When it comes to custom holsters, it doesn’t get much more custom than a do-it-yourselfer that you form fit for whatever you carry. While this is a fairly new idea, it’s not without precedent. First was the Ultra Custom holster from 1791 Gunleather, with a moldable polymer inserted between two leather layers. For a while, it was the only game in town. But now Blackhawk has come out with their twist on the self-moldable holsters: the TecGrip FormLok.
Available in six sizes, the Blackhawk TecGrip FormLok features a friction-holster outside instead of leather, offering holster options for every size pistol, from the smallest snubby revolver to a full-size semi-auto and everything in between.
Molding is super simple. If you can boil water, you can make a holster. It starts by bringing a pot full of water to at least 120 degrees. While you wait for it to heat up, toss the holster into the included plastic zipper bag, grab a rock from outside to weigh it down, and set the bag with the holster and rock sealed inside carefully into the hot water for at least five minutes. Be sure not to get the water too hot, or the bag might melt in the boiling water, something I discovered the first time I tried this with the other holster.
Carefully remove the bag with the included tongs and take out the holster. While the holster is still warm, insert your UNLOADED gun into the holster and add the sight channel mold to form the channel at the top of the holster. Now, start poking and prodding at the holster to form it around the gun. After about 30 minutes, the holster will cool enough that the polymer insert has stiffened and surrounded the gun.
I followed all the directions for my Taurus GX4 and ended up with a perfect fit. But, before I tell you how it worked as an everyday carry holster, I should say that I have yet to meet a friction-fit holster thatI really liked. Most of them don’t work as advertised. They don’t stay put, and the gun sticks too well inside when trying to draw from a pocket or waistline, often coming out with the gun, necessitating an extra step of yanking the holster off when my support hand.
That said, I was very impressed by the way the TecGrip FormLok cooperated on the draw, and I don’t think it was just because I had low expectations for this type of holster. I tucked into the 4 o’clock position, hopped into my car and ran some errands, getting in and out several times. Each time, it performed well on its own. It was extremely comfortable, and I only had to adjust it once. In fact, had this been my first experience, I might have a better view of friction holsters.
At $54.95 from Blackhawk.com, the TecGrip FormLok may change your mind about friction holsters. And the custom molding process means that if you boil water, you can mold the holster to whatever gun you have and remold it for the next one.