OK to store a gun in a leather holster?


December 7, 2007, 01:33 AM
I have a stainless Ruger SP101 revolver for my carry gun, and it rides around in a Galco leather holster. Here in MA, we have to keep our guns under lock and key (for our safety :barf:).

I have been putting the whole rig in one of my cases - gun in holster, then both into the case. Is there any reason not to do this? Ie, will oil, etc from the gun wear out the holster prematurely or will something in the leather wear the gun finish, or make it more likely to rust? What about moisture - will the holster trap more moisture and thus be likely to lead to rust than if I just put it in a case?

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Grandpa Shooter
December 7, 2007, 02:43 AM
Been storing guns in holsters for years in my pants, in my truck, in my nightstand, but never in a locked place. What difference will it make if the leather wears out the gun or vice versa if you aren't around to use it?

OOPS, that wasn't right. SORRY! No, I don't know of a case where the gun or holster would suffer unless you put it away oily or sweaty. Which of course would not be a good idea.

Slipped on my tongue there. Can't imagine having to lock up my self defense firearm.

December 7, 2007, 04:18 AM
Really depends on where you live. If you live in a dry place then there shouldn't be any problems, but if you live in a very humid place then there is a real danger that the leather will absorb and hold moisture directly against the metal of your pistol.

You won't wear out a holster by keeping the gun in it. A little bit of oil will always transfer from your pistol into the leather, but as long as you aren't going overboard with the oil, this shouldn't affect the shape of the leather.

December 7, 2007, 04:50 AM
I personally wouldn't do it, a long time ago when I started collecting high end swords and became a member of swordforum.com I was advised by everyone on there never to store my swords in their leather scabbards because the leather will trap moisture and can cause them to rust. Also I've heard that the chemicals used in tanning leather can hasten corrosion if kept in contact with metal for extended periods of time.

Whether all this applies to guns or not I don't know but I never wanted to take the chance, especially when I used to live on the coast of Maine. Out here in Arizona moisture isn't as much a problem but old habits die hard and I still never store anything in leather.

The Bushmaster
December 7, 2007, 10:07 AM
Store your firearm in leather? NO!! Carry it in leather? Yes...

December 7, 2007, 10:24 AM
Stainless steel is less likely to corrode in leather, but I would not store firearms in a leather holster

December 7, 2007, 10:49 AM
Interesting ... I might need to change a few things. Let's say that somebody had a 'bedroom gun' and kept it in a leather holster within reach. The holster seems necessary because it keeps lint and dust off the firearm. Maybe it would be better to buy a kydex for such use ???

December 7, 2007, 11:03 AM
I managed to cause rust on the blackened stainless steel slide of my Sig P239doing this. I was using a clip on Desantis leather holster. I would just unclip the whole rig and put it into my lock box, then get it back out the next morning and clip it back on.

I would not recomend it. Even with a stainless gun. They can rust.....

December 7, 2007, 11:12 AM
Kydex or other plastics should not cause a problem, as far as I know.....

Big Boomer
December 7, 2007, 11:40 AM
I have both a large collection of swords and guns. Guns, storage as long as it is in a humidity controlled environment and gets it care of cleaning and oiling. My revolvers all stay in holsters slung over the end of the bed posts.

Swords NO, swords have a high content of carbon steel. The carbon in the steel makes it very vulnerable to rust. I have rust spots now on one of my rapiers :(

One of my broadswords got a few spots but was easy enough to take out before the pitting got bad.

For that matter you should not even touch a sword on the blade without wiping it off and oiling as your fingerprints can and will be corrosive to the blades.

Obviously this is not the cast with stainless firearms, blued depending if left long enough and without being treated with oil can spot after a long time.

December 7, 2007, 12:01 PM
Stainless steel is vulnerable to attack from the salts used to cure the leather, and even the salts in sweat.
Chlorine is aggressive stuff, even as a chloride ion.

The Bushmaster
December 7, 2007, 03:42 PM
Lance22...No a holster does not keep lint off of or out of your handgun. All a holster is for is to retain it for easy use...Why would you keep your "night gun" in a holster anyway??

December 7, 2007, 03:51 PM
I have NOT found regular leather to be a good storage material for any metals. Brass bullets can turn nasty green, and steel can rust from trapped moisture. It doesn't breath well enough, as noted. I haven't found the same problem with horsehide treated with pine tar wax, at least not yet. But I wouldn't risk it for long term storage.

The best storage I've found is a case--leather or fabric--with that faux sheepskin liner and the "fur" around the firearm. It does a good job wicking the moisture away and allows air pockets around the firearm that allow moisture to evaporate.

December 7, 2007, 06:22 PM
I have always followed the general thought that holster storage is bad. But since I started ccw 4 years ago, my carry guns stay in their leather holsters (loaded) and in the safe when not actually on my body. In our house, we have decided this is safer than constant loading and unloading. My non-carry guns are stored unloaded on a rack in the safe.

I have had not any problems with this type of use/storage with either blued or stainless guns. I do, however, use quality holsters and wipe down these guns at least weekly. My safe also has a dehumidifier in it. If one of my holsters got wet, of course I would take the gun out of it.

December 7, 2007, 06:33 PM
I have seen more then one very nice old S&W "sock-drawer" gun ruined by being left in a leather holster for years.

I bought one Safety Hammerless that was apparently unfired after all those years, but the finish was completely ruined, and the top latch almost rusted through from contact with the leather.

Another problem with CCW leather or nylon holster storage is they soon become sweat soaked in hot weather. Then your gun is resting in a humid salt bath all night, every night.

Best to store out of the holster, and wipe it down when you take it off.

BTW: Here is another thread asking the same question about 10 posts down from yours.


December 7, 2007, 07:54 PM
I wouldn't do it. The leather will hold enough moisture to ruin the gun in the long run, and if you try putting dessicant in the safe, you'll ruin the holster by drying it out.

I also wouldn't be too confident in stainless steel living up to its name. I've had stainless rust on me.

Ala Dan
December 7, 2007, 09:22 PM

Don't ever store any firearm in a leather holster or gun case; as leather attracts mositure~! :eek: :scrutiny: ;)

December 9, 2007, 02:33 PM
Uncle Mike's IWB clip-ons


No rust and no hoslter wear marks.. ever.

I use nothing but Uncle Mike's #15, 15, 1, 5, 15, 1, IWB clip-ons, top to bottom, for storing my guns in my small safe. Each gun is lightly covered with EEZOX, for rust protection and a little comes off into the material of the holsters, making a tiny pattern on the metal parts that touch, and are easily wiped clean, but tells me they're protected.. lol

They, the UM's neoprene holsters, also prevent any from getting scratched, as the holsters muzzle-ends are closed and protect the guns barrels from any accidental hits going into the safe, along with any of the smaller guns from getting scratched, or putting a scratch on any of the other guns that I stack the 2 smaller guns on top of..

Same for putting any of the HD/SD weapons, on-duty, *on any tables, on top of my PC tower, etc., no scratches, and no dust, spiders..lol, getting into the barrel.

And if ya have to go outside, with gun, they are so easy, and fast, to clip on or just put in a front pocket.

Great, all around, inexpensive, holsters for so many "good" uses..


PS.. *no kids

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