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Leather or Kydex: which wears a finish faster?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by newmenu, Mar 4, 2009.

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  1. newmenu

    newmenu Member

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    Ive been looking at IWB Holsters and have narrowed my selection down to 3 makers. One is an all leather holster, one is a mix flat leather and kydex, and the other who has a nice all leather and a nice lether and kydex piece.

    I was wondering if Kydex will mark up or wear on a Blued or Stainless Steel slide more or less than leather. Whats the difference in the marking and wearing between Leather and Kydex on Stainless finishes and Blued or Blackened finishes?

    Ill be switching between carrying my P239 with the blackened SS finish and my USPc with the SS finish.
     
  2. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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    I think it depends on the make of the holster and how much of it touches the gun. Typically leather holsters are in more direct contact with the gun so it will wear down a larger area faster. Kydex holsters for the most part only contact the gun in very small specific spots so and and the gun isn't rubbing against the holster as much as with leather.

    Then again leather is softer than kydex so it would probably take longer for wear to appear and there is less chance of scratching the finish with leather. Its a question I've always pondered myself but I generally prefer kydex over leather and holster wear isn't something that really concerns me. As long it doesn't impact how the gun functions then holster wear just adds character:D

    If you really want to protect the finish on your guns then I would advise not carrying at all. If you carry a gun regularly then holster wear is inevitably going to occur whether it's kydex or leather.
     
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Leather is far more abrasive than Kydex, especially when it gets dirty and full of old oil and grunge.
    A Kydex holster is far easier to clean than leather.

    None the less, I have noticed that Kydex can produce more noticable scratches on a fine highly polished blue surface.
    Leather tends to abrade a surface uniformly so the scratches are not as noticable as the finish wears until large surface areas of the finish become worn away.

    On a chemically darkened stainless steel finish, I believe the use of a Kydex holster will maintain the high finish much longer than the use of a leather holster which will abrade the color and fade it overall much quicker.
     
  4. Southern Rebel

    Southern Rebel Member

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    Well, I remember grandpa fine tuning his straight razor on a leather strop.
    That tells me that leather will indeed wear down metal, albeit slowly. I don't know if you could sharpen that razor on kydex or not.
     
  5. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

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    A leather strop is not used for sharpening razors. You still need a stone for that. What a strop does is straighten the burr out that forms from honing the razor on a stone. The straightened burr is what is actually the fine cutting edge on a razor.
     
  6. gglass

    gglass Member

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    Leather or any material that can collect grit into its structure will eventually wear a gun's finish faster than a smooth & slick surface like kydex.

    In other words... When the water of a stream creates grooves or reshapes rocks, it is not the "water" that is doing the cutting. It is the dirt, sand and grit that is carried by the water that does the erosion.
     
  7. okespe04

    okespe04 Member

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    My leather Galco pocket holster is taking the finish off of my Ruger LCP pretty darn fast. Not sure if this helps.
     
  8. 3pairs12

    3pairs12 Member

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    Well I tend to think if you get even the smallest grit inside your kydex holster it will wear on the finish where some of the smaller stuff may be soaked up by the grain of the leather. I think that I have seen a slow in the wear of my finish since I made leather my primary holster material.
     
  9. newmenu

    newmenu Member

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    how does leather and kydex effect stainless finishes?
     
  10. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Stainless will get polished at the contact areas, just like blued or painted/coated surfaces. In the long run, bluing and coatings will wear completely away to expose the base metal while stainless will continue to polish.

    You do not need to worry about losing metal. Your kneecaps will wear away from rubbing against your pants before you lose any metal due to holster wear.
     
  11. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Keep your holster clean and don't worry about what it's made out of. Every time you stick a dirty gun in the holster you're charging the holster with grit. Pick a holster based on retention and ease of draw, not the material it's made of.
     
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