horsehide vs. cowhide holster comparison


January 5, 2003, 02:04 AM
What are the differences between horsehide and cowhide as a holster material?

I see horsehide costs more for Milt Sparks holsters - better stuff?

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January 5, 2003, 02:11 AM
Lots of quality Holster Mfg's out there. Here is a link , got to ? and this explains pretty well:

January 5, 2003, 02:15 AM

tons of info (

Phil in Seattle
January 10, 2003, 08:15 PM
From the FAQ at www.kramerleather .com

"Is horsehide really better for holster making than cowhide?
Horsehide is an extremely dense, non-porous leather. Until the end of the 1930's horsehide was the leather of choice for products that required extreme durability. The density and non-porous nature of horsehide which makes it such a durable leather, is also the reason that horsehide does not dye uniformly in colors other than black. If multiple pieces are crafted from horsehide and dyed tan or mahogany, there is a very good chance that each piece will have a slight color variations. Black will be uniform. These color variances are considered part of the natural beauty of horsehide and attest to it's authenticity. Horsehide holsters will last longer and withstand considerably more abuse than a cowhide counterpart. U.S. Navy SEAL TEAMS use our horsehide rigs for extended salt water operations. Cowhide will not stand up this kind of use. YES, there is no question about it, horsehide is more durable than cowhide. This however, is not say that cowhide doesn't make a fine holster that will provide many years of hard service if properly cared for. But, if you want the ultimate in holster leather, horsehide is the answer.

El Tejon
January 10, 2003, 08:16 PM
Neigh, neigh from the sacred cow, stay away!:D

January 11, 2003, 01:02 PM
There is no reason to feel bad about cow hide either but dead equis makes a pretty good carry rig. Case in point is this completely first rate rig from Kramer. The belt, ammo pouch and holster are all horsehide. Almost makes you wish for open carry.

January 11, 2003, 02:58 PM
Years ago, during a 'phone converation on an order, Milt Sparks told me in very definite terms that GOOD quality cowhide is equal to horsehide in every respect. The trick is finding a maker who can judge the quality of the hides he buys, and has the talent to get the best out of them. Several (Sparks [and Kanely], Alessi, for just a few) are in this class. Kramer began working in horsehide. His early cowhide offerings were substantially below the line, IMO, and have improved a great deal since - just proves that he pays attention, and remains quality conscious.

Dave Williams
January 11, 2003, 05:38 PM
Very cool rig, and nice revolver, that's the Thomas Perfectionist, correct?


January 11, 2003, 06:00 PM
yeh. Mark Pixler at Dillon put me onto it. Comfortable rig.

Duane Thomas
October 20, 2007, 09:58 AM

I read your article on the Perfectionist and thought it was very well-written. I did notice however there was one person in particular whose name was not mentioned in it. :lol:


Big Boomer
October 20, 2007, 02:54 PM
Just what the above post says, spend the extra $20-40 and get horsehide for all your primary carry rigs.

Horsehide feels more like a soft kydex in a way my guns literally "snap" into place .

I can hold my holster upside down and shake it and my gun will not come out. I can still draw and reholster with ease.

One of these matched with a good gun belt are simply unbeatable. Here is a pic of my primary carry. The "bumpy" leather is shark skin even more durable and rugged.

The belt is Shark, the mag carriers cowhide (if you look closely at the grain you can tell the difference) and the holster is horse/shark

October 20, 2007, 03:54 PM
This thread is like how many years old?

Slow day spent with google there Duane?

Duane Thomas
October 21, 2007, 11:21 PM

October 22, 2007, 01:03 AM
Night of the Living Thread.

November 6, 2007, 07:52 PM
Gorgeous belt...

August 8, 2009, 11:03 PM
Back to Life..

I have been looking for a nice IWB and OWB. Going with the Horsehide by Kramer for the Glock / Sig and HK..

August 30, 2009, 08:14 PM
i've been looking at a Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe holster for my Sig P239... havent seen anything but great reviews on them. i was thinking about the horsehide option on it as well... anyone have/try one of these?

August 31, 2009, 09:08 PM
This thread may be ancient, but I just bookmarked the High Noon website. Great stuff there.

May 27, 2010, 07:07 PM

Similar to that attributed to Milt Sparks, above.

May 28, 2010, 02:27 AM
You're kidding, right? This thread originated in 2003 and it's now 2010. Even the zombies forgot about this thread... wow

May 28, 2010, 11:13 AM
I like this thread. It lies dormant for a few years, and just when you think it's gone, BAM! it's back.

May 28, 2010, 11:45 AM
So sharkskin is better than both cowhide and horsehide?

THe Dove
May 30, 2010, 01:31 PM
Get ready boys cause I'm gonna stir the pot. Here it goes!!!! Cattle have hides and horses have skin. Hides are tougher (critters with hides sweat out of their noses not their bodies, cattle, deer etc). Skin is not as tough (critters with skin sweat out of their bodies, ie horses, mules etc) This has been explained to me by several old timers. I don't know for a fact but this is what I've been told.

Now I will sit back, sip my Jack and see what ya'll come up with.

The Dove

May 30, 2010, 02:25 PM
I have heard that for the same amount of strength and stiffness horsehide is much thinner than comparable cowhide. Should make the overall task of concealment easier.

May 30, 2010, 02:50 PM
Old thread . . .

So sharkskin is better than both cowhide and horsehide?

I don't know about "better". Sharkskin is unique. I've owned a sharkskin belt for some 6 years now. Shark doesn't scratch or scuff. If you take your thumbnail and scratch across cow or horse leather, it will scuff. Shark won't.

May 30, 2010, 05:28 PM
Sounds like sharkskin is better...

May 30, 2010, 07:02 PM
I'm sure there's a reason?, but many MotoGP rider suits are made of kangaroo as they're supposed to be as tough or tougher (AFA abrasion resistance), but lighter.

May 30, 2010, 11:38 PM
Sounds like sharkskin is better...

Not better. Just different. It doesn't bone, so mine is overlayed on top of a traditional hide. I just has a nice look, and it's very resilient and durable. But it really doesn't do well by itself.

And it costs more. I was willing to pay extra for the look and the durability of shark.

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