Curious--Leather or Kydex?


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LASur5r
September 30, 2004, 03:50 PM
Just a general question for the membership and lurkers:

If you were down to one holster, which would it be?

Leather or Kydex? and what version?

I have a Hoffner's kydex IWB on order, but I have tried about 5 brands of kydex and have narrowed it down to one in leather (Sparks' Versa Max 2), but I am in that eternal search mode....always trying to find the latest and greatest.

Have any body out there find a recent holster that you could recommend?

thanks in advance.

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4MUL8R
September 30, 2004, 04:34 PM
Leather squeaks against the leather belt. Leather discolors (lighter tan Galco). Kydex seems the way to go. Did you look at Comp-Tac?

Drjones
September 30, 2004, 04:45 PM
If the Milt Sparks VM-2 is one of your options, then all of your other options just became moot.

Get the VM-2 and enter the world of REAL holsters. :)

And if your gun is a 1911, prepare to be positively amazed at how easily your full-size "big" 1911 will absolutely disappear. :) :eek:

I've tried kydex and just don't like it.....even for plastic guns....

Okiecruffler
September 30, 2004, 04:54 PM
But a wheelgun wrapped in leather is the only way for me. Right now I have an assortment of Don Hume holsters and I'm happy with all of them.

LynnMassGuy
September 30, 2004, 05:32 PM
Absolutely positively leather!

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 30, 2004, 06:13 PM
For wheelguns or fine (custom) pistols, leather. We have a veritable plethora of leather crafters on board here.

My BHP rides in an Original Roy's Hidden Thunder Pancake.

My SIG always is in a Comp-Tac.

Hey, there's leather hangers on a C-TAC...

Regards,
Rabbit.

Bobarino
September 30, 2004, 06:40 PM
i tried a few leather hoslters before switching to Kydex. the finish on my pistol was more worn from 4 months in leather than in 4.5 years in Kydex. i like the positive "click" i get with the Kydex when reholstering. the retention is a major plus for me. i have 4 different Kydex holsters now and no leather. there's no maintenence, stretching, squeaking, finish wear, (as long as you wipe out the dust on occasion) and no movement in the holster.

Bobby

Drjones
September 30, 2004, 06:48 PM
i tried a few leather hoslters before switching to Kydex. the finish on my pistol was more worn from 4 months in leather than in 4.5 years in Kydex. i like the positive "click" i get with the Kydex when reholstering. the retention is a major plus for me. i have 4 different Kydex holsters now and no leather. there's no maintenence, stretching, squeaking, finish wear, (as long as you wipe out the dust on occasion) and no movement in the holster.



:scrutiny:


I don't know what kind of gun you have, nor what kind of kydex and leather you were using, but that is the exact opposite of pretty much everything I've ever read and experienced personally.

Usually, kydex wears a finish a lot faster than leather and it is clear why; Kydex is harder.

Archie
September 30, 2004, 07:13 PM
Leather!

"... down to one holster..."
Do you mean one holster each?

I prefer a high ride, just aft of the hip, strong side mount. IWB are good, but I'm a bit - uh - huskier- now, so belt mounted rigs are nice.

AK103K
September 30, 2004, 07:14 PM
I havent found the Kydex to wear the finish any faster than leather. All holsters will wear the finish, and a wet leather holster will ruin it and your gun pretty quick, something you dont have to worry about with Kydex. I went to Kydex for just that reason and have never looked back. I wear daily an almost ten year old Blade Tech IWB that is just as good now as it was when I bought it and it shows very little wear and tear. I was lucky to get more than two years out of a leather holster.

Smoke
September 30, 2004, 07:33 PM
Absolutely positively leather!

Amen, Brother.

Smoke

Bobarino
September 30, 2004, 08:36 PM
Dr. Jones,

i carry a USP compact in a Blade-Tech IWB. i tried a Galco for a while and it began wearing the finish off teh sharp edges of the slide from teh ejection port forward. i switch to the Kydex and no additional holster wear since. you do have to keep it clean though, just a damp cloth to wipe out the dust every so often. i have seen some Kydex holsters that have the textured finish on the INSIDE of the holster. that would, of course, wear the finish faster. the inside of the Blade-Tech holsters are as smooth as glass and of course a lot softer material than the slide and its finish. thats my story and i'm stickin' to it :-)

Bobby

Standing Wolf
September 30, 2004, 09:10 PM
Leather, thanks all the same—and I don't have any plastic guns to put in my non-existent plastic holsters, either.

Wildalaska
September 30, 2004, 09:32 PM
Come on Wolf we all know that you have every Glock model ever made:D :neener:

Wildyawantafobus?Alaska

DMF
September 30, 2004, 09:37 PM
Can't sweat through kydex. Given the choice I will carry kydex IWB.

