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Old 02-15-2011, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
Today's project: make a hybrid holster

All my supplies finally arrived today, so after work I banged out a quick holster to play with the technique. I've been wanting to play with kydex for a while, and really been wanting a hybrid holster for daily wear at 3 o'clock, so spend an hour playing around and made this:



I ordered the clips (they come with the hardware) from Crossbreed for $10 shipped, the cordovan aka horse butt, the kydex, and the chicago screws were $25 shipped from Springfield Leather. I still have enough horse butt to make 5 or 6 more holsters this size (and even this is too big, i need to scoot the clips in and trim it down a bit) and enough kydex and screws to make another one like this.

Has anybody else ever done anything with kydex? I used memory foam for my kydex press, but I didn't get the kind of sharp detail I really wanted, so I'm thinking of picking up some of the blue Wal Mart camp mat foam that people suggest.

If anyone is interested in a tutorial, just google around for "kydex holster," the 'net is brimming with them. I might snap a few shots of my press, though, as it's unique as far as I know--I made it with a pair of ratchet straps.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great topic. Gah, I wish I had the kind of free time and resources available to me so I could do these projects. I'm envious of you 9-to-5 fuckers.

And that holster looks like absolute shit, Tele. But knowing you, you'll fix it right and have everybody wanting your product in 6 months.

That and who the fuck can get away with a straight 3 o'clock carry? I can either do appendix or 4:30, not 3. Only people that do 3 are cops, military, fat people, etc.

I'd love to get into kydex for non-gun things, too. A minimalist daily carry setup would be my first project... a simple friction sheath for my Leatherman and something unique to carry my cell phone that doesn't look like I should be in a Revenge of the Nerds sequel would be nice. I'd also like to make a clamshell tear-away gizmo for blowout kits (e-bandage and tourniquet) stashed in my vehicles. The possibilities are endless here... which is totally gnarly.

...

Apparently working with kydex is on everybody's mind as of late:

LINK 1 - ITS (a nifty site Telekinetic would like anyway)
LINK 2 - M4 Carbine .Net user kydex holster tutorial

The Forgetful Freddy at www.SurvivalSheath.com has some great looking stuff. Check that out, too.
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Last edited by Plan9; 02-16-2011 at 12:12 AM..
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
Yes, it is hideously ugly-even production minotaur/crossbreed hybrid holsters are pretty hideous.

3 o clock works for me partially as I am dangerously close to fat guy territory, and because I don't like appendix or 4:30 when seated. Plus, as open carry and concealed are both legal, so if I print, its no big deal, so I err on the side of comfort and ergonomics.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not a fan of hybrid holsters. My MTAC Minotaur collapses when tucked in, resulting in unreasonably tight retention. I had to back the screws almost all the way out and file down the retention nub to have a smooth draw. I can't imagine going for my gun and being unable to clear the damn holster.

Sorry for the rant. Anyway, have you thought of making more holsters? I have another kydex holster made by ready tactical and purchased from SKDtac for my G19. It's the heat:



This holster makes carrying my G19 both convenient and concealable.

I've been poking around looking for a kydex holster of similar quality for my P30S and recently bought another IWB from blade tec--hopefully it will measure up.

Ugh. Started ranting again. My point is--have you thought about making some light bearing Kydex holsters? If so, I would love to see your work. Holster making sounds like a lot of fun.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've used Kydex before to make armor (for SCA). We used a heating gun to mold it. Its great stuff so long as you don't live anywhere really really cold.

One thing you might try is molding thin steel or aluminum (very carefully) around your gun so you have a mold. Then put the kydex around it with a heating gun. I've done similar things for gauntlets. But never on something as expensive as a gun...

Last edited by Zeraph; 02-16-2011 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The temperatures you need to mold kydex are far below what would hurt even a polymer frame pistol, so there are really no problems molding straight onto the guns themselves.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's awesome that you are making this yourself, love DIY projects.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Eden, check out the two links I posted above, bro. It's the same process. If you're making dork armor outta cordovan and kydex (like, say, the ever popular Lorica Segmentata), your best bet may be to make a laminate of several pieces of thicker kydex that are glued and riveted together. Also, a quick Google search reveals: Pitbull Armory (metal and plastic armor for "SCA," whatever that is). Given that so many people do make the stuff already, perhaps you should steal some of their ideas?
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
Eden: for armor that you just want to look cool, buy, cut up, and thermoform and rivet rubbermade tubs and trashcans. That's what the ironman/halo/etc armor crew use when they aren't using camping mat (also an awesome technique).

Go on therpf.com and check out the different iron man builds.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
While waiting for more kydex to show up to make some full-sized holsters, I decided to make some mini trigger holsters. Sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures:

The workshop:


A rough PF9 version I made yesterday:



Kydex going into the oven at 350 degrees:


Finished products:


Testing the retention:
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Tele, what's the purpose of a trigger guard only holster? Do you wear this around your neck? Is this for low profile lanyard pocket carry? I'm confused.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Tele, what's the purpose of a trigger guard only holster? Do you wear this around your neck? Is this for low profile lanyard pocket carry? I'm confused.
A couple of uses. Nightstand/glovebox/general storage use, pocket carry is a big one, and you can also do a much safer version of 'Mexican' carry. Finally, my Dad (that's his G23) carries in a fanny pack () that isn't specifically a holster, so he has to put a holster inside of it. Now, he can just use this instead. The idea with the tether is that it acts as a static line...you loop it around your belt (or the strap of your murse) and when you draw the trigger guard gets yanked free.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telekinetic View Post
The idea with the tether is that it acts as a static line...you loop it around your belt (or the strap of your murse) and when you draw the trigger guard gets yanked free.
I can buy in to that. Good idea
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
Made a second hybrid holster...this one is a lot more petite.





