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I Started a Business: McGear LLC, Custom Kydex


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Since this is the worst period within my lifetime to start a business, I did.

On September 11, I formed McGear LLC.

I'm making Kydex gear to order.

I know, leather is king. I like it too, and the gun on my side rides in cowhide. I've been messing around making my own holsters for almost 30 years and still think leather is the best material available for holsters, magazine pouches, etc. My best friend jokes that I get more excited over a new holster than a new gun.

But sometimes, another material works better. Sometimes you need something a little more rigid, either to protect what it carries or simply in order to function properly, and that's where Kydex came in.

I also know there are already about a million Kydex holster and mag pouch makers. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a company making Glock holsters or 1911 mag pouches from the material.

Which is why I'm not making those.

I'm making some things that are...a little different.

I'm making the things they don't, or won't, make because there isn't enough volume to bother.

The big makers might laugh at the idea of making these things, knowing they might sell a dozen in twenty years. They would never bother to set up for it. I don't mind, and I'd be thrilled to sell a dozen each in my lifetime.

Things like:

-Garand clip carrier

-A mag pouch for bolt actions with detachable box magazines

-Speed Strip pouch

-10-22 magazine carrier

-Stripper clip pouch

-SKS stripper clip carrier


L to R, M1903 stripper clip carrier, Steyr Scout magazine carrier, 10-22 magazine carrier

The Steyr carrier is made to use the magazine's latch system to lock in place:

Garand clip carriers, in .308 and .30-06:

Someone requested a way to carry SKS stripper clips. This is a need that shows where Kydex shines. Like M1903 stripper clips, which are handy but don't hold the cartridges very secure, an SKS clip carrier has to have a way to hold the clip and cartridges together as a unit when carried. A canvas or leather pouch lets it squirm around too much, and you pull out a partially loaded clip with loose rounds staying in the pocket. This hard shell carrier keeps everything in place but lets you pluck the loaded clip out:

It's hardly bigger than the loaded clip:

I'm working on a pouch to hold Bianchi Speed Strips, which is something I think has been needed for a while. I like Speed Strips for a revolver reload that is flat and easy to carry in the pocket, and evidently a lot of others do too. The trouble with that is the ammo is exposed to sweat and pocket lint, the rounds can get tangled in key rings, and if using the old but still popular .38 "FBI Load" of lead HPs, the bullets' hollow points get distorted out of shape.

So a simple foldover pouch came to mind. The rigid Kydex protects the ammo, but the strip is pulled right out when needed.

I'm not happy with any flashlight carrier either, so will work on that.

A way to carry a Harris bipod when it's off the rifle could be nice too.

I try to make everything from one piece of Kydex. I think it is stronger without fastening multiple pieces together.

I also have been avoiding the use of screws and rivets as much as possible. So many Kydex gear makers use screws with rubber spacers to join material together, which I don't like for a variety of reasons, so I try to fold the material over itself to hold it together.

like this:

Of course, there will be cases where it can't be done that way, and I'll use screws or rivets. I have the hardware and will make things with the rubber spacers and screws if the buyer wants, but wanted to know the options are there. That's the overall reason I'm doing this: To give a lot of options.

I'll make whatever anyone wants, for carrying gun gear, tools, whatever, as long as I have whatever it is to form it to. I have Kydex in several colors (black, desert tan, coyote brown, and hot pink) and can get others.

I've added Hunter Orange since this picture and can get at least three camo patterns, red, blue, OD green, carbon fiber, etc. Some of the more exotic colors might add a couple of dollars because the price gets kinda crazy there.

Thickness is usually .080" for most Kydex gear out there. That is what I'm mostly working with, but also have it in .060 if you want something thinner (pocket mag pouch?) and .093 and .125 if you want thicker for more strength. What we get into here is that not all colors are made in all thicknesses. For the most part, other than black, the choice is going to be either .080 or .093.

I'm trying to keep costs competitive. Most products like magazine carriers should run in the $20-$30 range, which I think is in line with what a regular production, commonly available pouch runs from the big boys.

While my plan is to focus on making what can't be bought elsewhere, I'll make anything I can make. If I wanted a mag pouch for a 1911 or holster for a Glock 17, I would maybe just do it the easy way and order from someone else myself, buy I will make them if one wants.

I have a pretty good variety of guns, magazines, etc to use as patterns. If I have it, I can make gear for it. If I don't have it, I probably can't do anything.

I perhaps need to say that since I'm making these items one-at-a-time instead of stamping out a thousand patterns at once and assembling them the same day like the big makers, they may not come out all identical. If I make three Sig P-210 magazine pouches, you can probably look at them and find little differences even though none are functional. I'm pointing this out because that might bother someone. But if someone got mag pouches that weren't available anywhere else, it may not bother them that the bend on one is a little flatter than another. But I thought I should get it out there.

So if you need a pouch to carry your AutoMag magazine, or a pair of cartridges for your .375 H&H Magnum, Stanley tape measure, or something less odd, send me a PM and we'll see what we can work out.

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I need something like this for my smart-phone. It needs to have a very strong belt clip that won't break or break off of the pouch when I catch it on something. It also needs to be rigid so that if I'm changing oil on a car etc. that if I roll onto the pouch it won't let force be applied to the phone and break the screen. Last, it needs to have a clip or fastener of some kind that won't let the phone fall out. Basically it needs to be a strong and tough phone protector. Nothing exists like this on the market today...


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OK, would it give enough protection if the top was open but the phone sat deep enough into it? I have pictured something sorta similar to the M1903 stripper clip carrier above.

The phone would sit inside with it's top below the case opening.

That opening would be sort of rolled in so the phone couldn't just slide out the top.

There would be a finger hole in the bottom to push it up through the opening.

Depending on what you want, the phone could sit inside a "lifter"- sort of a Kydex cup- which you would push up. This would cover the phone instead of leaving it exposed at the finger lift hole. But it would add a little thickness to the carrier.

Of course if size and thickness aren't a concern, I could build you a phone battleship!

This is just the first thing that popped into mind.

I will keep thinking about it. I havent given much thought to phone gear since there is so much of it I figured it was covered. But I see what you mean.

What kind of phone? We have three current phone here. If it's not one of those, I may not be able to do it without a phone to mold to. We have iPhone 4s, Blackberry Tours, and a...something my daughter has.

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I think the finger hole would be perfect to push the phone up. However, the opening could only be *slightly* rolled at the edges, otherwise the case might rub on the screen and cause scratches. I think the lifter would be an unnecessary complexity. The phone is a HTC Thunderbolt..

Would there be any way to make the carrier so it would swivel on the belt clip? Makes sitting in a chair or car much better.


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I am pretty sure I could do all that, but it may all be moot because I don't have a phone like that. I checked the physical specs on it and nothing we have is close either. I could buzz out a plywood form on the bandsaw, hit the edges with the belt sander and have a close approximation pretty quick and easy, but it would only be close at best and I don't think that would be good enough. The slip-fit design would have to fit really well to work right.

But I can try it anyway. What the heck.

Just to verify, the dimensions I found were:

.55" thick,

2.63 wide,

4.84 high

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  • 2 months later...

A local training outfit rented a range for the day and is holding a Student Appreciation Day with drills, grudge matches, door prizes, etc. I'm a student being appreciated, and a sponsor, since I'm supplying some of the prizes- Kydex mag pouches:

This is the most conventional thing I've made from Kydex. I had to stop and think about it a minute.

Pouches for 1911, Glock 9/40, S&W M&P, and generic double stack 9mm out to cover the bases.

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