Do Kydex holsters cause more finish wear on a gun than leather?


November 9, 2008, 11:09 AM
Looking for a holster for a P7 PSP and I've read a few recommendations for some Kydex models. My concern is the effect Kydex might have on the finish of the gun.

Also, is Kydex comfortable to carry? It seems like it would dig into you. I use a leather holster for my current CCW gun, and I like it.

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November 9, 2008, 05:33 PM
No one uses Kydex holsters?

November 9, 2008, 05:39 PM
Because I have some kydex knife sheaths, I'm not inclined to own them in holsters.

Great against weather and deformity, bad for leaving micro scratches.

Leather is simply more forgiving in both applications, but requires care and will likely fail/rot earlier.

November 9, 2008, 05:52 PM
I have heard of scratches happening when sand or other stuff gets in them but my gun is a tool tools get worn looking with use.

If your worried about protecting its finish stick with leather but leather has to be protected also.

rick melear
November 9, 2008, 06:05 PM
I have carried a Kahr P9 in kydex for a couple of years now with no wear to speak of. It is a poly frame with a stainless slide so wouldn't show wear like a blued gun. The key is to keep the inside of the holster clean which can be simply done with soap and water. I prefer kydex for IWB over leather.

November 9, 2008, 06:06 PM
If you keep them clean, Kydex is no more inclined to scratch a gun then leather.

Let them get dirty & full of grit however, and any kind of holster will wear the finish off sooner or later.

November 9, 2008, 06:47 PM
Kydex will wear the finish faster than "most" leather, but only in the areas where it actually makes contact with the gun.
Good Kydex holsters only grip the gun in key areas, like around the trigger guard and ejection port.

The plastic will abrade the finish rather fast, but the wear is self-limiting. It wears those small areas and no more.

Leather is "designed" to flex and stretch, and as a leather holster wears, it does stretch out of shape.
As it does so, the leather makes more and more contact with the gun.
Result is, the more areas the stretching leather touches, the wider and wider the gun finish is worn.

For this reason, you'll see a pistol carried in a good Kydex holster with finish wear on the contact areas and not much else.
A gun carried in a leather holster, especially a soft one or one that's old and stretched from use, will have the entire gun's finish worn.

The best leather holsters from the stand point of not wearing the finish are modern STIFF, HARD leather holsters .
The worst are those lined with suede, "elk", or pig skin.
The soft, sueded leather attracts and holds dirt and grit, and the soft surface makes more contact over a wider area than a smooth inside finish holster.
The combination of soft surface and grit abrades the finish.

GOOD Kydex holsters will wear the contact areas fast, making some people think it's going to really wear all the finish fast.
Since the inside of Kydex is slick and smooth, grit and dirt can simply be wiped or better, washed off.

Jim Watson
November 9, 2008, 07:08 PM
My Safarilaminate holsters - leather outside for looks, synthetic for stiffness, and suede inside for the soft touch - are the easiest on the gun's finish that I have. I have NOT seen the suede lining to pick up grit and wear the finish.

But that composite construction is heavy and expensive, and the leather drags on the draw.
Kydex is cheaper, faster, and lighter. I will put up with some finish wear for all that.

November 9, 2008, 07:43 PM
In my experience, holster wear will eventually start to show on any handgun that is carried for an extended period of time in leather or kydex. Because I treat my carry guns as tools, I accept the associated holster wear as the normal process that occurs in using a tool. I've used a kydex IWB for my G26 for almost two years and the little Glock's finish seems to be holding up quite well. In addition to excellent weapon retention, I like the fact that kydex is impervious to perspiration.

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