In this video, I show you what you get in a Stage 3 tutorial kit and how to complete it.
The Stage 3 kits takes about 15 minutes to complete and are the easiest to put together. If you can take your gun apart to clean it, you can put together a Stage 3 kit.
All Stage 3 holster kits come with premium drum dyed 10-12 oz cowhide leather. You’ll be amazed at how nice this leather is compared to our competitors. The leather in this kit has all holes punched and is ready to go.
Your kydex is molded, cut to shape, sanded smooth and drilled. It is .093 thickness, which is 50% thicker and about 100% stronger than the .060 used by most other holster companies.
You get two very sturdy steel clips. They are so strong that you’ll never have to worry about your holster staying where is should.
You’ll also get plenty of hardware to put it all together. In fact, you’ll have left overs when you’re finished.
That covers what you get, now I’m going to show you how to put it all together.
First, we’ll prepare the leather. We need to pound these t-nuts in through the back. They are threaded and this is what the screws will screw into.
You’ll have to use a good amount of force to get these in the leather, because we need to embed the little spikes. This is necessary so that they don’t turn when the screws are tightened.
The t-nuts will protrude slightly through the front of the leather when they are fully inserted, so you’ll need to make sure that you don’t just bang this down on a hard surface. We include a piece of leather with a hole punched in the center to make installing the t-nuts easier. Line up the leather backing over the scrap leather and put the t-nut in the hole. Give it a good whack with a hammer. Try your best to come straight down and not at an angle. If you don’t get it fully seated on the first whack, hit it again until it is all the way in. Now continue this for every hole until they each have a t-nut installed.
Now that the hard part is out of the way, all we have to do is screw it together. You should have three or four different sized screws and spacers. Each spacer size will complement a screw size. It is best to separate all of the screws and spacers into separate piles so that you do not confuse them.
You’ll want to start with the medium sized screws and spacers for the shell. If you have a ruler, they are the 5/8″ screws. Now place a spacer on the post of all four t-nuts in the center of the leather. They will be sticking above the leather, so you can just twist them on.
Place your shell on the spacers. Screw the shell down snug and be sure to use a finishing washer with each screw. If you can’t get the screw to reach the t-nuts or if the screw goes all the way through the back of the t-nut with little tension, you have used the wrong size spacer.
Now attach the belt clips using the 1/2″ screws and the appropriate spacers.
Give the holster a quick tension check by grabbing the holster with an unloaded pistol in it. Squeeze the holster with one hand while pulling the pistol out with the other. This simulates the pressure from a belt. It should come out with some drag and not be too tight or too loose.
Turning the holster upside down with the pistol in it is not a good test, because your tension changed by your belt.
You can tighten the tension by tightening the screws and loosen it by loosening the screws. If you have tightened the screws so much that the protrude from the bottom of the t-nuts, you will need to switch to a shorter screw and spacer. If you don’t get at least three complete 360 degree turns into the t-nut before the tension is too tight, you’ll need to switch to a longer screw and spacer.
Now put the holster on and try the tension again. Adjust the holster again to get the tension you desire.
After the leather has broken in the holster may get looser. Lucky for you, your Old Faithful Holster’s adjustable tension system can easily adapt. Holsters with rivets instead of screws have no solution for a broken in holster that gets looser. Just adjust the tension screws tighter again and switch to a shorter screw if the screw sticks out through the bottom.
After your break-in your screws shouldn’t move, but if you want to be extra sure, you can use a little clear nail polish or lock-tite on them.
If you opted for black leather, you may have noticed that the drum dyed leather has a tan strip along the outer edge. A black sharpie will give you a great looking finish. Don’t use dye, because it may come off on your clothes, but a Sharpie won’t.
One last note and we’ll be all finished. The back of the leather may have a stiff edge until it is broken in. If this bothers you, just round it out with a some sandpaper and then color it with a Sharpie again.
A 6″X6″ square is more than enough Kydex for a holster, but you may want to upgrade to the 12″X6″ if you are working with a laser or light. The 12″x6″ size can be cut in half for two pieces if you are afraid you may mess up the first piece.
Heat the Kydex at 325 degrees for about two minutes. Make sure the gun is pointing to the left for a right-handed holster. Place the Kydex on top of the plywood with the shiny side up. Place the pistol on top of the Kydex and center it in the cut out. Close the press and tighten it down. Let it set for at least five minutes.
The Kydex should be formed exactly to the shape of the pistol. If not, reheat and repeat.
Line everything up how you want it and draw circles where you want the holes to be. A regular pencil works just fine.
After the holes are drilled, place the Kydex back on the leather and use a pencil or a punch to mark the holes on the leather.
After the holes are drilled in the Kydex and the matching holes are punched out of the leather, assemble the Kydex body to the leather. Sketch out the design you want with a pencil.
You can use tin snips to trim the Kydex. (A band saw works much better).
Finish the edges with sandpaper. A Dremel will make quick work of this, but it is not necessary.
Assemble the body to the leather with the spacers in place.
Use 1/2″ plywood and trace out the pistol with about half an inch extra room all the way around.
When everything is done except the trimming and sanding, you are ready to finish up.
- Check to make sure your sights don’t snag.
- Make sure retention is good.
- Use a pencil to draw out where you are going to cut.
- Make your cuts and sand all of the edges down with a medium grit first and then a fine grit.
- Attach your clips.
- Put the holster on.
- Be sure that nothing snags when drawing your weapon.
- Play around with the cant and height to get it where you want it.
- Feel free to cut the excess off of the bottom of the clips if you don’t think you’ll have your clips that high.
- Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!