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heavyweight
Senior Member

USA
779 Posts

Posted - November 06 2017 :  2:43:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm looking for actual experiences. I have an LCR that is extremely tight in it's new Bianchi Black Widow. I've left it in the holster fork 3+ weeks. Extremely hard to get in and out. I've HEARD all sorts of ideas. I'm looking for actual experiences from our esteemed members. Thanks in advance!

Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2918 Posts

Posted - November 06 2017 :  3:54:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Before you put your gun into a plastic baggie and stick it in the holster... throw the holster into warm/almost hot water for about 30 minutes. Then stick the bagged gun into the holster and set it out for a day or two to dry.

Wet leather will expand... stretch... and return when dry. Just make sure the gun has an oil coating in addition to the bag. The holster will likely return to the shape of your bagged gun.

This info is worth what you paid for it. But, it has worked for me.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5024 Posts

Posted - November 06 2017 :  9:22:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris's idea is good, IF the leather is good quality (which I would expect from Bianchi). I've done that before, and had good results; then again, last year I did it with a real inexpensive (translated: Cheap) one, and the leather turned so brittle, the belt slot snapped like a plastic fork when I put it on. Too bad, because the design was good, as far as how it rode on the belt, angle, height, etc.

Another idea is to turn your oven on the lowest 'warm' setting, put the unloaded gun in the holster on a cookie sheet, 'bake' it for about 15-20 minutes, and let it cool down. Then again, again, that might be a bad idea for a plastic-frame gun. Maybe you just otta send me your LCR, and get yourself a steel-frame gun. I'm glad to help. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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Uncle Mike
Advanced Member

USA
1581 Posts

Posted - November 06 2017 :  10:07:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, I'm sure you guys (yuse guys) know better than me but I would not bake nor wash a leather holster. Bianchi should have fitted the holster, I would contact them. I think GW's advice about the plastic bag is the way to go first, regards, Mike

"The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage"...Thucyides

"War is sweet to those who do not know it."...Erasmus
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heavyweight
Senior Member

USA
779 Posts

Posted - November 07 2017 :  09:44:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the suggestions. I soaked it in warm water and did the plastic bag thing last night. And, as suggested, put a coat of oil on it before putting it in the holster.
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1672 Posts

Posted - November 07 2017 :  11:13:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,

The water trick will certainly stretch out the leather and give you a fast solution to the problem, but it's not recommended. Even Bianchi warned against it in his book. You may loosen the fit too much, possibly damage the leather, and shorten the service life of the holster.

Some plastic wrap or a ziploc bag will do the trick, but my experience is that it takes a long application to make a difference--on the order of weeks.

In the future, I'd recommend two products that will safely "lubricate" the leather without changing its qualities or damaging it. One is "Leather Lightning" from Mitch Rosen, the other is "Draw Eze" from Galco. These products make a huge difference without damaging your gear. The fact that they're recommended and sold by noted holster makers should give you some confidence that they're safe to use. I've used the Rosen product for decades (still on my first bottle--you hardly use any of it) and the Galco product for about 10 years. Top notch snake oil, both of them. Safe for the leather, very effective, won't harm your gun.

Mike
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heavyweight
Senior Member

USA
779 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  10:00:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did the gun in the bag in wet holster thang. Worked fined with no apparent ill-effect on holster.
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2918 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  11:50:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Storing a gun in a leather holster is a poor idea. Leather is hydroscopic and will absorb and hold some atmospheric moisture. That will promote gun rust over time.

That's not an issue for normal wearing of the rig, unless you get caught in a rain storm and everything gets soaked... in which case you need to separate gun and holster and let both dry out.

"Wet fitting' a gun to a holster works, with quality leather, when done correctly. And, it's cheap & quick.

Heavyweight did it correctly.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4318 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  12:18:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Speaking of not storing a gun in a leather holster: Iíve also noticed that brass cartridge cases kept in the loops of leather butt cuffs tend to start showing discoloration fairly quickly.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 11 2017 12:20:21 PM
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2918 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  12:28:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LittleBill

Speaking of not storing a gun in a leather holster: Iíve also noticed that brass cartridge cases kept in the loops of leather butt cuffs tend to start showing discoloration fairly quickly.





That's why ammo companies introduced nickle-plated cases; back in the day when cops carried revolvers and wore their spare ammo in belt loops

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4318 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  12:45:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thatís what I love about this forum: I learn something new every day!

I assume that a little Ďcorrosioní wonít make a brass-cased round un-useable?


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 11 2017 12:45:26 PM
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2918 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  1:05:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LittleBill

Thatís what I love about this forum: I learn something new every day!

I assume that a little Ďcorrosioní wonít make a brass-cased round un-useable?





Only if it interferes with the ability to smoothly chamber, and extract, the round. I don't know of any cases where that has happened.... but the 'LE brass' apparently didn't like looking at corroded ammo in belt carriers.

I know that I carried mine in dump pouches (not exposed belt loops) and did not experience feeding/extraction problems.... although I shot that stuff up pretty regularly on the range and routinely replaced it with fresh ammo.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
3995 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  2:53:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Iíve always Wrapped my handguns in wax paper and put both 8nto a new holster for 2-3 days. Always worked well for me.

