Roll-your-own Holsters!

I decided I needed an IWB holster for my CZ, and possibly a competition holster. I'm also unhappy with the holster I'm currently carrying my Bersa in. After checking prices, collecting my jaw from the floor, and scratching my head a bit, I stumbled upon a community of people who press their own Kydex.

All the parts finally arrived in the mail today, so here goes... Stadium cushions, toaster oven, 2 leather belts from Goodwill. Pop-rivet gun and welding gloves from Harbor Freight. 2 sheets of Kydex (.095" and .06") from Amazon. Only the thicker stuff has gotten here, so this holster is the heavy stuff. The next one will be skinnier.

I used two sheets of ply with the stadium cushions as my press. That gave reasonably definition and good retention, but it doesn't look quite as sharp as a commercial holster. Just cosmetic. The shiny side of the kydex sucks up ink like silly-putty. Gonna have to cover the cushions next time.

Next batch I'll use a non-stick pan - there's a smear on the backside of the holster as well, where the kydex stuck to the pan in the oven. Finally, the clips need a bit of work. If anyone has suggestions on getting those right, I'd love to hear them.

The upsides - I still have enough from this sheet for a set of mag carriers. If I get 3 holsters and a set of mag carriers out of this, I'm way way way ahead in price. :)
Retention is excellent. You can hold the thing upside down and shake it and the gun stays put. Comfort is good. Better than my Bersa in the cheap blackhawk leather, anyway. Just make sure the edges are well-rounded. Concealment is also good. It hides my CZ75 nicely under a Jamaica shirt, anyway... Only shows if I bend over. Not terribly comfortable sitting, but no holster will be.
Other pics attached.





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I made a holster for one of mine using a slightly different method - first I bought a block of florists foam - can be found at michaels craft store or smaller blocks are available at the dollar store last time I was there. I pressed the gun into the foam until it was completely flush with the top of the foam. I carefully pulled the gun back out so as not to deform the mold. Next I filled the mold with plaster (20 min sheet rock mud works as well but may be more fragile. I put some string into the mud before it dried so I could pull it from the mold easier than prying it loose - also saves the mold in case you break the plaster of the gun. I waited till the next day to be sure the 20 min mud was fully set and hard. pull the casting from the foam and use this as your template for molding the kydex. Instead of using the oven I used a heat gun from harbor freight to heat and mold the kydex around the plaster casting. It worked great.
The reason I used the plaster cast instead of molding it on the gun was so I could heat the kydex with the mold in place without fear of it sticking to the gun or causing any discoloration to it. Also using the heat gun and casting I used a metal straight edge to form the initial fold and a 90 degree bend up from the "pancaked" fold in the kydex so I had a set place with the correct angle to line the plaster cast up before I heated the kydex and allowed it to droop over the casting. I didn't have to apply any pressure to the kydex to get it to conform as I could heat specific areas as needed. The kydex slightly sagged into the leading edge of the trigger guard for more positive retention without touching the actual trigger.

Hope this was helpful for anyone else trying this.
I banged out another one today. These are addicting...
Anyway, this one's a low-riding IWB to sit behind the hip, around by your kidneys, for my Bersa. I also did a bit better on the belt-clip situation this time, and molded one from some edge scrap.
This holster has good retention, good concealment, and is actually comfortable to wear, mostly. If you sit very upright in a hard-backed chair, you'll get pushed a bit... but I'm not complaining. Beats the pants off my Blackhawk leather.

I haven't sanded down the edges on this one yet, so it may look a little rough... but it's certainly functional. I'm wearing it now. :)





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