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Dabbling in kydex...

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by YFZsandrider, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider

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    I read through a tutorial on how to mold kydex, and gave holster making a shot. Here's a holster for my G27. As shown in the pics, my holster is flat across the bottom and does not taper. This is because I cut the holster up high, as to not be visible below the bottom of a coat or tshirt, and I also wanted a set of rivets very low so my belt loops would be able to hold the gun high on the belt.

    This was my second attempt, and though I heated up an area around the trigger guard too much, so it came out shiney, all in all it turned out well. Very comfortable and concealable! I'm posting this to offer some things I found helpful when taking a shot at kydex...

    I usually carry IWB in a Crossbreed holster, but with the winter months usually bringing a coat, or atleast enough clothing that accessing an inside the waist style of carry is a bit obstructed. Not to mention that OWB is generally more comfortable.

    Setting the gun at a slight angle of cant offers two things, it not only allows the gun to be drawn naturally from a position a little rearward of 3 o'clock, but it also helps hide the grip by rotating the gun foreward slightly.

    Here's the holster after all the cutting, trimming, sanding and drilling/installing the rivets. It has yet to be heated for contour around the waist, but you can see that I learned a couple things with the first holster, and in this one I left the 'wings' on each side of the gun a little longer to add stability of the rig on the waist. I also, cut the holster to expose as much of the gun as possible on the outside, while still enclosing the trigger guard. Having the gun at a cant helps as well, exposing more of the grip and giving your hand solid placement on the gun during the draw...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's quite a bit of clearance around the bottom of the trigger guard, seen here. The mag release is still covered, giving it protection from the side of the body, or anything else that may want to depress it while wearing the gun. Notice that material is left around the side of the slide as well. I could have cut more back, so that the gun was more exposed. Its a preference thing, I guess...

    [​IMG]

    I want to slightly slim down the profile of the belt loops, and also make them out of a thicker sheet of kydex, but here it is with some installed, to see how well the holster feels. When heating and shaping the sides of the holster, I drew in the areas toward the bottom, while it angles out toward the top. If you can imagine the belt holding this holster to your waist, this shape gives the top of the holster and the grip of the gun a very close and tight position to your waist!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm very happy with the results this time around, and having cut my teeth on the last holster, this one took considerably less time. It holds the gun very tight to the waist, and has great renention.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
  2. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider

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    This is a terrible picture, as its a bit of a challenge to hold the camera far enough away to be able to take a picture of yourself, but here it is. This makes the holster look mis-shapen, but its not. I tried to get a picture of how well the gun hugs my waist...

    [​IMG]
     

  3. Steve50

    Steve50

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  4. Barry Anderson

    Barry Anderson

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    Where can I purchase Kydex if I wanted to try this myself? I am not sure if I have the patience that would be required. You did a nice job.
     
  5. Cap'n

    Cap'n

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    That's a nice effort & result.
     
  6. W.E.G.

    W.E.G.

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    I'd be interested to see the tools you used for this project.
     
  7. tc2129

    tc2129

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    I've bought Kydex from knifekits.com. They have all the supplies for holster making.
     
  8. Barry Anderson

    Barry Anderson

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  9. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider

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    Yup, I bought everything from knifekits.com. Super fast shipping, and great over the phone service!

    I used .080" thickness kydex for the body of the holster, which worked great, and though I used 3/4" strips of the same kydex for molding the belt loops, I would step up to one a thicker piece for them the next time around. I didn't have any problem with the belt loops I made, and they do not deform when wearing the holster, but I can tell that they take the most stress and pressure when wearing the holster, especially through the strains of body movement at the waist.

    The only components you need to make a holster are one(1) 12"x24" sheet of kydex, some rivets, and the mounting hardware for the belt loops. I ended up talking a few buddies into making a couple hosters, so we made up a bundle order and had enough components for about 6 holsters.

    You do also need a flaring tool for setting the rivets. Its very simple to do, only takes a few strikes of a small hammer, and the rivets come out looking perfect. Also, the sheath making foam that they sell is imperative for forming the kydex with great detail.

    If you have a shop with some sanding equipment, that is a bonus, but really , you can get by with a belt sander, or dremel, and a utility knife.... agian, though, specialty tools make it more of a relaxing pleasure, and less of a laborous task.

    I'm gonna take another stab at it this next week, but I think I have it pretty well ironed out. Next time around, I'll make the wings on the sides of the holster a little shorter, maybe 1/4", but other than that, its the most concealable, comfortable OWB holster I have worn. It doesn't look very high quality, I'm sure... but the functionality of the holster is nearly perfect!

    Through I have larger guns that I will eventually make a holster for, I primarily wanted something for my G27 that was cofortable, descreet, and rides high. I ended up with exactly that. It has a great position on my belt, and is very natural to draw from.

    I'll post more pics as I complete more holsters.
     
  10. Lord

    Lord Senior Member

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    nicely done. also, consider some pancake wings.
     
  11. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider

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    Meaning what, round sides??

    I looked at quite a few different kydex holsters before I took a shot at it, and most of them have a more rounded shape, but one thing I wanted with mine, is for the bottom edge to be cut up as high as possible, allowing minimal material shown below a cover garment... thats the reason for the cut off bottom, making the holster more of a square shape. It works suprisingly well.

    Always looking to hear input, let me know what you think!
     
  12. Lord

    Lord Senior Member

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    like these:

    http://shop.bravoconcealment.com/Pancake-Style-Belt-Loops-1-pair-bc008.htm
     
  13. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider

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    Ah, I see. Raven sells a similar product to work with their holsters. The ones you posted look to be cut out of a single sheet of kydex, and I wonder how well they would actually work, since they can flex a decent amount. Also they place the contact points with the belt quite a bit farther foreward and back, which can be good in theory that they distribute the weight over more of the belt, but may also not keep the holster tucked in so tight, as they are farther away from it. just depends on how they're made, I guess.
     
  14. Lord

    Lord Senior Member

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    I know those do look flimsy. I made my own. Posted pics of them a while back.
     
  15. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider

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  16. Lord

    Lord Senior Member

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  17. YFZsandrider

    YFZsandrider

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    Wow, I can definitely see how that looks stable and better spread out! thanks for the link.