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How to Make a Kydex Gun Holster [Video]

News  June 23 2010
 — By Jeanette Kozlowski
How to Make a Kydex Gun Holster [Video]

We’ve witnessed some pretty awesome holster making in our day. Awesomely good *and* awesomely bad.

An impressive video of YouTube user Parlusk creating his own Kydex holster surfaced this week. Now this is something we haven’t seen before. That’s probably because Kydex isn’t the easiest to work with.

Not familiar with Kydex? It’s a durable leather alternative that was first manufactured 44 years ago. When stacked up to leather, it proves to be waterproof, easy to clean and retains it shape. However, some say it’s less comfortable and can damage the finish of your gun more than leather.

To make your own Kydex gun holster, it will take at least 30 minutes or more. You will also need the following materials:

  • Kydex sheet
  • Bandsaw
  • Gun
  • Sander
  • Toaster Oven
  • Press
  • Drill
  • Rivets (2)
  • Heat Gun

By the way, for those of you who don’t fall in the DIY category, browse GunHolsters.com’s selection of right draw, left draw and ambidextrous draw.

  • Measure the gun from the top slide to the trigger guard and measure the top. Add the figures together making sure its enough Kydex to fold over the gun. It’s always better to have more than less.
  • Mark the Kydex sheet for cutting. Then using a bandsaw with a metal blade (a wooden blade will also work), cut out the appropriate measurements.
  • To smooth out any rough edges, run the Kydex sheet through the sander once.
  • Place the Kydex sheet in a toaster oven. It might not fit all the way. Watch the sheet warm up because it can get too hot.
  • Be sure the sheet is hot enough to make it pliable. Wrap it around the gun, put it in the press, and clamp it down. Leave it in the press for five to 10 minutes. “I don’t have any patience at all, so I usually take it out long before I’m supposed to,” Parlusk admits.
  • Remove the Kydex from the press, and trim out around the trigger guard using a bandsaw.
  • Use the sander again to remove the rough edges and give the holster contour.

  • Create one or two rivet holes in the holster. Drill straight through near the bottom of the holster.
  • Line up the rivets in the holes, and push them in with a press. After the rivets go in, you’ll notice the holster is a little tighter.
  • Use a heat gun and warm up the Kydex so that it’s bendable. Don’t get too close or the edges will melt.”The good thing about Kydex is that if you mess it up, you can always reheat it and try again,” Parlusk says.
  • Slide the gun in the heated Kydex, and put it in the press. Use the press, but don’t clamp it down as much as the first time.
  • Heat it up around where the trigger guard is and make it lay flat on the trigger gun. Keep the gun in the holster. “I’m pretty confident it’s not going to hurt the gun when you heat it up.” Push in the Kydex around the trigger guard with your fingers.

  • Sand it on the sides to make the contours consistent.
  • Use the extra material on the top to make a belt loop. Use the heat gun to warm up the area to bend.
  • Lay a flat piece on top to press it with a wooden piece inside to create a small edge. Wait until the bent piece becomes hard again.
  • Leave the wood piece (which should be the same as your belt loop length), and heat up the bottom part of the belt loop below the wooden piece until it folds over.
  • Shape the part to accommodate a belt loop. Push the Kydex sheet in, hold it and wait for it to cool down.

By the way, does his shirt really say “Real Men want to snuggle?”

Hilarious.

Have you ever made a gun holster before? Share your stories and tips!

(4) Readers Comments

  1. All those tools, and you don’t bother to place a piece of wood under the holster while drilling the rivet holes?
    A waste of nice tools!!!!! Soppy job, also get someone to hold the camera!

  2. HIS WORK IS SLOPPY HE STATES IT ONLY TAKES 30 MINUTES TO A HOLESTER YOU ONLY GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN, SO THAT EXPLAINS THE SHOODY CONSTRUCTION. IF HE WAS SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING A VIDEO HE SHOULD HAVE BROKEN IT UP INTO MORE SECTIONS OR AT LEAST HAD SOME HOLESTERS MADE TO DIFFERENT STAGES. THIS PROCESS WILL WORK IF YOU TAKE YOUR TIME BUT I LIKE TO PLACE MINE IN A SPACE BAG ON A SHEET OF METAL TO KEEP THE BACK SIDE FLAT THEN REMOVE THE AIR WHILE MOLDING WITH MY FINGERSTO FIT BETTER AROUND THE GUN. PLUS IF YOU TAKE YOUR TIME AND MEASURE YOU CAN CREATE CONTOURS AND SHAPE A BETTER PANCAKE/BELTLOOP. MAYBE I SHOULD MAKE A VIDEO APOST IT.

  3. Look at the holsters on parluisk’s website, anyone who has ever carried concealed for any length of time will tell you this guy has no clue what he’s doing, the designs are terrible and so is the workmanship.

    I’ve personaly talked to this guy and he is an arrogant jerk,…1st class.

  4. Real Men that want to keep their “Man Card” intact, and not have their friends making jokes about them for years to come do not admit to the fact! Real Men that want to stay married by keeping their wives happy, well that is a different story.

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