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Hi folks, I just have a quick question that will probably seem a bit silly to some but here goes. I am ready to try my hand at a holster with a metal reinforced mouth. What kind of metal is commonly used for the reinforcement piece. Thanks in advance for your help.

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You'll want to get some galvanized steel.  Its firm but malleable and easy to cut.

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Not done a pistol holster but on certain knife sheaths I've used brass sheet. A bit more expensive, as easy to cut and shape as thin steel without the risk of iron staining of the leather

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Thank you for taking the time to answer. I also have access to metal banding material at work and was wondering if that wouldn't be another one to try. It's already painted, easy to cut, and fairly stiff.

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Depending on how you plan on using it, it should work, unless you want to use it for tensioning.  Then it needs to be malleable and hold a shape.

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Most holster manufacturers use something similar to strapping used for shipping pallets.  It’s spring steel so it had some natural resistance to bending.  I’ve dissected a bunch of mainstream holsters and that’s what I’ve seen inside just about every holster I’ve taken apart. 

I could be mistaken but I think that galvanized steel would be corrosive over time with sandwiching it in the leather.  

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1 hour ago, Joon1911 said:

Most holster manufacturers use something similar to strapping used for shipping pallets.  It’s spring steel so it had some natural resistance to bending.  I’ve dissected a bunch of mainstream holsters and that’s what I’ve seen inside just about every holster I’ve taken apart. 

I could be mistaken but I think that galvanized steel would be corrosive over time with sandwiching it in the leather.  

Considering that the galvanizing itself is resistant to corrosion, . . . then we have the layer of contact cement which is resistant to allowing moisture thru (same for galvanizing), . . . and then several coats of Resolene (or something similar) to top coat the leather.

THEN, . . . after the moisture has made it's way down thru all of that, . . . the corrosion has to make it's way up, . . . 

The article would be worn out and useless before all that would take place, . . . 

May God bless,

Dwight

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It will depend on teh REASON you want to "try your hand" at it.  What is the desired outcome? 

Spring steel does exactly that.. it wants to return to the shape it started in when formed (with banding, that would be FLAT).  So, bending it around a pistol would be a bit difficult, but once in place it WOULD tend to try to return to flat and thus tend to keep a holster "open".

If all you are wanting is a holster that is more "firm" or "solid", just make it from 2 pieces of top grain leather - for example 2 pieces of 4 oz instead of a layer of 8 oz -- and it should be more than firm enough.  I've made holsters with a double layer of Hermann Oak 4 oz leather that were a weapon in themselves.. if you don't have bullets, you could just hit an attacker with the holster :)  At that point, "sammiched" metal is little more than a marketing gimmick.

 

 

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Thanks for the replies. You have given me several options that all seem to have a lot of merit.

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In my opinion metal linings might be of benefit for "fast draw" competitions, but other than that I can't see much need. All of the holsters I have made (I'm talking Western style here) have been made with two layers of leather and once they've been wet-formed they dry almost as hard as wood (as JLS implied) and tend to keep their shape. Making them with a metal liner is just another complication I can do without.:)

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Just the normal leather construction and the mouth of the holster eventually scratches blued and stainless steel pistols in short order!

You can make a holster supple or stiff depending on hide weight, construction or dying and finishing techniques or even an additional small strap of leather sewn on the exterior of the mouth.

I can see metal lining on a knife sheath, especially for a knife that is actually used and not just for show because the lining will scratch the blade and hilt area quickly.

Sam:)

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