Sam Andrews missed his true calling. He has a voice that’s pitch perfect for narrating movie trailers. Instead, for some reason, he insists on individually making some of the most ornate and durable leather holsters around.
Full Disclosure: Sam Andrews doesn’t need us to promote his holsters. He does fine enough on his own. We’re covering this because it’s a great look at American craftsmanship.
Hank Strange, a guy who also covers gun topics, did a really great walk-through of Sam Andrews making a custom OWB leather holster for a Glock 19.
DIY Holster Making – The Basics Are Simple… But…
For any of you out there who’ve toyed with the idea of making your own holsters, there’s a lot of really great videos out there that will go through both the process of making a high-retention Kydex or leather holster.
The cool part is if you pay attention to this video, Sam basically shows you all the steps you need to take in order to make one yourself. However, after seeing his process, I think it’s pretty evident that the basics are easy. It’s the actual craftsmanship that’s difficult. And if you decide to make your own form-fitted leather holster, attention to detail is absolutely essential.
To Kydex Or Not To Kydex – That Is The Question
Kydex offers a couple really simple features that leather simply can’t. It can be heated and formed precisely to fit almost any revolver or pistol – and hold that shape no matter what environment you’re in. The same cannot be said for leather. It will warp and degrade if it’s soaked in hot water. After years and years of heavy abuse, it will loosen and show wear.
However, Kydex has it’s own downsides as a holster material for IWB/OWB configurations. Namely, cold weather environments. During the manufacturing process (whether DIY or otherwise), the heating process can make the material susceptible to cracks. It’s also important to reduce 180 degree bends in the clips so as to avoid wear over time.
A well made Kydex holster will arguably last you a lifetime – as will a well fitted leather holster. It really comes down to appearances, the level of craftsmanship and tooling you want to put into it, and how you prefer to wear your firearm.
As a closing note, even though we predominantly focus on concealed carry topics – who wouldn’t want to walk around with an old Vaquero style gun belt?