Holster wear on a stainless slide - how to prevent it?


January 10, 2010, 10:49 AM
I have a thing for 3rd generation S&W's. I am wondering, how can I prevent holster wear on my stainless steel slides? Is there a type of holster that is better in helping to prevent this? I really like my Don Hume, but about 2" of the barrel is exposed and sits against my jeans when wearing. The Fobus I have seems so tight that it seems like it would scratch it all up when you take the gun in and out. So any suggestions? THANK YOU in advance!

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January 10, 2010, 12:59 PM
You can try to keep grit out of the holster, but you won't be able to eliminate all scratches. It may be fairly easy to hide them; technique depends on whether the part has a brushed, polished, sand-blasted or bead-blasted finish. I like stainless because there is no applied finish that can get rubbed through.
For a brushed finish, I have used a bit of 320 or 400-grit emery paper glued to the eraser on a pencil. For a sand-blasted finish, I lay a piece of courser sandpaper over the scratch and tap with a brass hammer.

You might want to test this first in an inconspicuous area, like under the grips, or the bottom of the slide. Don't touch the frame if it's aluminum.

January 10, 2010, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the info!

January 10, 2010, 02:15 PM
Get a holster that does cover the end of your pistol. Over time, it will protect from dents and dings. One spill onto pavement or rocky ground will make a guy wish he had used a full-coverage hoslter.

+1 on keeping dust, which usually contains some level of of grit, out of your holster.

January 10, 2010, 03:27 PM
Leather holsters tend to wear more overall on the guns finish as opposed to a couple of specific points with a kydex type holster. Either way, your going to get wear. The only way not to is not to wear the gun.

Kydex doesnt usually have the issue of embedded dirt and grit that leather does. It also cleans up real easy with a quick rinse in the sink.

Down side with it is, it will polish up those contact points and will probably be more noticeable at those points than the overall wear from leather. Other than those points though, the rest of the gun will look like new. Well, except for those parts of the gun outside the holster. :)

The Bushmaster
January 10, 2010, 04:38 PM
I have a better idea. Don't put it in a holster. There...Wasn't that simple?:banghead:

Other then that...Use leather holsters that fit the gun and hold it snug...:)

January 10, 2010, 05:01 PM
Thanks all! I think I will just enjoy carrying the gun, and if it gets holster wear, well then it does I guess.

January 10, 2010, 08:19 PM
All finishes that wear off show holster wear. I've found that engraved stainless shows less holster wear than anything I've got. Scratches and wear don't seem to show in the stainless. This P90 has been carried over 5 years daily in a Milt Sparks VM2HS IWB Holster and its hard to see any wear or scratches on it. Most of the wear shows on top of the sights.

January 12, 2010, 06:40 PM
What gun are you talking about? If holster wear really bothers you, consider having it hard chromed. With an astounding Rockwell hardness and the appearance of stainless, the finish is thin and enduring. Holster wear should be zero.

January 12, 2010, 06:46 PM
This may sound harsh, but you just have to deal with it. It's like wanting shoes that won't wear, it just won't happen. If you plan on using both gun and holster in the manner they are designed for, you get wear.

If you don't want to have holster wear, don't holster the firearm. Only option is to buy 2 pistols and keep one NIB in the safe.

Personally, I'd be more respectful of someone with a well-worn but mechanically-sound pistol, than someone who babies his pistol.

January 12, 2010, 07:16 PM
Hard chrome isnt immune to holster wear either. This Colt was hard chromed due to rust, and spent every day of the next ten years or so of its life, in and out of a Blade Tech kydex holster. The black streaks are actually polished chrome, and mirror bright.


No matter what you do, if you carry a pistol, its going to get beat up over time, and especially if you have an active lifestyle. The holster wear is actually the least of your worries. Whats exposed generally takes the brunt of it. For me, the sights and grips seem to get it the most.

January 12, 2010, 07:33 PM
Holster wear just adds more character to your gun.

Unless your gun is collectible and must be kept in pristine condition to maintain it's value then I say don't worry about it.

January 12, 2010, 07:38 PM
+1 P97

Nice gun


January 12, 2010, 07:39 PM
WOW! That Ruger is Pimptastic.

January 12, 2010, 08:02 PM
I'm afraid if you carry, your gonna get some wear.

I personally don't mind a little wear, if it's not excessive.

I think "pristine" safe guns - look like pristine safe guns. :)

The Lone Haranguer
January 12, 2010, 08:08 PM
Somewhat like "good" and "bad" cholesterol, there is "good" and "bad" holster wear. The "good" kind just burnishes contact points and adds "character." The bad kind results from the gun slipping and flopping around in a sloppy-fitting holster.

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