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Old December 10, 2007, 01:20 PM   #1
imq707s
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IWB holsters...Leather vs. Kydex?

I'm getting ready to order a holster for my commander 1911. I've been trying to gather some information so I can make an informed decision what I should get. So far, most people are suggestion either molded leather holsters, or the plastic "Kydex" type holsters.

What are the main differences between the two? Are there advantages and disadvantages to each?

Please school me on IWB holsters.

Thanks
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Old December 10, 2007, 09:01 PM   #2
Broadside Bob
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Like most anything else, it comes down to personal taste. Kydex is thinner, but the idea a a rigid piece of plastic in my pants doesn't sound too appealing. Both will cause wear on your pistol, but the kydex will wear certain spots and then stop (so I've heard) while weather will continue to show slight wear.

Kydex is a quicker turnaround, but most folks speak highly of the Milt Sparks VMII (5-6 month wait). If you want the leather, but not the wait, you might keep an eye on eBay.

Good Luck!!
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Old December 10, 2007, 09:48 PM   #3
sholling
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We just covered this. Leather is more comfortable and I think more durable. Kydex is less expensive, and the better ones are lightning fast. Hybrid splits the difference. But buyer beware with Kydex you get what you pay for.

Leather: The Cadillac is Milt Sparks VMII but expect to pay $100 and wait six months. I have one on order for my Kahr. For my small 1911 I've been very happy with my inexpensive NM-Holsters #2. For $40 and only a one week lead time it's hard to beat. I ordered mine with the optional reinforced mouth and a $20 IWB double mag pouch.

In pure Kydex it's hard to beat the lightening fast Kytac BraveHeart. Stellar reputation for speed and comfort but about a 3-6 month lead time.

For hybred kydex/leather either the Comp-Tac MTAC or the CrossBreed IWB are excellent choices. I own the MTAC and a CrossBreed IWB mag pouch for my M&P. Both deliver in one to two weeks.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...ht=nm-holsters
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Old December 12, 2007, 10:39 PM   #4
BruceGibson
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Leather, here. I just don't like plastic. And I'd wholeheartedly agree on the VM-II from Sparks.
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Old December 12, 2007, 10:49 PM   #5
imq707s
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Are there any distributers out there that keep the Milt-Sparks holsters in stock? Sounds like a great holster....but that's a long time to wait.
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Old December 12, 2007, 11:56 PM   #6
sholling
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Quote:
Are there any distributers out there that keep the Milt-Sparks holsters in stock? Sounds like a great holster....but that's a long time to wait.
The price of impatience... Sparks lists a few stocking dealers on his site, or you can try eBay. Expect to pay a $40 to 80 premium for an in-stock new or used VMII. The good part is that if you hate it you won't have any trouble selling it. BTW: Don't forget a belt!
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Old December 13, 2007, 12:04 AM   #7
Musketeer
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I am a huge fan of the Dakota Defender by K&D. http://www.kdholsters.com/iwb-defend.php

It is stable, well made, comfortable, adjustable and even tuckable. Multiple clips are available for different size belts, even C clips or J clips for better concealability. If you wish you can have it made out of exotic material but the plane jane version which I have is only $70. Wait is 14-16 weeks and worth it.

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Old December 13, 2007, 05:43 PM   #8
imq707s
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Why do all of these leather holster manufactures have such long lead times? 14, 16, 22 weeks for a holster?? Why don't they invest in their business, buy some more equiptment, hire some more people.......and start keeping up with demand. If I could get one in a week....I would order it right now. Same goes with the Milt-Spark holsters or any other well known brand. Sure, I've heard some people say "order a so-so holster to tide you over for a few months until the good holster comes in".

That's a great idea....but I don't have the extra money laying around to buy two holsters. I'm sure others feel the same way.

I would think that if one of the really good leather holster companys would figure out a way to drop their lead times, they would be out selling everyone else like crazy.

