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Leather vs Kydex for IWB?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by BioDemon, Jun 8, 2005.

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  1. BioDemon

    BioDemon Member

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    What's better and why? What's more comfortable, will last longer, and hides the best from your experiance?
     
  2. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Wow ... you might as well ask "Boxers or Briefs?"


    I prefer Leather because every Kydex IWB holster I've ever tried had edges that poked me (although I bet there are some better made ones out there that don't).

    Both should last a long time ... If I had to put money on it, I'd bet the Kydex would last longer (but not enough so that I'd worry about it).

    I can't imagine one hides better then the other.

    There is some conjecture about this, but apparently Kydex wears the gun less then leather.


    If you're still torn after this thread (which will probably be long, have lots of opinions, but no real resolution :p ) then check out the Hoffner's Hybrid IWB
     
  3. pax

    pax Member

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    Boils down to personal preference. Very personal preference, if you think about it -- after all, the thing is going to be underneath your outer clothes with you, and that's pretty darn personal.

    Me, I like Kydex. I live in the Pacific Northwest, where there's frequently a good chance of getting soaked, so I like the reassurance of having a holster that's as waterproof as it can possibly get (and I put a Glock in it too, another waterproofed option).

    I like the positive retention offered by good Kydex and the solidly reassuring "snick" as the gun moves into place.

    I like the slightly faster draw of Kydex.

    I've never found mine uncomfortable, but I'm told by people who know that leather is more comfy. *shrug* I wear mine every hour I'm dressed, and rarely notice it's there. But again, that's an individual thing.

    Oh, and I also like the idea that if someone glimpses a plastic doohickey affixed to my waist, they are more likely to think "cell phone" than they are if they spot the same doohickey in leather. Concealed is concealed, but stuff happens.

    pax
     
  4. PCRCCW

    PCRCCW Member

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    Some prefer Crunchy some prefer Smooth. Both have pro's and con's.
    Coming from a maker of leather goodies........I own kydex also. But prefer is OWB.....just me.
    Shoot well.
     
  5. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    I like the mechanics of a Kydex IWB, but, I sure sweat behind it alot. Leather soaks up some sweat and doesn't feel as nasty.
     
  6. 9teen11

    9teen11 Member

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    My vote is for Kydex (Blade-Tech's Kydex holsters to be exact.)! If you live in a really hot environment, leather wil really mold to your gun. I have read where a person could NOT get his gun of his leather holster, due to heat, sweat etc. I believe the person lived in TX. It is comfy, doesn't absorb my sweat. I just like it best. Mind you, I used leather holsters for years, until I discovered Kydex. I too like the psotive "snick" I hear when I put my gun in my holster. I carry IWB.I am a HUGE fan of the stuff.
     
  7. Sarge55

    Sarge55 Member

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    I prefer leather since it seems to conform better to my body when broken in. Alot more comfortable, for me anyway.

    Sarge55
     
  8. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

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    I have to say that I can't find too many in the waistband holsters for my Taurus PT-92. I am surprised that no one has mentioned this yet but the reason I'd lean towards Kydex is that it has a retention system that doesn't require a thumb snap or some other kind of horrid thing to slow down an already pokey draw.(as compared to an OWB holster) I found a super cheap Uncle mikes holster that seems to be made of neoprene that actually rides great without chaffing, however I'd still like something with some retention. I worry about getting knocked down and seeing my gun skittering across a showroom or something equally terrible. Either way you go, I heartily recommend the DeSantis gunleather belts. They are substantially stiffer in cross section. I once picked a guy out of a crowd as CCW because he had that telltale dip in his belt just behind his right hip!
     
  9. countertop

    countertop Member

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    My last Kydex Holster broke right at the belt loop as I was sitting down in a car. Someone had driven my car, adjusted my seat, and with the change in angle the Kydex just snaped when I sat down.

    I doubt that leather would do the same thing, plus I found Kydex felt almost like a plastic knife was poking me all the time.
     
  10. Island Beretta

    Island Beretta Member

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    leather..softer, more comfortable..the position of the ride in your waist determines how fast you can draw..
     
