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Old 11-29-2016, 11:03 PM
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Default Hot Water Fitting a New Leather Holster



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Last month I purchased a new Sig P220-10 Elite SOA in 10mm at the Tulsa gun show. I also purchased two leather holsters at the show from Don's Leather Shop of Frankfort, Ky.

The cross draw holster fits the gun very near perfect. The strong side OWB holster fit a little tight. I have read reports that Sig beefed up the slide of the 220 to handle the potent 10mm cartridge.

So now I am wet fitting the holster to the gun. I'm using a small pail of hot water, a one gallon zip lock bag, a paper towel, the holster, and the unloaded gun.

I soaked the holster in hot water for 15 minutes or so, wrapped the problem areas of the slide in the paper towel, the sealed the entire gun in the zip lock. Once the leather is fully wetted, i inserted the gun into the holster several time using as much force as necessary the make the leather and stitching stretch.

Next, i simply allow the leather holster to dry with the gun in place. Sounds simple, and this process has worked for me many, many times for heavy leather holsters. The result has always been a near perfect fit.

Ps, do not forget to protect the guns surface with a zip lock bag or you will regret the oversight.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:56 AM
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I usually soak the holster overnight & then allow it to dry for several days with the protected pistol inside.
You're right, it works like a champ ������
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:05 AM
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I have done the same but I also "bone" the leather to the gun. Using a smooth plastic or wood pestle I press the wet leather into the nooks and crannies of the pistol to give me the ultimate custom fit.

It is also a great option if you have a leather holster for another pistol that fits the one you want to carry. Wet it down and form fit to the new gun for a perfect fit.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:16 AM
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Alcohol works nicely and evaporates much quicker than water.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:24 AM
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Hank Strange has a video with Sam of Andrew's custom leather and Sam made it very specific not to use boiling water because it makes the leather brittle. Warm water yes, but not boiling. I just wanted to add that for people possibly new to the process.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:41 AM
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I steam the holster.

I am not saying this is better, just, that's what I do.

You still need to put the pistol in a plastic bag, though.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:57 AM
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My variation on the above is to start by giving the metal on the handgun a good coating of gun oil, then wrap the entire gun in a plastic food wrap, such as Saran Wrap or Glad Clingwrap. Soak the holster for at least a couple of hours, pat the surface dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, then insert the gun and form-fit it with your thumbs. Let it air dry for a couple of days.
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Old 11-30-2016, 10:59 AM
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I have made some holsters and used wetting as the final step in getting them to fit.
Heat is hard on leather and I just use cool water.
I made a belt and holster for an 1860 Army revolver that fits the gun better than any commercially made holster I own.
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:43 AM
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I wrap the pistol in saran wrap and use baseball glove conditioner. It allows the material to relax and stretch and also adds a nice protective coat

http://m.ebasesloaded.com/franklin-f...FcMjgQod2vUKHg

That and a good steam works nicely
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:09 PM
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I use wd40 for the inside before soaking in hot water for holsters that need a bit of stretching. Keeps the water away from the inside layer of the leather while softening the inside
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:52 PM
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as the old saying goes, "there is more than one way to skin a cat".

Back a few years ago I made a lot of holsters, and used wet fitting. The two big things to remember is that heat and Alcohol are both bad for leather. Another poster mentioned using Alcohol because it dries faster. That also strips many of the leather's natural oils. Warm water is the best way to go, IMHO. Protecting the gun with oil and plastic wrap also. I generally would leave the gun in the wet holster for several hours, then carefully remove it and place the holster near an air conditioner vent or in the winter months place it with a fan blowing over it.

And of course, first thing after it is dry, some leather conditioner will go a long way to adding life to the project.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:16 PM
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I've owned many many good leather holsters over the decades (Gordon Davis, Galco, Sparks, etc.)---never had to "wet" fit any of them! A little tight---that's ideal---leather will stretch a bit over time with use and soon fit perfectly. I have seen several holsters ruined by well-intended bubbas---I can't recommend the process...
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:53 PM
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I have made several holsters for myself and friends. Only used the wet fit once did not like the outcome. Now I just make the holster and fit it with vegie oil. but still wrap the gun. Veg oil will not hurt the gun in years to come because good leather is oil tanned NOT chrome tanned.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:21 AM
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I have used the wet method to refit a number of holsters to other firearms...with exactly no problem over the years. Just be sure to use a good zip lock type of bag to protect the firearm. When the holster is completely dry, I carefully remove the firearm, and go over the holster with a holster dressing/preservative: StonerHolsters.com very good product...I treat my holsters with it a couple time a year or as needed... Doesn't overly soften or discolor like some oils can...
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:46 AM
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THAT'S what I've been doing wrong! I always soaked the gun overnight in a bucket of water and wrapped the holster in plastic wrap.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:51 AM
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If in a real hurry...quick soak in acetone (outside away from flame) bone to shape, dries real fast, re-oil, done! my .02
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:48 PM
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Several kinda half truths and some mis information here but buzz and home defense are two I can see are familiar with the procedure. I learned leather work from my Dad and uncle and have done it for over 30 years. I prefer thin plastic wrap to zip lock- it allows closer tolerances and detail. Boning sounds like fun.. but it is the term we use for pressing in the details. Yes, on warm- not hot water and alcohol is bad for longevity of the leather. Neetfoot oil is another product to research if you get serious about leather.

(My same, self made wallet in my pocket every day for the last 33 years)
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