View Full Version : How to stretch out a stubbornly tight holster?

Northslope Nimrod
July 22, 2009, 11:31 AM
Buddy recently bought a leather holster from HBE Leatherworks. It is too tight right now. I suggested he put his gun in a sock and stick it in the holster. It hasn't worked yet.

Is there some type of oil he should be using?

What are the tricks?

July 22, 2009, 11:56 AM
From Milt Sparks' Website on how to block out a leather holster:

Tightness in a new holster is not uncommon and is much preferable to the alternative. If the draw is a little stiff at first, it is recommended that you work with it to see if it doesn't loosen up with a bit of use. About 25 to 50 presentations should be a good indicator of whether the holster will break in sufficiently on its own or if maybe a little blocking out of the leather is in order. There are many variables as to why a holster would be excessively tight ranging from the texture of your guns finish, to slight changes in climate or humidity from where the holster is made. Regardless of the reason, a too tight holster can easily be remedied by the end user with a method we have been recommending to customers for over 20 years.

To block out (stretch) your new holster first UNLOAD your pistol or revolver and place the gun into the 4 mil plastic bag that your new holster was packaged in. Then carefully insert the bagged gun all the way into the holster (do not! I repeat, do not!! wet or spray the holster with any solution to aid in the stretching process). The blocking out process as described above will in no way harm the crisp detailed molding of your new holster, nor will it ruin its retention qualities. It serves simply to stretch the leather a few thousands of an inch larger than the gun. The amount of stretching time needed for satisfactory results range from a just a few minutes to overnight. Any clarifications or concerns on the above, or if you would rather we talk you through the process, then please call us.

I reckon a sock would be a little thick. If your friend doesn't have a 4-mil plastic bag as referenced above, he can use a gallon zip-lock back. Don't use any oil or moisturizer (or water) on the leather - let it expand naturally to better retain its molding around the gun.

July 22, 2009, 12:05 PM
I lightly put a little water on the inside of the holster with my finger as not to get it too wet. Put the unloaded firearm in a ziplock bag, holster the firearm/ziplock bag and let it set overnight till it dries. This method has worked great for me over the years.

July 22, 2009, 06:00 PM
Wrap the gun with a plastic baggie or wax paper and holster/reholster until you get it where you want it. If it's extremely tight, wrap it up and leave it overnight.

I've used both methods, baggie and wax paper ( but not at the same time!). The wax paper seems to work quicker than the baggie. I suggest the same to my customers.

Do not use a sock. For the love of Pete, don't oil :o

July 24, 2009, 04:25 PM
I had to triple up on the plastic bags. Since mine was a OWB, it tightens up even more when its on the belt and the belt is snug. To address this, after wrapping gun and shoving into holster, I then ran the belt thru the slots and tried to recreate the posotion it would be when carrying. Mine was very tight. It took 2 or three days and nights to stretch it out just right.

July 24, 2009, 08:13 PM
I start with wrapping it in 2 layers of wax paper over night, but they usual take 4 layers over night for most that I have. I hear that Mitch Rosen leather lighting works, but I have not tried it.

July 25, 2009, 12:02 AM
Try some Leather Lightning from Mich Rosen, works wonders on tight holsters. Look under product line and then miscellaneous.


August 11, 2009, 07:02 PM
The Govt. Agency I used to work for instructed us to put the weapon (unloaded) into the holster and work it in and out every spare chance we had. It worked.

August 11, 2009, 07:08 PM

The Govt. Agency I used to work for instructed us to put the weapon (unloaded) into the holster and work it in and out every spare chance we had. It worked.

Yeah what he said. Also just carrying your gun it it will do the trick