1911Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a holster advertised as being a WWII flap holster for a 1911 .45 caliber and when I received the holster it is immediately clear that it does not fit my government sized 1911. Was this style holster made for other smaller guns as well or am I missing something here. Wanted to ask before I look stupid and ask the seller for a refund. Thank you in advance for any help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Need a picture :scratch:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can't post picture now, but to update the thread, I did contact the seller who says that because the holster was never issued and is 60 some years old that the leather will need to be stretched to fit the gun. He says that the recommended technique for doing this is to wrap the gun in saran wrap and then lube it in leather lotion or vasaline and force the gun into the holster a little at a time until it stretches enough to fit the gun. Any thoughts before I try this. I am a little skeptical because I had read on these forums that this holster had a drop in fit and I haven't found any other posts talking about having to do this with a military issue flap holster. The holster does look like it's in brand new condition though. Thanks again for any insights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BTW this is the same flap holster with US stamped into the front flap as you see advertised for sale commonly on ebay or gunbroker. I know el paso saddelry makes a repro that looks just like it on their site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,066 Posts
This is the US Model 1916 Dismounted holster.
The makers name and year made should be stamped on the back of the belt hanger.

Originals were usually a little tight, and the gun did not drop in.

The plastic wrap is good, but NOT the leather lotion or Vaseline. That will soak into the holster and discolor it.
Just do the plastic or wax paper treatment, and if its still too tight add one more layer and let stand again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
I'd post a picture first to make sure you have the right holster, barring that post what is stamped on the back of the holster - should have a makers mark/date stamp.

NEVER put vasaline/mink oil/lexol on a good leather holster.

You could soak the holster in clean water, insert a well oiled 1911 into a plastic sack, then shove the gun/sack into the holster and let it slowly dry.

Best method, If you can get the pistol in the holster then do so, and just let it sit and stretch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't figure out how to add the picture I just took, but the back says U.S. and WARREN LEATHER GOODS CO. under that with no date.

I will try the wax paper idea, but it seems really tight and the leather seems like it's going to have to stretch quite a bit for this to work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE:

After much struggle, I now have forced a shrink wrapped gun into the dry holster, as suggested in the link as the best option. I will keep trying to stretch it this way by leaving the gun in the holster and avoid wetting it with water unless it won't stretch enough without. The leather is many years old and seems a bit dry even though I would describe the overall condition as great. Is there any product that should be applied to condition or protect the leather going forward. I will do some searching on the subject as well, but if there is a commonly accepted answer the reply would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
Warren Leather Goods was a contractor producing US M1916 holsters during WW2. None that I have seen was date-marked, as many of the other contractors did.

There is a very good collector market for original WW2 holsters in good or better condition. Anything that is done to the holster now has the potential of decreasing its desirability to collectors and its value.

From your description, I suspect that the leather has simply dried out over the years. Loss of moisture content can result in leather that will crack at stress points. Many of the holsters that I have seen show signs of being crushed during long-term storage, and that could account for the difficulty you are experiencing in holstering the pistol.

Most of the original holsters were finished quite simply with an application of neatsfoot oil (although late-war production pieces are seen with no finish applied, identifiable by the very light tan color as compared to the russet brown shades of earlier production pieces).

The best suggestion that I can make is very, very light applications of saddlesoap, rubbed onto the exterior surfaces only and buffed off with a soft cloth. Excessive applications will cause a build-up of the waxy residue on edges and stitching, so should be avoided. Use a very small amount on a soft rag and rub it thoroughly. This can be repeated over the course of several days, gradually working it into the leather. This should restore flexibility to the leather and prevent surface cracking from occuring.

Saddlesoap was used by US military personnel for maintaining leather gear for many decades, so this will not cause any concern over collectibility or value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Whatever you do, don't wet the holster - you will likely ruin it. It will never dry evenly and will discolor the holster. Follow Lobo's advise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I have the gun wrapped in some saran wrap and forced into the holster where I have left it for the last 24 hours. I did not use any water or anything else, intead hoping that it will stretch out with the gun in there.

If I do cautiously apply some saddle soap to it, is there a preffered brand? I understand that the main concern is not overdoing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
Thanks for all the replies. I have the gun wrapped in some saran wrap and forced into the holster where I have left it for the last 24 hours. I did not use any water or anything else, intead hoping that it will stretch out with the gun in there.

If I do cautiously apply some saddle soap to it, is there a preffered brand? I understand that the main concern is not overdoing it.
Fiebing's makes saddlesoap to the original formulation. Packed in about a one-pound tin, retail price is usually around $8 or so. There are also glycerine-based saddlesoap products, but I have no experience with those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
I remember the first WWII-date USGI 1911 holster I bought. As new: $3, ca. 1982. Now...try $75+.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
I have a Warren Leather Goods holster, dated 1917. Inspector's initials are "WLH". My father carried this in WWII (and perhaps in WWI as well). I also have his pistol belt and magazine pouch from that same era. I carried them in Viet Nam. Just wish I had his 1911! (I suppose he had to return it to the Navy!)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top