Did I ruin my holster?


PDA






Hunter125
September 7, 2011, 10:24 PM
I bought a leather OWB Blackhawk holster last weekend for my XDm. It was very tight to draw, but very comfortable. My dad suggested that I rub gun oil into the inside to help break it in and make the draw easier.
Well, I either way over did the oil, or shouldn't have done it in the first place. The oil soaked through the leather and discolored the outside of the holster.
I know that it at least needs to dry before I wear it, but I'm not sure what else I need to do. I am afraid it is going to leave oily spots on my clothing if it doesn't dry out enough.
Any suggestions, or is it a lost cause?
The gun does draw easier now by the way.

If you enjoyed reading about "Did I ruin my holster?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Valkman
September 7, 2011, 10:30 PM
Yea it'll draw easier, because you probably ruined the holster. Never use oil on a holster - ask the maker what to do next time.

Hunter125
September 7, 2011, 11:10 PM
What should you do for breaking in a leather holster? I know you said ask the holster manufacturer, but in general, what should you do for a leather holster? I take good care of my leather boots and have cleaning oil and lotion and protectant for them, but I didn't know anything about leather holsters, so I just took my dad's advice.

The Lone Haranguer
September 7, 2011, 11:11 PM
Sorry, but I can think of nothing that will salvage it. :( Gun oils have aromatic solvents/carriers in them which will evaporate, but the oil itself doesn't, especially after it has permeated the pores of the leather. For that matter, don't even use oils made for treating leather (e.g., neatsfoot) on a holster. This is OK for shoes and boots that have to bend with your foot, but a holster must remain rigid if it is to function properly.

The Lone Haranguer
September 7, 2011, 11:14 PM
Holster break-in advice from High Noon: http://highnoonholsters.com/_Questions/_questions.html#4

GCBurner
September 7, 2011, 11:28 PM
I don't think you've got anything to lose at this point by trying drastic measures to salvage the holster. You might try de-oiling it by washing it thoroughly in hot water with something like Dawn dishwashing detergent. Towel it off and rewash until oil no longer shows on the towel. While the leather is still wet, wrap the gun in plastic wrap and fit it tightly in the holster, then let it air-dry. When it dries, it may regain most of its original stiffness.
If not, get a Kydex holster next time.

4thPointOfContact
September 7, 2011, 11:34 PM
Oil is for baseball gloves. My sorrows for your difficulties with the holster.
Tell dad he owes you a GOOD dinner.

Eaglestroker
September 7, 2011, 11:38 PM
Water is an even worse idea. It will likely loose its retention if you do that - chock this one up to experience and replace it.

Hunter125
September 8, 2011, 12:16 AM
It does have a thumb break if that matters. I make my own belts and have some leather finish and sealer. Would the sealer work if I put it on, or would it just make matters worse?
btw, 4thPoint - that is why he told me to put oil on it in the first place, baseball gloves

Valkman
September 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
chock this one up to experience and replace it.

I agree. Better yet, have Dad replace it. :)

Hunter125
September 8, 2011, 01:46 AM
I'm a big boy, it's not my dad's fault that I took his advice without checking into it first.

JTQ
September 8, 2011, 10:17 AM
Be thankful you learned this lesson on a Blackhawk holster and not on a Milt Sparks or Matt Del Fatti holster that you waited months on and spent over $100 (maybe waaay over) for.

Each time you buy a holster you learn something new about them. That's why most of us have more than one, sometimes many, many, more than one.

heeler
September 8, 2011, 02:50 PM
Galco sells a very small bottled product called Draw-EZ that you can put inside a new holster that supposedly will not soak into the leather or discolor it nor does it in anyway change the molded shape of the holster and it helps to speed up the break in process on new leather holsters.
I bought some for $7.00 at a small gun shop and intend to use it tonight on my two new RKBA pocket holsters.

denster
September 8, 2011, 08:03 PM
Unless you soaked it in oil you haven't ruined it, although gun oil is not a good thing for leather. Give it a couple of days and the oil will migrate through the fibers and the discoloration will go away.
The best way to break in a leather holster is just wear it with the gun in for a few hours and it will stretch slightly as it acclimates to your shape and how tightly you buckle your belt.

JDGray
September 8, 2011, 08:17 PM
Wipe it down with break clean, don't sound like it can hurt it worse than it already is. It will remove all oil;)

denster
September 8, 2011, 08:25 PM
Do not wipe is down with break cleaner. Just leave it be and it will be fine.

Strykervet
September 8, 2011, 08:30 PM
Be thankful you learned this lesson on a Blackhawk holster and not on a Milt Sparks or Matt Del Fatti holster that you waited months on and spent over $100 (maybe waaay over) for.

Each time you buy a holster you learn something new about them. That's why most of us have more than one, sometimes many, many, more than one.
Yep. Milt Sparks, my favorite, they say to only wrap the pistol in a plastic bag and then use that for a while to open it up some. I've never even done that though. I don't oil them or anything, I just use 'em.

If you were to use oil, I'd think you'd want to use the oil that they use for baseball mitts. Emu oil or whatever. But a good holster is made with leather that is sealed, and I go for horesehide when I can because it is naturally that way and a little tougher.

Yeah, lucky you learned it on a cheaper one. Go check out Milt Sparks if you want a real nice one, that VMII and a good gun belt and I never looked back. Don't oil it though.

Strykervet
September 8, 2011, 08:31 PM
I don't know if I'd use brake cleaner. That is some tough stuff. If they used a leather that isn't properly sealed you could end up damaging it more.

