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Bianchi holster/GP100...snap will not close

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by Warp, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    I picked up a NIB GP100 today. 4" stainless .357, of course. I even fired it at the range before leaving the store.

    The problem is that the holster I got for it just plain doesn't fit. It is a Bianci Shadow II purchased from Optics Planet and it is supposed to fit my gun. The snap just doesn't fit. It is as if it was made without taking the hammer into consideration. I pushed the gun into the holster as far as it will go...it IS in the holster all the way. Is there anything I could possibly be missing here before I contact Optics Planet about a return and shop for something different?

    I tried like hell to get the snap shut but I just can't no matter what I do



  2. Too_Pure

    Too_Pure Well-Known Member

    This is why I would never by a holster at a gunshop, or Cabelas. Spend the extra and get something decent.

    I know many of you have had okay experiences with these things, but I have not, and niether is the OP. Now we'll wait for people to tell him he needs to stretch it and break it in.

    Also, a thumb break is a bad idea. If the holster has acceptable retention it is unecessary and dangerous.
  3. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    There shouldn't be anything wrong with a Bianchi product.

    I even started a thread in this forum stating what I wanted to use it for, the gun, and asked if that holster was a good choice and if anybody could name something better. The consensus was my choice was good.

    And I didn't buy it at the gun shop or cabelas. I mean...did you even read my post? It's not like it was long....

    And I call bull crap on a thumb break being a bad idea. I also call bull crap on your claim that openly carrying a pistol without an active retention device is a good idea. Before you go telling people that I suggest you engage in some force on force training where somebody attempts to relieve you of your pistol.

    By all means, tell me what you think I should buy.
  4. Too_Pure

    Too_Pure Well-Known Member

    But it is a brand commenly stocked at gunshops. Presumably because they are cheap. You seem offended. Fine. It wasn't my intent. I have had junk holsters and learned by wasting my money that you get what you pay for. I am new to revolvers and do not own a revolver holster yet. I will assume that the same principles of quality apply. From what I've been able to gather I would probably get a pancake holster.
  5. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    I have two other holsters that are almost identical. Same price point, same availability, same design, same material, everything. They look like they were separated at birth. The two I have work PERFECTLY and are EXACTLY what I wanted. (Galco COP 3 slot). There is no reason to believe a $40 Bianchi holster is cheap junk simply because gun shops often carry their products.

    What pancake holster? Be specific.
  6. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Well-Known Member

    I have exactly the same holster for my S&W Model 681 and had the same problem initially with the thumb break not snapping. It took me a while, but I was finally able to get it snapped. The "problem" is that leather stretches, and Bianchi apparently builds their holsters with this in mind so the thumb break, even after the natural stretching of the leather, will secure the revolver. I would just keep working on it.

  7. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    I pulled like hell on it every which way. No go. I then checked reviews on Optaics Planet and somebody else said the same thing. I already printed an RMA. Other manufacturers of similar holsters...like the Galcop COP 3 slot...don't seem to have a problem with it. I even cut my thumb struggling with the snap.
  8. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    So what are the other options? I couldn't find much when I looked before
  9. Zebraranger

    Zebraranger Well-Known Member

    Elm Creek is correct. A lot of new leather holsters are tight, but will break in as the leather does stretch. I've had the exact same issue with Bianchi and Desantis leather holsters with the thumb break. You can help speed up the process by inserting the gun in a thin sock, insert into the holster and if you can get the snap in place, leave it overnight. This will help a lot. Desantis actually recommends this with their instructions that come with their thumb break holsters. I'm pretty active and also believe in thumb break holsters, I've used thumb breaks regularly for years.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  10. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    I can't get the snap in place. It cannot get stretched when it cannot be closed

    I mean, short of getting my pliers out and risking damage to the holster it isn't happening
  11. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Broke out the wrench and pliers. Went at it until I thought it would rip apart. Still won't snap. This is simply unacceptabe to me.
  12. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    When I've come across this situation, I've always been able to carefully and forcefully press the male snap side of leather up and around the hammer sharply, not allowing any rounding of the leather to occur. It should go straight up the hammer, angle over the top then angle straight down towards the female side of things. Picture the bottom 1/2 of a capital "A" as it goes over the hammer.

