Help us better understand what you are doing when you say you abuse the holster.
Also, i just wondering (I don't carry AIWB) do you really need the wing for appendix? I winder if that's really tweaking the holster? Which, is what it's supposed to do i guess.
Basically everything haha! I wear it everyday- it needs to conceal for work as id be fired instantly if my employers found out. I work in warehousing so there alot of lifting and id be lying if i said the holster didnt take a beating. I also wear it unloading trucks- sometime I travel to other branches and have to share a hotel room with a coworker so i need to be able to sleep in it aswell as again if someone found out id be fired- also a big plus to appendix is sleeping in a hammock in the woods btw gun is always ready and i sleep comfy! Its also just straight uo convienant for when you hanging out around camp and dont wanna go through to process of putting your gun back on everytime you get up.
As far as abuse it has done everything from swimming to rock climbing/bouldering where it takes on corrosion/impacts- it also takes pretty major impacts at the range as we run guns pretty hard and dropping to prone tends to break holsters aswell. The outdoor ranges where we practice movement like that are usually gravel soo yeah the holster (and us) take a beating there too.
The worst thing i do is wear it in tandem with my backpack - its an extremely
comfortable setup for me btw i FAR prefer it to my kenai chest rig and my custom sierra chest rig. it gives me complete consistency in my drawstroke (which has gotten pretty wuick over the years) regardless of what im doing. My waistbelt does support some of the packs load on the holster- not alot as my system is VERY light- but more then i think is fair to the manufacturer to judge them on and take advantage of their warranties for free replacements; replacements which i could care less about as theyll just break again anyways.
Personally i dont see them as a major cost seeing as how nuch i use them-
Anyways heres some pictures to show what im talking about a little bit.
It can also be easily concealed in this way by a jacket or poncho at a moments notice.
I also will wear it in tandem with my saddle (hunting harness) and pack for climbing and rappelling operations and it takes some torque doing those things aswell.
It can be run in tandem with the packs waist belt AND the harness simultaneously and still be drawn and used at any time.
Usually i simply clip the packs belt (1.5" just like my edc belt) under the gunside clip which prevents rideup and also helps interface my edcbelt and my packs belt for better carry that way one isnt pushing down the other. Really slick system.
So yeah the claw(modwing) is important as i conceal it frequently.
My abs are short and thick so appendix is quite ideal for my body type as the gun sits just below the dip in my abdomen so the profile is overall quite flat. The claw helps even out my beltline so that line is straight and unnoticable. I do prefer metal clips btw- they are tuckable and virtually indestructable. Ive broken many plastic ones. My favorites so far are the dccmod4s.
fiberglass/dyneema and epoxy? Im kinda ocd about my guns, knives, and my vehicle, I hate using them, and definitely don't run them hard, I save them for the day I might need them. If I find something I like I buy two, one to use and one for zombies. If your set on beating on them, then just chalk it up as the price of doing business.
Ive tried JB weld and fiberglass fabric/bondo. They worked OK short term but ive found that adhesives dont play nicely with kydex. There are specialty adhesives that are supposed to work with kydex but i havent tried them nor do i think that the repair would be stronger then umblemished kydex.
Can’t really speak to guns and kydex, but I do run some kydex knife sheaths, and made some holster rigs years ago.
What I have done when I did may work, or help in your case.
One of holsters I made years ago I didn’t have leather thick enough to hold well, so wet moled then I took an old backpack, and epoxied the cordura, to exterior of the leather. It Made it hold good and solid. Cordura had some rubberized inner material so heated and molded it.
So I’m thinking of done with care a good piece of cordura, or canvas expoxied around the whole holster would strengthen it without making it overly bulky. Maybe even just around the area it’s breaking + couple inches beyond.
Just an idea. 🤷🏼♂️
I personally don’t like kydex for my knives although I do use then. Keep having to heat and re-mold to keep tension, as well as dust and dirt getting in dulling my edges. 🤬
If I carried a gun I’d be fretting it’s get scarred and marred from the abrasive grit work would invariably get in it.
I have wondered about trying leather like you and @charliemeyer007
have mentioned- even had an osbourn concealment hybrid rig for an m&p shield i carried for a year or two- still cracked the kydex. Ive seen a few leather "sidecar" style holsters but i worry about them warping over time. The best thing about kydex is that its sweatproof- stainless hardwear means i can drench the thing in a hard days work and not worry about stench or warping. I am on the lookout for a quality unit and may try it- the big thing is the holster claw though- thats a must as i find it mskes the biggest difference in the world to me when it comes to printing.
I thought to try some sort of carbon fiber mesh with a specialty adhesive but solid info on what to order is difficult to find and i think that the results might be expensive and dissapointing.
My guns are UGLY from wear. Completely functional- but ugly hahaha. The cosmetics dont bother me, but a holster crack certainly does. Aiwb carry tends to keep crap out of my holster- i learned when climbing trees with the rig on i just pull my shirt ovet the holster and climb with it concealed so all the dirt and bark that invariably gets scraped off the trees doesnt fall into my holster (and more annoyingly my pants) and mess with it.
As far as kydex knife sheaths go, ill do a thread one of these days to show how i mitigate the issues you mention.
To repair the existing holster is "possible", Not feasible. True, the cracks can be welded and then to do a professional looking job, it needs to be textured (yes there are surface molds just for this). The underlying issue is apparently a lot of flexing in this/your application. My honest opinion is that considering all, you should either 1) Consider this as short lifespan item and budget accordingly. Or, 2) switch to leather.
I would love to see someone making holsters out of sheet metal or something. My safariland holster and my trex ragnarock (for fullszie m&p) are freakin bombproof- if only i could get and appendix holster with that snazzy .125 thickness kydex made for me. I dont think i have the skill (and certainly not the equipment) to make one myself. People wont ever care for .125 kydex for IWB use as it literally ads a quarter inch thickness. I would do it in a heartbeat cause i carried that m&p 2.0 4.25" fullsize gun appendix in a .093 thickness holster for over a year (until i cracked the holster) so a p365xl in a .125 holster might
work nicely for me.
I have one kydex it's a hybrid holster. Leather inner, kydex next to the gun on the outside with around a 6 Oz leather outside. I too am a leather guy but 30 years ago I thought I would try a hybrid. Still wear it OWB. I slide around the floor alot with it on.....it's kind of a hobby. I'll ask my dad if he has any experience with this. I wonder if they are running it too hot when they mold it?
I have wondered that myself and have actually asked a few companies about how they heat their kydex and to what tempurature, the best answer ive gotten is "to the kydex manufacturers specifications" which is useless to me. I sent another email asking what that is and they told me to ask the manufacturer. I did learn that theres such thing as fake kydex and quality holster kydex is called kydex100 if memory serves. I liked my old hybrid holster- it changed alot in the time i carried it as i tweaked and tuned it but ultimately the kydex cracked 😭.
Thanks everyone for all your replies so far! Hopefully this post helps flesh out the problem a bit more.
But yeah, im wayy to heavily invested in aiwb carry to switch things up- its just wayy to perfect for me to try holstering it somewhere else. I just gotta solve this last hurdle...
The t1c axis elite is still going strong after a few years (so yeah i can reccomend it!) but i always buy the next thing im going to try and keep that holster on backup duty for when the next one breaks. I dont trust that it will last forever based on how i use it.