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Breaking in/loosening up a tight kydex holster?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by S.O.Interceptor, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. S.O.Interceptor

    S.O.Interceptor Khem-Adam

    Dec 13, 2004
    The Rock of Eternity
    I just got a Kydex holster for my Glock 22 w/ TLR1. The holster looks great but it's extremely tight. To the point that I have to really force it in and put a death grip on it and crank it out. In fact on the way in, the holster around the barrel actually pushes it out of battery.

    I tried some Teflon lube, but that didn't help.

    I've currently got the gun and light wrapped in a wash cloth shoved down in there hoping to stretch the holster a little. It took a lot of work to make the cloth fit, but it went. I'm hoping that after a day or two it will have helped.

    Am I wasting my time? Should I just send it back? Was anyone else's holster that tight when they got it?

    This is an outside the waistband model much like the Raven Phantom Light model, but it is not a Raven brand (I don't want to name the company yet, not until I know whether the holster will break in a little, or the company has a chance to make it right).

    I had a coworker years ago who used to put Safariland plastic holster in the oven to loosen them up. He would warm them, then put the gun in them and work them to where he wanted them. But I don't know where he is anymore, I've never heard of anyone else doing it, and I'm not sure I like the idea of experimenting with that idea.

    Any ideas?
  2. Lampshade


    May 11, 2010
    Does the holster company's name start with N and and with C?
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

  3. EAJuggalo


    Jan 17, 2005
    Eagan, MN
    Sometimes a hair dryer can be used to soften the kydex allowing it to be worked with. I would contact the company and see what they have to say for themselves, this is not a leather holster that needs to be broken in. Kydex should be the same from start to finish.
  4. pipedreams

    pipedreams Member

    Feb 19, 2011
    S. E. Iowa

    Are you sure they didn't send the wrong holster in error?
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  5. coachg


    Dec 7, 2007
    Kydex won't 'break in', but as stated above, you can heat the tight spots with a hair dryer and remold it to your liking. I would get the OK from your holster maker before doing, but it's not that hard to do.
  6. Seraph


    Feb 21, 2009
    TN, USA
    Kydex isn't going to stretch for you. The only way in which Kydex will "break in" is that it will sort of polish on the retentive contact points, over many presentations, so that the draw will become smoother, but the retention won't loosen. To achieve what you're trying to achieve is really only possible through judicious heating of the Kydex, with a heat gun or hair dryer. If you're not comfortable with that idea (and I wouldn't blame you), you should definitely talk to the holster maker. I'm sure they will fix it or replace it for you.
  7. Deployment Solu

    Deployment Solu Kydex Crafter

    Jul 18, 2007
    Most likely the spot that is retaining the gun in the holster (and making it hard to put in) is the area over the ejection port. More specifically the sharp part of the EJ closest to the barrel. A little heat to this area will make the kydex un-form a little to allow the gun to be holstered and unholstered.Go slow with the heat. You can also heat it up and push out from the inside.

    LMK if that doesn't work.
  8. MLittle


    Jun 24, 2010
    Doesn't the holster have adjustment screws? Most that I've seen have hex head or philips head screws that allow adjustment at the trigger guard area. I have a few Dale Fricke holsters and the retention is fully adjustable......
  9. RussP

    RussP Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia

    If there are no tension adjustment screws on the holster, contact the maker and send it back. If you start screwing around with ovens and hairdryers, you could wind up with more trouble than you have now.

    Let the manufacturer know about the problem and give them the chance to make it right.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  10. EDCholsters


    Feb 20, 2008
    Ill +1 this.
    It is very easy to adjust, just take your time.
    Or.. if you bought from a reputable maker, they should adjust for you with no question.

    Slowly put heat to it, and you will literally see the indention rise. Went to far? Heat it back up and push it in with your thumb where you want it.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  11. redbaron007

    redbaron007 Some Dude Lifetime Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    RussP is correct. Get the holster maker on the phone to see what they say.

    If that doesn't work, then you can play with the heat. If it is an isolated spot that is couse it to hang up; use a a torch, ie plumbing/propane etc, to heat the area up to manipulate it. I've never had a hair dryer heat the kydex up enough to do anything.

    Good Luck!


  12. swinkster


    May 27, 2008
    You definitely want to keep it away from an oven. Plastic may soften but kydex will try to return to its original shape (flat) when heated all at once.
  13. Lord

    Lord Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2006
    San Antonio, Texas
    I have a thumb safety on my PT 140 pro (my primary carry). When I ordered a kydex holster for it, the manufacturer pressed it with the safety off. That was unfortunate, because when I carry condition 1, I keep the thumb safety on. The gun still fit into the holster ok, but I noticed that the side would bulge out slightly when the safety was engaged since it didn't fit into the pressed groove anymore. That annoyed me. All I did was spot heat the safety depression on the kydex, and with the safety engaged on my pistol, I quickly stuck the pistol back in and pressed with my thumb and it "moved" the position of the depression from safety off to safety on. your pistol should slide in with an authoritative "snap" when the gun seats itself, and a short, firm jerk should remove it from the holster. if you have to struggle with it, it's not pressed correctly and the manuf should send you a "working" replacement. After that, little quirks like mine are a user's easy adjustments.
  14. Brocdowns


    Jan 30, 2012
    I just picked mine up today and the maker told me to heat the gun up by firing it and the put it in the holster a few times and it should make it fit a little better if it was to tight, mine is a gen 4 17 and they are a couple thousandth wider than previous generations
  15. fuzzy03cls


    Jan 28, 2010
    $19.99 heat gun from Lowes. Problem solved for life. I find the hair dryer is not hot enough. I have adjusted many kydex holsters. Takes all of 5 minutes.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012