Introduction: Leather Rifle Stock Sleeve

About: I enjoy tinkering in my barn with leather work, jewelry, wood, and metal.

This is a Leather rifle sleeve for a .22WMR. It has loops to hold the bullets. These can be adapted to different rifles or any cylindrical object. There are three main pieces to construct this piece.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Straight Edge


Edge Beveler

Stitch Groover

Edge burnisher

Stitching Needles

Lacing Needle

2 and 3 Leather Hole Punches

Lacing Chisel

Rotary Cutter

Rotary Punch

Strap Cutter (optional)

Grommet setter

Contact Cement

Leather Dye

Leather Sealer

Veg tanner leather 3/4 oz

Chrome tanner leather 3/4 oz

Waxed Linen Thread

Leather Lace

Dowel - for loops, see below for diameter

Step 2: Patterning

Using an empty bullet casing find a dowel diameter that is the same or slightly larger. This will be used to make the loops later on. By utilizing a dowel you can make loops for objects that are otherwise too fragile to survive the build process. You will also need the overall length of the bullet. I make the strap for the loops 75% of the overall length of the bullet. This allows the bullet to stick out. The backing piece you stitch to will need to be as large as the bullets plus 1/2" overall, 1/4" on top and 1/4" on bottom for stitching. These are the first pieces we will need to cut. The second is the sleeve that fits over the stock.

To make a pattern for the rifle stock, MAKE SURE IT IS UNLOADED. Take the rifle and trace the stock dimensions onto a file folder. You need the height, width, and length of the stock. Once you are satisfied on how the pattern will fit, fold and cut the folder to make a pattern.

Step 3: Cutting Leather

A strap cutter is wonderful and easy, but a straight edge and razor knife can be used. You will need to cut 1 piece for the backing, 2" x 4". The strap that forms the loop in 3/4" wide and cut as long as you can. This strap will loop, so at first it will seem too long.

The piece that forms the body was cut from the paper template as set aside.

Step 4: Layout and Punching Holes

Using a divider or an edge groover, scribe a line 1/4" all four edges of the base piece. This will be your stitching channel. Using the hole punch, make the stitching holes around the piece inside this channel. Next we need to make the holes for the loops to attach. Scribe a line 1/4" from the stitching channel, This will be your starting point for the loop strap. Punch holes in the loop strap 1/4" from the end. Punch corresponding hole in the base piece.

This step will determine if your spacing is correct

Stitch these two pieces together tightly, but don't tie off. Use your dowel to get the proper spacing for you next set of holes. Once you have the dimensions for the holes in the base piece and the loop strap scribe these using a divider to ensure they are properly spaced. You can now punch all the remaining holes in the base piece and the loop strap.

Step 5: Dyeing Leather and Edging

Once you have all your holes punched it's time to finish the edges and dye. Use an edge beveler and a burnisher to smooth your edges.

Dyeing - Both edges of the loop strap need to be dyed and sealed. The front and edges of the base piece only need dyed, as it will be glued and stitched to the sleeve. Apply the dye and wipe off the excess. Follow the directions on drying time. When completely dry apply a sealer. I used two coats of Super sheen.

Step 6: Stitching Pieces Together

With dyeing complete its time to assemble. The leather loop strap is connected using a saddle stitch. You take one single piece of thread and go through the same hole from each side. How to stitch leather. This Thread continues through stitching the loop strap, you will need to double a single thread onto the back side to keep going to the next set of holes. This is where the zip zag pattern on the back of the piece comes from. Using you dowel will help to keep the spacing correct and keep the loop strap tight throughout.

With the base piece complete, its time to attach to the sleeve. Use contact cement to attach the base. When the glue has set, use the hole punches from the previous step to punch holes in the sleeve. You can now saddle stitch this together.

Step 7: Edge Lacing and Chisel

The edging on this piece is done with single loop lacing. This is a great why to finish the edge of the piece and create decoration as well. As I only did the ends of the sleeve, I only had to put holes on these ends. Scribe a line 1/4" from the ends and using a spacing chisel punch holes along this edge.

Using a lacing needle start on the back side of the piece, lace through to the front. Loop around the tail and go through the next slit. Lace the needle beneath the cross that is formed and continue to the next slit. Continue this process until the end of the leather, then use the needle to slide the tail beneath the laces and trim.

If you need more help on how to do this, this is a book I would recommend. Leather lacing book, Amazon

Step 8: Grommets and Lacing Together

The grommets are what hold the sleeve onto the rifle. Punch holes that are 1/2" in from the edge an bottom and 1" apart along the lower edge. Set the grommets with the setter. You can now lace the sleeve onto the rifle stock.

Step 9: Conclusion and Ideas for Adaptation

This project has many processes that can be used in different projects. The bullet loops could be used in steam punk for glass vials, The single loop lacing as edging on a shirt. I hope it is informative and helpful.

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