Holster break in and care.


January 17, 2003, 04:58 PM
Hi. I just got a new holster for my G21. It's leather. Something different for me. How do I soften up the inside so that it doesn't sand the finish off my gun?

Dillon LTD. Yes they have a few left, but you have to call. Price $29.95. A96-16457.


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January 17, 2003, 05:28 PM
I think the answer is that you don't. You just expect to have the finish worn, some finishes more than others.

As far as breaking it in goes, there's several ways that have been mentioned on TFL. One is to put the pistol in a plastic bag and insert it into the holster, then leave it there for several days. Another is to coat the inside of the holster with a product like Leather Lightning and leave the pistol in the holster for several days, or wear it around the house for several days so you can get used to the feel of it while the holster leather stretches around the pistol.

When I bought my first good leather holster it was so tight it took a lot of effort to withdraw the pistol. Within a few days it was smooth as could be.

January 18, 2003, 08:52 AM
Dont put conditioners/oils/other stuff in it....WEAR IT with your gun in it...My rigs are tight enough when done molding..I cant get the gun out without Moderate effort....
Practice wearing and drawing with it....it will soften up....
Many holsters are trashed every year by improper break in.
shoot well

January 18, 2003, 12:03 PM
I agree - wear it. I have several Galco holsters, and everyone of them was tight just getting into the holster and back out.

Definately wear the holster and gun together - if not the holster will mold into the gun but not to your side which will be tighter.

Kentucky Rifle
January 18, 2003, 03:09 PM
Wear it.


January 18, 2003, 04:58 PM
spray some silicone on the inside that will help soften the leather and make the draw much easier...

January 18, 2003, 05:13 PM
I'll second the vote for Leather Lightning.

January 18, 2003, 08:35 PM
I'm a semi-pro holster maker.
ALL holsters will wear the finish on any blued gun, that's just the "nature of the beast".

The softer a holster is, the WORSE it wears the finish. Soft leather makes more contact, over a larger area. More contact area means more extensive wear. Thats one reason the guns used with the old flabby leather holsters are badly worn.

Actually, a hard holster like plastic will wear less than leather. It may wear faster, but the wear will tend to get just so bad, and not much worse, for the life of the holster. A really good holster should have a plastic-like stiffness, whether leather or other material.

The best break-in is, as above, to just wear it. Holster leather never shrinks, only stretches. A holster starts it's life as too tight, breaks in, gets too loose, then finally wears until it's flabby and too loose.
Anything that speeds break-in too much, will shorten the life of the holster.

Nothing works like using the holster.

January 19, 2003, 09:26 AM
Very cool to hear your input...Im not quite semi prof. as of yet...more like just got "potty trained" or such....:rolleyes:
I agree with a couple of points and will expand on a couple of more...
Hard molded leather will wear your gun very minimally. Softer rigs allow your gun to move within the holster..this is what kills gun finishes. A tight rig will only wear the entry/exit contact points of the finish...much better than a "holsters polished finish"....
Silicone is questionable to use on rigs.....Some say its good others say it isnt. What it will do is seal the inside of the rig so it cant breath.....it will dry out faster. Leathers have natural oils that keep them supple....IMO, gun oil, moisture in the air..etc.
All add a little to the overall life of a rig...keeping it fed.

Leather lightning is KILLER....used it on a couple of tighter rigs before I made them....works very well......

Shoot well

Dan Morris
January 19, 2003, 10:08 AM
On good leather, I've simply used saddle soap!

January 19, 2003, 11:15 AM
Take Kel 110 Pure Silicone spray and spray quickly the holster once both inside and out. The holster will absorb the silicone like a sponge. Then let it air dry overnight. The silicone when dry will not change the holster's color.

The silicone traps the leathers natural oils, and retards the leathers ability to absorb water. It will extend the life of a leather holster by 50-100% and will make the draw a tad easier.

Then wear the holster. A well made holster will take about a month to break in.

Stay away from saddle soap. It has oils which soften leather. You do not want the leather to soften. If the holster becomes dirty, you may want to take a plain soap, like Ivory, and dab a little on a moist wash cloth to wash off the dirt, then wipe off the soap right away.

You should avoid neats or mink oil. You should limit the silicone treatment to maybe once every 3 to 5 years.

Your natural body oils will discolor the holster. If that bugs you then apply a good quality hard clear wax to the leather maybe once a year. It will keep the holster looking nice and new.

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