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Old July 14, 2011, 12:22 AM   #1
ftballgod
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breaking in a new leather holster?

aside from just wearing it in, is there any way to break in a new leather holster? i just got a new one and its pretty stiff. i cant wear it till nov. (the law just got passed and does not go into effect till then) i was wondering if there was something i could do in the mean time.
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Old July 14, 2011, 03:09 AM   #2
jborushko
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one option is get a replica gun. wet the leather with water and use the replica gun to work the leather... moving the replica in and out of the holster for while and then leave the replica in the holster to while the leather is drying. when/as the leather dries use some saddle soap to soften it back up and protect from cracking

use the replica gun so you dont run the risk of rust on your good gun
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Old July 14, 2011, 03:15 AM   #3
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Put your gun in a plastic baggie (freezer bag). Insert it into the holster (unloaded of course!), and twist it back and forth (maybe 1/16th of a revolution) several times.

After the 4th (or 12th) times doing this, it should fit your gun tightly still, but snuggly.
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Old July 14, 2011, 05:27 AM   #4
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I wrap my unloaded gun in saran (sp?) wrap and leave it in the holster for a day or two. Most will be ready after that but if not, put it in and draw it with the wrap still on about 50 times. Works for me.
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Old July 14, 2011, 06:13 AM   #5
shortwave
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+1plouffedaddy.

or

Slightly dampen the inside of the holster. Then put your pistol in a clear plastic bag. Insert gun in slightly dampened holster and leave it for a day.
Also, one more thing, make sure your plastic bag doesn't have print on it like some of the plastic grocery bags unless you want Krogers dyed into the inside of your holster.
Ask me how I know.

Quote:
...as the leather dries use some saddle soap to soften it back up...
Don't think I'd do that if it were mine.

Last edited by shortwave; July 14, 2011 at 06:35 AM.
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Old July 14, 2011, 09:34 AM   #6
Dino.
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I wrap my gun in an old sock and put it in the holster over night.
That's usually enough to loosen it up nicely.
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Old July 14, 2011, 09:43 AM   #7
JohnO
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This is what I was told by Kramer Leather many years ago and I have used it several times. It works.

Put your gun in a baggie. Start with a thin sandwich bag, as once you stretch out your holster you can't go back. Don't twist your gun, just leave it over night. If you need more stretch go to a thicker zip lock bag, ect, ect.
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Old July 14, 2011, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
i cant wear it till nov. (the law just got passed and does not go into effect till then) i was wondering if there was something i could do in the mean time.
Hello Wisconsin? Congratulations!

What you can do is wear it around the house. Unloaded. You can practice your drawstroke, and test your belt/hoster/cover garment ..... wear it for a few hours and then walk in front of a mirror. Has it shifted? Printing? Get used to your rig at home, so you won't be uncomfortable when you make that "Walmart Walk".
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Old July 14, 2011, 01:44 PM   #9
ftballgod
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Yes sir, the dairy state can now carry concealed! Thanks for the suggestions. I will have my rig all ready to go come Nov.
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Old July 14, 2011, 04:33 PM   #10
JerryM
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I would not wet the holster. Instead do the plastic bag treatment. If it does not loosen enough to make a smooth draw use some KG9. I have used it for years, and it smooths the inside of the holster without softening it.
http://www.kgcoatings.com/lubricants...-leather-kote/

You want the holster to be tight for good retention if you fall or whatever. But some come so tight you have to use a good bit of force to get the gun in, and then you wonder how you are going to get it out.

The last holster I got was so tight I had to leave the gun in it overnight before I could remove it.

Jerry
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Old July 14, 2011, 04:38 PM   #11
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Whatever you do, do not soak the holster,,,

I make holsters and soak the holster for it's initial fitting,,,
Then I wrap the gun in Saran Wrap to protect it,,,
I use about 6 feet to build up some bulk.

But I also do an oil infusion after it dries,,,
That alleviates the stiffness when the leather dries out.

If any moisture is necessary to "fit" the gun,,,
Just wipe the inside of the holster with a damp sponge,,,
You would only want to dampen the leather and not make it dripping wet.

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Old July 14, 2011, 05:10 PM   #12
Don H
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ftballgod,

Does the manufacturer offer any instructions for breaking in the holster in the materials that accompanied the holster or on their website?
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Old July 14, 2011, 05:28 PM   #13
shortwave
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Quote:
You only want to dampen the leather and not make it dripping wet
Correct -o -mundo, aarondhgraham

You can just get a clean rag wet and slightly dampen the inside of the holster.

