Some use the plastic/polyurethane training guns, others use metallic molds etc, and yes some do use real guns.
This is a discussion on Holster Makers - where do you get your "model" guns? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been wondering about this for a while. Most holster makers offer their holsters for umpteen bazillion different gun models, so what do they use ...
I've been wondering about this for a while. Most holster makers offer their holsters for umpteen bazillion different gun models, so what do they use for design and sizing? Surely they can't be literally buying one of each gun on the market, so what's the deal? Plastic models? Rent the guns?
Inquiring minds want to know....
"I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."
All of the above plus an Airsoft in the proper model will suffice for a mold. I have had makers use my personal gun for holster molds as long as they are hand molded. I wouldnt recommend using your gun for any mold that needs to be "pressed" for a fit. It could damage your shooter.
"Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981
Usually I've seen them use the blue plastic replicas. When I build my home-made ones, I just use my own shooters when boning the leather. If I'm doing a holster for a blue gun I put it in a plastic bag first before sticking it into wet leather. For all alloy or SS I don't usually bother with a protective baggie (although I should).
I just finished a fitted OWB for my 3" SP 101 that way. It's not complicated.
Blue Guns (Ring's Mfg)
Replica, inert or blank guns
I know a few that prefer the "real thing" instead of the plastic or metal ones.
Personally, I use all of the above. I also borrow guns from a dealer friend and wrap them in plastic to protect the finish.
Currently I offer holsters for 12 different guns and out of those 10 use real gun and 2 use Duncan aluminum molds.
If possible I really prefer to use an actual gun.
Are molds slightly undersize, and if not why do holsters fit so tightly that you cannot draw the gun if you force it into a new holster?
On the other hand I know that there are differences between 1911s and have had two by good makers that were not tight enough to be satisfactory.
I used to send holsters out that I had stretched to my liking, but then found out some wanted them tight. Now I send the holster out a little tight with instructions how to loosen them so the customer can get what they want.
Stretching takes nothing more than a sandwich bag or two and a couple hours of time.