Tools for squeezing things together are 2-a-penny, but I need a tool for spreading things apart. Preferably an improvisation on something I already have.
When I first came to the desert my Plan A handgun was a beat-up 4″ Springfield Armory 1911. This gun was clearly made during one of SA’s quality-control-be-damned periods. Its only virtue was that (almost) all the powdered-metal parts had already broken and been replaced – I did have to find a shadetree gunsmith when the thumb safety just broke off for no good reason shortly after I arrived – and it was certainly, um, worn in. So whatever its (substantial) failings in the accuracy department, it always ran as long as the magazine did its job. It was an embarrassing piece of crap, as my guns tended to be until quite recently, but it was what I had and what I carried.
Some ten years ago I switched to wheelguns, initiating another “what’s wrong with this gun” period in my life, and the 1911 became my Plan B handgun. It has slowly tumbled down the ranking since then and rarely comes out of the cabinet. But during the time I did carry it, I found a better EDC holster at a flea market: an old cop holster that apparently fell out of an inventory locker at some point…
My pistol was crap but its holster was primo. I carried it every day until I got my first revolver, and it got kind of beaten up as my belt gear tends to do. In particular, since it was made for a 5″ gun but carried a 4″, the mouth got squeezed a bit over time.
A few days ago a neighbor wanted to trade my 1911 for his. His was nearly new but – well – if he’d asked me at the time, I’d have counseled against buying. Cheap 1911, like cheap AR ten years ago, is just asking for trouble. It was his only handgun and it didn’t run reliably, and that’s no way to be when you live way out in the boonies and can’t call 911 about that bump in the night.
I figured what the hell, I’ve never in my life actually taken on a project gun. I can’t do it any harm, let’s see if I can get it running. Winter project, as money permits.
Getting it to provisionally run turned out to be less hassle than expected but a proper holster was an unexpected problem. I dragged out my old cop holster for it, and found to my surprise that the 5″ wouldn’t go all the way in! The mouth had been squeezed halfway shut and I haven’t figured out how to persuade it otherwise. It’s quite rigid: there appears to be a wire band around the top and sides of the mouth and I can’t pull the ends apart with my fingers. I need something I can stick in there and expand with enough mechanical force to get the band back into its proper shape.
Anybody ever solve a similar problem?