Kydex vs leather wear?


December 11, 2004, 01:09 PM
I have a Kydex holster that I used to wear my Makarov in at the range. However, I traded my Russian 12 round Mak for a very nice Miltex Special Edition, so now I would like to keep the finish on the pistol as nice as possible. One thing I noticed was that the kydex wore down the finish on the contact areas on my Russian pistol.

I have never owned a real leather holster for my pistol, so I was wondering if there is a significant difference in wear on blueing between the two materials. If leather does indeed wear as much as kydex, I suppose I'll just have to get a nylon holster.

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December 11, 2004, 01:48 PM
Both will cause wear. Keeping the inside free of dirt and grime will help keep it under control. But all holsters will cause some wear over time. :uhoh:

December 11, 2004, 02:12 PM
Try a lined leather holster. Compare the inside of a plain horse-hide or cow-hide holster with a lined variant. I'm pretty sure Don Hume offers lined holsters (I've got one of their lined belts) and I'm certain Bianchi does.

How do you think people that actually carried their Pythons did so? ;)

December 11, 2004, 02:25 PM
When Kydex started getting popular, I remember several knife selling companies recommending that it be used only for utility type knives, not for collectible display type knives. It does seem to be a bit harder on finishes.

December 11, 2004, 03:36 PM
Store one gun in kydex and an identical gun in leather in your gun safe and untouched for five years, and then tell me which holster is harder on the pistols finish.
If Kydex is kept clean and grit free it will actually wear finish far less than leather.
I don't generally use Kydex with blued firearms because it can produce unsightly marking where the kydex comes in contact with the gun finish.
I don't use leather either, instead I prefer rigid nylon holsters for these handguns.
Because leather will form to the gun, it will actually abrade a greater surface on the finish than a similar Kydex holster, especially if if becomes impregnated with oil and grit, something that can't happen with kydex if it is wiped out every day.
Remember, You can't wipe suede leather clean
If you use a stainless steel handgun, the only reason to use leather is for that 'retro' look.
Leather will actually buff a matte finish stainless steel handgun into a bright finish in fairly short order if the gun is holstered regularly.
Again this won't happen with Kydex and to a much lesser extent with rigid nylon.

Old Dog
December 11, 2004, 03:55 PM
Why would anyone store good handguns IN holsters in a gunsafe?
My experience with kydex has not been good -- several scratchs on the beautifully polished flats of a SA Black Stainless' slide ... this name brand, expensive kydex holster was brandnew with no dust, grit or dirt in it ...
I use leather for all my steel guns, blued and stainless. Kydex is reserved for my ugly black plastic guns (Glock, HK); it is practical and has its uses, but ...

December 11, 2004, 04:32 PM
I have both kinds of holsters and use them extensively. I honestly can't tell which material produces more (or less) wear on my pistols. My personal opinion is that if leather and kydex are kept clean it results in less wear and tear on a pistol. There, kydex has it all over leather as it is much, much easier to keep the holster clean. FWIW Good shooting;)

Chris Rhines
December 12, 2004, 08:29 AM
If you are that concerned about wear, the only solution is to keep your gun in the gunsafe and not carry it at all.

- Chris

December 12, 2004, 11:16 AM
Holsters are going to cause wear on a gun, be it kydex or leather. You do not want to store a gun in a holster for any extended period of time. The more you insert and draw your gun with a holster is going to cause wear/rub spots on most gun finishes. You do not want to have a suede lined holster because 1) the suede retains grit/grime much more than a smooth surface; and 2) suede leather is chrome tanned (at least 95% of the time) and that is extremely harmful to the finish of the gun, especially blued guns. I've seen the finish come off with just one insert/draw of the gun - YMMV. There are some leather holstermakers who will offer "lined" holsters - generally at an added cost.

My recommendation is a lined leather holster. If you take a few extra seconds each evening when you put the gun into the safe, wipe down your gun and wipe down the inside of the holster, too. This generally will remove and grit and/or grime you've acquired that day.

December 12, 2004, 11:40 AM
I have a Masters of Defense Ayoob knife that looks like a glorified ice pick. Well, the blade is really a triangular shape, but it is obviously more a stabber than a slasher.

In any case, the blade has some sort of black coating from the factory. It also comes with a great kydex sheath THAT RIPPED THE COATING OFF ONE SIDE OF THE BLADE IN A SINGLE DRAW.

Okay, the blade coating is obviously not the best (it is now missing along the high spot of the blade. One draw, mind you), but I have a strong feeling that a leather sheath would have taken quite a long time to achieve this amount of wear.

The funny thing is, I didn't want the coated knife to begin with. I was looking for the uncoated version, but apparently those are no longer in production. Probably lasted too long without showing wear, and cuts into MOD;s replacement sales :cuss:

Super Trucker
December 12, 2004, 12:08 PM
I have used Kydex and Leather holstersand the both cause wear, I think the Leather took longer to wear but it still did.

December 12, 2004, 06:32 PM
Which is harder, NP3 or Roguard?
NP3 will be more abrasion resistant because of the Nickel. However, keep in mind that Roguard will wear much better than Bluing, Blackening or Parkerizing! Regardless of the finish, holsters manufactured out of Kydex or Nylon seem to wear the finishes faster than leather or horsehide. The NP3 is harder than Roguard.

Straight from Robar's website under FAQ's. I myself have no idea what the right answer is but Robar does have a little bit of experience.

December 13, 2004, 11:26 AM
Four years of carrying in Kydex. Glock 30. Several thousand draws, no appreciable wear I can actually tell without a spotlight and microscope.

December 13, 2004, 06:20 PM
In the Jan 2005 Dillon Blue Press, Duane Thomas describes a conversation he had with a gentleman who didn't want "any finish wear at all" on his gun. Duane tried to explain that wear is unavoidable, but this guy was in denial. I like Duane's statement: "I kind of like the way a gun looks when it gets some finish looks...honest. Used. Real."

As long it's from use and not abuse, wear on a gun gives it character.

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