Saturday, February 10, 2007

Grizzly Holster Molds

I`ve always been a big fan of magnum autos from the early Mars automatic to the .44 Auto Mag and the Grizzly Win Mag. Over the years I`d fired a few like the Desert Eagle which struck me as ungainly and heavy for their caliber (the .50AE may be the one exception). The safety was also hard to reach with the firing hand which to me makes it useless for personal protection against dangerous critters etc. What I wanted was a magnum class auto that was easily packable and had good ergos. A .357 Coonan wasn`t the answer,a 10mm has just as much power. It had to be a big bore. Enter the Grizzly! I finally came across a Mk1 in .45WinMag with the 5.4" barrel. It was all I hoped,a high quality pistol with big power in a nice flat package about the same weight as an N frame S&W. Now all I needed was a good holster or two....yep...that`s all...
A thorough search of holster sites on the web turned up exactly ZERO holsters. It fit in one of my Bianchi X-15 shoulder rigs but I wanted a molded to fit belt rig that would minimize it`s bulk and weight. So I started calling custom holster makers. Most would have been more than happy to make one..IF...they had a dummy (or real) Grizzly to mold the holster to. These dummy or molds are generally cast from aluminum although some of the newer ones are hard plastic. Only 2 or 3 companies make them though and they`ll only make them for popular guns. Bummer. Never being one to give up easily I decided to see about having some made.
The wife of a friend of mine it an accomplished artist and sculptor. In the last few years she`s started taking completed sculptures and moldign exact copied out of hi tech plastcis made by a company called Smooth-On. They molding techniques are so good that if done perfectly they can actually reproduce the fingerprints on an object! Now we`re talkin! I approached her about doing some holster mold dummy guns and after a little persuasion she agreed. Now,part of this process is to submerge the original object in molding goo which then sets up like hard silicon based Jello. I don`t have to tell you how getting that stuff into the lockwork would suck and I was more than a little nervous about having my baby go through the procedure. They use a special type of oil bases clay to fill holes like the barrel but I was concerned that the thin liquid could get in around the ejection port,side of the hammer etc. My solution as to grease the lockwork and sensitive areas of the gun then wipe off the excess. The normal mold release would take care of the big outside areas like the slide and frame. Finally the day came and there were problems. The grease seemed to have a reaction with the mold material and the mold came out imperfect. Some areas were crisp and perfect,reproducing litte details like the head of the windage adj. screw,the serial number and the raging Grizzly logo etc. Other areas has an lightly curdled texture to them and there were a few small air bubble inclusions. The gun was a slimy freakin mess! Oh took 3 days or evenings to clean all the glop out of it. I shudder to think how bad it would have been without that grease in there because the pink mold material still got inside the gun! Close examination showed that oil soaked up by the parkerizing over the years hay have reasted with the mold agent as well as the grease despite the fact that it was "degreased" with alchohol before the process began. The results were one mold that experienced core shift and ended up thicker than actual size and one that is accurate within .015 or so with the aforementioned texture and air inclusion issues. The texture is no biggie,this is just being used to wet mold leather. Only a few of the inclusions would be an issue. I filled and sanded those out with PC7 putty. There`s no way I`m putting my gun through that process again and she invested a LOT more time in it than expected and she wasn`t at all happy with the end result. As an artist she was put off my the little imperfections ie. it was ugly to her. So we`re at the end of the road and I`ve got one usable holster mold/dummy gun. I contacted a few holster makers and decided on the one I wanted to make my new holsters. That`s pretty much where my story ends. He was supposed to have a 2 or 3 month lead time and I`ve been waiting close to 6 and still no news. Maybe time to try another holster maker. When the time comes I`ll make sure to post an update here so that anyone else who wants a Griz holster made can have it done while my mold is still at their shop. Mark Savitske


Grizzly1356 said...

I know a guy in Utica,NY that could make these Grizzly holsters. He works mostly with leather. His company is Taurus. He is amazing. Let me know if you are interested.


Bradley D said...

Hey I'm interested in your mold. I wear bianchi and jackass (Galco's Miami special, as they call it now) shoulder holster rigs, and canted bianchi leather belt rigs which I wear in the small of my back.

I have plenty of 1911 holsters, but as you know, grizzly's don't fit into them.

I have been forced to wear generic holsters w/varying degrees of satisfaction, and I would like to speak w/you about using your mold to have a couple of custom holsters made for my in-belt use and also for my shoulder holsters.

You can contact me via my gun store's website at and you can email me at too.

My phone number here at the shop is +1.760.365.6100, and I'm Open Tuesdays - Saturdays every week.



Ordos Incorporated said...

Desantis has one that could literally hold a sawed off 20 gauge. The "big bore" something or other.

Tin Badger said...

I realize this is an old post but, if I can get in touch with Mark, I can get a few top quality holsters made using his mold. If its for sale, I may be willing to purchase it.
I, too, am in need of a holster for my Grizzly Mark IV.