The first leather/Kydex hybrid holster

After I made my first Kydex holster I wore it for a couple of weeks and then posted some pictures of it on one of the many forums on the internet that cater to knife and gun folks.  I was pleased with the feedback that I received and eventually sold the holster.  I didn’t mind letting it go because I knew I could make another and also because I knew that it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  While browsing on the net I started to see holsters that were made from both kydex and leather from several makers.  I eventually bought one despite the $80 price tag and gave it a try.

When the holster arrived the first thing that I noticed was that I was unable to get a full firing grip on the handgun while it was in the holster.  I had to partially draw the pistol and then re-grip it to obtain a firing grip.  While that was a relatively easy problem to fix I have to say that it was frustrating to have to take a holster that cost that much money and have to grind it down to function.

It was long thereafter that I made a trip to Tandy Leather and picked up a piece of cowhide to give the hybrid holster a shot. I chose the Beretta 92 for one of my early attempts because it was the most challenging pistol that I owned to conceal.  The Kydex molded well and I incorporated a design that allowed me to properly grip the pistol while it was in the holster.  I was pleased with the result.  I had added too many adjustment holes but other than that it was a reasonable attempt.

After wearing the holster for a couple of weeks I knew that I needed to look at some options for the 8 oz. cowhide that I was using.  Despite the thickness it was possible to sweat through the holster in the Alabama summer and it wasn’t as comfortable as I was hoping.  Granted this is a large pistol but I wanted something more.

My next attempts were with 3 oz. leather.  Almost glove thin and very flexible I made quite a few holsters with this material and they were well received.  I made several of them for friends locally and they are still being worn today.  It was impossible to finish this thin leather to any degree so I ended up just cutting it with scissors and attaching the Kydex.  Again, it was functional but not pretty.  This was a holster that is designed to comfortably and discretely carry a pistol.  It was light weight and suited for wear in the urban environment.  It was a functional holster that worked and nothing else.

This is the time that I decided that function trumps everything else.  If it works that is all that is important.  I had several people ask if I would dye the holster for them and they offered to pay extra.  I declined.  First of all dying the holster adds a lot of time to the process and secondly, if the holster performs as designed it will only be seen when it is being put on or taken off.

The final stop in the evolution of a Top’s Custom Kydex holster was next.  Horse hide.