Leather or Plastic holsters?


September 26, 2006, 09:52 PM
I've heard numerous pluses and minuses for both options. Plastic holsters for durability and rigidity, leather holsters for comfort and concealability. I'm sure you can get everything the other has to offer, but I want to know what the people at THR feel.

Whats better and why do you say so/use it? Dead cow skin or new-age plastic.

EDIT: Aw crap, wrong forum. Could a mod move to general handguns?

If you enjoyed reading about "Leather or Plastic holsters?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 26, 2006, 10:01 PM
I voted plastic because living in South Carolina gets hot and leather absorbs the sweat. I think the leather feels better and may use one in the winter. I wear IWB now so I don't think one would conceal better than the other though.

September 26, 2006, 10:11 PM
plastic holsters for anything that you don't care about wearing the finish off of. I don't own one, although I have received several with used guns. When I sell said gun, I give it away.

Leather for anything I value...yeah, even my Glock :) Sweat wipes off, and Eezox is a great rust inhibitor.

.38 Special
September 26, 2006, 10:15 PM
Anyone who uses a plastic holster has no soul. :neener:

September 26, 2006, 10:19 PM
I refinish my own guns so I don't mind a little holster wear.

September 26, 2006, 10:39 PM
You left out one exteremly major option. What about nylon ? There sure are an awful lot of soft nylon holsters out there, particulalrly for IWB carry.

September 26, 2006, 10:52 PM
I've been carrying in holsters since 1964. I started with Chic Gaylord (a local friend of my Uncle NYPD detective)holsters so I was spoiled early. I started using Milt Sparks Holsters in 1976 and continued thru the 'gay 90s':D . I found Mad Dog GunGlove holsters (now discontinued) and was hooked. I have used Blade Tech , Side Armor ,Cendex and lately G-Code holsters for the last 7 years. While the Mad Dog Taylor Thunderbolt is my all time favorite (same as the Sparks AT-1 was when I was into leather:cool: )the G-Code , if you carry a gun their limited coverage fits, is THE BEST 'Tactical' non retension holster there is -bar none.I have quite an extensive leather , and now Kydex, collection and still wear leather alot, but for defense (or offense!) I have given my opinion!;)

September 26, 2006, 11:10 PM
Did not vote. Like all three types. Leather for comfort and conceals better under most conditions. Sweat like a pig. Nylon can do what the other two types can do for little money and protect the gun and myself from each other while wearing it. If I have to clean the holster soap and water will do. Kydex for when I want to carry less weight around on the hip. Have to be careful. If a stealth draw is needed the Kydex will make a noise most will hear. Kydex is sweat resistant like nylon. All of these types have their own advantages so picking one by me would be rediculous since my needs have to be met by all the above.:D

September 26, 2006, 11:24 PM
Kydex = best value
Leather = best holsters! :D

Go w/ leather!

September 26, 2006, 11:26 PM
Leather would be my choice, unless I was in a hot, humid environment - then I'd go with some type of synthetic holster with probably a Glock 21 or 30, for their polymer frame and tennifer clad slide & inner components.

September 26, 2006, 11:52 PM
I see kydex as being built for IPSC and duty carry where theres no worries about it jabbing you and the like. Great for quick drawing and the like. Leather has been used as holster material for a long time because it's tough, comfortable if made correctly and looks damn good next to a chunk of plastic.

Leather was my vote,
Mark(psycho)Phipps( HAHAHA! )

September 26, 2006, 11:58 PM
leather mmmmmmmmmmmm!

September 27, 2006, 01:36 AM
Crossbreed holsters...I have a supertuck on the way


Ala Dan
September 27, 2006, 02:39 AM
Only real leather for me~!

As I don't do the plastic holster thing~!:eek: :(

September 27, 2006, 04:11 AM
I have one plastic holster and have no complaints (for a Glock 22 w/ a light mounted), but leather holsters comprise the other 99.9%.


September 27, 2006, 09:32 AM
Personally, plastic for competition and I'd choose leather for conceal carry.

Zach S
September 27, 2006, 09:47 AM
I use leather (and steel) most of the time.

Plastic (and plastic:D) for yard work and such.

