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Did I ruin my holster?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by Hunter125, Sep 7, 2011.

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  1. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    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.
     
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    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.
     
  3. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    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.
     
  4. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    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.
     
  5. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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  6. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    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.
     
  7. 4thPointOfContact

    4thPointOfContact Member

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    Oil is for baseball gloves. My sorrows for your difficulties with the holster.
    Tell dad he owes you a GOOD dinner.
     
  8. Eaglestroker

    Eaglestroker Member

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    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.
     
  9. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    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
     
  10. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    I agree. Better yet, have Dad replace it. :)
     
  11. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    I'm a big boy, it's not my dad's fault that I took his advice without checking into it first.
     
  12. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    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.
     
  13. heeler

    heeler Member

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    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.
     
  14. denster

    denster Member

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    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.
     
  15. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Wipe it down with break clean, don't sound like it can hurt it worse than it already is. It will remove all oil;)
     
  16. denster

    denster Member

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    Do not wipe is down with break cleaner. Just leave it be and it will be fine.
     
  17. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    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.
     
  18. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    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.
     
  19. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    ^^^Better listen to him^^^

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

    T Bran Member

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    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
     
  21. Eaglestroker

    Eaglestroker Member

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    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.
     
  22. denster

    denster Member

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    +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.
     
  23. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    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.
     
  24. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    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.
     
  25. Eaglestroker

    Eaglestroker Member

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    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.

    You gun, your leather, your results may vary :D
     
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