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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a lot of advice on how to fix a holster that's too tight. I have the opposite problem, and need the help of a leather expert. Just picked up a Galco holster on this forum that was advertised as "like new" but it's been used and the leather has softened, or loosened, to the point that it is too loose.

So I need the advice of a leather expert. Can this be fixed? I know from my own experience that you completely soak leather to tool it before finishing; so can you soak a finished holster, then dry it and expect it to tighten up. Any help appreciated.
 

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You could moisten the leather on the inside and the put something on it to flatten it a little. Maybe a towel on either side and a couple books on top.
 

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The only way to "shrink" a holster is the following.
Mix some denatured alcohol with some water and put in a bucket.
soak holster in it. Then when completly soaked put your pistol (wraped in plastic to protect the pistol) in the holster. lay in a plastic tub with a lid with a blow dryer and allow to completly dry. This should stiffen the leather back up and tighten it around the pistol as the acohol makes the leather dry faster and Shrink
 

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If its too big, there's nothing you can do that's more than a very temporary patch.

Cowhide can't shrink it can only stretch, so even if you wet the leather and mold it around the gun, it'll loosen up almost immediately.
About the only possibility is to have another row of stitching added to tighten the fit, but that is rarely possible, and its a really Mickey Mouse attempt at a fix for something that's isn't fixable.

My suggestion is to demand the seller take it back.
If he won't, warn people to prevent him from taking others.
 

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dfariswheel;2372713 My suggestion is to demand the seller take it back. If he won't said:
I agree the seller should take it back.
I dissagre however about not being able to shrink leather.
Have you ever seen a mclellan army saddle?
Prime example of leather shrinkage.
I have been in the leather working field for 23 years
I have made saddles, boots, holsters, and many other leather goods in my 23 years in the craft and yes you can "shrink" leather
The molecules will pull together tighter the faster that you dry it after being wet.
Denatured alchohol mixed with water evaporates faster that regualar water and the heat and movemet of air makes it evapporate even faster which causes the leather molecules to get closer thus "shrinking" leather.
 

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Hi all.
I have also done my share of leather work and you can shrink leather Remember the O.J. Simson case, " If the gloves doon't fit, you must eguit "
Case In point, I was helping a girl friend of my wifes make a saddle bag style one sided bag,? style sholder bag? and we got a little short on time to finish the bag, I was tooling the front panel for the bag for her, and when you work with leather, most of the time It's damp to wet, this panle had holes on 3 sides so we could tie It on the front of the bag with raw hide strips/laces? So I got this great idea ( At the time ) because we were running late to put this panle In the microwave oven to try and dry It out a little " Now let Me stop right here and tell all the 2% club that are bitting on the bits just waiting to bounce! That I found out that this was a very stupid idea " That panle that started out at about 6-8" across turned out to be about 3" across and I would have to say It was also a little on the stiff & dri side??? Like being a little bit dead! Now let me back up here, I'm by no means telling you " The guy with the loose holster " to put your holster In the microwave oven, I'm just telling you what had happened to us. And to you fine folks that are trying to help this guy with the loose holster. We must remember that we all have senders and recivers, but a lot of the time, what we send Is not what they recive, or the other way around! Well you said!!! I said what???
Semper Fi all. Hank D.
 

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Denatured alchohol mixed with water evaporates faster that regualar water and the heat and movemet of air makes it evapporate even faster which causes the leather molecules to get closer thus "shrinking" leather.

The alcohol saps the oil from the leather. You're not shrinking it as much as you are drying it out and making a shell.

If you want a shell, skip denatured alcohol and use acetone. I did this one night, bored and toying with some finishes. I ended up piling 40lbs of weights on top before it winced :biglaugh:


You'd pretty much get leather jerky. If it bends, it will tear off.

To the OP, if you want to experiment with leather, go right ahead but do not expect a useful holster to result. At this point either return it or toss it in your holster box. You will not gain any retention from re-wetmolding it.


You can add a new stitch line a hint inboard of the original lines around the gun. That would be a band-aid fix as it would take up a bit of slack. If its too tight, then you can wet mold. Really though, I'd replace it if I'm trying that. You're essentially building a new holster that won't look new or hold up as long.
 

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This may not be what you wanted to hear, but it may be easier to just get a new holster. And something better than a Galco this time too. I have seem some Galco holsters before, and they always struck me as too soft.

Of course, try to see if you can get your money back if you feel the seller mis-advertised the condition of the holster.
 

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I purchased a Galco new from a local gun store. After a period of time using the holster it softened on its own, with out the help of anything being applied to the holster. I personally would not buy another Galco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for the advice, and help. I knew that if I asked a question on this forum, I'd get good answers as well as opinions, and I got both. They were all helpful, and I'm grateful for all. Thanks again.:)
 

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bearcreek1911

Gotcha beat.:):) I did special high-end leather for select customers starting back in the 1960's.

Usually the only leathers that will actually shrink are rawhide and chrome tanned leather as used in shoes and gloves.
Your results and experiences may vary, but from my years as a maker, if a cowhide holster is too big, that's that and any "fix" is purely temporary.
 

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But what happens if a cow looses weight???
 

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Go with the know

+10... Ron

You cannot shrink leather.
The alcohol saps the oil from the leather. You're not shrinking it as much as you are drying it out and making a shell.

If you want a shell, skip denatured alcohol and use acetone. I did this one night, bored and toying with some finishes. I ended up piling 40lbs of weights on top before it winced :biglaugh:


You'd pretty much get leather jerky. If it bends, it will tear off.

To the OP, if you want to experiment with leather, go right ahead but do not expect a useful holster to result. At this point either return it or toss it in your holster box. You will not gain any retention from re-wetmolding it.


You can add a new stitch line a hint inboard of the original lines around the gun. That would be a band-aid fix as it would take up a bit of slack. If its too tight, then you can wet mold. Really though, I'd replace it if I'm trying that. You're essentially building a new holster that won't look new or hold up as long.
 

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Who's Ron?


If my input was off, please fill me in.
I think he was agreeing with you, 10x. :D And shirly he is Ron. And I won't call you Shirley anymore. (ouch, bad attempt at "Airplane" humor. I picked a bad day to stop smoking crack :D )
 

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I think he was agreeing with you, 10x. :D And shirly he is Ron. And I won't call you Shirley anymore. (ouch, bad attempt at "Airplane" humor. I picked a bad day to stop smoking crack :D )
:biglaugh:

Duh, you're right.

It just occurred to me. Sorry, I have no brains - I'm watching football, running between tv and computer
 
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