Sunday, May 23, 2010


I've had a liking for the Bianchi Askin's Avenger holster since I was in my young twenties in the 80's. They were very popular then. I've had ones for 1911's and Hi-Powers and HK P-7s over the past 30 years, and it's always been one of my favorite holsters for concealed carry of a semi-automatic handgun. I've even seen designs by other makers for J frames and really would like to try one out, but all of the Askins Avengers I've seen were for autos.
So sometime back I was passing through a medium-small town Texas when the GUN SHOP sign beckoned forth from the side of the road, as loud as any thunder I've ever heard. The appropriate response is to pull right over, and I did. After viewing his treasures, and wishing I had the bucks to have made a few judicious gun purchase bargains he had on hand, I did get a couple of Askins Avengers holsters in good used condition for $4 total. One is for a HK P9S 9mm and the other was for a Beretta Cheetah 92. But although I have neighter an HK P9 or a Cheetah (although I'd like one of each, in blue, thank you if anyone is looking to give El Fisho a fine firearm as a a gift), I bought them because I knew other guns I had would fit them well.
But instead of using the larger P9 holster for a more similar gun, I've decided to "Frankenstein" it, and in fact finished part one of the project today. I'm wearing right now, as the commercials used to say, and it's working well with my Glock 36.
I selectively removed some threads from behind the seams of the trigger guard until finally I found the perfect fit, gently prying away the leather and thread also on the interior of the holster with a wide blade screwdriver, then carefully cutting a few threads with a very sharp knife.
The holster now fits the gun fine. I'll assess where I need to bulk up stitching, take a stitch wheel and make a line of reinforcing stitches and then a dremel mini-drill cleaning drills holes as small as any commercial sewing machine can drill. You then stitch it up with an awl or as I prefer, with dual s-shaped needles for a saddle stitch, or my poor interpretation of a saddle stitch.
I may actually leave this work to a professional this time, although I have all the gear to do it and have made numerous simple holsters and a couple of askins clones, as well having modified older holsters to fit new guns and needs and repaired a bunch of holsters of mine, my father, his freinds and my friends.
I've modified more than one old holster to fit another gun. One project in the 90's was making an Askins Avenger P7 holster fit a Colt Commander. Simple matter. Simply remove the inner thread support in the area of the bottom of the trigger guard and it's a perfect fit. Leave the second row of stitching intact, removing on the row closest to the triggerguard. I carried that holster with a lightweight Commander for nearly 10 years.

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