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Sidearms Bring on the Pistols! From Splatmasters to modern day semi-auto pistols.

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Old 05-14-2013, 01:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AgentSmith TiPX Holsters

I recommend for anyone who wants to make their own custom holsters to purchase 'how to make holsters' by Al Stohlman, available from tandy leather factory where I also buy all my stuff: Leathercraft and Leather Craft Supplies - Tandy Leather Factory
That's all I did!!!

I'm lucky enough to have a store near where I work and go in person.
I buy bellies! I shoot for 7-9oz leather as it holds more firmly.

First I followed the directions for making a stencil, you put the pistol down on the stencil blank grip upwards and without losing contact with the blank roll the pistol to one side trace it, then roll to the other side and trace.
Once I had the pistol traced I took the width of the pistol(I used 1"), then divided this in half to get 1/2 inch. I took a compass(pencil and pointer type drawing compass) and set it 1/2" from point to pencilpoint, then I traced my lines with the point, copying the lines wider by the 1/2". These new lines are the edge of the stencil and how big I cut the leather. I can copy this bottom over and over by tracing it.
For stencil blank I used the back of a political yardsign that was in my garage, just posterboard is fine.

Once you're that far you have to draw the rear flap on the stencil. The side, direction and angle you put this at will determine how the pistol hangs.
I prefer crossdraw and like for the pistol grip to ride right down the beltline so it doesn't interfere with crouching or crawling.

So I have my leather and my stencil, I trace it with pencil then soak the leather under the tap with warm water for a bit, making it easy to flex:



I just use a good, heavy pair of scissors. In this case I traced out the bottom using the stencil, then freehanded the flap with a ruler as I wanted a different angle that that old one and was too lazy to make a new stencil...

Al Stohlman's book has great lacing and sewing tutorials, but I prefer chicago screws and they are part of why I use such thick leather. With paint and shell nastily clogging things up, it's nice to allen out the screws, hose it off and put it back together.

So, while it's still wet I fold it over and use a heavyduty hole punch to put the holes in and install the screws:



Then I put the TPX in the holster and shape it to the pistol by hand. The open bottom design of the holsters is to allow me to change 12gram in a holstered pistol while shooting with the other hand. A problem with this is that the muzzle and front sight are larger than the pistol where the holster ends. To stretch and open this properly I use a highly sought after, rare tool, The KugelSchreiber!



I let it dry completely, then dry it a little more by running a hairdryer on it for a minute or two and put the finish on. There are good all in ones as well as many coatings, I use the method taught me. I use an allinone dye/finish, then I wear the holster through some time and a few rains before going back with a wax finish. I used the carnauba creme from tandy, but sno-seal works too.
I use the wool swabs from tandy and really overdo it, for this step I put my TiPX in a 1gallon ziplock bag!!! Big rubber gloves and all! I coat the holster all over with the screws out. Then I put the screws back in right then. Once I do that I put the pistol in it's ziplock bag into the holster(being careful not to poke a hole in the bag, I put the ballpoint pen back too) and let it all dry annnnnd DONE!

Another part of Smith lore handed to me by my Uncle Danny has to do with the design of crossdraw holsters.
First they have to have a hammer loop. In the case of the TiPX, this is easy with some 1/8th bungee cord. The hammerloop is mounted to the back part of the flap, higher than the bottom of the belt will be.
The screws holding the flap are angled downwards from the triggerside to the topside:



As you see the silver ones are low, but the loop going under the belt will both hold the pistol at the proper angle as well as keeping the holster from sliding on the belt.

When the loop is removed to draw, the holster will pivot-making the draw smoother and raising the mouth of the holster for easier reholstering:



They work extremely well. Light, comfortable, simple. The backflap could be redesigned with straps and snaps for molle, the thick leather is plenty strong enough.

Baby's new home:





Rob
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Last edited by agentSmith; 05-14-2013 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pretty cool writeup, the weight of the leather in ounces refers to how thick the hide is right?
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I used your holsters as a base when I did mine up 2 years ago, down to the decoder ring and a larger barrel bag tucked behind it. I didn't notice that trick with your hammer loop, I might try that next time. This is about 5-7oz and a bit floppy but it worked good for me:



2nd set when I got a second pistol, but I didn't get to play much with them:



Place I play at now allows barrel plugs so I tried to integrate them in the next pair. After learning to use a Dremel for the lacing, I went the hand stitch route. My attempts with the standard leather sewing awl sucked. They work decently, but I'm not sure it was worth the extra trouble:



The last pair was supposed to be 9oz, but I noticed a fair change in thickness when I tried to make a Castor Troy holster(I won't even take pics of that mess)

If the in-laws head out of town early enough this week I'll have time to add elastic to this holster, trying to imitate a spring retention holster when I don't have the springs:

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gustav12 View Post
Pretty cool writeup, the weight of the leather in ounces refers to how thick the hide is right?
Yep, I believe it's the weight of a 12"x12" piece(average of course).


Grider those are beautiful! I've finally given up on elastic, I just couldn't get a brand that lasted more than a season.

Rob
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Grider those are beautiful! I've finally given up on elastic, I just couldn't get a brand that lasted more than a season.

Rob
Thanks!

I used the elastic to form that leather around the pistol, left some imprinting on the surface of it. I'll use velcro to attach it to itself since I already have the tab sewn in below the belt tab. I'll try with several different thicknesses until it either works for me or doesn't. Feels like the same elastic as the 6o4 pouches, just wider.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A good part of Smith's holster design is how you can adapt it to your own pistol.

If you haven't shaved off the tactical rail, you can use a KugelSchreiber on each side of it to make sure there is room for it while your are wet forming it to your pistol.

If you're a fan of the folding fore grip, you just trace a fatter section on your stencil.

If you've made it a bit too tight for you to draw your pistol easily, warm water and stick something in the space where your pistol snags.
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