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Made my own hybrid IWB holster, v 1.0

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by TheWarhammer, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. TheWarhammer

    TheWarhammer Well-Known Member

    I've been working with Kydex for some time, making some motorcycle accessories and other little things. A few nights ago, I decided I'd try my hand at making a hybrid holster ( a la Comptac, Kholster, etc...). There's really nothing to them, and by making your own you can add some little custom touches. I decided to make one for my Kahr K40. There were some specific issues I wanted to address that I can't find on off-the-shelf holsters:
    1. A bottom that would civer the extended, ported barrel I've installed.
    2. Provisions for an extra magazine.
    3. Molded to the curve of my body, not flat as a board and requiring weeks of break-in to feel right.
    4. Full coverage backing for the grip (not "combat" cut).
    I figure I've got a total of about $12 worth of materials into this holster.

    I used some olive drab .08" Kydex that I had lying around for the holster. I have a bunch of black .093" Kydex, but I thought that would be too thick and I'm not patient enough to wait for more .08" just to make the holster black. Besides, it's and IWB holster, so who really cares what color it is? The leather is natural (undyed) 9 oz shoulder and I used "black chrome" rivets and Chicago screws for assembly. The belt clips are universal spring steel clips. Everything but the Kydex came from Tandy Leather Co.

    After molding the Kydex to both the gun and the mag and cutting off any unneeded material with my bandsaw, I dressed the edges of the Kydex and riveted it to the leather. Then, I reheated the Kydex and moulded the whole holster to the contour of my side where it will ride. I punched three holes on each side to allow for some adjustability of the belt clips and installed them with some leather washers and the Chicago screws. A little Loctite will make sure the screws don't come undone during use. Finally, I trimmed the leather to it's finished shape and sanded the edges to a smooth radius. I know a lot of guys like the "combat cut" where there is no leather behind the grip. However, I'm a heavy sweater, so I want the extra protection between me and the grip. Also, the checkering on my grips tend to get fairly harsh against your bare skin after a while.

    Anyway, that's what I came up with. I learned a few "next-times" and had a fun evening playing with leather and Kydex. I may punch one more hole in the front so I can give it just a little more cant. The retention of the holster is just right: smooth and easy to draw, but the gun isn't going ANYWHERE on accident. (I've already given it the "jump up and down and run around" test.) The mag is easy to reach with my off hand, and I can store a standard or extended mag there with no problem. Due to contouring the holster to my body while I was building it, it's already more comfortable than most of my "broken in" holsters. I wore it all day Sunday, through church and a picnic in the park (complete with scavenger hunt and bocce) and it worked great.

  2. Azb

    Azb Well-Known Member

    Looks very cool. I like the magazine holder, that's something that seems like a great idea and isn't offered by any of the holster makers that make that style.

    Where do you get small sheets of Kydex? I looked online and the smallest piece I could find was 6'x4' and cost over $200.

  3. TheWarhammer

    TheWarhammer Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Azb! Knifekits.com sells Kydex in 12"x12" and 12"x24" sheets. It's anywhere from $4-$9 per square foot depending on thickness and color. I like to use .08" thick for holsters and the like.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  4. dobie

    dobie New Member

    I don't understand you appear too be wearing the holster on your left side! But the pictures of the holster look as if it is righthanded. good looking work.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  5. Gord

    Gord Well-Known Member

    It is a right-handed holster. It only looks like he's wearing it on his left side because it's a reflection in the mirror. Think about it. ;)
  6. kd7nqb

    kd7nqb Well-Known Member

    LOVE IT. looks great want to build me one for my M&P?
  7. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Well-Known Member

    Are you aware of a 'how to' web site that might provide block of instruction regarding kydex?

    My interest is in making secure carry gear that'd present the handle of whatever is to be grabbed out from the body a bit.

    Our ladies have different carry problems. If you were to consider withdrawing and re-inserting a blade, you might get a picture that'd be way better than my words. A straight up and down vertical shape body would not have the same difficulty as a coke bottle shape.

    Or, for me, a waaay reverse coke bottle shape.

    Hopefully, these words are a little clearer that mud.


  8. tunnug

    tunnug Well-Known Member

    Great job, if you don't mind I'm going to try the same thing for my K40, by the way, nice grips,did you also make them? nobody seems to carry decent priced grips for the Kahrs.
  9. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Well-Known Member

    What are you using to heat your Kydex?
  10. highorder

    highorder Well-Known Member

    Kydex is very easy to work with.

    A few minutes of soak-time in a 325F oven makes it very soft.
  11. TheWarhammer

    TheWarhammer Well-Known Member

    kd7nqb - I'd be happy to. Just send me an M&P and I'll get right on it!

    saltydog452 - This is the best "how to" I've found, although I didn't follow most of these directions myself: Linky. Kydex is pretty easy to work with and very forgiving of being reheated and remolded.

    tunnug - Go for it. PM me if you want my phone number and I'll be happy to give you any hints or tips that may help. (That offer is open to all, btw.) The grips are made by Hogue. I bought them through Kahr's website.

    Mudinyeri - I'm just using a $8 heat gun from Harbor Freight. It allows me to spot heat areas to get a better fit, as opposed to heating the whole sheet in an oven.

    I changed some thing on holster #2. There's a pretty detailed thread about it here.

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