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Thread: The quest for a decent woods rig

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    The quest for a decent woods rig

    I've like my S&W Model 19-3 a great deal. Perfect size and runs well. Perfectly balanced design. I wanted it to be my new field piece. Typically I do some chainsawing in woods and I've found that typical open topped holsters fill with sawdust. This can be a real issue since the sawdust (particularly when it gets oily or is wet) likes to find its way into the rear sight notch! After basically perpetual disappointment with holsters both factory and high end custom, I came up with this holster of my own design and construction. It can work as a strong side full flap type holster on a 1.25" belt or as a tanker-style cross draw type holster using a SKS sling or similar. Made from 9 oz Belgian vegetable pit tanned leather from Scandinavian cattle. Saddle stitched using braided hemp cord. British tan dye and water based satin leather finish applied. These are the best materials available about $20 was used, and it took about 8 hours or labor (about 6 were spent working out the pattern). I carry this mainly when doing work in woods in the winter (mainly woodcutting). The full flap protects the rear sight and prevents sawdust and other debris from accumulating in the holster. Wearing it as a chest rig is very convenient when operating chainsaws and getting on and off tractors, and it is also perfectly comfortable to wear on my strong side. Surprisingly the draw is natural and faster than anything besides a Bianchi-type thumbsnap that I have tried. The flap is definitely faster to draw than a hammer thong or strap that is commonly found. I have found that open top holsters without retention systems need to be molded so tightly to retain the piece that they are actually SLOWER to draw than a more loosely fitted holster with a good retention system. And the finish lasts longer with a looser holster fit.
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    Last edited by curioushooter; 12-02-2019 at 01:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Nice craftsmanship!
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Good job, curiousshooter. Looks like you solved your problem.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Great looking holster! I am using a WW2 copy of a chest rig and agree you!

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Very Nice!

    Well Done !

  6. #6
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Very nice looking rig. Does it do what you want? If so it's a winner!

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


    nagantguy's Avatar
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    Wonderful workmanship; I have something similar in mind for a field use holster for the same purpose- mainly wood cutting and woods loafing and fishing and metal detecting.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    This was really a prototype. There are mistakes (I see) all over it. I have no particular ability or fancy equipment. This was done on my dining room table. I think many if not most people can do this.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Patterns..?

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    My daughter's father in law knows leather work. Thanks for the pics! That holster is the thing for crawling under fences that you used to climb over......

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Well thought out design and craftsmanship for your first rig. It looks professional and not ho-made. Good job!
    Last edited by Greg S; 12-03-2019 at 04:13 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    Very Nice....well thought out and practical.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    sparky45's Avatar
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    Could this be done with a "Speedy Sticther"?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I too appreciate a full flap holster. Open top is probably ideal when you have many layers of clothes on, but when you are open carrying, or just have a layer over it, I like the protection. If nothing else, you sweat less on it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    Very nice workmanship.
    Joe
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    Excellent work there. I make ‘em my self and I know how important it is to get a good pattern. Once you get one you like, save the pattern. If you don’t invariably you will want to make another.��
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master



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    CuriousShooter;
    Excellent conclusions, good design, and great post and pictures.

    Years ago, I did a good deal of leather work (holsters, sheaths, and even leather clothing). One of the biggest problems, depending on where you live, may be in trying to find suitable leather and leather working tools. I live just north of Cincinnati, Ohio and there was an excellent Tandy Leather shop in downtown. The manager was a leather working enthusiast, too. He helped my to become a decent leather carver and they had an excellent selection of leather, tools, and leather working instruction. We still have a Tandy store in near by Fairfield, Ohio (I live in Hamilton, Ohio).

    You might want to check out:

    https://www.tandyleather.com/en/

    Keep in mind, I haven't been in a leather shop for many years

    FWIW
    Dale53

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

    pworley1's Avatar
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    That looks like it will get the job done. Nice work.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Very nice .
    That flap will also keep you from banging you rifle stock on your hand gun and scratching it up. good job.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    We still have a Tandy store in near by Fairfield, Ohio (I live in Hamilton, Ohio).
    That is the store here I buy the leather, dye, finish and most of my tools. The Euro-Bends are fine pieces of leather. Not cheap though. If you go in there ask for Dan. He knows his stuff.

    I make my patterns by wrapping construction paper or cereal box cardboard around the handgun. I've learned what kind of allowances to make when converting that to 9oz leather. I constantly refine my patterns trying to make them smaller and stronger and getting the stitching away from wear areas.

    This was by no means my first holster, or even the first holster from my M19. I've made holsters for about every revolver my in-laws own. Right now I am working on one for an H&R Sportsman Revolver.
    Last edited by curioushooter; 12-07-2019 at 09:35 PM.

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