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I Forge Iron

Spring for Revolver Holster

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I have been asked by a friend to make a holster for a scoped Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag. I'd like to use a retention spring (instead of the more common strap) to secure the gun. I'm loosely copying the idea off of another holster that uses a spring. The spring will be 1/8-3/16" thick, 5/16-3/8" wide, and 17" long and bent in a "U" shape with each leg just over 8" each. It will be enclosed in leather and grip the gun with the upper third of the sides of the "U". Do you all have any recommendation for the steel type and HT regimen? I've never tackled a lightweight spring that will see so many cycles over its life, so I'm a little unsure of how best to approach it, and I don't want it to fail him on a hunt. Have any of you tried something like this before?

Any suggestions are appreciated!


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  • 3 weeks later...

You might find that 1/8" thick spring stock will give you a mighty strong spring.  There's a youtube channel by a gun parts retailer that has some videos on making leaf springs.  It's important to get the surface finish very nice to avoid stress risers.  They made a point of filing annealed stock along the length of the spring.

One neat thing they did was to use a lead casting pot to melt niter bluing salts at 600 degrees.  The spring was heated to critical and quenched in oil.  Once it was cleaned up, they soaked it in the niter bluing salts until it was blued.  That tempered and finished the spring in one step.

Charles is right about the molded leather. 

Alternately you could make a strip of kydex that was formed around the holster mouth.  That would keep it rigid while providing a place to put a tension screw.

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