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.