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fitting your gun to your holster

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by gutterman, Jan 20, 2014.

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  1. gutterman

    gutterman Member

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    I have a Galco holster OWB- it is for my Sig SP2022. It fits my Sig P220 very well, but is real tight for the 2022 because of the rail. Not so tight that it won't work, but too tight if I EVER have to draw the gun. I have heard of wetting the holster with water, then wrapping the gun in plastic wrap and inserting it until the holster is dry, therefore forming the gun to the holster. If anyone has tried this method, let me know how wet to get the holster, and how long it should take for the finished product. Thanks.
     
  2. oldillini

    oldillini Member

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    I have not heard of that method. I have a leather pancake style OWB for my 1911. It wasn't too tight when it was off the belt, but was really tight when I strapped it on the belt. The contours of the body tightened it around the gun making it nearly impossible to draw. Since I couldn't wear it for hours at a time, I would wrap the holster, with the gun in it, with a small belt to mimic the shape of my waist. Let it sit this way for several days in my gun safe. Everything stretched fine and I can now easily draw and reholster without easily.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Try putting a couple layers of blue masking tape on the tight spots on the gun.
    Then put it in the holster, and wear it on you belt for half a day.
    Then leave in the holster over-night.

    It should be perfect when you tale the tape off the gun.

    rc
     
  4. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I have heard of using the bag and water method to slightly stretch the leather to be a better fit for a firearm. In fact I remember seeing this method on a website for leather holsters. (Quickly checked High Noon, wasn't them) This method will work with or without the water. Leather stretches with time and repetition.
     
  5. thefish

    thefish Member

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    I wouldn't wet the holster. But I have heard of using a plastic grocery bag or dress sock over the gun and let it sit in the holster for a few days or whenever you are not wearing it. That will help stretch it. Or rcmodels tape suggestion.

    The more you wear it and put the gun in and out will help it break the shape in.
     
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Wrapping the gun in a plastic bag, Saran wrap, or waxed paper and inserting it into the holster for a few hours or over night should work just fine. I would not wet the holster.

    Did you check the number coding on the holster packaging with Galco? Doesn't the P220 have a 4.4" barrel and the SP2022 have a 3.9" barrel? I'd be surprised to find a P220 fits in a holster designed for an SP2022.
     
  7. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    I'm not sure why people are saying to NOT wet the leather. Almost every article I've read on creating a leather holster involves getting the leather wet to loosen it, allow it to form to the gun and then dry in place. Yes a leather holster with a good finish on the outside will not absorb as much water as one unfinished, that just means you need to apply water to the back side. Since the gun will need to reside in the holster for many many hours while the leather drys, you will need to protect the gun from the water. Wrap in in saran wrap or other. You can even hose the gun down with gun oil before you wrap it if you wish a good water seal.

    Using the blunt end of a sharpie marker cap, rub the leather into the shape of the gun (in this case rail)

    ALLOW the holster to dry. We do not want it to rot.

    remove the gun and ensure the inside also has time to dry. It should be mostly dry but just to make sure.

    wrap the gun in plastic again or blue tape.. insert and withdraw the gun several several times until you get the proper retention and draw resistance.

    http://www.czfirearms.us/index.php?topic=14661.0
     
  8. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Because nearly every holster maker tells you not to do that.

    From Milt Sparks website. http://www.miltsparks.com

     
  9. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    That's because they want to sell you a new holster. From the OPs description he is trying to fit a rail gun into a non rail gun holster. Most rail guns I've seen the shape is different enough from a non rail version gun that you really should reshape the leather to accommodate the addition of the rail. 25-50 presentations really wont do much. We are talking square peg in a round hole here.

    Most rails I've seen are way bigger than a few thousands of an inch.
    and yes, if you wet it enough you may lose all those nice sharp lines a pretty factory holster would have. If you want to retain the trigger and ejection port mold lines, be careful to only wet the area where the rail is.
     
  10. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    The OP said he has a holster for his SIG SP2022. They all have rails.

