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Which holster material generates the least wear?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by tiamat, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. tiamat

    tiamat Well-Known Member

    All I've ever used are leather holsters, and we all know what a gun's finish looks like after living most of its live in a leather holster (perhaps glock's excluded).

    I'd like to get a holster for my S&W 5904 (round trigger guard) just so I can carry it when I'm at the range, or around the house, or if I just decide to carry it out that day. Since this pistol won't be my EDC, I'm thinking a paddle holster would work best for me.

    I'm looking for something that will keep finish wear to a minimum and wondering what material would be best for that - leather? kydex? plastic?
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    A leather holster tends to gently buff the whole surface of the gun, wearing the whole gun evenly.

    A plastic or kydex holster touches the gun in a few spots only, and wears them down to shiny metal relatively quickly.

    Meaning, they both wear about the same amount, but in different ways. Both will do some unpleasant things quickly if they have dirt/grit inside and aren't cleaned out.
  3. mousegun380

    mousegun380 Well-Known Member

    I have had great luck with the combination holsters. They have both leather and kydex. The Crossbreed Supertuck and Snapslide are good examples. As the previous poster said the kydex contacts the gun only in some places, but I think the leather backing gives the holster more flexibility than a 100% kydex one. It's like kydex with a cushion and also without the 100% contact of a completely leather holster.
  4. bill3424

    bill3424 Well-Known Member

    Tough question to answer as any holster will create wear. I'll go out on a limb and say that my kydex holsters wear less, but I'm really splitting hairs.
  5. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    The best way to minimize holster wear is to minimize the number of entries and exits to and from the holster. A gun that's constantly drawn and re-holstered will suffer finish wear; there's no way around it. The way a holster will wear the gun's finish is way under the radar in my selection criteria. Holster wear on a gun just means the things gets practiced with properly.
  6. TAKtical

    TAKtical Well-Known Member

    I get this question 5-6 times a month. Leather wears more evenly, kydex wears quickly at the contact points. I honestly dont understand why people are so concerned with wear on their guns finish. Its a tool. Ive never been concerned with the finish of a hammer or screwdriver. The best way to keep a gun looking brand new is to never touch it.
  7. Mobuck

    Mobuck member

    A snug fitting leather holster is less likely to cause spot wear on the handgun as long as the inside of the holster stays clean. Kydex will cause finish wear quickly which is why I carry a polymer/stainless pistol. Even this combination is showing surface wear after 10-12 years. I've noticed the front of the trigger guard has some actual material wear from the retention area of the holster. This pistol gets holstered and drawn usually once a day so I'm sure a gun/holster that's drawn constantly would show even more.
    Regarding the comment about the carry gun being a tool, that's quite correct but I have and sometimes carry handguns that are less of a tool and more visually appealing than my common carry piece. Finding a wear spot on my Browning Hi-power after 2 hours of packing in a kydex holster was NOT what I expected.
  8. tiamat

    tiamat Well-Known Member

    wow, 2 hours and already shows holster wear?! yikes. Guess I'll stick with the good old leather. Would a lining help at all? Does anyone even make holsters with a lining?

    And yeah, about treating a gun as a tool. You may call it that, but I guarantee no one's just chucking their pistol into the back of their pickup truck like they would a hammer, come on. Would you do that to a precision set of calipers? of course not. And just because it's a 'tool' doesn't mean it has to look like <deleted>. I prefer to keep my tools in good shape.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2013
  9. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    Garrett Industries lines their kydex holsters with leather.


    Most leather holster makers offer some kind of lining for their holsters, either smooth leather, suede (not usually recommended to prevent holster wear), and some offer a synthetic lining. Sometimes it is advertised to reduce holster wear, but I think most linings are designed to provide a more durable holster.
  10. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    If I were concerned about wear on my guns....I wouldn't use them.
  11. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    The holster material is not what wears the finish off. The dust and grit trapped in the holster is the problem. We live in a gritty world.
  12. FourTeeFive

    FourTeeFive Well-Known Member

  13. TAKtical

    TAKtical Well-Known Member

    I dont see the point. You now have a leather holster wrapped in kydex. What is the benefit?
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Rigidness and speed of a kydex holster with the softness on the finish of a leather padding. It isn't a big enough perceived benefit for most users to bother with that but the idea has been mildly popular. I believe Safariland has made a few like that as well.
  15. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

    And as the name implies, Silent Thunder, the draw and reholster is quiet. It does not snap in or out of the holster like an unlined kydex holster. Drawing from kydex can make some noise at a time when you may not want noise. It is important for some.

    I have leather, kydex, and leather lined kydex. The leather lined kydex is really a nice draw. It must be experienced to appreciate.
  16. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    Rigidity, yes. Speed of a properly crafted holster? No way.
  17. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Well-Known Member

    It's not so much a function of the material as it is how clean it is, because its not the material itself that causes the wear but rather the dirt, sand, etc between the holster and gun. But it happens, and any gun that is carried will show some wear. It shouldn't even be a consideration when choosing a holster, in my opinion. If you don't want wear, don't carry it.
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Well, ok. If you say so.

    There are so many kinds of leather holster that it is hard to make a blanket statement, but I'd say that many kydex holsters are inherently faster on the draw than the very large majority of leather holster, primarily because they "snap" into place and tend to release the gun completely in the first <1/4" of upward movement, whereas most leather holsters tend to drag at least a little on the gun as it comes free.

    One reason why there are so few leather holsters seen in competition these days. Of course, cost is a factor as well. It's a lot cheaper to buy a great kydex holster (with adjustable retention tension, cant, etc.) than a really great leather holster (which won't have those niceties).

    But, those are just my observations. I've probably not seen all there is to see.
  19. FuzzyBunny

    FuzzyBunny Well-Known Member

    Someone needs to develop a slick silicone liner that is slippery and durable yet easy to clean.
  20. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

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