To really kick it up in terms of Zombie Apocolypse vehicle, I decided to add a Kydex holster to the Jeep. It mounts near my right leg, is very accessible yet out of the way, and ensures that my 9mm is always within reach and ready for action. All jokes aside, did anyone else see the video of the Jeep getting vandalized while the dude tries to drive thru crowds of people protesting after Trump won the election? I would've felt a little safer with my gun at my side if I were him.
I'm going to do this in two posts. The first post will make the holster. The second post will make the metal piece that mounts the holster in the Jeep. Tune back in next week for that one.
To make the actual holster, I more or less followed this YouTube video. However, that guy has quite a bit of hardware that I didn't have lying around. Thus, here is the simplified approach using fewer tools and stuff most guys have lying around their garage.
Materials & Supplies
- Plywood - at least 3/4" thick so it's very stiff. You'll want it about 12"x12"
- Foam - I just used some stuff I had lying around, but you'll want 2 pieces at least an inch thick (or a bunch of thinner pieces that add up to at least an inch thick), should be similar footprint as the plywood
- Kydex - at least two sheets of 12"x12". It can be .063-.090" in thickness. I used .080". Available off Amazon here
- Black eyelets - Available off Amazon here
- Drill and drill bits
- Needlenose pliers
- Assorted clamps
- A blue gun if you don't want some finish on your real gun maybe getting rubbed off. Here is a pic showing how some of mine rubbed off with all the testing fitting I did. Look near the muzzle.
BEFORE YOU START: make sure the gun is completely empty of bullets. At no point in this will you need bullets, so just put those in a separate room.
Step 1: mark out a space larger than the gunBetter to do too much than too little and not have room for eyelets later
Step 2: cut it outRazor blade, Exacto knife, etc all will work well. Score it, then break it. Here it is after the cuts
Step 3: trace the outline of the gun
Step 4: mark additional area to be cut offDrop down from the bottom of the trigger guard and then again from the back of the palm grip The shaded area needs to be cut out
Step 5: cut out shaded area
General idea for this next section is to heat up the Kydex, then use a press to squeeze it around the gun so it conforms to the shape. Once it cools, it'll retain that shape
Step 6: Here the two pieces of plywood we're going to use to make the press.
Step 7: ready the pressStack it all together: plywood, foam, Kydex, gun, foam, plywood If you think there's going to be too much pressure on the plastic parts of the gun (like the grip), you can cut out that area a bit to relieve the pressure
Step 8: cook itPlace the Kydex on a cookie sheet
Place the cookie sheet and Kydex in a cold kitchen oven. Set the temp to 175F. Once it reaches 175F, crank it up to 250F, then 300F and 360F, each time waiting for the oven to reach that temp before cranking it up higher. The idea is that you don't want to shock the Kydex and have it go from room temp to 360F because it'd warp. Do it nice and slowly.
If you have a thermal gun, it'd be really handy for the cooking portion. You want the Kydex to reach around 355F or so. In absensce of that, I relied on my oven and one screw up before I got it right.
Step 9: heat up the gun and apparatusYou don't want to put hot Kydex on cold press and gun. Use a blow dryer or heat gun to heat up the firearm and foam. Do this while the Kydex is cooking
Step 10: press itHard to get pics of this part since I only have two hands, but remove the cookie sheet from the oven, grab the Kydex by two corners, and lie it in the press. Put the gun on top of the Kydex, oriented as it was before, then clamp it all together. Hard. Don't be afraid to crank down on it. I also found it helps to put some pressure on it as soon as possible, even if only by hand, in the first few seconds. Then clamp it down as quickly as possible after that. Let that cool for about 20 minutes. It takes longer than you think for all the heat to escape the press.
Step 11: open the pressTada! Look at that! Half a holster! I was really happy with this definition on the inside
Step 12: repeat that process with the other sideCut it, heat it, press it. Here is the result
Step 13: mark final contoursWe don't want all that Kydex on there. We need to be able to easily grip the gun and remove it. Use your own discretion as to the lines you want
Step 14: trim itHere is one side of it trimmed up
Step 15: mark the 2nd sideOn the inside, draw the same contour as the first piece
Step 16: cut the 2nd sideHere it is with me holding both pieces together. Looks good so far.
Step 17: mark the outside contourGive yourself enough space for the eyelets to have flat pieces of Kydex to squeeze together. Rounded corners are a nice touch.
Step 18: cut the outside contour, then use it to trace the 2nd piece and cut againHere it is with both pieces cut out
Step 19: mark out eyelet locationsJust get a rough idea of where they could go. I did about 1" between each one.
Step 20: drill the first eyeletDrill thru just one side. I used 1/4" eyelets, so it's a 1/4" drill bit.
Step 21: clamp the two pieces together, drill thru 2nd pieceHere it is with the hole going thru both pieces
Step 22: put in first eyeletUse needlenose pliers and rotate them inside the eyelet. Put slight outward pressure to get the eyelet to roll over. Use a small hammer to gently finish tapping down the eyelet Here is the finished result. We've scraped off some of the paint but we're going to paint the whole thing at the end anyway
Step 23: mark the remaining eyelet locations
Step 24: put in the remaining eyelets
Step 25: test the fitThe fit was tight on mine and couldn't get in past this point I used a lighter to heat up this portion to allow it to fit in. Once it's hot, just put the gun in and out a bunch to loosen it up.
Step 26: trim it and sand itUse a blade to take off the sharp edges, use sand paper to smooth it down.
That's it! In the next post, I'll show you how to mount it in the Jeep.