    Then, press the female side up tightly, catching the lip of the one-way snap first, while continuing to press upward. Once snapped, leave it!

    I've never been skunked doing it this way.

    This presumes, of course, your holster isn't mismarked. Does it say anything on the holster itself?
  13. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    Time to contact Bianchi....

    From what I can see, everything on your end is right. That is the correct holster for that GP.
    I would venture to say that the strap portion was just cut short. I also would bet that a "K" frame Smith would fit that holster perfect.
    The tag on the box says that it should also fit "L" frames+GP-100's, but as you said, that's not the case.
    Do you have access to a K frame 4" to check?
    FWIW, I just bought a used Safariland 4" lined holster that fits my K,L frames, my GP-100, and my Colt Lawman. The difference in mine+yours is that the thumb snap tab is on an adjustable slot--loosen a Phillips screw and move to fit..Works GREAT..
    I know this post is no help for your problem--Contact Bianchi...Bill..:confused:
  14. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    I tried what you said, David. I tried it all. It got closer but still wouldn't snap...and I wasn't leaving any slack at all. I was afraid I would end up yanking the buttos out, even.

    Billy: No access to a K frame.

    Surely there is another option? I am going to return the holster for a refund and, hopefully, go with something else. But nobody...between three different forums now...has come up with anything else out there that meets my requirements.

    Finding holsters for my Glocks is SO much eaiser
  15. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

    Not to dispute you or whatever, but the quality stuff like Milt Sparks, Alessi, and Mitch Rosen ARE better. They really are.

    Galco and Bianchi make a LOT of holsters. With that kind of production, bad ones are bound to get out. Try swapping it out. With Milt Sparks, each one is hand made, and they only have 6 guys.

    I wasted money on holsters in the past, enough to buy a decent piece. Now I just go straight with Milt, they have the best stuff for the best price. They really are just a little more than Galco but WAAAY better. I love my VMII's, I have two for my G29 and G27 and will probably get another for a G21.

    Sorry about your troubles, but I've seen it before with those two big makers, Galco and Bianchi. They make good stuff, when it fits. Besides having this issue, they sometimes are too tight or too loose. Never had these problems with the custom makers.
  16. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Yeah...and the milt sparks order I just placed includes a 6-8 month wait.

    Can you please point out the mitch rosin, alessi or milt sparks holtser that meets my requirements?

    4" GP100
    Active retention
    Preferably leather
  17. savit260

    savit260 Well-Known Member

    What you have is a holster that is supposed to fit what appears to be many mid frame revolvers. It's basicly a generic holster that should fit anything form a K frame to an L frame or Ruger GP-100. You'll notice a GP-100 is a good bit bigger than a K frame.

    If you want good results from a holster, I'd suggest getting one that is made specifically for a GP-100, not some multi-fit job (prob. designed around the ubiquitous, and smaller K frame)

    I'd suggest companies like.

    Simply Rugged
    High Noon
    Bell CHarter Oak
    El Passo Saddlery
    etc.. etc. etc.

    Yes, they will cost a bit more, and you'll have to wait for it to be made, but you WILL have a holster that fits your specific gun correctly.

    Going with a Bianchi generic type holster, you might get lucky or you might not. I'm sure you can see the trigger guard doesn't really fit all that well either. Sure looks like it would fit a K frame though.
  18. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Which High noon? The Sky High looks closest to what I want but they dont list the GP100 as an available gun model

    People keep throwing out the names of holster makers but they don't make what I am looking for
  19. savit260

    savit260 Well-Known Member

    Here ya go.

    Pick one you like.

    They offer thumb breaks as an option, along with a bunch of other options... just like any decent custom makers are going to offer.

    Tell 'em what you want, and they'll likely make it for you.

  20. savit260

    savit260 Well-Known Member

    Here's another option for you


    Personally, I like Simply Rugged Holsters, but I don't see a thumb break option any more, although I know Rob used to build one called the "Tribute"
    You could give him a shout as well, and see if he'll whip one up for you.
    Super guy to work with.

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