Introduction: Modify a Fobus Paddle Holster for a Star Firestar M43 or Firestar Plus 9mm

For many years I carried a Star Firestar Pus in 9mm concealed in a cheap fabric holster. The laws, my budget and my habits have changed, now I normally carry a much lighter Ruger LC9 in a much nicer IWB tuckable holster, but nowadays there are times I'd like to open carry so I recently went looking for a new holster to use with my old Firestar Plus.

What I found is that no one advertises a holster for the firearm any more. Rather than relegate the old workhorse to a closet shelf, I decided to see if I couldn't find something that *almost* fits and modify it .

It worked out pretty well.

Knowing from recent experience that owners of this old gun have few options, I thought I'd make this Instructable to show how I modified a readily available holster to work.





Step 1: Start With the Fobus Paddle Holster

I took my (empty and safed) pistol to a local holster retailer and after several minutes of trial and error found that the Fobus paddle holster made for the Walther PPS / S&W M&P Shield, and CZ97 would fit pretty well, except for the pesky pin protruding from the right side of the gun. It's actually the backside of the slide stop/takedown lever. (see photo)

I bought the holster for about $30 and took it home to the shop for tweaking.

Step 2: Modifications

WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING !!!


Duplicating my experiment below will almost certainly void any warranty from Fobus.

I accept no responsibility should you choose to try to replicate my experiment and destroy your nice new holster, or hurt yourself or others due to doing something to the holster that results in an accidental discharge.

WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING !!!

That being said -

There were two problems with the holster as manufactured - that pin I mentioned would catch on the lip of the holster preventing easy insertion of the gun, and once seated the gun wasn't very secure. It would fit snugly, but under heavy movement could come out. Not something you want in a holster carrying a loaded firearm!

I decided there were two modifications I could make to address these problems.

First - Using a 1/4" round file I beveled the inside lip of the plastic holster over about a 1/2" area so that the pin could more easily force it's way into position.

Second, I drilled a 1/4" hole centered 3/8" away from the edge of the holster, where the pin naturally rests when the gun is fully seated. This worked so well that at first I couldn't get the gun back out of the holster!

I finally managed to use a plastic wedge to get it back out without damage and then used the file again to bevel the upper edge of the inside of the hole so that the pin would pass, with significant but not too much effort.

*** This is a good place to go carefully. Take off too much material and the holster won't hold the gun well. Go slow and test frequently! ***

You don't want the gun to be so hard to draw that your finger hits the trigger in the effort and possibly results in an accidental discharge! Of course, anyone with any common sense and training at all makes sure to draw with all appendages well clear of the trigger, and leaves the safety "on" until the weapon is ready for presentation. Right? RIGHT?


Anyway what resulted is a nice paddle holster that retains the gun very well, but not so much that it would overly impede drawing if needed.

In the pictures the hole is still a little ragged, and I actually drilled two holes, as I got the measurement off at first and drilled too far from the edge, so had to drill a second. Fortunately it didn't detract from the functionality at all. I may smooth the plastic with a heated. screwdriver blade, or I may just leave it alone. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." :-)

If you're a M43 or Firestar Plus owner and find this useful, please let me know.

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