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Old 05-01-2011, 05:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Good stuff here, thanks for posting. Only thread like this I could find anywhere.

Question: Do you have retention when the leather is flat?

I molded my Kydex with exposed wood on the "bottom" and when I put the formed Kydex on top of the leather then slide the gun in I have a big gap on top of the kydex.

Pictures aren't helping me see the "depth" of the Kydex.

Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Tele, nice work! For crossbreed style holsters, those look really good. The definition, especially on the revolver is quite impressive. About your press: I particularly like the idea of tie down straps. Not sure why I haven't ever thought of that before. I've been talking myself in and out of buying one of the presses off of knifekits, but I haven't come to the point where it's "gotta have it" vs "I just want it" yet. A question on the foam material...using a netbook right now so the pictures are fairly small. Are you using camping mats or something else?

---------- Post added at 02:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:14 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDetermination View Post
Good stuff here, thanks for posting. Only thread like this I could find anywhere.

Question: Do you have retention when the leather is flat?

I molded my Kydex with exposed wood on the "bottom" and when I put the formed Kydex on top of the leather then slide the gun in I have a big gap on top of the kydex.

Pictures aren't helping me see the "depth" of the Kydex.

Thanks.
I haven't messed around with this yet, but one thing I might recommend is using the wood/flat surface on the bottom, but molding the kydex with the leather in place. It's not going to harm the leather, and the beauty of kydex is that if you mess it up, just toss it back under adequate heat and it reverts back to sheet form.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDetermination View Post
Good stuff here, thanks for posting. Only thread like this I could find anywhere.

Question: Do you have retention when the leather is flat?

I molded my Kydex with exposed wood on the "bottom" and when I put the formed Kydex on top of the leather then slide the gun in I have a big gap on top of the kydex.

Pictures aren't helping me see the "depth" of the Kydex.

Thanks.
It doesn't have retention when the leather is flat. It DOES have retention when I am wearing it, which is all I care about. Do final forming after it's attached to the leather with a heat gun to pick up the trigger guard or whatever, then try it on to make sure it has retention while up against your hip/back/whatever.

---------- Post added at 09:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:26 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeysugar View Post
Tele, nice work! For crossbreed style holsters, those look really good. The definition, especially on the revolver is quite impressive. About your press: I particularly like the idea of tie down straps. Not sure why I haven't ever thought of that before. I've been talking myself in and out of buying one of the presses off of knifekits, but I haven't come to the point where it's "gotta have it" vs "I just want it" yet. A question on the foam material...using a netbook right now so the pictures are fairly small. Are you using camping mats or something else?
It's some memory foam I had laying around at work. I will try the camp foam eventually, but honestly, with my PF9 holster, I didn't even use the press...just formed it by hand. It doesn't look as 'printed' but it works better, IMHO.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The kids went to bed early today, so had an hour to burn this evening. This is the same leather as the rest, it is darker due to a new technique I like to call "Oh fuck, I forgot I left the holster in the toaster oven for an hour!"

This was the first holster I experimented with kydex loops instead of metal clips. I think I like it better! I don't tuck my shirt ever, so having a 'tuck' style holster is a waste.

This holster was also quick and dirty--rivets instead of screws, yaqui-inspired kydex piece, leftover leather bit. If I like it, I'll make a nicer one--I've said that a few times and never done it, though.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Damn, you're a busy beaver with the Kydex. I'm envious; I've got some cool ideas but I just don't have the time right now.

I can't find the super detailed website I was looking for to explain why half-size holsters are a bad idea, but I'll sum up from memory: The problem with IWB Yaqui-style slide holsters or using a compact weapon holster for a full size gun (IE putting a G34 in a G19 open bottom holster) is that it will eventually wear away at your pants causing a hole near the muzzle end above your right ass pocket. That and it prints like a motherbitch when you put pressure on it (i.e. bend over). I wish I could find the link.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
That sounds reasonable. I was mostly trying to whip something up quick to see if it is possibly to comfortably carry the 5" slide (my friend just bought a service XD9 and said he'd trade slides/barrels with me if I wanted) without cutting up one of my full kydex sheets. I didn't even think of the hole-in-the-jeans factor, that's an excellent point, the next one will definitely have a full 'pocket'.

Also, I say buy yourself a $5 toaster oven and a $7 heat gun on craigslist, order some kydex, clips, rivets, and a horse butt from springfield leather, and make the time! Kydex is great for working fast, because you aren't committed...I 'recast' the piece for this probably five times before I was happy with it. If you get it molded and you don't like it, toss it back in the toaster oven on 375 and it will completely flatten back out and you can try again.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:59 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Oh... oh... what are you doing to me?!

(starts buying shit)
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:27 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Eeeexcellent! haha. It's so cheap and easy you won't regret it. I've spent less than the cost of a single Crossbreed, and made five holsters.

I think my next project will be to make one of these...this was actually my original intent for that kydex piece I made for that holster, so I may just drill the rivets out, but I had the idea for those kydex loops and wanted to try it.

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Old 07-08-2011, 09:33 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Your next project. Bladetech IWBs are my current favorite. They're all Kydex, reasonably comfortable, lock up well and dirt cheap.

Also: Whatever holster design you go with should involve a "sweat guard" (prevents the top portion of the slide from touching bare skin).

It prevents uncomfortable chafing and serves as a retainer for your concealment garment (read: t-shirt) if you have time to hook it.

Your recent holster, for example, should have had the leather curve up to cover the rear portion of the slide.
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