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5024 Posts

Posted - November 11 2017 :  5:28:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
TOM story: As a rookie, when they issued us our guns (S&W Model 66) and after we qualified, some of us went to the appropriate Lieutenant to draw ammo. We each got 18 rounds of Winchester 110 Hollow Points, with brass cases. Several of mine were a nice green color. I pointed out the corrosion to the LT, he said not to worry about it, I wouldn't be shooting anybody anyway. I promptly went out and bought my own box and put the fresh ones on my belt, shot up the issued stuff (with no problem). Then they promptly issued everybody new ammo, a different brand and bullet weight. At least the ones they gave me that time were new---and I had an expensive box of ammo to play with. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1672 Posts

Posted - November 14 2017 :  02:37:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heavyweight, I'm glad it worked for you and that you're happy with the results, but I wouldn't recommend it as standard practice and I wouldn't attempt a repeat. I've seen a lot of holsters damaged with that method. As I mentioned, Bianchi warned against it in his book, and I think it's fair to say that the man knows leather holsters better than we do.

LB, the corrosion you're describing with brass cases in leather loops is common, and if you leave them there long enough, you'll have verdigris build up. It's a function of the brass reacting with the acids in the leather that are leftover from the tanning process. You definitely can cause a malfunction or misfeed if you get verdigris stuck on the case--it's a thick, waxy substance that's green-black in color, and it doesn't take much to prevent a case from seating properly in the chamber. It's best to avoid long term storage of ammo in leather loops, if you can.

Mike
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gw
Advanced Member

3979 Posts

Posted - November 14 2017 :  08:42:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ten Driver

Heavyweight, I'm glad it worked for you and that you're happy with the results, but I wouldn't recommend it as standard practice and I wouldn't attempt a repeat. I've seen a lot of holsters damaged with that method. As I mentioned, Bianchi warned against it in his book, and I think it's fair to say that the man knows leather holsters better than we do.

LB, the corrosion you're describing with brass cases in leather loops is common, and if you leave them there long enough, you'll have verdigris build up. It's a function of the brass reacting with the acids in the leather that are leftover from the tanning process. You definitely can cause a malfunction or misfeed if you get verdigris stuck on the case--it's a thick, waxy substance that's green-black in color, and it doesn't take much to prevent a case from seating properly in the chamber. It's best to avoid long term storage of ammo in leather loops, if you can.

Mike



I've made a couple hundred holsters, I've also modifid holsters to fit different guns.

in every case I wet form and bone the holster. once complete I reseal the leather using a mix of beeswax and water proofing

most makers don't recommend wetting leather holsters however, doing so might void any warrenty

this from MILT SPARKS

"Tightness in a new holster is not uncommon and is much preferable to the alternative. If the draw is a little stiff at first, it is recommended that you work with it to see if it doesn't loosen up with a bit of use. About 25 to 50 presentations should be a good indicator of whether the holster will break in sufficiently on its own or if maybe a little blocking out of the leather is in order. There are many variables as to why a holster would be excessively tight ranging from the texture of your guns finish, to slight changes in climate or humidity from where the holster is made. Regardless of the reason, a too tight holster can easily be remedied by the end user with a method we have been recommending to customers for over 20 years.

To block out (stretch) your new holster first UNLOAD your pistol or revolver and place the gun into the 4 mil plastic bag that your new holster was packaged in. Then carefully insert the bagged gun all the way into the holster (do not! I repeat, do not!! wet or spray the holster with any solution to aid in the stretching process). The blocking out process as described above will in no way harm the crisp detailed molding of your new holster, nor will it ruin its retention qualities. It serves simply to stretch the leather a few thousands of an inch larger than the gun. The amount of stretching time needed for satisfactory results range from a just a few minutes to overnight. Any clarifications or concerns on the above, or if you would rather we talk you through the process, then please call us."

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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gw
Advanced Member

3979 Posts

Posted - November 14 2017 :  09:11:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ten Driver

Heavyweight, I'm glad it worked for you and that you're happy with the results, but I wouldn't recommend it as standard practice and I wouldn't attempt a repeat. I've seen a lot of holsters damaged with that method. As I mentioned, Bianchi warned against it in his book, and I think it's fair to say that the man knows leather holsters better than we do.

LB, the corrosion you're describing with brass cases in leather loops is common, and if you leave them there long enough, you'll have verdigris build up. It's a function of the brass reacting with the acids in the leather that are leftover from the tanning process. You definitely can cause a malfunction or misfeed if you get verdigris stuck on the case--it's a thick, waxy substance that's green-black in color, and it doesn't take much to prevent a case from seating properly in the chamber. It's best to avoid long term storage of ammo in leather loops, if you can.

Mike



I've made a couple hundred holsters, I've also modifid holsters to fit different guns.

in every case I wet form and bone the holster. once complete I reseal the leather using a mix of beeswax and water proofing

most makers don't recommend wetting leather holsters however, doing so might void any warrenty

this from MILT SPARKS

"Tightness in a new holster is not uncommon and is much preferable to the alternative. If the draw is a little stiff at first, it is recommended that you work with it to see if it doesn't loosen up with a bit of use. About 25 to 50 presentations should be a good indicator of whether the holster will break in sufficiently on its own or if maybe a little blocking out of the leather is in order. There are many variables as to why a holster would be excessively tight ranging from the texture of your guns finish, to slight changes in climate or humidity from where the holster is made. Regardless of the reason, a too tight holster can easily be remedied by the end user with a method we have been recommending to customers for over 20 years.

To block out (stretch) your new holster first UNLOAD your pistol or revolver and place the gun into the 4 mil plastic bag that your new holster was packaged in. Then carefully insert the bagged gun all the way into the holster (do not! I repeat, do not!! wet or spray the holster with any solution to aid in the stretching process). The blocking out process as described above will in no way harm the crisp detailed molding of your new holster, nor will it ruin its retention qualities. It serves simply to stretch the leather a few thousands of an inch larger than the gun. The amount of stretching time needed for satisfactory results range from a just a few minutes to overnight. Any clarifications or concerns on the above, or if you would rather we talk you through the process, then please call us."

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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