Then put your pistol in a clear plastic bag or freezer bag and leave it in there till it dries.
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Old July 14, 2011, 06:20 PM   #14
Stealth01
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Ahh, I buy a holster that is boned for my weapon. Then I will wrap my gun in saran wrap, holster it and leave it for several days. I shudder to think of having to "re-wet" a properly built/boned holster...
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Old July 14, 2011, 07:53 PM   #15
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
i was wondering if there was something i could do in the mean time.
I'd put your gun in it and wear it around your house. That will break it better than any other method in my opinion.
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Old July 14, 2011, 08:06 PM   #16
secret_agent_man
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I occasionally wash and dry some ammo left in Wranglers, and it always shoots real good afterwards. Might work for a holster....
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Old July 14, 2011, 08:15 PM   #17
Dennis1209
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I also use the suran wrap method or use the plastic bag the holster came in. Works good. Just got a nice Alessi holster, OWB snap type, you hear me coming because I squeek so bad May have to use some glove oil on the snap loops.
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Old July 14, 2011, 08:30 PM   #18
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Never had a quality holster that needed wetting. All have needed a break-in period but that was as much for the carrier as the leather. The only thing that I use to break in a holster is elbow grease. Unload the pistol, strap on the holster, chamber check (again!). After that it's holster, draw, acquire front sight, repeat. When you go from grip acquisition to front sight acquisition in a smooth, fluid motion you're off to a good start. After you achieve smooth, work on speed. It takes dozens, sometimes hundreds of draws for me to break in a holster but I'll let the holster maker to do all the wetting and fitting.
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Old July 14, 2011, 08:56 PM   #19
foxytwo
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Do not use saddle soap or any leather softeners as you will ruin the holster and nothing can be done to repair it.
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Old July 14, 2011, 10:12 PM   #20
Dwight55
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Anyone who buys one of my custom holsters gets a baggie, and the following advice:

There are a few precautions you should take with your holster and/or belt:
• Try never to allow it to become soaked in any liquid. Should it become so, use a string loop through the holster or buckle to suspend it in mid air, and place it in front of a fan. Do not place it in an oven, on a stove, or in a microwave in an attempt to hasten the drying process; as that will probably ruin the leather.
• If it seems to be drying out and wanting to crack, linseed oil can be added sparingly to replenish the lost natural oils. Saddle soap can also be used on your holster or belt safely. In order to retain the rich color, “Kiwi” liquid shoe polish can also be used, but it will also turn the sewing threads dark.
• Sometimes, you as the owner will feel that the fit is too snug or it seems hard to extract it from the holster as you wear it. Your holster was shipped inside a plastic baggie to protect it. Simply unload your firearm, wrap it snugly in the plastic baggie and force it down into your holster. Wrap the holster in a terry cloth wash cloth and secure the whole thing with several large rubber bands. Leave it overnight. (This occasionally will have to be done on a couple of nights, or adding a second baggie). This process allows the leather to expand to the correct dimensions for your personal and particular weapon.
• Oftentimes a person new to IWB holsters will comment on it being “uncomfortable”. This is simply a function of getting used to wearing it, and wearing it in various “spots” on your belt until the holster and you have found “the” spot that is right.

I have never had a serious complaint about the breaking in of my holsters.

May God bless,
Dwight
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Old July 21, 2011, 12:47 PM   #21
Sgt01
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I use the plastic bag method, but usually start with the thicker Mil bags, such as the Don Hume holster bags. I keep the gun in the holster for a day or two, then check the gun for fit. If it's still too tight (not usually) then I'll add a thinner sandwich bag. So far, it's worked for me.
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Old July 28, 2011, 06:41 PM   #22
jborushko
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Quote:
saddle soap
i meant to do the soap on the smooth part of the leather if its the outside surface. not the rough side or the inside pocket of the holster. and definitely not to over do it. do this as a protection against cracking.

*shrugs*

maybe clear shoe polish would be better than the soap?

i've not had any problem with the soap myself though

i love this insight on the plastic bags though, i'll totally be adopting it for my newest holster (cz sp01 phantom)
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Old July 28, 2011, 11:00 PM   #23
BfloBill
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The last leather holster I bought came with break in instructions. They recommended using wax paper. You wrap the gun with the non waxy side of the paper against the gun (unloaded of course), and put it in the holster overnight. I did this for my Glock 22 and it worked fine.

Most of the methods mentioned operate on the same theory, using a plastic bag, saran wrap, or wax paper all increase the thickness of the gun just a little bit so it stretches some. But it probably isn't something that a little sweat and daily wear can't accomplish.
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