Break In A Leather Holster
Your holster has been handmade to fit your gun and depending on the type of holster, materials, firearm, and/or accessories, your holster may require a break in period. The amount of force needed to draw a firearm from a holster is subjective, meaning each user has a different preference. If the holster seems too tight, do not worry, you should follow these instructions to break the holster in perfectly.
- Determine if the holster needs to be broken in - Place the UNLOADED firearm into the holster and put the holster on your belt. If it requires too much force to draw the firearm from the holster, proceed to step number 2.
- Stretching The Leather - You can break your holster in gradually by putting your UNLOADED handgun into a plastic ziplock bag and then begin wearing the holster with the plastic bag/firearm inserted in the holster. The plastic bag is used to increase the thickness of the firearm so that the leather will begin to stretch slightly. You can always stretch leather, but you cannot shrink it, so you do not want to over stretch the leather.
- Wearing The Holster - We recommend that you carry a pancake style holster between 4 and 5 o’clock (6-7 o’clock for left-handed shooters) and an appendix holster between 11 and 1 oclock. If you want to carry directly on your hip, please see the notes at the bottom of this page. During this step, you should have your belt cinched down so that the leather begins to mold to the shape of your body. It is very important that the firearm remains inside of the holster while you wear it and that you are actively moving about (not sitting in a lazyboy watching football). The leather may be very stiff and may be uncomfortable, but the leather will soften up and become more comfortable the longer you wear it.
- Drawing With Plastic Bag - After wearing the holster around for an hour or two, you can begin to practice drawing the UNLOADED firearm WITH THE PLASTIC BAG still around the firearm. The plastic bag will reduce friction, making it easier to draw the firearm from the holster. You should continuously draw and reholster the firearm about 25 times before you remove the plastic bag.
- Drawing Without Plastic Bag - After about 25 draws with the plastic bag, you can remove the plastic bag and continuously practice drawing the firearm from your holster. During this step, you will be softening up the leather that is coming into contact with the firearm. The main retention points on a holster are the ejection port and the trigger guard. By continuously drawing and reholstering your firearm, you will be softening up the leather at the retention points. If the holster is still too tight during this step, we recommend that you go back to the previous step and use TWO bags instead of one.
- Important Notes: While drawing your firearm, if you notice that your front sight is coming into contact with the leather, you should immediately stop. This is likely being caused by one of two reasons. 1) You have your belt cinched too tight causing the leather in the sight channel to collapse. Loosening up your belt should help resolve this. 2) You are wearing your holster at a pivot point (the tip of your hip) on your body, which is causing the sight channel to collapse. If you are experiencing any sight “drag”, you should move your holster away from the pivot point (towards your back or towards your front), so that the holster is not being stretched around the pivot point.