September 27, 2006, 09:59 AM
I voted leather, but that's for everyday use. For IDPA I use plastic.

September 27, 2006, 11:04 AM
I have both and found that the Kydex was VERY uncomfortable. It doesn't give and poked me uncomfortably. My final choice was a Gary Brommeland Max Con V, www.brommelandgunleather.com , leather IWB holster (I have 3). I found them to be perfectly comfortable from the get go. So much so that I walked around all day once and didn't realize I had left my 1911 at home until I got home and saw it.

the naked prophet
September 27, 2006, 02:02 PM
I may be biased (as I make leather holsters) but I choose leather. Plastic holsters aren't real holsters, even with plastic guns (until you've seen a high quality black leather holster on a Glock, you might not believe this).

September 27, 2006, 02:11 PM
I own both types of holsters, in some cases for individual guns. I've had good and bad samples in plastic, but have yet to buy a melon in leather.

September 27, 2006, 04:02 PM
I own both but have many more leather. Good leather is worth every penny. As for Kydex, I have one in 1911 and one for my Sig 226, but I rarely use the Kydex.

September 27, 2006, 06:50 PM
How many us have leather holsters passed down to us by our fathers/grandfathers? If you're like me, you do and most of them are still very very serviceable and, carry that leather mystic that you'd never get out of Plastic. I just recieved a VMII for my new SIG 220 that will last several life times I believe, along with the SIG. 50-100 years from now, that leather holster will be as cherished as the SIG.

I have one holster (of many) passed down from my LEO father for a S/W MOD 36 2 " from a holster maker that not in business anymore but made this great little holster for guys on the job back in the day. All it needs is about 3 stitches and its as good as new.

I just think a good leather holster is worth it.

September 27, 2006, 09:31 PM
Leather... nothing against kydex, but it just feels wrong. Besides, good leather is almost as addictive as good steel.

September 27, 2006, 09:37 PM
Well, I may have to switch to a dead cow skin holster to stuff with some iron. This C-Tac holster I have is very well made, but the plastic holsters do errode your finish over time. What kind of problems can worn finish cause that are cause for alarm, other than aesthetics? My P2K is starting to show some considerable wear already.

However, my 1911 has some finish wear where the saftey rides on the frame when it's engaged/disengaged. I always keep that portion oiled since it's metal to metal.

Then again, at ~$98 for this C-Tac holster I'm a little iffy on dropping some serious coin on a leather holster. Leather is always more expensive than Kydex. Any reccomendations for a guy thats gotta work two jobs?

September 27, 2006, 10:57 PM
Then again, at ~$98 for this C-Tac holster I'm a little iffy on dropping some serious coin on a leather holster. Leather is always more expensive than Kydex. Any reccomendations for a guy thats gotta work two jobs?

I'd take a look at K&D Holsters (http://kdholsters.com/) or HBE Leatherworks (http://www.hbeleatherworks.com/). Both are members here and I've gotten a number of good things from them. Prices run from $50 - $75.

Leather is worth it. That you can get it hand-made at less than or equal to what I see around here for mass-produced retail is great.

Look at it this way. You've probably got a $600-$700 at least in that 1911 and it's loaded up with the best ammo you can find that likely runs you $30 for a box of 20. Consider how often you might cycle that pratice ammo. Two boxes a year seems reasonable. That's the cost of a good holster. Put it into perspective.

Ain't much point in putting a gun designed by the holy prophet John Moses Browning loaded up with premium Federal Hydra-Shok ammo into a nylon holster that might let it fall out if you tip sideways or a Kydex one that'll rattle around and give you an unholy wedgie upon draw. I'd rather carry a lesser pistol in a great holster than a great pistol in a lesser holster.

Phil DeGraves
September 28, 2006, 01:44 PM
Two Words:
Mitch Rosen

September 28, 2006, 09:27 PM
Are you sitting down for this? I don't carry my 1911, it's too heavy. It sits in my nightstand next to the Trojans for extra protection :evil: AND I put WWB FMJ's and hollowpoints through it. I've had nothing but success with WWB's personal defence rounds and their FMJ's don't give any of my other guns gas.

As soon as my finances settle down I'll make the conversion to leather in the event I do carry it, and especially for my P2K I carry regularly. Thanks for the holster suggestions, I'll check 'em out.

