Custom Holsters question - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Custom Holsters question

My wife and I were thinking of making all leather custom made holsters. Would make any size or configuration. Think there would be any call for these. Won't be cheap junk.. Thought of it so I can pay for my own handgun someday soon. Just curious

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 06:23 PM
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Re: Custom Holsters question

how are you going to make the patterns??? dont know how holsters are made but id think youd need a gun to mold them to?

all my holsters are fit TO the gun model they are for...
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 08:39 PM
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Re: Custom Holsters question

You get BLUE guns made for patterns. Plastic molded replicas. I don't have any idea where but I'm sure a google search would bring up mfgrs.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Custom Holsters question

I am get holster kits and put on the personalized designs that anyone wants. My whole family is into leather working. I will get some holsters and some knife sheaths done and try to get pictures on here. If you want something in leather, we can get it or make it. That how we roll. Thanks

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 02:28 AM
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Re: Custom Holsters question

A buddy owns a custom holster making company and a production holster company and I've spent lots of time there. My wife made leather holsters and other crafts with her Grandfather as a hobby, too. Aluminum guns are preferable to the blue/red plastic ones because of the force necessary to form fit. At a minimum you'll want a good press, a heavy duty sewing machine, an aluminum polishing wheel, and, most importantly, some time apprenticing to someone with experience. It's not easy work, and it's hard to make a living at it. The cheap junk is what most people want to buy. With the time it takes to build a custom holster, you find relatively few willing to spend the money. There are a number of "custom" leather companies out there that, when examined closely, really are low quality. Contact a tannery like Wickett & Craig for quality leather. You aren't going to get up to entry-level with what you can buy at a place like Tandy. One of the toughest, most time and material consuming parts is making your patterns; lots of test samples that you can't sell in this phase. If you're taking custom orders, you may be stuck in this phase with every order for a long time, which will eat up your time and profit margin. Identifying a couple of designs that are suited for multiple models, and focusing on them, might be a better idea. For example, single action hunting holsters, you'll want a Colt 1873 and faithful replica size, and a Ruger size. For autos, you don't even want to think about all of the off the wall requests you'll get from people that you won't ever be able to use the pattern, again. I know, because my buddy humors me when I need a pancake holster for an HK P9S or Astra Constable, etc, and he knows he won't ever have a request for one, again! Unfortunately, I can also tell you that in a poor economy, the market really drops off for firearm accessories like holsters. None of us will ever believe it because we have all likely ordered custom holsters the last couple years, but the holster makers have seen a huge drop-off from the masses outside of us committed few. Best of luck to you and keep us up to date on how it comes along.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 03:06 AM
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Re: Custom Holsters question

My dad has had a leather shop for about the last 30 years or so and has made a number of custom holsters. The way he approaches it is "custom" means custom to a particular gun or knife not a particular model. In our experience, most people are not willing to pay for quality hand made leather goods when there are so many cheap but functional holsters available. However, the people that are willing to pay are very satisfied. Some may be something with a special feature or for carrying in a specific location on the body. One of the nicest was for one of my best friends who wanted a shoulder holster for a Taurus .454 with a 8 inch barrel and a scope. Just plain black but it looked sharp and he has been very satisfied.

The one caveat is that if you make quality leather goods, you essentially put yourself into a hole because the stuff lasts so long. I have a belt my dad made me in 2001 and I made my billfold in 1998. Both have been used daily and I would guess I have another 10 years or more of life from both of them.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 06:06 PM
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Re: Custom Holsters question

I'm sure it would be a whole lot cheaper just to save the money to buy the handgun than it would be set up a production shop. Not trying to rain on your parade, but "custom" says thousands invested to start a production shop.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 08:45 PM
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Re: Custom Holsters question

A holster kit is not a custom made holster. There are plenty of actual custom made holster makers out there that make real custom made. A kit is analagous to paint by numbers. Why would anyone pay for a kit holster?

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