Stretching a leather holster - any tips?


July 28, 2007, 11:45 PM
I bought a great IWB leather holster for a Glock, but here's tha catch - I have an XD...
The holster fits the XD, but just to tight - I can get it in with moderate force. So what I did was craft a fast wood insert for the holster that is slightly bigger than the XD, but has all of the same dimentions, and I pounded it inside of the holster to stretch it. After pounding it in I submerged the holster in water to completely soak it. And that's as far as I have got.

I'm thinking after a few hours of soaking I'll take it out and let it dry with the insert in it for a few day - hoping that this gives me the little bit extra space that I need.

Was this all wrong, or am I at least kind of on the right track to stretching the leather a bit?

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July 28, 2007, 11:58 PM
Just got a new IWB from Brommeland Gunleather and his instructions said to wrap my Glock in 2 or 3 layers of wax paper, insert it in the holster and leave it there for 24 hours. If it was still a little snug, then add another layer of wax paper and leave it in for another 24 hours. Only had to use 2 layers of wax paper and it came out fine.

Don't know how this would work for a holster made for one gun and trying to stretch it to fit another.

July 29, 2007, 12:02 AM
Yea, you'll need to wrap the pistol in plastic and put the gun in the holster, it would be really nice if you had a press the make the fit tight and clean. You can try and shoot a email to Lou Alessi and see if he has any tips he would be willing to share.

Dave Workman
July 29, 2007, 12:28 AM
If you have an XD, you need a holster that was built for and boned to an XD. It's that simple.

How did you wind up with a holster for the wrong gun, or the wrong gun for this holster??

I build custom holsters, and encourage you to find a better option than to stretch a holster that wasn't designed for your pistol.

July 29, 2007, 12:56 AM
Wrap the gun in plastic wrap. Wet the holster completely in other words soak in Hot water. Place gun is holster Rub the holster with a toothbrush handle to fit the gun (boning) let dry in ambient temp of house. Done.

July 29, 2007, 01:42 AM
How did you wind up with a holster for the wrong gun, or the wrong gun for this holster??

Got the holster a gun show for 20 bucks. I'm ganna fit this thing, and if it's only 95% perfect that's fine with me.

Standing Wolf
July 29, 2007, 09:51 AM
Working, as I do, in a gun shop, I see lots of people who think nothing of spending $500, $800, sometimes $1,000 on a gun, then complain about the high cost, often $30 or $40, of holsters.

If you wouldn't toss recapped tires on an expensive car...

July 29, 2007, 09:52 AM
buy a glock, perfect fit :) and it gives you an excuse to buy another pistol and another holster :)

July 29, 2007, 10:40 AM
buy a glock, perfect fit and it gives you an excuse to buy another pistol and another holster.

LOL! That's the same reasoning I use when I have ammo for gun that I no longer own... :D

July 29, 2007, 01:10 PM
What worked for me was I stuck my gun (P99) in an unsealed zip lock bag and pulled an old sock over top of the gun completely covering it. I left about 6 inches of the sock at the front of the muzzle and than inserted the gun into the holster. I pushed the 6 inches of excess sock at the muzzle end through the bottom opening of the holster and pulled it tight as I pushed the gun into the holster. I left it like this in the holster for a few days. I did not wet the leather but I did heat it gently with a hair dryer at the beginning before I inserted the gun. It now fits like a glove.

July 29, 2007, 01:14 PM
I have a Brommeland and it said use "wax paper".

Worked great.

But be careful: I used one piece of paper. And it worked good.

IF I had used two, it might have been too loose.

July 29, 2007, 01:48 PM
I've done it that way exactly. Two thoughts:

-let it dry in a cool place out of sunlight wrapped in a towel--don't rush it or the leather may crack.
-saddle soap/oil the heck out of it.

July 29, 2007, 01:55 PM
Also rubbing alcohol does wonders. It changes the leather somewhat making it quite maliable (sp)
I had one holster that I worked and worked with my hands while the gun was in it.
You could almost read the make of gun on the leather when it was done.

Seven High
July 29, 2007, 02:31 PM
Completely unload the weapon. Put the weapon into a wool sock as far as you can push it. Put it into the holster, pushing it as hard as you can. If the holster has a safety snap, pull on it until you can get it to snap. Leave the weapon in the holser for approximately three days, then check the fit. I have successfully used this method on many occasions. I do not wet the holster at all.

Ala Dan
July 29, 2007, 02:52 PM
I agree, just avoid all of these headaches by simply buying a proper holster
to fit the XD; and use the Glock holster for the proper Glock, as you will be
a much happier camper~! ;):D

Harley Quinn
July 29, 2007, 03:32 PM
Was this all wrong, or am I at least kind of on the right track to stretching the leather a bit?

You did good in my way of thinking, set ur dry and it will be good, I'll bet.


July 29, 2007, 04:26 PM
Stretching holster step by step.
1. Unload gun.
2. Put gun in old sock
3. Put sock gun in holster
4. Put off to the side for a few days
5. Lather, rinse, repeat if required.

July 29, 2007, 07:45 PM
The water is a good try but if you really go have a great leather holster, it will have a sealant on it that will waterproof it so you'll probably get nowhere.

If it was unsealed, and its not likely, your best best would be to put the holster in a sink of hot water for about a minute, pull it out and let it start to dry for 20 minutes. you're wanting it to feel dry but cool to the touch. Slip your gun in and try to make it fit. Take it out and let it dry. If you're putting something in bigger than the gun, you might wind up with something that isn't tight enough.

I'd put it in a plastic bag and push it in and see if it fits ok.

July 29, 2007, 08:18 PM
More than one ND has been caused by the use of the wrong holster.

Is your leg worth more than a new holster?

July 30, 2007, 03:22 AM
Funny - all the "buy the right holster" suggestions... Especially the one about not willing to spend the money on a good one.

I own several good holsters made just for this gun - I just wanted to try to add this one in to the collection - and it's working. I'm letting it dry now, but I tested it, and it fits great.

July 30, 2007, 06:30 AM
I don't if this tip will work or not. I like the zip lock and the sock but get some of that spray foam to soften baseball gloves with. give it some thought.

July 30, 2007, 08:38 AM
I was always told you should never, ever wet a holster down to break it in. I believe the holster makers advise not to use any leather softeners on them either as that will damage the integrity of the holster.

Acceptable ways of breaking in a holster (I've been told) are wrapping it in wax paper, or a plastice bag and leaving it overnight. Test it and repeat if necessary. Galco recommends just drawing the pistol fifty times or so for its break in process and maybe working the empty holster in your hands a bit. I've used both methods above and they do work.

But I'm pretty sure all holster makers would cringe if you told them you were going to soak them in water!

I'm just sharing my experience, I am not a holster maker and far from an expert on this subject.

July 30, 2007, 10:54 AM
Wetting leather is what you do to make it malleable enough to form to the details of the gun. Re-wetting a holster can cause the holster to lose this work. If you've soaked it, do as someone else suggested: Put the gun in the holster (wrapped in saran wrap) and use a toothbrush handle or something similar to work the details into the leather. Keep working it as the leather starts to dry.

Otherwise, sell the holster and buy one made for your gun.


Harley Quinn
July 30, 2007, 11:14 AM
You don't want it to soften for life, just be of a configuration to hold your pistol right.

So as has been mentioned by zeroskillz and others, redesign it.

I have done that myself. Tightening up an old holster, soaking it like has been mentioned. I have made several myself and done this. I've made them out of Rawhide for a really stiff dude.

Sit it out in the sun for a few hours. After the reworking of it.

It will be fine.


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