Black Majik
September 28, 2006, 10:06 PM
Are you sitting down for this? I don't carry my 1911, it's too heavy. It sits in my nightstand next to the Trojans for extra protection AND I put WWB FMJ's and hollowpoints through it. I've had nothing but success with WWB's personal defence rounds and their FMJ's don't give any of my other guns gas.

Carry that full size 1911! I do...


I carry my fullsize Kimber every day in a Milt Sparks IWB #1 Heritage. Its doable, with a good holster and belt.

For me, I prefer leather. Both have their advantages and disadvantages... and I use both. For carry, leather is much more comfortable since it's more flexible than Kydex.


My leather of choice is Milt Sparks. Absolutely awesome holsters. The fit is amazing, your guns will "click" when it's inserted into the holster. Fit and finish is beautiful. Wait can be a little long, but you can find them from other dealers without the wait. Take a look at them, leaps and bounds way beyond the factory makers such as Galco and Bianchi.

Only time I use Kydex is during matches. My preferred Kydex holster is Comptac. It's faster to draw, and has adjustable tension. Belt slide Kydex sits closer to the body IMO, and that is great so the gun doesn't feel like it weighs as much. Its still, heavy duty, and would suck to carry IWB. I rarely wear my Kydex, only at matches. Plus it's ugly. :D

If its for conceal carry, go leather. It's classy, beautiful, and well worth it!

Go Milt Sparks.

Milt Sparks 55BN w/ Sharkskin OWB (outside the waistband)

Milt Sparks #1 Heritage IWB (Inside the waistband)

Don't be weary to carry that 1911. :)

September 28, 2006, 10:15 PM
I like both, but for hard daily use, kydex is the only way to go.

With constant use, both will wear the finish on your gun.

With daily use, kydex will out last leather by a long shot, especially if you carry IWB, live in a warm climate and sweat. I used to go through a couple of good, brand name leather holsters a year. My first Blade Tech IWB(now retired, but still going strong) is over 10 years old and was worn daily, year round the whole time. I have yet to find any leather holster that can match that.

Leather is for BBQ's and special occasions, kydex is for everything else.

larry starling
September 29, 2006, 03:45 AM

September 29, 2006, 08:58 AM
For me, leather just seems to fit "me" more comfortably. I love the idea of Kydex, I own Kydex (blade tech) but leather is what I usually end up carrying in.


the naked prophet
September 29, 2006, 01:34 PM
AK103K if your holster wears out, even in a hot climate with sweat while worn 24 hours a day, in less than two years, then you need to buy a better holster.

September 29, 2006, 02:05 PM
I work physically outside year round. I also sweat like a pig. In the summer here, it gets to be in the 90's with high humidity on a regular basis. By 9AM most mornings in the summer, I'm already soaking wet and so were my leather holsters. Once wet they would not dry out and I tried rotating them, which just lead to two wet holsters that never dried out. The worst type of leather is rough out. It sucks up sweat like a sponge, so its even worse. I used to even try putting duct tape on the side against my body to slow things down, to no avail. Blued guns dont fare well in a wet holster in short order. I did have my Commander hard chromed, which helped, and I went to the Blade Tech IWB a short time later and never looked back. The last couple of leather holsters I had used were good, quality holsters, LFI's from Blocker and Galco Royal Guards. The Blocker did better than the Galco because it wasnt rough out. I did wear most all the finish off it in about the first month though. You never would have known the Royal Guards were rough out to start. When I was done with the the first one, it looked like polished leather on one side.

These are two off my Blade Tech's. The one on the right is 10 years old, the one on the left is new in that pic and was bought as a back up

This was my last Royal Guard. Thats about one months wear in the summer in that pic.

same holster with a half assed attempt to slow down the sweat.

September 29, 2006, 07:43 PM
Yea. I'm just irked at the holster wear already being shown on my P2K. It's like the laser etched letters on my slide are grinding with the holster as I pull it out or it's making contact some other way.

I've heard that armor all is a good thing to put inside a kydex holster to lube. Don't know how long it'd last though.

September 29, 2006, 08:26 PM
I generally prefer leather. Though kydex is faster.

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