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Holster irritating skin, burrs on edges of burnishing

Discussion in 'Handguns: Accessories, Holsters, and Optics' started by Nathan_s, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Nathan_s

    Nathan_s Member

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    I have a holster I bought a few years back for my Sig P238 from Tucker Gun Leather. I wore it a few times and it really irritated my skin, I found that the burnishing on the edges have some burrs on them which scratch and bother the skin after a while. I emailed them and they suggested putting olive oil on it which didn’t help. I ended up just throwing it in a drawer rather than dealing with it.

    Now I would like to revisit the holster. Does anyone have any suggestions for making the holster useable? Should I take some sandpaper to the edges or will that make it worse?
     

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  2. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Man up a little?;)

    Most IWB holsters bug me if I don't wear an undershirt.
     
  3. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Sandpaper won't make it any worse if it's just sitting in a draw. Try it. Then try the olive oil again (or vegetable oil), but really work it in. That should soften it up plenty.

    Or you could wear it and sweat all over it til it smooths out.
     
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  4. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I have fixed race gun holsters by attaching another piece of smooth thick leather to the side that grinds your ......... skin. This also jacks the holster away from your body slightly which makes grasping the gun easier when drawing by creating more room for your thumb. Another fix may be to place a layer of "mole skin" to the rough side. You will find it in the shoe dept. with all of the Dr. Scholl's corn pads and stuff. I think they now have a "mole skin" product with some thin foam padding in it. Is the irritation only coming from the edges of the leather? A sharp Exacto knife and a steady hand can cut a lower angle around the edges. Sanding may help also. Another fix is to take a plastic or wood mallet and beat down the edges to soften them up (just like a meat tenderizer). Beat the stitching down also - it may be what's irritating your skin. I would advise not using any kind of oil at this point - it could soak in and soften more than you want and stain the leather. Don't feel too bad - we all have a box or drawer full of holsters we bought and they just didn't work out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  5. Nathan_s

    Nathan_s Member

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    I gave up on manning up a long time ago.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I ran some sandpaper over the edges and it fixed the burrs real quick. I think it is just the edges but it’s hard to tell where exactly the irritation is coming from.
     
  6. dmurdach

    dmurdach Member

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    That all looks pretty rough. if getting the burs off doesnt fix it, maybe you could take some gum tragacanth or something similiar and a smooth dowel and burnish/slicken the whole area
     
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  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Cotton buffing wheel on a bench grinder.
     
  8. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    I burnish the edges of leather using Johnson's Paste Wax. Dampen the leather first, apply the wax, and smooth it down using a wooden dowel 1/2" or so in diameter. As the dowel gets impregnated with wax, keep it on hand for burnishing other leather projects.

    But, why is your holster next to your skin? You don't wear a shirt?

    Bob Wright
     
  9. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Probably not as cost effective as from the drug store, but Comp-Tac sells moleskin specifically to back their holsters for this reason.

    https://comp-tac.com/moleskin-to-improve-holster-comfort-comp-tac/

    The back of the holster is rough side out to keep it in place. The more you wear it, it will smooth out from contact with you and your sweat. Regardless of the holster, I wear an undershirt, it is just more comfortable for me.
     
  10. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I cannot imagine not having at least a T shirt between me and a rough out holster. Guess I'm not buff enuff......
     
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  11. Nathan_s

    Nathan_s Member

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    It turns out it wasn’t just the edges but the entire rough side was irritating. I sanded it with 400 grit to smooth it out and then rubbed in some olive oil. I wore it all day yesterday and it felt fine.
     
  12. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I was gonna say, it's probably the whole thing irritating you. I wouldn't want a rough-out holster next to my hide. As you found out, sanding it down works but then I would also burnish it as Bob Wright suggested.

    Don't overdo it with the oil but if you do oil it, extra virgin olive oil or neatsfoot oil.
     
  13. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Wait until that olive oil turns rancid (it will). You'll wish you hadn't put any on your holster. Oil serves to soften leather and a soft holster is not a good thing.
     