    It is certainly possible it is a generic fit holster, listing a half dozen or so pistols that will fit that holster. However, as I mentioned earlier, I find it odd that a SIG P220 would fit and not the SP2022 that the holster is designed for.

    I think the reason they recommend against wetting it, is they don't want to have to get into the warrantee/returns issue if you soak your holster trying to get the gun to fit and end up ruining it. Sure, nearly all holster makers wet mould their holsters, but they are trained professionals and they know what they're doing. If your gun won't fit, I'd either try blocking it with a bag or just send it back for one that will fit. I'm not going to soak my holster.
     
  11. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    OK.. led a bit of track here.
    The pictures of SIG 220s I've seen.. most do NOT have a rail.

    Per the Galco web site. they offer holster selections for Sig P220s and Sig P220s with rails. I AssUMed they had different holsters for guns with and without rails. At this point it's probably best he return the holster and acquire one specifically for a railed gun.

    If he is willing to modify his existing holster, the only way I know of to make enough room for a rail would be to wet the leather. It's just too big a differential. He will risk losing the ability to return the holster. If he is anything like most that post here, he will acquire MORE holsters than he has guns. Ask RC, he has a closet full of shoulder rigs, none that fit quite right, none that he returned. :)
     
  12. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    If you are willing to try. I would wet a sponge, typical dish washing size, not dripping but not wrung dry either. Fold the sponge over and push in from the bottom to just where the rail is until the leather is damp, and remove sponge. Having pre wrapped your gun in plastic, press the gun in place, massage just the rail area with your fingers and set aside to dry. With the gun in place and the good finish on the outside it may take overnight for the leather to dry most of the way. remove the gun and allow good ventilation for the holster to continue to dry.

    After it's dry dry.. follow previous instructions as to get the proper fit.
     
  13. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Yes, but again, the OP stated...

    If in fact it is a Galco holster for a SIG SP2022, not SIG P220 or SIG P220R, the holster should be designed for a railed gun as all SIG SP2022's have a rail.

    Certainly, it is possible the holster was miss marked by Galco, or the OP may have miss read the label and bought a holster for a SIG P220 rather than an SP2022, but a holster for a SIG SP2022 should be designed for a gun with a rail as the SP2022 is a railed pistol.
     
  14. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    Galco does NOT list a holster for a SP2022. (per the current web site, which I checked before post #11. If they had offered one I would have said so there.
    Thus I am suspecting it is a Holster for a P220 non rail.
     
  15. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    Just dunk the holster for about a second,,,

    I'm a long-time holster maker and I disagree with the above statement.

    But here is what may change if you wet-form the holster:
    The color of the leather might alter a bit to be darker,,,
    Sometimes metal rivets and/or snaps will form a bit of rust,,,
    You can over-wet the holster so that it will lose what form it had from the factory,,,

    First off, wrap your gun in about 5 to 6 feet of Saran Wrap,,,
    Then fill the sink with water and dunk the entire holster for a second or two,,,
    Then pat the excess water off of the leather with a cloth towel and insert the wrapped gun.

    Work the gun in and out of the holster several times over a few minutes,,,
    That creates the "channel" the holster will drop into,,,
    Then simply let the holster dry for the night.

    Don't "soak" the holster,,,
    Don't let it dry without forming the channel,,,
    When it's completely dry (24 hours) apply a tiny amount of any leather conditioner.

    I've done this for customers so many times I can't count them all,,,
    The one and only time I ran into trouble was with a cheap un-lined holster,,,
    The water-based dye they used was only a surface coat (paint) and it dissolved in a few places.

    I had to scrub the remaining dye/paint and recolor the leather.

    Good luck,,,

    Aarond

    .
     
  16. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    Wow! Don't do this.... Don't do that..... Can't you read the signs????
     
  17. TAKtical

    TAKtical Member

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    we are taking about Galco here. their fit problems are very common. if your holster was dipped in acrylic, your not going to stretch it. went through this with a summer comfort some years ago.
     
