ShapeShift Shells vs. Kydex: What Are the Differences?

ShapeShift Shells vs. Kydex
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ShapeShift Shells vs. Kydex: What Are the Differences?

ShapeShift or Kydex holsters differ in what ways? Some people insist that no other material may ever carry their pistol; this latter material is something of an obsession in the carry community.

Injection-molded ShapeShift Holster Shell

ShapeShift holsters are made differently from the kydex holsters made by other companies. One of the main differences is how the ShapeShift holster shell is made.

ShapeShift is made up of a shell that is injection molded. Kydex, on the other hand, is molded by pressing. Making Kydex holsters is relatively easy, which is why so many people do it. Despite its simplicity, this doesn’t mean everyone can do it – though practically anybody can do it, and there are some excellent producers with meticulous attention to detail.

Basically, each sheet of Kydex – a hard plastic – is heated, then inserted into a mold press, where the plastic is extruded into the desired form. In this case, the material has been heated to the point where it begins to flow (i.e., it is able to be shaped), in order to take the shape of the mold when pressure is applied. As the material cools, it hardens and retains the shape of the object that it is being molded on.

The excess material is trimmed away, the remaining material is usually polished, and presto! The finished product is ready for use. Holsters are ready to use.

Shells for ShapeShift holsters are injection molded, though. An ultra-precise mold is filled with molten polymer, and any air is removed using an industrial vacuum. Once the material cools, the product is ready for assembly, without the need to polish or trim off excess. You get a precision-molded holster shell that will fit any open carry or concealed carry setup.

As you can see, this does not mean that kydex holster makers do not make a good product. There is no doubt that a ShapeShift Holster System product takes a considerable amount of time to develop since precise molds are necessary, which take a considerable amount of time to perfect. Alien Gear Holsters doesn’t accept “good enough”; it has to be perfect, otherwise it won’t be available.

Injection molding creates a product that is much more precise.

ShapeShift Holster Material Vs Kydex

It is important to consider the material of the shell.

A thermoplastic acrylic, Kydex is. Basically, acrylic acid is a chemical that becomes plastic when heated and becomes hard when cooled…like most plastics.

A chemical company named Rohm and Haas, which was absorbed by Dow Chemical in the 1960s, developed the formula and named the compound in the 60s. As a result, the formula was sold to a company called Kydex LLC, which was later purchased by Sekisui SPI.

Also called brand-name Styrofoam from DuPont, it is a branded material.

What makes it special?

Rockwell R (hardness rating system for plastics) ranges from 90 to 95, depending on the formulation of Kydex you purchase. Typically, it has a tensile strength of 6,100 psi and a flexural modulus (resistance to deformation) of 335,000 psi.

According to the manufacturer, it can resist deformation up to 173 degrees Fahrenheit under pressure of 264 psi.

It is impossible to give you an exact breakdown of the polymers we use or the proportions in which they are used. In addition to the fact that it is a nylon-based material, we can also tell you that it is not exclusively nylon. No, it isn’t glass-filled or anything else like that; it’s actually a polymer blend.

The Rockwell R hardness of nylon polymer, not nylon cloth or thread, is 100 to 120, depending on the specific formulation. The flexural modulus of cast nylon is at least 500,000 psi, its tensile strength is at least 13,000 psi, and its temperature deflection is between 170 and 399 degrees F.

ShapeShift Shells vs. Kydex: What Are the Differences?, ShapeShift Shells vs. Kydex: What Are the Differences? See complete details on this

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