For the price of the kit, you could buy the tools, leather and thread and make one truly your own. It's pretty easy and the guys at Tandy will help you select the tools necessary plus the saddle skirting leather necessary to build a good, heavy duty gunbelt. Here's a cpl of pics. Sorry about the S&W, the buckle by the way is off a pre-1900 McClellan Saddle. Leave me a msg if you need add'l info.
Tandy is a good place to get quality stuff. If you already have the basic tools,, you can make some simple, yet rugged holsters for a very good price. Plus,, you get to carry it knowing YOU made it.
Now, of course,, the pics they show you are of holsters etc made by experienced craftsmen.
Thanks! I think I'll give it a try, starting with a kit. I saw in the catalogue that they sell a book on the subject. I wish I were a bit more practiced in leatherworking. All I know about th craft is what I learned in the Boy Scouts.
When my wife and I got into Cowboy Action Shooting in the mid 90's we both picked up a pair of Tandy SA revolver holster kits, and used them for about four years with a basket weave construction workers belt. They worked very well for us. Still have two of them for a "guest shooter".
Dale..thanks for the compliment...I'll bring along one or two when we meet up...gotta be something in your arsenal that'll fit.
Pal Val...talk with the guys at Tandy...I"ve yet to find one that wasn't very helpful...ask the questions you think are stupid. I have found that they do tend to underestimate the thickness of leather needed to make a really rugged gun belt or holster....you're looking for saddle skirting leather almost 1/4" in thickness. The gun is wet molded to the holster after your finished. They'll tell you to use the two needle technique...ask them to demonstrate it. I space my stitches with a little spur wheel then drill the holes through the two or three layers of leather using a 1/16" drill and a drill press or a finishing nail of the same dia. It can also be done as easily with a hand held drill. Heavy linen thread is available from Tandy's as well.
Here's the pics showing the wheel, groover and beveler plus some of a Tom Threepersons holster that fits my Vaquero, .44 Spl, and 50th Anni. .357. In use, the groover cuts a groove, the spur is run down the groove and then the holes are drilled. I glue the flap down first with Barge Cement (Tandy's), then stitch it down, after grooving for the thread. Grooving prevents wear on the stitching as the gun is drawn or from rubbing on your pants. Once the flap is secured, I fit the welt, using an extra thickness or two at the trigger guard, glue it in place, then groove and drill the holes. I make a paper pattern of the holster before I start and spend probably an hour worrying about the over all size. I like 'em snug with no extra leather, but if you get it too small, the gun won't fit. I cut the leather over size, then trim back as I begin laying out the stitch patterns.
The notched beveler rounds the edges so that they burnish up well, using a piece of antler. The last pic is of the holster as it sits on a 2-1/2" gun belt, the loops of .44/.45 size.
Didn't mean to get into a holster making rant here, but they are really fun to make. If you make one, you'll make more, trust me. I finish them with Tandy's waterproofer now but have used just Snow Proof in the brown can in the past. I like the soft faded amber look of old leather...H..ll it matches my face! Regards, Rodfac PS: the old one with the Single Six is over 30 yrs old now..my son's inform me.
I have built 3 all out of scrap leather with a total of 16 dollars in tools, although I need to get one of those little star wheel things. It is pretty easy to make your own stitching punches especially if you can get some concrete saw blades. All in all I think by using good leather (not scrap pieces) and using edgekote I think I could really make something nice.
The "tilt strap" can be anchored to either of the two diamond conchos. If it's on the lower one, this is a high-ride strongside rig with a forward tilt. If on the upper as shown, it's a crossdraw.
The double-ring buckle gives infinite adjustability, and the same rig is compatible with varying belt widths. It can also be taken on and off the belt to go into, say, a courthouse locker just before the metal detectors in AZ or similar states.
The basic concept started out as the old Bill Grover rig now known as the Ted Blocker CC1:
I did another of my new holster design for a friend's K-Frame S&W 3" barrel (66-3 with some nice mods!). That gun's barrel was short enough that setting it up for switchable crossdraw/strongside wasn't in the cards. It still has an angled strap across the body that sets the "lean angle". Said friend wanted it crossdraw, and he's a leftie. It came out pretty good:
Go to this page for more details on it's construction:
The biggest advantage to the Tandy kits is they're quick and easy to do. The pieces are already cut out all you have to do is glue and stitch them together. The kits come with everything needed except contact cement, dye and finish. The biggest drawback is that they're kind of a one size fits all. Making your own really isn't very hard. If you get the holster book available at Tandys it has a lot of good information and some usable patterns.
If anyone is interested in making their own holsters and has any questions please feel free to ask. I've been making holsters for 10-12 years and will offer whatever advice I can.