Field Mod

Crossbreed Holster w/ Glock 17

I’m at another  Tom Givens handgun course. Today I figured out that my Crossbreed holster just isn’t set up for an optimal draw. It is set up for comfort, but it is very difficult to get a firing grip on the gun. I’m sitting here in the hotel room. The time changes this weekend….that means we “Fall” back…I’ll have an extra hour in this day…hmmm…what to do..holster… oh I know! Let us mod the holster in the hotel!

If you look at the picture on the left you can see that the leather comes way up the back of the gun and down the grip past the tang (the part of the grip just underneath the slide at the back). So the first problem is that it is very hard to get your thumb in between the leather and the gun. The leather just doesn’t give enough. The guys at Crossbreed will actually do a “Combat Cut” which I believe removes this bit of leather, but I didn’t order this holster that way. Now I see the wisdom of doing it. My first shots off the draw are slower than they need to be because at step 2 of the presentation I am having to futz with getting a proper grip.

Leather cut out

To solve this problem you need a tool to cut the leather down with and a sander to smooth it out. I’ve moded this holster once before to cut the leather down so it wouldn’t trip my extended magazine release. But that was at home in my garage with a variety of tools at hand. Here in a hotel room we have to make do with what is available. In that case it is my excellent and reasonably priced Kershaw Tanto blade knife.

The serrated part of the blade is good for stripping decent chunks of leather. The lower point of the tanto blade did a great job of just digging through the leather in a straight line. It really took no time at all to hack out a chunk that was close to as big as I needed removed. It isn’t quite right though and very ragged. Luckily I never go anywhere without my Swiss Army Truck aka Toyota FJ Cruiser. The FJ is geared up to be my G.O.O.D. vehicle and is equipped with tools and gear necessary to “rough it” for a few days. Among those items is a very large file I use to sharpen axes. That file is also good for working leather, apparently, because that’s how I cleaned up the leather to make everything about straight. OK, straight is stretching it a bit, but at least clean-looking. Fine, it looks decent. Happy now?

Finished Fit

There is a second problem though. If you take a look at the right you will see that there isn’t much room for my middle finger at the trigger guard root (I bet you didn’t know that had a name; I didn’t either until Tom told me). To get a proper grip with the gun in the holster I’m still going to have to futz with the gun a bit to get my finger in there. I wasn’t real sure on what to do here. The gun actually has some play once it snaps into the holster, i.e. it moves a bit. I don’t really think it should move around, but it does. So my first thought was to try to heat the kydex and with the gun positioned just a a slight bit out of the holster try to adjust the molding to make it snap into a higher position. The traditional way to heat the kydex is with a hairdryer. Either the hotel hair dryer blows (heh), or I am not patient enough. I tried several times, but could never get the kydex to budge. So I can’t remold the kydex, but I do have this huge file handy….hmmm…I know! File a way a bit of the kydex so the trigger guard root is exposed. I’m sure that is just what you are thinking too.

I’d like to pause here to mention three things:

  1. Modding your only holster 1/2 way through a 2 day course is not a very smart thing to do; for this course I brought 3 holsters and two Glocks. If I mess this up, which is highly likely, I’ll just use one of the other holsters.
  2. I’m pretty sure taking a knife and file to your Crossbreed holster voids the warranty; don’t blame me if you muck it up and Crossbreed won’t fix your broken crap free.
  3. Never do anything to your holster that would cause the trigger guard to be exposed. That is why I am talking about just the trigger guard root. My middle finger needs to fit there, but that does not need even a sliver of the trigger guard itself to be exposed.

Filed Trigger Guard Root

As you can see in the picture, I used the file to peel away a small amount of the kydex from the root. I also filed down more of the leather so there is room for my finger. Now my thumb and my middle finger can both get a good grip on the gun before it moves from the holster. I’ll let you know, but tomorrow my first shots on target should be better than they have been. However, it is supposed to be 33deg outside tomorrow morning, so If I mess up lets blame the weather and not me and certainly not Crossbreed.

The last thing I had to do was take the hair dryer to the holster and my backup Glock that was the stunt double for my primary. There are leather and kydex flakes on everything. I am glad this is a hotel room and I’m checking out tomorrow.

UPDATE 1: You can see from this post that the mods worked great. Only missed one shot out of the drill. I think that is mostly from having a good grip on the gun before it left the holster.

UPDATE 2: Will Andrews writes on Facebook:

Ain’t it funny how that stuff works! I used to say holsters were fast, concealable, and comfortable. Pick 2. Then I started playing with more expensive holsters, and you CAN have some measure of all 3! Don’t be bashful now, just keep whitlin’ on that thing. You’ll get it where you want it!

UPDATE 3: Linked by SayUncle. Thanks! I had to look up WECSOG too. Scared the dog when I laughed out loud. Also, I found the “play” of the gun in the holster goes away when I am wearing it. Makes sense since my hip is then pressing on the leather. So the holster is doing what it was designed to do, it just needed a mod to make it more draw friendly.

UPDATE 4: You might like this post too. I use the crossbreed holster to contain and draw a simunition firing Glock. You can’t really see the holster or the draw. But I did get the crap beat out of me to make the video in the post, so you should watch it just to make me feel better.

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  • Paul  On November 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I got a Crossbreed about 5 years ago and did the same thing. I used scissors, though. Less tactical. I love my Crossbreed holster, need to get a couple more.


  • By SayUncle » WECSOG on November 10, 2010 at 6:41 am

    […] A crossbreed holster modification. […]

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