How they are made
Sounds silly, but it is important to understand that one day there was a cow that became beef in the store and his hide was tanned and purposed into leather. This is important because every hide is different. There are so many things that affect the hide: tanning chemicals, how they are handled, and the way they are stored, just to name a few. The hides will take dye differently and the same color will have different shades as a result.
I buy these hides, trace a pattern, and then cut out the piece that will become a holster.
From there it is stamped, grooved and the edges are worked over.
It is left alone to dry.... Tick Tock Tick Tock.
I dye them with oil based dye by applying it with a dobber; then let it dry, and buff, buff some more, and then air brush accent colors, if it calls for it. Then buff, buff, and ......you guessed it, buff some more
It is left alone to dry....... Tick Tock, Tick Tock....like watching paint dry.
Then they are sewn together and once again the edges are worked over.
It gets dunked in water and then wet formed to the gun itself. Then the "boning in" or forming of the leather to the gun is done.
It is left alone to dry......Tic Toc hickory dickory dock the mouse ran up the .......
The edges again get worked over again and then dyed and burnished
It is left alone to dry ........ Tick Tock Tick Tock.......go to work, bed, which ever applies
It is then sealed with an acrylic resolene. This is to give it a nice finish, but more importantly, to inhibit the dye rubbing off.
It is left alone to dry....... Tick Tock Tick Tock......go find something to do.....
It gets a second coat of sealant.
It is left alone to dry......... Tick Tock Tick Tock .......... finally......DONE!
The wording "it is left alone to dry" is in there over and over is to emphasize the fact that producing one single holster is not a quick process......it takes time .....usually about a week. The description above is not exhaustive but does cover the basic steps.
You have to know what you want
Sounds strange, but many people don't really know what they want out of a holster. They see one that "looks pretty" and buy it.
A good looking holster is nice but most important is the fit and function. The gun needs to fit securely in the holster, typically you should be able to hold the holster upside down and the gun should need to be shaken or slowly fall out. At the same time the gun should be able to be drawn with out a struggle.....even smoothly.
Where will you wear the gun? Will it be worn inside the pants? Outside the pants? And at what position? That is on the hip, behind the hip, small of the back, appendix (up front) or cross draw.
Unless otherwise requested, all holsters are built the way "I" like them. You may not like them the way I do and would need to say so. There are countless pictures and descriptions of holsters. Look closely at both. Study them a little bit.
Proper retention of the holstered gun is hard to describe and also a personal preference. My preference is on the middle, Not so tight that I have to wrestle it out when drawn but not sloppy loose either. I imagine some would call mine loose, I would call theirs to tight. I have crawled on my back and belly many times with a holstered gun and never had one even try to fall out. This come from the holster being properly formed to the gun its self and not from clamping it in like a vise because it wont stay in any other wise. When held upside down the gun should be able to be shaken out but not fall freely.