Unfortunately my new agency insists on leather OWB, with a thumb break, unless the boss approves something else. So far the boss isn't signing off on my Blade-Tech. :mad:

Mulliga
September 30, 2004, 10:30 PM
Leather. The polycoat on my CZ-75B needs some love. ;)

Maddock
September 30, 2004, 10:37 PM
Leather.
If I had to choose just one it would be a Milt Sparks Summer Special.

MICHAEL T
September 30, 2004, 11:06 PM
Plastic guns, Plastic holsters Real guns Real Leather.
Young people= Plastic Old people = Leather :neener:

Valkman
September 30, 2004, 11:13 PM
Leather! Horsey or cowhide, it's all good. I've worn a horsey VM2 and a Brommeland Max Con V in cowhide, and they are both excellent. With Brommeland's holsters they fit so well that my gun snaps in like it's Kydex. I wouldn't wear a plastic holster when I can get quality leather like this.

Leather, thanks all the same—and I don't have any plastic guns to put in my non-existent plastic holsters, either.

Ditto! :D

Lennyjoe
October 1, 2004, 12:08 AM
Depends on the pistol.

All metal pistols deserve leather.

All remaining Polymer pistols deserve Kydex.

Then again, its totally up to the carrier.;)

Ok, Ok, I was just goofing:neener:

Edmond
October 1, 2004, 12:34 AM
Sidearmor so far but I will look into getting a leather for the 30 with a thumb break.:D

Nippy
October 1, 2004, 12:39 AM
Kydex is Tact!

chevrofreak
October 1, 2004, 07:46 AM
Kydex, always. I hate leather holsters.

Zach S
October 1, 2004, 08:15 AM
I cant do one holster, sorry. Leather for CC (Milt Sparks SS-II), plastic, er, excuse me, kydex for the woods.

FWIW, the SS-II doesnt squeak for me.

MrMurphy
October 1, 2004, 08:17 AM
Kydex. Comp-Tac C-TAC IWB. End of discussion for me. :)


www.comp-tac.com

Thumper
October 1, 2004, 10:11 AM
Leather.

OF
October 1, 2004, 10:33 AM
Used to be a leather guy. Kydex is where it's at.

- Gabe

Skunkabilly
October 1, 2004, 11:19 AM
Kydex.

rl2669
October 1, 2004, 04:28 PM
Overall, I far prefer Kydex to leather. I like the rigidity of Kydex, having positive retention without additional straps, and the fact that the holster will stay open "no matter what" for reholstering.

But to be fair there are three bad points about Kydex that I see:

* the holsters are SO customized that its impossible to share one holster with various weapons

* drawing the gun makes an audiable "click"; not a problem for me, but could be in an application where a quiet draw is a tactical requirement

* repeated insertions and removals will wear down your gun a bit, especially around the trigger guard where most kydex holsters "grip"

Wildalaska
October 1, 2004, 04:44 PM
Used to be a leather guy. Kydex is where it's at.

Bet thats a great pickup line in a San Francisco bar!:neener: :D

WildandnoiamnotspeakingfrompersonalknowledgeAlaska

Skofnung
October 1, 2004, 05:50 PM
Usually, kydex wears a finish a lot faster than leather and it is clear why; Kydex is harder.

I'm afraid I don't know about that...

Leather is an abrasive. Nothing will dull a knife faster than cutting through leather. Leather strops are used to polish razors or woodcarving knives. I frequently use leather as a final finishing step when polishing metal.

I've noticed much more finish wear on my pistols carried in leather than on those carried in Kydex.

That said, I still prefer leather on certain guns.

For work though, it's tough to beat Kydex. My main carry gun rides in a Comp-Tac Undercover.

Lennyjoe
October 2, 2004, 12:22 AM
Im sorry ladies and gents but I will not degrade my Kimber by carrying it in Kydex.

Galco is where she belongs.

Now if it was a Glock, thats definitely a fit for Kydex.

buttrap
October 2, 2004, 03:25 AM
no way in hell would I spend a full day in the saddle with a Kydex holster..dont have any Kydex saddles too. I guess they have a use but not digging into my thighs.......

JPM70535
October 2, 2004, 04:10 AM
Just about a year ago I had my first encounter with Kydex as a holster material in the form of IWBs for my S& W 649 and Para 7-45 LDA. Initially I thought they would be the ideal in terms of concealibility, and they were with one small fault. The holsters are stiff and if as I do, have any trouble with Sciatica ( you will know it if you do), the stiffness that is one of the virtues of Kydex is also it's main fault. They tend to dig into my hip at just the right angle to aggrevate the nerve and cause excruciating pain.

The only alternative seems to be not to carry at 5 O Clock, my preferred location. I found I could carry my Para in my Galco Scout somtimes but its inherent bulk makes concealibility difficult. I can use "Mexican " iff I position the weapon just right. Dr. says it could have been the pressre of the Kydex holsters that triggered the Sciatica. Never heard of such a thing but who knows?

Any one else have this trouble?

