1911 Holster is too tight

This is a discussion on 1911 Holster is too tight within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I bought a used holster for my 1911. It is like new....probably not used enough. My problem is the handgun won't slide into the holster. ...

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Thread: 1911 Holster is too tight

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    Member Array TGC's Avatar
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    1911 Holster is too tight

    I bought a used holster for my 1911. It is like new....probably not used enough. My problem is the handgun won't slide into the holster. The inside of the holster is not slick at all. What can I use on this holster to soften it up a bit? thanks

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    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    Put the gun in a Ziploc, or two, or pantyhose , then push it into the holster, if that won't work, you can heat the holster up with a blow dryer, or wet it. Try rolling it around with your hands too.

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    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGC View Post
    I bought a used holster for my 1911. It is like new....probably not used enough. My problem is the handgun won't slide into the holster. The inside of the holster is not slick at all. What can I use on this holster to soften it up a bit? thanks
    Assuming it is made for the 1911 place it in a thin plastic bag, and try to force it into the holster. Leave it there overnight and check it. If not loose enough to draw from do it again. Wax paper is also recommended.

    A few recommend placing in the holster and putting it in the safe for a week or so. That is too slow for me, but a new holster by a good maker will be too tight when first received.

    Do not put anything on it to loosen it up.That will ruin the holster.

    Are you sure it is made for your 1911? Who is the maker?

    Regards,
    Jerry

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    If it IS a new holster, try putting the gun in and out 300-500 times. I do this often with new hoslters (while watching TV), and this should to a long way to preparing for a smoother draw.
    Then let it sit overnightwith the gun in it, or with a plastic bag or some T-shirt material strips along the barrel.

    I rather have a tight holster that I make just right, than a holster that is too big already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGC View Post
    I bought a used holster for my 1911. It is like new....probably not used enough. My problem is the handgun won't slide into the holster. The inside of the holster is not slick at all. What can I use on this holster to soften it up a bit? thanks
    I would not use water to soften. Sometimes distilled water can be used to soften but I think there are better solutions that won't ruin the leather.

    Assuming the holster is in fact right for your 1911 you can try a few things that will not harm the leather or tanning.

    This is somewhat like using a wooden shoe insert into a good pair of leather shoes. It would be nice if you had a wooden 1911 but you will probably need to do this with the real pistol.

    1. Vigorously rub the inside and outside with Kiwi Saddle soap. Pry the pistol into th holster and keep it it in the bag for 1-3 days.

    2. Do the same with Armor-All leather conditioner from an auto parts store. There is some silicone in Armor-all that might help get the pistol into the holster while you are conditioning it.

    3. Go to a good shoe store and buy a spray can of Meltonican water and stain protector. Spray vigorously inside and out. Put in a plastic bag. Wait at least 24 hours. Try the pistol again.

    If none of this works, contact the manufacture.
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    Ex Member Array Silver Wolf's Avatar
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    Slicken it up

    Try Mitch Rosen's Leather Lightening.

    Also, the frame used to mold the holster may have been a 9mm frame 1911 (Kimber and a few others have a bit smaller frames on their standard 1911); and your pistol may have a bit larger frame.
    I went this when making a holster for Springfield TRP... it's a bit thicker.

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    Member Array chiefrcd's Avatar
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    I went to a local shoe shop and purchased a small bottle of liquid that was for stretching boots that were too tight, have no idea what it was, but only a few bucks. I put the liquid on the leather according to the instructions, then wrapped my my gun in plastic wrap and let it set over night, the results was a perfect fit. Someone once told me that the solution was a 50/50 alcohol and water but I'm not sure.
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    Senior Member Array dairycreek's Avatar
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    I use a variation on the theme of putting the gun in a plastic bag and then into the holster. What I have done is to wrap the gun in plastic wrap and then put it in the gun - and then wear the holster so it can get heat from your body. Keep adding plastic wrap one layer at a time (slowly stretches the holster) and repeating the process until the gun fits the way you want it to. With a little time and patience you can achieve a near perfect fit for the gun/holster combo.
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    Senior Member Array TucAzRider's Avatar
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    It is better to have it too tight them too lose,..

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    Quote Originally Posted by TucAzRider View Post
    It is better to have it too tight them too lose,..
    That can be said for a lot of things.

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    Member Array dhoomonyou's Avatar
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    Wrap the empty gun in brown or wax paper
    place in holster for a few days

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    Member Array TGC's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input!
    I have my 1911 wrapped in wax paper and inserted in the holster. If that doesn't work, I'll move on to one of the other suggestions. I'm sure one will work for this holster. It is a Mitch Rosen holster by the way.

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    Member Array pakin's Avatar
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    Here is some good information from holster makers about this issue.
    Treating the inside of a holster - Leatherworker.net

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    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    Assuming it is made for the 1911 place it in a thin plastic bag, and try to force it into the holster. Leave it there overnight and check it. If not loose enough to draw from do it again. Wax paper is also recommended.

    A few recommend placing in the holster and putting it in the safe for a week or so. That is too slow for me, but a new holster by a good maker will be too tight when first received.

    Do not put anything on it to loosen it up.That will ruin the holster.

    Are you sure it is made for your 1911? Who is the maker?

    Regards,
    Jerry
    Excellent info from Jerry. As he stated use NOTHING but the THIN plastic bag or wax paper. A quality hand boned holster should be tight enough brand new that if you place the EMPTY weapon into it, hold it upside down by the holster and try to release it by shaking it up and down (over a mattress) it should stay in place.

    Try the bag and multiple draws and reholstering the weapon. Should break in after a couple hundred strokes.
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    If the holster is leather then bend it on the front and back of the gun. If you need some more help then add a little baby powder to the inside of the holster. It will help release the gun from the rough side leather.
    MNBurl

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