Sunday, May 23, 2010


As of late, I can't seem to get the paragraphs to separate nor can I paste in items I would like. Apologies and I'm trying to keeps posts short where the paragraphs run on and on and on...

So I need to do some minor stitching to reinforce the back belt loop, because I removed some stitching in that area. I think I'm also going to install a tension tightner plastic rivet type deal at the back of the trigger guard area.

The holster tension is perfect. The gun fits well and although the P9 in 9mm is a smaller and vastly different looking gun than the Glock 36 in .45 ACP, the P9 molded form has expanded well with Glock, and I had hoped for that.

The holster is perhaps 1/2" too long to be perfect. I might meander sometime down to a custom holster maker, as redoing the bottom would require a bit more expertise than I could rightly do, but I'm in no hurry. Now, if I had the right kind of leather cutting device I might tackle it, but even working and keeping even lines with a high end pair of leather working shears (sharp little things, they are) and a decent thickness of leather is difficult at best for me.

Cutting would then require more restitching, and a burnishing along the bottom edge. Again, I found that a dremel in a small drill press device and having made a pattern with a stitch wheel where the sewing holes go, a teeny tiny little drill bit makes the perfect size hole, just big enough to get a needle through. Making bigger holes makes holsters look "homemade", which is not always a bad thing. But I like a cleaner look, even in a conversion "frankenstein" holster like this one, with a few extra holes frm removed stitching.

So the holster wears easy at 1/2" long under a t-shirt. The beauty of the actual Bianchi Askins Avenger is that it keeps the pistol against the body, as naturally as a holster can keep a pistol next to the body, in the same way an IWB (in the waistband holster) would keep a gun close to the body.

So while most waistband holsters like the Askins tend to "stick out" under a shirt and not be very concealable under most t-shirts or polo shirts, because of the unique back belt loop placement and angle, the Askins throws the back of the gun into the body. Not uncomfortably, mind you, but just for me, perfectly.

So the point is, for a little under $2 investment, and some skills not so hard to common sense reason out, I've got a holster that I can't seem to find anywhere now for one of my pistols. I'm pretty sure Bianchi had quit making the Avenger by the time the Glock 36 was introduced about 10 years ago, so I've been stymied to find one on ebay or other auction sites. It seems like when one comes up that fits a larger Glock (or a 1911), the prices go sky high.

They're good holsters, and I'm glad my intuition paid off. Even so, there are other guns it would have fit would it had not worked with my Glock 36, and I woulda found a friend with some hardware that would've fit into my frankenstein holster and be glad to trade me a dinner somewheres for the holster.

By the way, you can get supplies at places like Tandy's Leather if you want to repair, modify or make your own holsters or belts or the like. I wish I had the time to build some actual gun belt sets out of the same leather and tan them at the same time. There's lots of other places that sell leather working stuff, including limited simple things like needles and thread suited for leather at local craft stores, and I got about everything I need to make holsters by hand for about $100 15 years ago.

Figure that is now about $250, not including a moto-tool if you desire to be a little high tech in your hole making for sewing. There are several primers on simple holster building available, and although their styles are dated but cool, the techniques remain the same.

You'll need glue, and a burnishing wheel, and an awl, and lots of needles both hand and awl, threads, dyes, edge finish, a very sharp pair of leather shears, a stitching wheel, a punch set. A hard plastic mallet. A rubber working board for stamping and such. I know there are more things you need and I'll update if I recall other items I've needed to build holsters.

As mentioned, some kind of moto-tool with teeny drills and variable speed is nice to have. I can use a wooden burishing wheel at low speed and not have to pull out a cordless drill to burnish edges. Use low speeds in drilling and pretty much for everything else. I've found this method much cheaper than spending big bucks for a leather sewing machine, plus I don't know how to use a leather sewing machine. But I can stitch holsters quite well by hand, and so can anyone.

And if you make a frankenstein holster like I did, and you want to make it not look so bad, it's possible to get an "s" shaped stitching needle and sew a matching thread in the old holes, not sewing the pieces back together but just sewing on one side for decorative purposes now.

I modified one of my dad's Stelzig holsters this way back in the 1980's. He thought it looked fancy. The Holster had been made for a D frame 2" .38 Special snubbie with a sewn in toe plug and he wanted it to carry a Model 66 with a 3" barrel. There was plenty of leather in the holster to expand it, and it was sort of in a design of a speed scabbard with a leather hammer retaining strap. It is a really cool holster.

Moving some stitches and removing the toe plug made the gun fit his Model 66 perfectly. It came out really well.

I'll post some pictures of the Frankenstein holster for the Glock 36 one day. Soon. I promise.

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