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Homemade IWB leather 642 holster

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by perch, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. perch

    perch Active Member

    Having just gotten my CCW a couple weeks ago and a new S&W 642 to go with it, I found myself needing a holster and not having much (any) money to spend. I hate wasting money on junk and prefer to wait until I can afford quality things so I thought I'd try making a holster to get me by.

    I found (within my own home, for experimentation purposes only) that Mexican carry seemed to actually work pretty well and that a holster didn't have a difficult job ahead of it. With that in mind and an old leather wallet in my hands I set out to make a holster.

    I basically tore the pieces of the wallet apart and played around with the different parts to puzzle together a configuration that would work. I wasn't too concerned with looks, just utility, since I figured I'd probably make an updated version or get a 'real' holster within a year anyhow.

    A lot of the stitching ran along previously stitched parts so I didn't have to do a lot of hole punching. The little I did do wasn't too hard with a regular sewing needle. I was also able to cut the leather pretty easily with my jackknife. I credit both of those things to having softened the wallet's leather with over a decade of use. The straps are borrowed from my Mosin Nagant sling.

    I've worn this every single day for 2 weeks now with absolutely no problems. It's been very comfortable since day 1 and has only gotten better. It was catching a little bit on my shirts (which tend to be tight) and so today I cut a new hole in the holster (for the rear loop) to add a few degrees of cant which has helped a lot.

    The stitching, despite being a quick and dirty job and looking like hell, is holding up great so far. The only other thing I would change would be to maybe set it just a little bit lower in my pants; but really, it's fine where it is.

    The only advantage I can see to buying a fancy $100 custom leather rig is longevity, aesthetics, and a stiffness that allows for easier reholstering than this one does.

    Oh, and it wouldn't open me up for teasing on thehighroad ;-)


  2. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    Nice homemade job!
  3. yeti

    yeti Well-Known Member

    Not to shabby for an old wallet recycled into an IWB holster (much better than I could do even on my best day). Try using either carpet thread or dental floss, either would be stronger than that thread and the floss would leave your gun nice and minty fresh all day.
  4. jeepmor

    jeepmor Well-Known Member

    As long as it's comfortable.
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    That's a very good holster. If you continue making them, www.tandyleatherfactory.com is the place to go for leather, tools and supplies.
  6. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Well-Known Member

    All it needs to do is hold the revolver concealed and be comfortable. If it feels good, you done good.
  7. palmettopatriot

    palmettopatriot Active Member

    Hi there. I have sewn two holsters so far out of denim. One is a pocket holster for my Charter 2000 bulldog pug and the other is an IWB holster for my 1911. I used a strip of inner-tube for grip for the pocket holster. On both I used Mighty Mend It inside of the folds of denim to make the holster stiff and to give it the conforming contours similar to boning on leather. I used dental floss to sew them. The only bad thing about dental floss is that I noticed that the wax coating makes knots impossible; you must burn the ends and "weld" the thread shut on top of your knots. I am sure that using upholstery thread would eliminate this need, but the whole project was done out of boredom and seeing what I could do with what I had on hand. They turned out nicely. The IWB looks OK and the pocket holster looks fantastic. They started out very tight, but denim stretches, just like a pair of jeans that feels tight in the morning and loosens up by the evening. I used to be able to put my little .44 in the pocket holster and hold it upside down and shake it without it being able to fall out unless I intentionally drew the weapon out of my pocket - but it has since gotten loose. For the 1911 IWB, it was always a tiny little bit loose for easy reholstering but in that mode of carry it is no big deal because the belt gives you retention. And of course, being a member of the big belly club helps in retention too. I have found that denim stretches. This is not a big deal at all for an IWB. It is only a little deal with a pocket holster. It would be a huge deal with an OWB. Denim, however, is much cooler in the Georgia summers and more comfortable due to it's soft texture. Denim is lighter. I can also machine wash it. And it is still pretty tough. In conclusion I think that I will be sewing my own IWB holsters out of denim from now on. The bad thing is that I have learned that I loathe IWB carry so I will never make one again - unless I get bored again one day. I am a broke college student and I wish I had the money for nice leather. But unfortunately the time for nice leather won't come for about another 2 years.

  8. MonthOfAngle

    MonthOfAngle Well-Known Member

    Good work
  9. joe_security

    joe_security Well-Known Member

    It looks like you covered all the bases.
  10. BP Hunter

    BP Hunter Well-Known Member

    Good job! I'd call it the Mad Max holster.:D
  11. DasFriek

    DasFriek Well-Known Member

    Ive made my share of home made holsters and ive made worse, And mine weren't even usable.
    It took me 1 year to finally settle on a gun style i preferred for IWB carry and i saw no reason to invest in a good expensive holster for every gun i bought and tried out of the job of protecting my life.
    But now i have settled on one style which is the 1911 i can invest in good leather.
    But every time i buy one i find small flaws and i end up making changes to these holsters and having the ability to make any holster fit my needs better is really a money saver.

    Im lucky i have a Tandy leather local within a 1 hour drive.
    Time,patience and practice will evolve as they more you carry that gun and feel its worth investing into better leather you can have fun in your spare time making what you exactly need.

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