How To Tighten Or Shrink A Leather Holster In 5 Easy Steps

Does your leather holster bother you by letting your gun move? Don’t be panicked. Though leather can’t become short in size without cutting, you can play some tricks. And guess what? Your home ingredients will make it happen with ease. 

By soaking your holster in warm water and molding it after drying, you can get the desired shape of your holster. Afterward, you’ll have no trouble carrying and drawing your gun. So, why wait? Let’s see how to tighten or shrink a leather holster

How To Tighten Or Shrink A Leather Holster? 

The following process needs a water heater and a bit of your patience. That’s all you need to get your holster in good shape. Pursue the steps more gently and cautious way possible.  

Step – 1: Soak the holster in hot water 

First, you have to soak your holster in warm water. Take a pot, pour some water into it, and boil. Once the water is heated, soak your holster in it. Wait 2 or 3 minutes to let the holster absorb the hot water. 

Step – 2: Dry the holster 

Now you have to dry the holster’s leather. You can use your hairdryer for it. Just remember not to hold the dryer too close. It can cause the leather of your holster to burn. Maintain a distance of at least 6 inches between your dryer and the holster. 

Step – 3: Move the dryer all the way 

Rotate the hairdryer everywhere in the holster. Ensure you’re spreading the heat all the way. Don’t overheat any particular spot, yet warm the entire holster body. 

Step – 4: Mold to your desired design

Once you get a relatively warm leather holster, mold it to your liking. Remember to mold it to the exact design you require. Because when it gets cold, it’ll evolve into your molding form. After the heat disappears, you can’t change its design again. 

Step – 5: Place the holster in a cool place 

After molding your holster to your required design, you must make it cold. Simply put it in a cool place—no need to use the freezer. However, gently wrap your holster in a plastic bag if you use the freezer. 

[Note: If your holster still doesn’t get tightened or shrink, restart the process again.] 

Alternative Way Of Shrinking A Leather Holster 

If the above method doesn’t work, you can apply the process mentioned below. But remember, it needs a more professional hand to perform it. To start with this process, you must gather the tools below: 

Required Tools 

  • 6-32 Tee Nuts 
  • A pkg of 6-32 Stainless Pan
  • 5/8” inches long flat headed screws 
  • #6 Stainless Finish Washer 
  • A 1/2  X 9/16 Dia. Rubber Stopper 


Now that you’ve collected the mentioned tools approach the methods one by one. Remember, there’s a risk of changing the shape of your holster, so keep a professional with you if possible. 

  • Cut the rubber stopper to a ⅝” size. 
  • Find a room in a holster to cram the rubber stopper. Between the bottom of the trigger guard, you’ll find the room. 
  • Drill a hole through the leather to the center of the rubber stopper using the 1/8  dia grout. 
  • Now insert the Tee Nuts barbs into the leather from the backside of the holster. 
  • Then, with the washer’s help, insert the screws from the front and tighten them until it holds your gun perfectly. 

Source: Any way to tighten up a holster? | 1911Forum

When Should You Tighten Or Shrink A Leather Holster

The condition of your leather holster will make you realize when you should tighten or shrink it. Especially when you see your gun isn’t fitting into the holster, you’ll know it’s time. However, below, we’ve shortlisted a few symptoms that may remind you to tighten your leather holster. 

  • If the holster isn’t of natural materials such as buffalo or cowhide
  • If the holster doesn’t dry up after being wetted by the hot water 
  • If the holster remains too large after being wet 

Advantages Of Tightening Or Shirnking A Leather Holster

The effort of tightening or shrinking a leather holster is less, yet the advantages are definitely a lot. It brings the holster to its previous shape, thus removing the awkward movement of the gun. And surely, it makes your drawing habit perfect. 

  • Tightening make a leather holster compact and tight-fitting 
  • It also makes the holster flexible and easier to work with 
  • After shrinking it to grip the gun more accurately 
  • Tightening also assists you in protecting your gun from thieves by providing a perfect grasp 

Other Sources: 

Steven Savoy
Steven Savoy