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MOLD CUSTOMIZATIONS
What to Know

Remove Belt Clip Mount

We can delete the standard Belt Clip Mount on a mold.  Please note, in some cases the belt clip mount is integrated with a fluted area that widens the mouth of the holster to make reholstering easier.  The flute can be left in place or can be removed.

No Charge 

Hole Locators

Holes are milled on the belt clip mounts and on the retention plate grommets to aid in accurately locating the holes for drilling.  The size of those holes can be changed to suit your specific needs.  

No Charge 

Custom Belt Clip Mounts

If you use a belt clip that requires a special mounting surface, we can create a special belt clip mount.  A one-time design fee will be charged to develop the belt clip mount which can then be placed on each mold you purchase at no additional charge.

One time Charge of 
$125.00 

Logos

We can add lettering or logos, proud of the model’s surface, on one side of the slide.  The raised lettering or logo will imprint on the Kydex during the vacuum process.  Simplicity works best as small details get lost in the imprint of the lettering to the surface of the Kydex.  The best results are achieved from a combination of properly heated Kydex and an excellent vacuum.  Once the lettering or logo is created, it can be applied to all subsequent orders free of charge.

One time Charge of 
$125.00 

Design

Design, per hour, one hour minimum applies

$100 per hour

Materials

R&D Materials

Cost Plus

R&D Time

Research, Development, and Testing Time, per hour

$75 per hour

What to do next?

Give us a call.  It can be difficult to accurately describe the modifications you desire, but we’re good at asking questions.  Generally, requests fall into one of two categories, modifications to the patterns we already sell, or new pattern types. 

A modification to an existing, standardized mold pattern already for sale might be removal of the belt clip, addition of a logo, or changing how the location holes are drilled. For both Universal Molds and Production Molds, modifications that can require new pattern development include, but are not limited to, site channel changes, the height of the models on the backplate, modified retention plates, the relationship of the two halves to each other, and style changes, like open muzzles versus closed muzzles, and rounded edges versus open edges. 

If you are looking for mold support for a holster style you currently make, a style that both you and your customers like, it might require development of a new mold pattern.  We can create that new pattern as a Universal Mold or as a Production Mold with Matching Trim Jigs.  The fastest and most accurate way to get answers about what can and can’t be done is to first call us, and then send us one of your completed holsters that demonstrates the features you like.  We’ll send it back to you with a comprehensive estimate of what it will take to make those modifications happen in the mold style of your choice.     

There is no charge for reviews and estimates.  What have you got to lose?

What is the customization process?

To understand customizations, it’s important to understand processes.  The molds we offer have been previously designed, tested, and feature standardized.  The benefit of that standardization is that those tested mold features have been incorporated across a wide platform of gun manufacturers and models with success.   

We do not stock molds.  When we receive an order, that order is scheduled for production, and the previously standardized design and the machining file for that manufacture/model is sent to a milling station where it is milled from a solid block of HDPE.  If a customer requests a no charge modification, like removing a clip mount, the belt clip component is simply turned off for that single milling of that design.  

Many custom modifications requests sound simple, but are not.  To achieve the modification, the digital file containing the standardized model goes to a design station where the request is interpreted, modeled, and incorporated into the 3D model.  Next stop is the lead machinist’s station where the modified design will be assigned code that can be utilized by a mill. 

Depending on the modification requested, a prototype can be milled, Kydex formed on that mold, and a holster finished to determine if the modification has unintended consequences or will influence other areas adversely. If problems exist, the design is reworked and molds are recut until a solution is reached. Contingent on the extent of the modifications, we may ship a prototype Kydex holster made from a custom mold to be reviewed by the customer.    

It’s vital to understand that the modification outlined above will then exist only on a single mold for a single manufacturer/model.  All additional manufacturer/models will have to be taken through a similar process, which will require design time and machining setups.  The cost for subsequent manufacturer/models may be less expensive, as milling test molds and forming Kydex may not be necessary if the modification can be standardized, which is not always the case.

Customization impacts explained.

To better explain how a seemingly small change can affect the function of a mold adversely, consider our most common Production Mold request to flatten out the indented area between the trigger guard and the retention plate.  While developing the retention plate for our own holster line, it was critical to standardize that plate so the same hardware could be used for every model.  Trigger guards abutting the retention plates, however, varied wildly in dimensions.  On one model of gun, the retention plate would work great.  On another model, it would cause binding at the trigger guard.  We solved the problem by isolating the retention plate from the trigger guards using that flattened area to create a neutral zone.  We could then use that standardized retention plate and standarized hardware package for all manufacturer/models.

What is a "Holster Pattern?"

There are as many opinions of what makes a perfect holster as there are holster makers; open muzzle versus closed muzzle, open edges versus closed edges, active versus passive retention, and too many variations in sight, trigger guard, and detent blocking to count.  Every holster maker develops a style and function package that represents their vision–sometimes several unique styles.  That feature package is a pattern, and that pattern can be reverse engineered as a mold to support that pattern. 

Our molds, particularly the Production Molds, were originally developed to support our own holster making.  Those molds product a specific holster pattern–the features and style we like in a holster.   Even with small modifications, the appearance and function of a holster made with our Production Molds is essentially unchanged.  The development costs for our current Production Molds are offset by using those molds to make the holsters we sell, which enables us to sell exact duplicates of the molds to holster makers at a fair price. 

If you have developed a unique esthetic you are known for, and you have developed a marketplace for those holsters, you may be shopping for molds to support that holster pattern and help you expediate production.   If that’s the case, we can develop and test a new holster pattern to reflect that vision. Depending on what you want in your new mold pattern, research and development costs can range from inconsequential to very expensive.  We have a 3D file library of manufacturers and models that can be used to assist in building new patterns, but all new holster patterns have to be designed and tested. 

Production Molds with Matching Trim Jigs are more expensive to pattern develop than Universal Molds.  For an explanation of how these mold types work, read this.  The symbiotic relationship between the Kydex Forming Mold and the Trim Jig Mold requires precise engineering to achieve clean cuts with the router bit on a table.  Kydex can only be routed cleanly if it intersects the blade horizontally; any surface that is slightly vertical to the router bit will leave a rough edge.  The fastest and most efficient way to get a holster to market, however, is definitely a Kydex Forming Production Mold and a Matching Trim Jig. 

Universal Molds require less engineering.  Since the trim line profiles are not predetermined, a holster maker can trim out the holster to accommodate their individual vision and esthetic.  This lack of predetermined profile lines also supports less expensive pattern development.  It may also be less expensive to apply that new pattern to subsequent purchases of other manufacturers and models.    

It’s important to know that attempting to modify an existing, standardized and tested mold design pattern, or trying to incorporate changes into a mold pattern that was designed to function differently, often results in dissatisfaction or outright failure of the mold to perform. 

Whether you want feature rich and unique Production Molds with Matching Trim Jigs that reflect a pattern style you and your customer’s love, or you want a simplier Universal Mold pattern developed, give us a call to discuss what’s possible with both types.  We’ll start collecting the information we need to provide you with a comprehensive quotation.