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Old June 3, 2012, 09:12 AM   #1
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Line or unlined leather holster for my 686+?

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new holster for my S&W 4" 686+ revolver and wonder if I should get a lined or unlined leather holster. All I have ever had was unlined but I spent more on this handgun than any other I own so I just wonder if it's worth the extra cash for the lined. What are the pros and cons? Thanks for any info in advance.
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Old June 3, 2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Pros: Less wear on the gun, bluing. Smoother drawing the gun.

Cons: More expensive than unlined. Wears out faster than unlined.
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Last edited by JimPage; June 4, 2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Old June 3, 2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Lined vs unlined holsters...

Most serious gun owners & armed professionals(EP agents, LE officers, security industry) prefer the unlined holsters.
I'd heard that lined styles can draw in dust, dirt, grit etc.
They may also retain moisture or hold water if you wear the firearm in bad weather(snow, rain, sleet).
I'd buy an unlined holster. If you plan to keep the .357 revolver you might want to get it treated with NP3+, Black-T or Bearcoat. It will protect the firearm & improve cleaning/service.

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Old June 4, 2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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I have both types and much prefer the unlined.

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Old June 4, 2012, 05:35 PM   #5
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For your stainless steel 686, I don't think you'll see any advantage to spending the extra cash on a lined holster.
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Old June 6, 2012, 05:12 PM   #6
fairview mick
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Holster for 686

Take a look at the "Fobus" retention holster. I have one for my 4 inch 686 and really like it.
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Old June 6, 2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info everyone.
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Old June 7, 2012, 08:36 AM   #8
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Lined is best.

I'd heard that lined styles can draw in dust, dirt, grit etc.
It's actually the exact opposite.

Unlined holsters hold any particulate matter in the "fuzzy nap" of the flesh side of the leather,,,
The dirt particles act as an abrasive to a gun's finish.

Suede lined holsters are probably the worst on a guns finish,,,
It acts like the cleaning rags you buy that are impregnated with a mild abrasive.

Smooth lined holsters are the easiest on a guns finish by far,,,
There is nothing for the particulate matter to imbed into.


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Old June 7, 2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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Interesting take on the lined vs unlined discussion and it makes sense. As I said in my first post all my current holsters are unlined and have had no real problems so far but I don't really give them heavy use. I just wonder about long term wear.
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Old June 8, 2012, 08:11 AM   #10
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There is alot of misinformation on lined holsters. First off, its a manufacturing nightmare. Its a very diffcult process to get correct. Its unpredictable at times and you lose holsters to the grave yard because of it. And it drives the price of the holster up.

Many makers use suede to line with and thats a problem. Its not a good material and has gotten the reputation it deserves. We use a man made lining for the past 15 years and have had no negative problems. That link below will give you more infomation.

What ever is used to line the holster, I repeat its a manufacturing nightmare. For the customer that should not make a difference, get what you want. As long as you got a professional doing the work you will be OK.

Hope this helps
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Old June 9, 2012, 08:32 AM   #11
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High Noon, Before I saw your post I ordered the lined DeSantis Thumb Break Scabbard Belt Holster from Midway. They had a great clearance price on it for $50.29 (better than some unlined) and only had one left so I acted quickly. It does have the suede lining so I will see how it works and post the pros and cons.
Your Noon Holster look great and I will definitely look at them if I get another handgun in the future, I'm hoping to get myself a 686+ with a 6" barrel later. Thanks to everyone for your information.
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