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#189361 - 02/03/18 03:51 PM Contender Holster Project
jdh2550
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Registered: 01/18/18
Posts: 26

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Warning lots of pics...
For those of you having trouble finding a TC Contender holster that fits your needs, consider making your own. I have made several holsters in the past few years but this was my first attempt at a scoped handgun holster.

It is not a very difficult DIY, but it is time consuming. There are not many tools needed. You probably have most of them already.

For this project, I used a piece of 6-8 ounce cowhide.
Start by making a template with a sheet of paper to get the general shape you are looking for. Check it for fit. Then lay your paper template on a piece of quality leather and cut it out. Remember you can always trim it down later in the process but you can't add material back to it. I always cut a little bigger than my template.

Wrap your handgun in clear plastic wrap and set it aside. Submerse the leather pattern in a sink full of water. Lightly scrub it with your hands (I also add a few drops of dawn dish detergent to the water). You want the leather wet the whole way through. Remove the leather from the water and lightly wipe the excess water off with a towel. Form the leather around the handgun (make sure it is covered in plastic wrap). Rub the leather hard with your hands to imprint the shape of the gun into the leather. I use binder clips to hold the holster in shape, just remember the binder clips will leave a mark in the leather. Then I let it firm up and dry at least overnight.


Here I added another piece of leather around the cut out for the scope and stitched it in place. This just helps firm up this area of the holster. Keep your stitch spacing uniform distance throughout. I use a hand push drill to drill the holes to pass the leather needle through. Lay out your spacing on the top piece of leather and drill the stitch holes. Then lay this leather on top of the holster and mark where to drill the holster so the holes line up. Make sure to use a needle and thread made for leather work. Hand stitching leather takes a lot of time. Don?t forget to add the snap hardware as you go. Edge the leather with a leather edging tool. It basically bevels the top of the cut leather edge. You can sand your leather edges with a sander so the edges match up perfectly.


I forgot to add the retention snap base.


This is the final coat of a quality leather dye. Some makers submerse the leather in a dye. I don't want to buy gallons of leather dye, so I rub it in one coat at a time with a rag, just like waxing a car. After the dye is completely dry (overnight) I apply a few good protective clear finish coat that is compatible with the dye I used. Then buff it with a soft cloth. Use a wooden dowel rod to burnish the edges of the cut leather. This holster still needs a retention strap over the hammer that will snap onto the front of the holster.

If you are like me, you will make some mistakes along the way. The biggest challenge is not making a mistake that you can't fix. This holster took time to complete. I didn't keep track but I will guess I have 20 hours in it. Take your time cutting, spacing your stitches and let the dye completely dry and it will last a lifetime.



Edited by jdh2550 (02/03/18 04:15 PM)

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#189362 - 02/03/18 04:18 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: jdh2550]
Randy M
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Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 568
Loc: New Braunfels, TX

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Very nice work! I make all my own too. Rewarding projects for sure.
_________________________
The meat won't fry if the lead don't fly.

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#189364 - 02/03/18 05:01 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: Randy M]
karl
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Registered: 01/12/15
Posts: 574
Loc: Minnesota

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Very nice! Thanks for the tutorial!

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#189365 - 02/03/18 05:28 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: jdh2550]
s4s4u
Shootist


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 9608
Loc: Northern MN

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Nicely done!
_________________________
Rod, too.

Short cuts often lead to long recoveries.

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#189366 - 02/03/18 05:34 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: s4s4u]
Teep
journeyman


Registered: 09/19/15
Posts: 77
Loc: MO

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Very nice. I have done a paper cutout of a crossdraw holster for my 617/686 with red dots but had not found the information I was needing to make it to leather. Thanks to you, I now know where to start. I am considering taking it to a leather shop to have it stitched though.

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#189367 - 02/03/18 06:11 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: Teep]
jdh2550
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Registered: 01/18/18
Posts: 26

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Thanks for the positive comments all.

The stitching is not difficult, just time consuming. I would encourage you to give it a try with a piece or two of scrap leather. I'm sure you can handle it!

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#189369 - 02/03/18 07:45 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: jdh2550]
KYODE
Gun Slinger


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 2983
Loc: Northeast Ky.

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That is nice. I dont usually have the patience for those type projects.
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TC ~ XP ~ Ruger

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#189372 - 02/03/18 08:02 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: KYODE]
Dekker
journeyman


Registered: 04/21/06
Posts: 97
Loc: Illinois

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Most excellent!

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#189375 - 02/03/18 10:33 PM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: Dekker]
JDK
member


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 184
Loc: Texas Hill Country

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That turned out great! Really nice design also.
_________________________
John

But for the grace of God, there, I go.

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#189377 - 02/04/18 01:53 AM Re: Contender Holster Project [Re: jdh2550]
pab1
Distinguished Expert


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 4433
Loc: SW Montana

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Nice work!
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Experience is the best teacher, hunger good sauce.
Osborne Russell Journal of a Trapper



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