Ory-Gun Holster Company owner Ryan Rolen proves that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Oregon. This week completes Ryan’s 2nd year in business as a custom KYDEX holster manufacturer. Based on his positive attitude and attention to detail, I’m guessing he’ll be in business for years to come. The cuts and scratches seen on his hands show that Ryan is a true craftsman who doesn’t mind getting down and dirty to perfect his products.
We first met Ryan during an “Open House” event at Curt’s Discount Shooter’s Supply where the Ory-Gun Holster Company had a small table set up during the event. On display were several holster types including thigh rigs, IWB, OWB, mag carriers and flashlight holders. As we stood there checking out the products, Ryan began to tell us about his company and the services he offers. He went on to educate us a bit about the different types of KYDEX and was sure to mention that he only uses KYDEX 100 because it’s the highest quality available. KYDEX 100 sheets have a different texture on each side. The “outside” of the holster uses the rough texture while the “inside” uses a much smoother texture to minimize abrasion on the firearm. You can find more information on KYDEX vs. other holster options on this article posted by Robert Farago.
Eventually I mentioned to Ryan that I was in the process of building Oregun Shooters with the intention of showcasing Oregon firearms related manufacturers. I asked if he would be interested in some free exposure and he happily said yes then invited us out to his shop so he could give us a proper demonstration of his process. The Ory-Gun Holster Company is operated out of a Conex container located in the parking lot behind MK Tactical in Hillsboro, OR.
The firearm shown here is a Cerakoted 1970’s Colt Series 70 Government Mk IV 1911 with Crimson Trace LG-904 G10 Master Series Lasergrips and LTG-701 Lightguard. Because this gun has the Crimson Trace Corporation accessories attached, it won’t properly fit in any off the shelf holster. This is where a custom KYDEX holster comes into play because the material can be formed around pretty much anything allowing one of a kind holster solutions to fit the individual user’s exact needs.
The process starts out with a question and answer session with each client to determine the type of holster they are looking for. Because these are one offs, you can choose things like how high you want the holster to ride, the amount of retention you desire, to drain or not to drain and how much material you want between your body and the grip of your firearm. Of course there are also multiple colors and even camouflage patterns available.
The KYDEX arrives in small flat sheets and the first step of production is to cut the material down to a manageable size and the appropriate shape. There are different ways to do this depending on the options you initially selected. Once the sheet is cut into the correct pieces, it’s double checked then warmed up to the proper temperature before sandwiching the gun and being placed in a press for a few minutes. When it all comes out of the press, the real work begins…
At this point, the majority of the excess KYDEX is cut away, holes are drilled into the edges and rivets are installed to permanently bond the two halves together. From here on it’s all about trimming things down until the desired holster shape comes to fruition then sanding and polishing the edges to eliminate burs and sharp edges. The entire process takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete before the holster is ready for the customer to try it on. If you’re happy then the job is done. However, because the KYDEX can be re-heated, you may want to make some final adjustments if there are any unneccessary rub points or if you want more/less retention. If you have a flashlight or other accessory, additional adjustments may be made to ensure proper fit and function.
Overall, it’s an interesting process to see first hand. While we were there, Ryan completed three holsters including the OWB one you see here as well as an IWB for a full size S&W and a Ruger LC9….All while the customers waited. This kind of same day service is a great thing to offer your customers. However, I’m afraid that as word gets out, Ory-Gun Holster Company will become more successful and the productions time will inevitably increase. There are certainly worse problems to have for one’s business. ;)
If you’re in the market for a new holster, I’d highly recommend checking out Ory-Gun Holster Company. Ryan can even make you a KYDEX mount to store your AR-15 or other rifles in your car. If you have a unique idea, run it by him and see if he can make it come to life. The custom holster seen here was $85.00 and the standard holsters are usually around $75.00.