Milt Sparks users: Horse or Cow hide?


July 17, 2008, 06:52 AM
They are about the same price in the V.M. II, pros and cons of each?

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July 17, 2008, 08:17 AM
I've had the VM II in both, and really noticed absolutely no difference between the 2. My 1911 was carried in a horsehide, which I no longer have as I no longer have a 1911. My 3913 rides in a cowhide VM II. Really, pretty much the same from my experience.

July 17, 2008, 08:32 AM
O.K. thanks Aahzz. So it's not like their Watch Six (or was it Summer Special), anyways I read that one of their holsters was either smooth side out or in depending on if it were cow or horse hide. NOt so with the V.M.II? Same parts smooth, same parts rough with your two?

Tough call, since they are almost identical prices (almost wish there were more difference to make it easier L.O.L.)! Hard to find any negatives about the V.M.II. How is your 3913 doing with that, any nitpicks?

July 17, 2008, 09:04 AM
My horsehide WS1 holsters, are smooth in and out. The horsehide is quite a bit thinner and more ridged:)

July 17, 2008, 09:33 AM
If you call up and order they won't ask you which you want. They will give you a cow hide on the outside (part away from your body) and horse hide on the inside (part touching your body). I assume they know what is best and I just go with it.

July 17, 2008, 09:57 AM
I have had both, and have never noticed a difference, other than the cowhide outside seems to be boned a little better to the gun.

I do think all are horsehide next to your skin?

When I buy VM2's now, I just order without specifying.

Flame Red
July 17, 2008, 10:06 AM
I believe that Horsehide will stand up to sweet better than Cowhide. Cowhide can be formed to the shape of the gun better than Horsehide.

July 17, 2008, 10:08 AM
MIlt SParks #Axiom - I don't think there are any options 'cept for
color - mine's Cordovan - for my 1911.

#AW200 - It's 'lined' which means they don't use 1 piece of
approx. 12 oz leather, they use two pieces of 6-7 oz. leather
with the rough sides glued together so it's smooth on the
inside and outside as well. So, I went full boat and got the
basketweave as well for a 686P 4" Bbl. the outside on
the #AW200 designed by Hank SLoan of the FBI has the upward
extension on the outside which comes up and shields the
hammer - Elmer Keith requisted this as he kept tearing the
inside liner of his coats drawing his .44.

I've got the cowhide belt as well, it's the best belt I've ever
owned and supports the gun/holster like it was
duh, built for it.


July 17, 2008, 10:14 AM
Some makers shake their heads wondering why people are willing to pay more for horsehide than cowhide. Horsehide is less expensive to buy wholesale and offers little, if any, quantifiable advantage.

It also doesn't mold as snugly and doesn't take dyes as nicely.

Zach S
July 17, 2008, 10:40 AM
Horsehide is more dense than cowhide, so it doesn't absorb anything as well. That's why horsehide holsters aren't boned or dyed as well as cowhide holsters. On another note, some people prefer HH because it wont absorb as much sweat.

The reason HH holsters are more expensive is because the denser material is harder to work with. Its like comparing carbon and stainless steel. A lot of folks with charge more for machinework (dovetails, etc) on a stainless gun than a carbon gun because stainless is harder on the tooling.

There's only about a two dollar difference, so I'll probably get the HH when I get a VMII, which I've been meaning to do for years.

Its personal preference. If you take care of it, a cowhide holster will last as long as a horsehide.

July 17, 2008, 10:44 AM
How is your 3913 doing with that, any nitpicks?

It does very well with that. It's an extremely comfy holster, and conceals very, very well. No complaints here!

I do frequently tend to wear it OWB (between the belt and the waistband), but that's more sue to the fact that my weight is currently chaning (for the better!) and the pants I've just moved down to are a little too snug for IWB - it'ss go back IWB in another 5 pounds or so :). I'm pleased that I can use it either way, and still find it very easy to keep hidden.

The Bushmaster
July 17, 2008, 11:03 AM
I use a Kramer Leather horse hide IWB holster for my CCW. Horse hide stands up to humidity and sweat much better then cow hide. Doesn't form to the pistol as good as cow hide? Gimme a break here. Mine is custom fitted and is a mirror to the weapon that it is fitted to...Including an imprint of the thumb safety in the ON position to aid in maintaining it in the ON position while holstered...

July 17, 2008, 12:54 PM
I prefer the horsehide for my concealment holsters because it is denser and absorbs less moisture. I really do not care that it does not take the dye as well as cowhide as those holsters are seldom seen by anyone outside of my immediate family. I have not noticed any boning issues as all of my Sparks holsters exhibit great gun retention. I also like the moisture barrier that is offered on some of the Sparks holsters, including the HR-LTD.

My preference for open carry, when offered, is a sharkskin layer on the exterior as I have found it is more abrasion resistant than anything else. I have a few #200AWs for S&W K-frames and N-frames with the sharkskin exterior and they are great for being out in the woods. I also have an HSR for my FA 97s with the sharkskin and it is a great holster as well.

July 17, 2008, 12:57 PM

July 17, 2008, 04:33 PM
How those V.M.II's look so finely contoured for their specific pistol was a huge part of the attraction, but as long as retention is equal that's O.K. if I lost a little of that perfection, along with not as deep of a dye job- because I am kind of a sweater, and it does get humid in TX. So something to think about.

But anyways, now that I know the pros and cons of H.H. and C.H. (and sharkskin!), I can make an informed decision. Thanks a ton for everyone's input.

July 17, 2008, 05:08 PM
The detail of the gun is still top notch in the horsehide, the black dye looks very good also. You can tell pretty easily that this is for a Glock:)

Big Boomer
July 18, 2008, 02:14 AM
Horsehide and add some shark for that added flair! Horse just seems to wear better my vm2 is 2 years old with daily wear and my 1911 still "snaps" in to the holster.

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