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Old August 25, 2002, 02:53 PM   #1
SCAR
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Join Date: January 25, 2001
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Leather Help

I need some help. I am a new Leo and was issued my gun belt and Holster the other day. Brought it home and tried to put my Beretta in it and can barly get the thing out of it it is s tight it take 2 hands to put put it in, let alone draw it. need to hold the holster and pull with all I have to get it out. It is a cheap holster but they will not let me use anything else for he first year, so I am stuck with it. I read about getting it wet and molding it to the gun and using spray silocone but I thouht this shrinks the leather and if it shrinks any theres no way I will be able to draw it. SO what I need is some help with what to do. Its a black basket weave made by MIXON.
Thanks
Tim
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Old August 25, 2002, 05:05 PM   #2
Ed Brunner
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Wrap a plastic bag around your gun, the idea being to slightly incresase the size while retaining the shape.Then put the wrapped gun in the holster and leave it all night. That will usually do it unless the gun and holster are mismatched.
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Old August 25, 2002, 05:35 PM   #3
HSGI
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Stretching Leather

SCAR ,
Contact your local cobbler ( boot and shoe repair shop ) , Ask them for some " Shoe Stretch " , made by Feibings . If they will sell some to you . Use a spray bottle with " Shoe Stretch " in it , apply inside and out of the holster . Place your weapon within and play with it . You will notice the difference right off ( if this holster is truly leather or has no metal or plastic insert within ) . You will not need to wrap your weapon with any plastic , as the " Shoe Stretch " is somewhat alcohol base . It will evaporate quite quickly . You may want to wipe your weapon down with an oily wrag afterwards . Also after the stretching is complete , you should condition your leather ( holster ) . I prefer and recommend " Saddle Butter " , use it myself .
I hope this helps you out . I've done many of these projects .
HSGI
Gene
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Old August 25, 2002, 07:11 PM   #4
Dfariswheel
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I'm a holster maker and here's what I recommend:

Get a can of silicone from an auto parts store, NOT the "environmentally friendly" type.

Spray the inside of the holster and allow it to stand for a few minutes. Then force the gun in and GENTLY twist it slightly side-to-side. Remove, wipe the gun and the holster, and test for proper fit. If still too tight, repeat.

Leather doesn't shrink, it only stretches. Only rawhide can shrink.
The problem is, if you over loosen the holster it's service life will be short, so it should be a little too tight when new. Loosening it up slightly by this method will allow you to use it until it gets broken in.

Sorry HSGI, but shoe stretcher will over stretch most holsters, leaving too loose a fit, and it can damage finished holster leather.

Many holster companies offer various types of leather "slicking" agents for their holsters.

Bottom line: new holstes are usually too tight, but with a little use they will break in. Get too aggressive with a new holster, and you'll be buying a new one soon.
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Old August 26, 2002, 11:55 AM   #5
HSGI
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Dfariswheel ,
I did not mention the use of a shoe stretcher , but the solution called " Shoe Stretch " .
And this solution will not harm the finish of the leather nor your weapon . The only finish it may harm is the Acrylic resolene , which is water base .
Which Acrylic resolene can be purchased to redress , distressed leather after time goes on .
True over-stretching leather is not advised . What out for some types of silicone sprays , as some ingrediants may harm the life span of leather . Some leather conditioners are better than silicone sprays , but do not get caught up in the misconception / wise tales like Saddle Soap being a conditioner when it is merely and only a cleaner , nothing else . But works well for burnishing edges .
I was and still am a holster / saddle maker in heart . I've seen all types of remedies . Not to say all were right or all were wrong , but there has been some stanges stories out there .
Wetting the leather will not hurt your leather , but what ever you use , wet the leather all other evenly , or you will get spotting .
I'm not trying to insult anyone , but I've done many holster fitting and I was merely suggesting what I have seen work best in my opinion .
HSGI
Gene
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Old August 26, 2002, 06:32 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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Hi Gene, I read you right on the liquid shoe stretcher, not a wooden shoe stretcher.

The only stuff I ever saw was years ago, and it was some off- brand junk that badly discolored a customers russet holster. I told him NOT to use that, but.........Ever since then, I recommend against it. I suspect the newer stuff may be better that that crap, whatever it was.

BTW: Have you ever tried Gum Tragacanth?? for burnishing edges? I've always used this, and it gives a remarkable finish to edges.
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Old August 26, 2002, 07:11 PM   #7
HSGI
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Tried the Gum Tagacanth , but did not like it much . Either using Saddle Soap with some elbow grease or edge dressing worked best for me . As for a backing of leather , I found that Saddle Butter was better , ecspecially for holsters with or with out lining . Using smooth leather verse cow split ( suede as most call it ) for lining . Smooth leather kept cleaner for the weapon as it did not trap dirt as much .
On the Shoe Stretch subject , the reason I mentioned to go to the local cobbler to obtain is because the Shoe Stretch they use is more reliable than off the shelf products . I've ran out of and needed some fast and I purchased the Shoe Stretch from off the shelf and it sucked . Even though it was made by the same company , they do not sale the good stuff to the little people . Beleive me there is a difference . Just like the contact cement , can't get the good stuff at Lowes or Home Depot .
I use the Feibings brand for Shoe Stretch and never had a problem with it . Use just enough to do the job , if one is worried about dis-coloration , even on the light colored leather .

To give a back-ground of myself , I apprenteinced under Rob Roy originally out of El Paso , Texas . I started out washing saddles , then to minor repairs . Then to building them . As well as holsters , belts , chaps , cases , harnesses , tooling leather and etc...... . Also doing Boot and Shoe repair and Silversmithing . He taught me the old fashion way before he showed me the short-cuts if any . I cursed him for that sometimes , but it did me more good in the long run .

I eventually moved here to NC and continued the leatherwork . Had more work I could shake a stick at . But the Marines needed me worse to make nylon gear . I miss the leather work alot , but nylon work moves quicker . Besides that , not to many people want to pay for honest to goodness custom leather work in this part of the neighborhood if you know what I mean . I still have my tools and sometimes think about selling them . If I do , that means it will be hard to turn back to leather work .
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Old August 28, 2002, 12:57 PM   #8
Mikul
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Many people I know swear by Mitch Rosen's Leather Lightning.

http://www.mitchrosen.com/product_li...ellaneous.html
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Old August 28, 2002, 03:05 PM   #9
C.R.Sam
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Few realize how much is involved in GOOD leather goods.
Skill, time, cost of good materials etc.

Sam
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Old August 28, 2002, 03:36 PM   #10
eap
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i've had many tight holsters and the only thing i've ever used was spray silicone. spray inside till soaked, insert gun(in baggie) and leave overnight.

the last holster i broke i used 4 or 5 baggies at once and left 1-2 days, no silicone. it worked just as well with no smell.
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