Kel-Tec P11

This is probably the least adventurous holster I’ve made, and yet the most risky. It’s a very simple, brown holster made for a Kel-Tek P11 – which happens to belong to my employer.

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He was wearing his pistol in a JIT slide which was not pulling it in tightly enough for him. He has seen several of my projects, as I tend to like to bring them in to show them off from time to time. He asked for a bid for a holster that carried in about the same position as the slide, but asked if I could make one that would pull it in tighter. So, I gave him a bid, and he asked when I could have it done. Once I got so far into it, we discussed color. He’s been seeing pink, purple, red, blazing blue, and fabuflage holsters coming through the shop. He asked if I could do a basic brown. I reluctantly agreed to. This is the first one that I’ve done in my new dye, which is alcohol-based instead of water-based. I wound up mixing this color from black, yellow, and red, and thinned it way down with denatured alcohol. I used a spray-bottle to apply the dye on this one. I think it made for a really nice effect, especially after the clear coat! My boss loves his new holster. In fact, he insisted on paying me more than I asked for it. I told him that if it didn’t do what he expected to come and talk to me. He has only said that it does exactly what he wanted it to.

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Final points:

1) Double-stitching is pretty pointless. I have started double-stitching the line at the top-strap in some of my newer models. I haven’t found any reason to reinforce the inside edge of the belt-loops with stitching. I have yet to find an application that doesn’t ask for my hidden-stitching to come into play besides IWB’s or derringer holsters. The hidden stitching is wonderful, and I don’t know why other holster makers don’t use this technique.

2) That alcohol-based dye is a mess! There are applications in which I will use it. The black turns out beautifully! The water-based stuff that I have been using produces far more shocking colors, and seems to wear just fine with the right clear coat over it.

3) The spray bottle is cool. I like applying dyes by hand for the most part, as using brushes, sponges, and daubers works better for most projects. But, there are certain effects that can be gotten with the spray bottle that you simply can’t achieve any other way. I’m glad to have added it to my tool box.

(For more pics, see this post in my gunleather pages.)

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