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Unread 07-18-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default molding a holster to fit a 1911

Greetings all,

A few weeks ago i won a tanker style shoulder holster for the 1911 on ebay for $16.95. When it arrived, it was very stiff and to plunge the gun inside it would have begun the inevitable polishing of high spots on the gun. Even though it's a $400 knock-off, I'd still like to keep it in the best condition possible. So, it occurred to me to soften the holster up and shape it sufficiently to the gun's shape to minimize the finish wear when I'm using the two together.

First, I got ahold of Jerry Burney, Maestro of Holsters and Leather work, to obtain guidance. It was established that a good soaking in water would suffice to make it pliable for the job to be done on it. We both agreed that a wooden "proxy gun" would best take the place to present the form of the original gun, on which I had no desire to induce rust.

Then, we diverged. Jerry said he uses a counter mold, to press the leather against the inner form while the leather dries within these constraints. I told him I'd try--go ahead, guess--a foodsaver! Below are the results of the effort. The bag lost its seal somehow, within the first couple hours; sorry, I didn't get a pic of everything sucked down tight.

The first three pics are different views of the holster as it arrived. The 4th pic is of the pine/epoxy putty/plexiglass 1911 I made. The reason it looks a little weird is because I fashioned it to create tunnels in the leather, through which the various protuberances on the 1911 pass unmolested until the gun hits the bottom of the holster. The last is the holster with proxy gun in situ, which shows how closely the leather conformed to the inner mold.

I removed the leather from the plastic bag within a couple of hours of molding it and dried the assembly in front of a fan overnight and, voila! Whadda ya think for a first attempt?
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1911, holster, leather, mold

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