  18. CHighfield

    CHighfield Member

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    Any leather (holster, belt, antique armor, sheath, saddle, etc etc) can be wetted to help in forming. The problem occurs when it dries.

    The quicker the wetting solution (water, oil, lotion) dries the more brittle the leather becomes.

    Water dries more quickly than leather lotion. Therefore lotion leaves the leather supple after use.

    You can use a lotion that is safe for the leather (won't degrade finish) and safe for the gun (same thing) and you should be perfectly fine.
     
  19. rayban

    rayban Member

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    The cow stood out in the rain a lot while it was alive....why would a little water bother it now that it's dead?
    I don't believe getting leather wet is a bad thing, it's how you dry it that can be harmful.
    In the making of a holster, the leather meets lots of water....
    With a finished holster I only use water if the holster is so tight that you can't get the gun in it in the first place. I spray the inside of the holster lightly, try fitting the gun in...won't go? more spray, til the gun (wrapped in plastic) will fully seat where you want it to.
    Let it dry at room temp.....no direct heat source. Apply a new coat of finish.
     
  20. gutterman

    gutterman Member

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    WOW! Well I " lightly " wet the interior of the holster where the rail sits on the sp2022 and wrapped the gun ( the2022) and inserted it fully into the holster. Waiting for it to dry. My initial post stated the holster was for a sp2022--well I messed up there-- the holster is for the p220 and I'm trying to get it to fit the sp2022. Sorry about the confusion-i could tell I had a few replies that were trying too figure out just what I had and what I was trying to achieve. Thanks for all replies and I'll post the results.
     
  21. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Because the cow standing out in the rain a lot while it was alive was (insert drum roll here) ALIVE. And the cow hide the cow was wrapped in was living tissue. Cut it and it would bleed...and then heal.

    Leather is not living tissue any more. It's been carefully preserved, colored, and textured by various treatments. Cut it and it doesn't bleed...and it doesn't heal, either.

    Mistreat the leather (which is what people are really talking about here when they say "don't do" something) and you have to be the one who applies the loving care for it in order to restore it to it's best condition.
     
  22. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Waster will not hurt good quality leather.

    At one point in my misspent life I sold boots...both Western and Work. The best way to break them is to soak them inside and out with water and wear them all day until they are dry. Most folks will not take time to do that so we would stretch them with rubbing alcohol and a blow dryer as it only took 10 - 15 minutes.

    A holster is as good as quality as a good pair of boots. But we don't need to soak it to get a better fit. A little water to dampen the leather will be enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  23. torqem

    torqem member

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    I use a heat gun. :) But not on leather,of course. Bill Jordan said to use rubbing alcohol to "wet" the leather holster, and the plastic bag trick. What I always found to be the case was that leather, unless it is double thickness stuff, wears "loose' mighty quickly. Rough side out IWB rigs look like hell after a year of your sweat, and fall apart in another year (lots of draw practice, tho). Kydex is hell for wear on blueing, tho. You have to degrease the gun, put on 2 coats of car wax, and keep re waxing it. This also prevents rust, tho, so it's helpful. you can't mix wax with solvents or oils/greases tho. You are stuck using graphite or molybdenum disulfide lubes. me, I just expect wear marks on the practice gun, wd40 it frequently, and shoot the hell out of it (I cast bullets and reload, of course).

    for stiff, long lasting holsters, the leather can't be tanned the way almost all leather is tanned. That tanning softens the hide. Leather rigs are so grossly overpriced that I don't even consider them anymore. I try not to pay that much for the GUN, much less a mere way to carry it.
     
  24. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    I always try to get the gun manufacturer's recommendation on the right holster for the model I'm trying to fit.

    One holster for each handgun.
     
  25. gutterman

    gutterman Member

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    Well--I ended up lightly wetting the holster at the "rail" end then inserting a golf ball into the holster to stretch it out- then placed it in my safe for overnight. Took it out this afternoon and the sp2022 fits it like a glove with just enough retention for safe carry. Who woulda thunk it?
     
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