  11. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    Kydex for everything Pax said except living in the Pacific Northwet and getting soaked.
     
  12. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Huh? A good leather (read: quality, i.e., Sparks or Kramer) IWB doesn't need any "retention device" ... In fact, I've got a couple Kramers that are 10 years old, worn almost daily, and the pistols still fit in 'em as snugly as when they were brandnew ... still got the "snick" when they're pulled out ...

    I also live in the Pacific NorthWest, but go visit family in Arizona frequently. I've never worried about sweat or moisture issues with my leather IWBs. Maybe some don't have comfort issues with Kydex, but for me, leather feels way better and doesn't scratch up the finish of my good pistols .. Kydex is for Glocks ...
     
  13. DarkKnight01

    DarkKnight01 Member

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    I prefer leather... many of the reasons stated above, Kydex is also good, it just all depends what your needs are...

    ???? ya gots to study up on holsters a bit more bud, most leather holsters sold are either hand molded and boned to the weapon your using it for so it has a snug fit... no need for a retention strap... or they are handmolded and have a retention screw... they work great.
     
  14. Treylis

    Treylis Member

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    Leather, the comfort level is so much higher for me. I'm so pleased with my Milt Sparks gear.
     
  15. faustulus

    faustulus Member

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    I like both. But in the summer with the Tennessee heat I usually wear kydex - because I don't want to sweat too much on my $145 Mitch Rosen.
    Also I once fell into a creek with my P7M8 and was thankful I had my kydex holster on. But if I am going out somewhere I will wear my nicer holster (even though no one will see it)
     
  16. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Kydex is quite a bit more comfortable if you buy pants that are the next size up in the waist than what you actually wear and you attach the holster to a very heavy duty belt.
    I use a 1.25" doublestiched horsehide belt made many, many years ago and it has stood the test of time for a gun carry accessory.
     
  17. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    I prefer Kydex too, for comfort and durability.

    I'd think the broken kydex above was actually injection molded and not thermoformed kydex. The higher quality holsters are thermoformed from a single piece and are very strong, the injection molded holsters cost less but they aren't nearly as tough.
     
  18. BioDemon

    BioDemon Member

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    I've heard from some that leather will streach over time and the gun starts to fit loosely. The same person stated that if the gun can wiggle in the holster then it's time for a new one. I can see kydex holding it's original shape better over time keeping a secure hold. To be honest I don't think I would like to wear kydex shoes. I think over time that like a good pear of leather shoes that a leather holster would be the most comfortable after breaking in. I break in all my shoes with some thing like leather turtle wax that makes it softer. I wonder if that would affect how the holster retains my fire arm. What is a good way to break in a good leather holster? And what if any thing should be used to protect a leather IWB? Kydex may just be easyer to care for, faster drawing, but a little less comfortable? The two holsters I'm debating between are the Comp-Tac C-TAC and a HBE Specialty Leather works IWB com. HBE leather works is local and only a 20min drive away.
     
  19. pax

    pax Member

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    BioDemon ~

    Talk to your holster maker about what he recommends as far as breaking it in. If he doesn't have a specific recommendation, do this:

    Unload your gun.

    Double check that it is in fact unloaded.

    Put it inside two layers of plastic bags.

    Holster it with the bags for a couple of days.

    That'll stretch the leather without putting anything on the holster that might cause it to lose it's all-important stiffness.

    pax
     
  20. Vom Kriege

    Vom Kriege Member

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    I like kydex, but I find leather to be more comfortable.
     
  21. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Ah, BioDemon, you started a post asking a question and you're not reading the responses you get?
    My earlier response:
    I'm sticking strictly to Sparks and Kramer leather now; my 15-year-old Sparks SS for a 1911 and two 10-year-old Kramers for a Commander and a Glock 23 all have been worn much and still hold the pistols firmly ...

    Now if you're talking about holsters such as Galcos, they might tend to loosen up after a while (which is one reason I prefer horsehide or high-quality cowhide).
     
  22. BioDemon

    BioDemon Member

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    Looks like leather is still the way to go then.
     
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