toss in trash, start over LOL).
    "Sir, could you please not bleed so much? I have to clean the store after they haul you off and I'd like the rest of my shift, to be, like, you know, better."

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    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    Agreed on 8 oz. I always ran 7-8 oz, but usually lined them. Making your own holster is a feather in your cap, but make darn sure you lay it out right. Its all about the pattern.

  6. #5
    Member Array ccholsters's Avatar
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    I use 7/8 for most holsters (Hermann Oak leather). We do use 6/7 for some IWB holsters depending on the criteria given to us by the client. Good luck in your endeavor.

  7. #6
    Member Array GhostRed7's Avatar
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    Another sorta related question....(didn't wanna spam new thread)

    Would a 1911 (standard size) from one manufacture (say Colt, Kimber, etc) be the same fit for another (say Remington 1911R1) holster-wise?
    "Sir, could you please not bleed so much? I have to clean the store after they haul you off and I'd like the rest of my shift, to be, like, you know, better."

  8. #7
    Member Array ccholsters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostRed7 View Post
    Another sorta related question....(didn't wanna spam new thread)

    Would a 1911 (standard size) from one manufacture (say Colt, Kimber, etc) be the same fit for another (say Remington 1911R1) holster-wise?
    For the most part, YES. There are a few little differences in certain 1911's. Sig's has a little different slide shape and anything with a rail should be checked for dimensions.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Another 8 oz recommendation here.
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  10. #9
    New Member Array whtsmoke's Avatar
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    Tandy has 6 ounce and up tooling bellies for 8 bucks right now if you used good inside out with two layers would it be good for a holster? it would be for a belt holster for a j-frame smith.
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  11. #10
    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    I generally select the leather weight based upon the holster style and size/weight of the handgun to be fitted. 6-7 oz. works well for many holster designs for the smaller and lighter handguns. 7-8 oz. is a good general purpose weight for most applications. 8-9 and 9-10 are useful for some heavy duty applications.

    You did not mention what type of leather you have. Leather is produced by a number of tanning methods:

    1. Vegetable tanning, utilizing tannins from tree bark and other natural sources. This is the only type usually suitable for holsters. Veg-tanned can be formed when wet and retain the desired shape indefinitely. There are no residual chemicals in the leather that could be damaging to ferrous metals (like handguns).

    2. Chrome tanning, utilizing chemical salts. Residual salts remain in the leather and can cause oxidation to ferrous metals, especially when combined with any moisture (see below). Chrome-tanned leather is soft and supple, will not retain a shape.

    3. Brain tanning, utilizing the animal's brain in solution with water. Brain-tanned leather is very soft and velvety in texture. No known damaging residue. Brain-tanned leather is rather rare anymore. The old-timers said that each animals brain contained exactly enough substance to tan that animal's hide.

    4. Feces and urine tanning. Still practiced in many countries. Can be tooled and formed. I avoid imported leathers completely because there is seldom any method of determining what tanning methods were used, and some things I just don't want to have in contact with my body and quality weapons.

    All leather products have a tendency to attract and retain moisture from precipitation, from the atmosphere, and from the user's perspiration. Handguns should never be stored in a leather holster or case. I recommend removing the handgun after each day's use, wiping it down with an oily rag or silicone-treated cloth, and storing it separately from the holster. Holsters should be stored in a place with good air flow to permit residual moisture to evaporate away.

    Best regards.
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  12. #11
    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    Bellies are generally avoided for holster work. Not only is the flesh-side typically loose and "fuzzy", but the leather can be heavily wrinkled and have many thin areas.

    Two layers of 6-oz. bonded together flesh-to-flesh would result in a 12-oz. piece, rather heavy for most holster applications.

    $8.00 per square foot might be a bargain at Tandy's, but is rather high. I purchase sides (23 sq. ft. +/-) and double-shoulders (15 sq. ft. +/-) for considerably less. Also, much of Tandy's stock is imported leather, rather than US-tannery produced (see my earlier post regarding tanning methods).
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  13. #12
    Member Array luke213's Avatar
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    Just another note, if your making things for sale even if it's not holsters I would completely recommend ditching Tandy because they as I'm sure you've noticed are very inconsistent in leather quality. Back when I started I considered going that route, but decided that if I'm going to be putting in that much time and effort to make something well, I need to start with the best material I can find. Check out Springfieldleather.com for smaller runs of Hermann Oak leather for when your getting started(I know most guys don't want to order 10+ sides direct from the tannery when they are starting out). I do think though once you get your first bit of that kind of leather you won't spend any more money/time with Tandy, well that was true for me;)

    On weight, I really like 8-9oz. holds up well, and at least in my opinion even in smaller applications I don't find the extra thickness to be an detriment and it helps allot in the way the rig will wear once it's been out there on your hip for a while.

    Take care!

    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

  14. #13
    Member Array steelhawk's Avatar
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    I'm currently using some 8-9 oz Hermann Oak from Springfield Leather. It is really good stuff. There seems to be lots more usable leather in this side than there was in the last one. I stepped up one grade of leather this time.

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