Rant off.....
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Old December 13, 2007, 06:22 PM   #9
AK103K
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Topgun Supply has VMII's on a regular basis for about $130. He will also email you when they come in if he's out if you want. They are real good people to deal with.

Quote:
Leather is more comfortable and I think more durable.
My experience has been just the opposite. The Blade Tech IWB for my last 1911 lasted 10 years of daily use. It replaced the two a year Galco Royal Guards, and a bunch of others before that.

I never noticed any difference in comfort between leather and kydex, except for the wet leather on bare skin part. Kydex is more skin friendly and doesnt have harsh tanning chemicals in it to add insult to injury.

I have and use a couple of VMII's on occasion and Blade Tech IWB's. Both are comfortable, but for hard daily use, its Blade Tech all the way. The Blade Tech is also more concealable For me, the front snap on the VMII sits right over my front pocket and is visible when I reach for something in it or my shirt blows back.
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Old December 13, 2007, 11:32 PM   #10
Erik
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Leather often has better retention properties if your concerned about rolling around, be it FOF or for real.
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Old December 17, 2007, 03:06 PM   #11
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Don't really want to get into the leather vs. kydex debate. However, my strong, personal preference for carrying my S&W Commander is the FIST #1 clip holster. Easy on, easy off, and rock stable when being worn. Of course, this assumes that a really good gun belt is being used. Excuse the crummy photography but here is my S&W in its FIST. Highly recommended
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Old December 20, 2007, 04:37 PM   #12
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Actually I prefer the $24 DeSantis Insider. It rides low for easier concealment. I bought one for an XD Sub-Compact and it fits my G19, G26, G36 and my P345. I has a little trouble with my G21, but I'm just trying to keep the gun from falling down my pant leg. I've never had a problem with un-holstering the guns and it didn't cost me a fortune. BTW it's very comfortable on my 5'11" 240 lb body.
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Old December 21, 2007, 10:42 AM   #13
tegemu
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I have both and I found the Kydex to be very uncomfortable whereas the leather, Brommeland Max Con II, is so comfortable, I can wear it all day and forget it's there.
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Old December 22, 2007, 02:30 AM   #14
KS.45
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The Crossbreed.com IWB holds the gun with leather that also is against you and a kydex, pistol specific, form that is riveted on the leather. The depth at waist and some carry angle can be adjusted with the belt clips. My crossbreed is comfortable. Works good with my G36.
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Old December 22, 2007, 09:10 AM   #15
AK103K
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The Crossbreed seems built just the opposite as how it should be to me. The part that will absorb sweat and allow the gun to get and stay wet and also rub you raw, if it should be against bare skin, is on the wrong side.

From my experience with holsters made with both materials, they both are "hard" when the gun is in them and pressed tightly against you, like what occurs with an IWB holster. With all things being good, I never noticed any difference in feel between a gun in a leather holster or a kydex holster when carried in the place I normally carry my gun. If you say the leather is different, how is it different?
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Old December 22, 2007, 04:43 PM   #16
KS.45
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Like I mentioned, I have the Crossbreed super tuck and the leather touches me, the kydex is against the inside of the waistband. Look at the website, crossbreed.com.

The leather seems much less likely to cause discomfort than the kydex. If you have no problem with all-kydex, then you have what works for you.

http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/index.html

On the Crossbreed, the leather tends to "fit" to you, the kydex molded across the gun fully keeps it's shape, that's the difference. The larger leather backing on the super tuck spreads the "print" of the holster against your belly or hip, depending on how ya wear it. The clips are adjustable and attached on the leather separately from the kydex. That works for me.

Last edited by KS.45; December 23, 2007 at 04:09 AM.
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Old December 22, 2007, 06:36 PM   #17
Voyager AL
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+1 for crossBreed. I love the one he did for my N frame 4" revolver. Although he cut the leather about 1/2" short, so a small section of barrel pokes out against my thigh. But it IS comfy to wear.
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