Introduction: Leather Gun Holster (With Extra Magazine Compartment)
Here is a comprehensive tutorial of how to craft a leather gun holster, with the optional feature of an extra magazine compartment.
This can be crafted for a variety of types of handguns, because this process involves moulding the leather against your specific firearm.
ABIDE BY YOUR STATE'S FIREARM LAWS WITH YOUR HOLSTER DESIGN. Needless to say, if your state is not an open-carry state, don't design and build an open-carry holster for everyday use. I'm not responsible for any such stupidity. Design at your own risk.
This holster was designed according to my grandfather's specifications (angle/size/orientation/color/etc.) of a preferable holster for when he trains with his buddies at the shooting range, so it's not necessarily a conceal-carry holder. However, different designs can be made according to one's specifications (In the future I plan to make a concealed "Shoulder Holster", like movie detectives wear.), with these same skills covered in this tutorial.
This is what I'd consider an intermediate-difficult build simply because some parts are quite the pain in the butt to do.
But if the steps are followed accordingly, there shouldn't be any problem.
Step 1: TOOLS/MATERIALS
• Strong Needles
• Utility/X-acto Knife
• Leather Hole Punching Fork
• Thick Leather
• Thick Waxed Thread
• Leather Dye (Optional but preferred)
• Leather Conditioner (Optional but Preferred)
Step 2: Cut Back Sheet & Wet Mould Leather for Gun
Trace the gun and a magazine at the angle which you'd prefer to draw it if it were on your belt, and cut out a piece of leather accordingly to serve as the back plate
Place the gun and magazine into a bag, or cover them in plastic wrap to protect them from the water.
Place the gun in its position above the back plate. Above the gun, place a moist sheet of leather.
Press against the gun with the wet leather. Press firmly along the edges, and try to stretch the leather into shape.
Do this until the entire shape and thickness of the gun are imprinted into the leather, such that it creates a compartment fit for a gun.
You are not finished until the top sheet of leather is able to touch the back sheet of leather along the edges of the gun, while the gun is in between the leather sheets.
Step 3: Stitch Around Gun Contour & Trim
Punch holes around the contour of the gun compartment.
Stitch the leather with two strings starting at both ends. When they overlap, the leather will have been stitched twice, thus being extra durable such that it may handle a quick draw.
When the gun compartment has been stitched, you may trim the leather, around the edge, but LEAVE EXCESS ON THE RIGHT for when we wet mould the extra magazine compartment.
Step 4: Wet Mould Magazine Holder
If you intend to add the extra magazine holder, it's time to do exactly the same thing you did to make the gun compartment. Stretch and press the excess leather over the plastic-covered magazine to capture its contour and shape.
Step 5: Stitch Around Magazine Contour & Trim & Sand Edges
Punch holes around the edges of the shape of the magazine, creating a compartment as you did with the gun.
Like before, stitch with two strings starting on each end, such that they will eventually overlap eachother as they make it to the next end, so that the compartment will have been stitched twice, thus making it extra durable.
Once the contour has been stitched, trim away the excess, about 1/2" from the stitching line.
Finally, sand the edges.
Step 6: Create Belt-Holes
Fold a piece of leather in half, and cut a 1/4" thick hole about as long as the thickness of your favorite belt. Trim this piece to resemble a neat rectangle.
Stitch around the edges of that hole.
Place the side-edge of the holster into the flaps of this piece you made.
Hammer holes in an "X" fashion and stitch accordingly.
Complete the same process for the other side of the holster.
Step 7: Stain & Condition the Leather
Now you can stain the leather whichever color you prefer.
I chose black stain to match the color of the Glock.
You can also condition the leather to preserve and strengthen it.
Step 8: Attach Weight-Distributing Belt Loop
When you attach the holster to your belt, you certainly do not want the middle section to sag. In order to distribute the weight of the holster, you must add another loop for the belt to go through, in the middle of the back of the holster, so that the weight is not only supported by the belt loops at the ends.
Cut out a piece of leather of a similar shape shown in the picture. A simple square with two holes of proper size for looping a belt through.
Stain the piece, sand and treat the edges with beeswax.
Stitch the piece onto the back middle of the holster, in line with the other belt holes on the ends.
Step 9: Test Fit
Make sure to test fit before you consider it finished. Make sure the weight distribution feels right, orientation doesn't feel awkward, etc.
Enjoy the satisfaction of carrying your handgun in your own handiwork (Within the confines of your area's laws, of course).