Benefits/Drawbacks of Leather vs. Kydex ?


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jpohl402
February 17, 2010, 12:59 AM
Can someone please summarize....
The only real holster I have actually used - and absolutely love - is a kydex Comp-Tac C-tec IWB....
Thanks in advance

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mactex
February 17, 2010, 06:37 PM
I have a leather and kydex holster and was a bit surprised when I found that the leather side was wearing my gun more than the kydex side. YMMV.

Comedian
February 17, 2010, 09:36 PM
I own and have carried in both, and I prefer kydex. I made a quick list below of what comes to mind with regards to the good and bad of both, but it's hardly extensive.

Leather Pros and Cons:
+ Looks better then kydex when worn with a suit
+ Slightly more comfortable when worn IWB
- Generally thicker then kydex holsters
- If you want a non-production holster lead time is usually more then half a year
- Maybe this has changed since I last shopped for a holster, but leather tends to be more expensive then an equivalent kydex offering
- In my experience, leather is harder on a gun's finish
- Leather will break down from exposure to the elements much quicker then kydex

Kydex Pros and Cons:
+ Thinner then leather
+ Lighter then leather
+ Many are modular or have user switchable attachment points (like raven concealment's line of holsters)
+ Usually cheaper then leather and has shorter wait period for non-production offerings
+ More durable then leather
+ Allows for a faster and more consistent draw
+ Doesn't collapse when the pistol is drawn
- Doesn't look as nice as leather
- Many don't find the texture of kydex to be particularly comfortable

ichiban
February 18, 2010, 07:34 PM
Then there is the hybrid Silent Thunder - leather lined kydex. I use it for IWB and am very happy with it.
http://rlcompanyusa.stores.yahoo.net/sithky.html

jpohl402
February 19, 2010, 12:38 PM
Thanks !

RedAlert
February 19, 2010, 05:34 PM
There are a couple of additional factors to consider. The kydex holsters or the injection molded holsters tend to be more rigid and not sit as close to the body or conform to the body as well as leather. With the kydex holsters, you have more retention options than the standard "thumb break strap" common to leather.

Leather does have the reputation of absorbing moisture; perhaps a factor to consider more with blued pistols in high humidity areas.

Personally, I'm using a Fobus for my P229, but I am looking for a nice leather one for when I want to dress up my rig a little more.

Ralph

jpohl402
February 20, 2010, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the replies gentlemen !

Comedian really hit the nail on the head with his answer, that summed it up for me.

usmarine0352_2005
February 20, 2010, 06:28 PM
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Here's why not to wear a Kydex paddle holster.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDeKtgkZKmQ


.

jakryan
March 1, 2010, 10:27 PM
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Here's why not to wear a Kydex paddle holster.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDeKtgkZKmQ


.
Never cared for paddle holsters of any make/material, but that video is more than a bit disturbing.

usmarine0352_2005
March 1, 2010, 11:30 PM
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Never cared for paddle holsters of any make/material, but that video is more than a bit disturbing.



Why not?



I think the Blackhawk Serpa Paddle is very good and very secure.
.

JimGnitecki
April 16, 2010, 12:59 PM
I have not personally sued a kydex holster, but Massad Ayoob says that they make a distinctive sound as the gun is drawn, and so are not suitable where the draw needs to be unannounced.

Jim G

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