You should call a leathersmith in your area and ask him what to do if you want to try anything else.

JDGray
September 8, 2011, 08:31 PM
^^^Better listen to him^^^

Oil won't evaporate, so good luck getting it to go away without some help.

T Bran
September 8, 2011, 08:31 PM
30 Years ago I sprayed my holster down with gun oil with the intent of waterproofing it still using it no problems yet. Just leave it be for a while itll be fine once the oil soaks in evenly. If you pack it with some papertowels a little oil might soak out into them.
T

Eaglestroker
September 8, 2011, 08:34 PM
Some, myself included, use Johnsons Paste Wax rubbed on the gun for an extremely tight fit. The plastic wrap actually stretches the leather and I prefer mine on the tight side. The best thing for a snug holster is to be worn though.

denster
September 8, 2011, 09:02 PM
+1 on what eaglestroker said. Do not wrap the gun in plastic wrap if you are to impatient to just wear it for a couple of hours with the gun in then the Johnsons paste wax is a solution.
In any case if you only used a small amount of gun oil it will eventually (few days) evenly migrate through the fibers and the discoloration will go away. I dip natural colored (undyed) holsters in neetsfoots oil prior to finishing. The immediate results are colors from light to dark brown. After about two to three days it is an even tan color.
Using brake cleaner or some other harsh chemical besides being detrimental to the leather will remove whatever finish was used on the holster.

Hunter125
September 9, 2011, 01:26 AM
I am starting to panic a little less. Denster, I think you may be right, the discoloration is already going away and the outside of the leather is not oily at all now. I cannot even smell gun oil on it any longer, so hopefully I didn't use enough to damage it permanently. I don't think I will be using brake cleaner, but thanks for all the advice.

GCBurner
September 9, 2011, 12:11 PM
Water is an even worse idea. It will likely loose its retention if you do that - chock this one up to experience and replace it.
Not really. Natural leather, as opposed to the synthetic stuff, can take getting soaked with water. Most of the form-fitting custom holsters are made by wet-molding the leather around a model of the specific gun, and letting it dry and shrink to a tight fit.

Eaglestroker
September 9, 2011, 07:15 PM
I've never used anything but vegetable tanned leather so I can not comment on other materials effectiveness. I just go by Milt Sparks recommendations - they've done it a little longer than myself and have more experience than most of us.

To block out (stretch) your new holster first UNLOAD your pistol or revolver and place the gun into the 4 mil plastic bag that your new holster was packaged in. Then carefully insert the bagged gun all the way into the holster (do not! I repeat, do not!! wet or spray the holster with any solution to aid in the stretching process). The blocking out process as described above will in no way harm the crisp detailed molding of your new holster, nor will it ruin its retention qualities.You gun, your leather, your results may vary :D

Quoheleth
September 9, 2011, 07:58 PM
If you have access to untreated sawdust, that MIGHT help wick away some of the oil. Fill a gallon zip bag with sawdust and put the holster into the bag. Let is sit for a day or two.

At this point, it can't do any harm.

Q

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 9, 2011, 08:08 PM
When I purchased a leather holster and belt rig, the instructions told me to NOT use any kind of oil on it (them)! Oil (like Neatsfoot Oil, for Leather), has a tendency to soften leather, which would cause the FORM of the leather to become lost!

denster
September 9, 2011, 08:33 PM
Neatsfoot oil used in moderation will not cause a holster to loose it's form. Read don't soak the holster in oil for an extended period of time. A lot of makers, myself included, use neatsfoot to treat holsters prior to the final finish. It guards against drying out and cracking of the leather. Unless you virtually saturate the holster it is good for the leather not bad.

CraigC
September 10, 2011, 02:19 PM
What should you do for breaking in a leather holster?
Use it. A new holster, like a new pair of shoes or boots, should be tight and somewhat uncomfortable. Just wear it and use it for a little while and it will ease up. Clean and maintain holsters with saddle soap, not oil.

AK_Maine_iac
September 11, 2011, 05:25 PM
My dad used to make all kinds of form fitted holsters. He had a system of using wooden carved guns of any given model. Was not that many to deal with back in the fifties and 60's. He would wet them down then clean the leather with saddle soap. Place them with the gun mold in an oven set at the lowest temp apx. 100 degrees to dry slowly and take shape. The only oil or grease he would use on them was a very light coat of Vaseline on the outside. From then on that is all you had to do. clean once in a while with saddle soap and another thin coat of Vaseline.
The only way to stretch a holster is to place the gun into a plastic bag and re-insert it into the holster and let it set (rest) over night. If still tight the next day double bag it and repeat until you have the fit you like.
That last statement could be taken wrong:evil::evil:

You could place your gun into your holster and place it on a window sill in the sun to warm it and help to dry it out. It may re-shape and tighten it back up.

Thatguy686
October 1, 2011, 02:32 AM
your best bet to break in the holster is to make sure the gun is unloaded and reholster repeatedly and wear the holster without the gun it will bend and flex and loosen up a little

Hunter125
October 1, 2011, 09:55 PM
Just as an update, the holster dried out in a few days and I have been using it pretty consistently. It is not as stiff as it was before, but it fits well and is smooth to draw and reholster. Maybe I did do the wrong thing, but it seems to have worked out and I don't think the holster is ruined.

Snowbandit
October 1, 2011, 10:09 PM
I usually just leave a gun in a tight fitting holster over-night. By morning they have always stretched themselves to fit. It sounds like you may have got lucky this time. Wouldn't count on that happening again.

If you enjoyed reading about "Did I ruin my holster?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!