Captain Bligh
October 2, 2004, 07:25 AM
One more vote for leather. And one more endorsement for Milt Sparks VM-II. I have no interest in kydex.

RJ

Chris Rhines
October 2, 2004, 09:35 AM
Kydex is faster, more durable, and doesn't mildew or pop stitches. Kydex for me.

- Chris

MrMurphy
October 2, 2004, 10:45 AM
Well after four years of exclusively Kydex carrying, and thousands of draws, there is no appreciable or noticeable wear on my Glock. This, from a holster that I can wear comfortably 24 hours a day. And have, multiple times.

No grip weardown either.

OF
October 2, 2004, 11:34 AM
I may be having a little change of heart here...I picked up a VMII from someone over on TFL (pburns - great transaction, by the way) for a friend of mine and it arrived this AM. I'm giving it a little test run right now, having just taken off my KyTac BraveHeart and put the VMII on.

Wow.

Super comfy. Definitely more comfy than the BH, especially so while sitting. And the ride is better too. Noticeably. If I had to say, I think the weight is carrying on the belt better. The gun feels lighter, although there is more 'holster' in my pants now than with the BH, but I can only tell because the belt is fitting tighter, not due to any discomfort on the part of the holster.

The gun is concealing better and is in to my side a little tighter. The rake appears to be a bit more aggressive than the BH, which is doing wonders for keeping the grip in line. If I bend forward a bit, you can see the outside edge of the magwell...but without the well, I'd for certain get alot more lean without a print (the magwell makes the gun so much harder to conceal in general, that if this wasn't my competition gun too, I'd get rid of it).

The draw doesn't hold a candle to the BH, but it's good for leather.

I guess there is a reason the VMII is considered the best 1911 holster on the market. :) This thing rocks. I'll be getting one of my own for sure.

- Gabe

PS: Do the kydex clips make it easier to take on/off? I'm used to the super fast, easy one-handed on/off of the BH...

Mac Attack
October 2, 2004, 11:51 AM
I like Leather.

OF
October 2, 2004, 12:03 PM
After an hour and a half-ish, I've got the position adjusted a bit and I am in holster nirvana.

What a great piece of gear this thing is. Ooooohhhhh baaaaby.

- Gabe

PS: I think I was mistaken about the thicker bit...it doesn't really feel thicker in the pants than the BH.

OF
October 2, 2004, 03:44 PM
Black horsehide VMII on the way to me from Lightning Arms Sports (http://www.lightningarms.com/) shipping out today. :)

- Gabe

PS: Audrey at LAS said the kydex clips are not quicker, they are a pain in the arse. The snaps are fine.

Roon
October 2, 2004, 11:03 PM
Wild Bill's all the way... Leather, that is!

Treylis
October 4, 2004, 02:32 AM
Plastic guns, Plastic holsters Real guns Real Leather.
Young people= Plastic Old people = Leather

Hey, I'm a young guy and I'm all for metal guns and leather holsters. Maybe it was the influence of my dad, who's big into the wheelguns and cowboy rigs. (I prefer 1911s.)

Andrew Wyatt
October 4, 2004, 02:42 AM
my field holster is nylon with a kydex insert. my carry holsters are kydex (snick IWB) or leather (pre milt sparks summer special)

Drjones
October 4, 2004, 05:33 PM
GRD:

Told ya so! :neener:


I was, and still am amazed every day at how completely the VM-II makes a full-size 1911 disappear. :eek: :eek:

Darn comfy too.....I've worn it on several car trips....two four-hour drives in the last month, in fact, and its been just fine. :)

Wear it hiking, lounging around, etc. and no complaints out of me.


For everyone else; call me old, young, dumb, whatever, but there is something that is just so darn RIGHT and ALL-AMERICAN about carrying a GI-spec Colt 1911 in an American holster on an American belt. *Warm fuzzies.*

:)

jerryd
October 4, 2004, 05:44 PM
Leather!!!:)

OF
October 4, 2004, 06:59 PM
Spent 6 hours in the car today with the borrowed VMII. No problemo.

The gun is definitely tighter in to my side than with the BH. That and the more pronounced rake makes it just disappear.

I've seen the light, Doc! :) I can't wait for mine to get here...I only hope my buddy doesn't manage to find me until I have mine in my grubby hands...I think I'm going to stop answering the phone...

- Gabe

OF
October 5, 2004, 11:25 AM
It's here. It's way cool. A little tight, but that's easily dealt with.

I'll still wear kydex OWB and mag pouches, though. And my BraveHeart was better than any other holster I'd had, leather or kydex, until this specific holster. So I think it's less of a kydex v. leather thing as it is a holster v. holster thing. This piece is just the bomb, I could care less what it's made out of.

Bless you Milt Sparks!

- Gabe

PS: and Craig & Audrey at LAS - great service.

If you enjoyed reading about "Curious--Leather or Kydex?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!