Monday, May 18, 2020

Holster Modifications for Comfort and Safety

Holster Modifications for Comfort and Safety

If you are a new concealed carry owner, one of the most frustrating things is to find a holster that fits, is safe and comfortable to fit your daily lifestyle. There are a ton of great holsters out there, however every body shape is different and even the most incredibly comfortable holsters on the market can benefit from a little tuning to make them fit better, chaff less, and remain comfortable longer.

I have been doing leatherwork since I was about eight.. so a while, and have done a bit of kydex work as well. Over the years, I have learned a few tips for holster modifications that can transform an uncomfortable chafing holster to one which seems like it was made for me. There really are only a couple key inexpensive tools I use: a lighter, combo 180 & 240 grit nail black files, Bick’s Leather conditioner, threadlock, and occasionally a ¾-inch piece of shrink wrap. Generally I like to wear a holster and mark the pain or discomfort generating areas with a Sharpie, some of these will be sharp edges, some will be over-formed kydex, stiff leather, or pop out areas of kydex that can be sanded down flatter. Other times that will be non-skin side areas that are delivering unusual wear to my cover garment, belt or pants.

Lighter - Kydex is an extremely forgiving material. A little heat on each side of an area of the holster that is digging into you, an over-formed contour, or an edge that could be bent inward a bit can easily be heated and adjusted again and again. A lot of times I am heating and bending in the top and edges of holsters and tucking in other edges. Some holsters have gaping openings which can be molded into the gun a bit better for increased comfort. A lighter is an amazing tool to tuck in those edges and deliver huge comfort gains.

Combo 180 & 240 Grit Nail File - Leather will break in and round naturally and Kydex can be heated and bent. Often I find that the edges of kydex and leather are cut with sharp edges and sanding a rounded 45-degree bevel can deliver a life-changing comfort level. Sand a bit and try it. It is hard to believe that a simple nail file can really deliver huge improvements with a few sanding tweaks in areas where you are chafing. A small strip of sandpaper or round file can be used to round plastic and kydex belt loops to prevent them from chewing up your belt.

Bick’s Leather Conditioner - For hard or stiff leather a good soak down with Bick’s Leather Conditioner can clean up and condition a sweat stained leather or loosen up stiff new leather. The awesome part about owning a bottle of Bick’s is that anything leather will look spectacular again with a wipe down. For hard leather holsters there is no quicker way to get them broken in and comfortable.

Shrink Wrap - Steel belt loops can tear up pants and belts. An appropriate large sized shrink wrap over the steel belt loops can prevent pants and belts from getting chewed up. 

Threadlock - If you have any holster with screws you need to use red permanent thread locker to lock every screw down. Even if they seem tight, they will loosen at some point. Pull every screw and thread lock them.

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