Depending on how long you have carried a gun there is one thing that is constant. You will always need one more holster. My daily carry gun a Sig Sauer P238. This is an awesome little gun. I still carry a full size 1911 from time to time but this little .380 has become my go to everyday carry weapon. I have owned this gun for 2 years. Sig sold the gun with a kydex neck holster that pointed the gun straight at my face. No thank you. I have found that there is no single holster that does the job for any given gun.
At the moment I have 5 different holsters for this gun, 3 of which I use regularly. This build was the second pocket holster I have made for this gun. The first was made from thinner leather that collapsed when the gun was removed. This one was made from 8 oz belly leather. Once the shape was molded and the Resolene was applied the leather was very firm. This allowed me to reholster the weapon with one hand.
There are important things to consider when building a holster. The first thing to consider is having the weapon empty. Consistently check to make sure the gun is unloaded. Keep any ammunition in a different room then the one you are working in. That is a good habit to have when cleaning a gun as well.
The second consideration to make sure the leather on the holster your making blocks the trigger. This is especially important with striker-fired guns, many of which do not have a safety other than a two-stage trigger. When marking the line on the template that indicates the back of the trigger ensures the trigger is covered sufficiently to prevent anything from causing a negligent discharge.
Third when I am molding a holster for a gun that has a safety I mold the shape with the safety engaged. I carry 1911 style handguns. I carry them with a loaded chamber, hammer back, and the safety engaged. 1911’s were designed to be carried this way. Molding your holster in this condition ensures that the safety will stay engaged when the gun is seated properly.
Depending how close you made your stitches it may be difficult to seat the gun in the leather when shaping it. Leather is very pliable and with enough pressure the gun can be fit. The easiest thing to do is to make sure the stitch line that follows the gun is not to close. On the template allow 3/8 of an inch from the gun to the line. This will provide enough material to shape the gun without having to work too hard. When shaping the wet leather pay close attention to the slide stop and the trigger guard. Use your thumbs to work this area of the leather. These two points of contact is where a lot of the retention in the holster comes from. If the gun is too tight in the leather wrap the gun in a sock and force the gun back into the holster. This will stretch the leather and allow an easier draw if it is too tight.
I began making holsters when I realized I could make them with a little practice and a small investment in tools. Before I started making them I had spent close to $400 for various custom holsters. I spent $150 on a shoulder holster that I have worn once. I found that if I made them myself I could experiment with various carry methods and determine what works best for me at a reasonable price. This holster cost me roughly $5 to make. Something like this from a custom holster maker would cost anywhere from $50 – $100.
If you have any specific questions about this process please ask. I would love to have the conversation. If you need any of the tools or material to build this project follow the links highlighted in blue. Watch the video to see the step by step process.
List if tools and materials
- Airbrush Kit
- Rubber Coating
- Plastic Wrap
- Bench sander
- Edge Kote