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  14. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Olive oil turning rancid is part of the reason I threw vegetable oil into my post. The oil will also protect the leather from sweat. If it's horse hide, sweat and body oils will soften it, but if it's cow hide I don't think it has the same effect. A totally soft holster isn't ideal, but considering companies like cross-breed offer kydex front/ horsehide backed IWB holsters, you can have the best of both worlds.
     
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    There are lots of myths surrounding oil and leather. One of which is that olive oil goes rancid and is a bad idea. In fact, extra virgin olive oil is PH balanced and has been used on leather for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it. When applied to leather, it will evaporate long before it ever has a chance to go rancid. It goes rancid in long term storage. I put two or three light coats of EVOO on every piece of leatherwork I finish, as do many professionals.

    Leather is a natural material that used to cover a living creature. That living creature had mechanisms in place to keep the skin supple. Obviously killing the critter takes away that mechanism. Tanning removes most of the natural moisture from the skin. It must be replenished after the tanning process and periodically afterwards or it dries and cracks. This is why John Bianchi dips his completed projects into warm neatsfoot oil before the final finish. Any professional leathermaker also applies oil to his products. The only issue with oil is when it is overdone, as usually happens with baseball gloves. The cells within over-oiled leather will absorb more than they can hold and burst. This is what causes leather to become soft and lose its shape and the effect is irreversible.
     
  16. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    I have a kydex holster that I wear every day. I purchased some of the "mole skin" mentioned above at Walmart. It has a peel off cover and adhesive on it. I covered the entire side that touches my body with it and it helped.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon
     
  17. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    When I wear a IWB holster I either have on a T-shirt or a sleeveless shirt between the holster and my skin. I am not a leather expert but I have used EVOO for years and years with good results. As said above a little goes a long way.
     
  18. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    Wear the Tucker holster when wearing an undershirt. Get a N82 holster for the times that you don’t.
     
  19. TUBBY1

    TUBBY1 Member

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    Holster partners llc has a body shield to place on any holster to protect skin from burs,hammers and beaver tails. Easy on and off. Simple and inexpensive .guards bare skin . Perfect for iwb. Any position. Can use it on more than one holster.
     
  20. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Before kydex, I was always dealing/fighting with leather IWB holsters. Leather and bare skin dont work well, especially if youre the least bit active. A tee-shirt between them makes a world of difference.

    A lot of times, the holsters, especially new ones, will start to release whatever it was they were tanned with and between the rubbing (wet leather is abrasive) and the chemicals, you get that familiar "Zippo" burn, if youve ever carried one of those and overfilled it.

    Kydex eliminates most all of that. Wet kydex just slides across your skin with little or no irritation. It also doesnt absorb sweat, which is another major plus. :thumbup:

    I know Im not. :)

    A tee shirt under the gun makes for a much more pleasant day. :thumbup:
     
  21. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Wet leather is abrasive??? Wet veg-tan is slick. It is typically tanned with oak bark tannins. You may be thinking of chrome tanned leather, which is unsuitable for a holster. It is also usually finished with resolene acrylic finish, so it really shouldn't be absorbing much water, if any.

    I agree 100% about having a T-shirt between you and your holster.
     
  22. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Wet leather was always abrasive to me when it was moving against bare skin. Rough out or not. It was never "slick" nor did it just slide across my skin, like wet kydex does.

    I dont know what they tanned the leather with, but I do know that some holsters "burned" more than others when against my skin that had been rubbed raw from the holster. That just added insult to injury. I didnt buy cheap leather holsters either. All were known, brand name holsters and the average price at the time was around $75 ea.

    Ive tried pretty much anything you can think of to stop sweat from penetrating my leather holsters, and with no success. I work outside, year-round, in a physically active job, and temps here in the summer are in the upper 90's with high humidity. We're usually soaking wet on days like today by 9am, and usually stay that way the rest of the day.

    This was the last Royal Guard I was using prior to switching to kydex. At this point, it was about a month old when I stopped using it. It sat in a "holster box" for a number of years before I took this pic and got rid of it. The duct tape on the back was just another feeble and futile attempt at slowing the sweat down.

    The blued Colt Commander that rode in it, and the second RG I had and rotated with it on a daily basis, didnt last the summer before it was rusted to the point it had to have the rust/pits stoned out and was hard chromed.

    enhance.jpg
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