View Full Version : Which Material for a Handgun Hunting Holster?

Gunn Smithy
February 5, 2012, 05:08 AM
I'm fixing up some guns to leave my kids and if all goes well I'd like to try and squeeze in a hog hunt with my son. The one is a standard Bisley Hunter with 4X Leupold scope. The other is a Mag-Na-Braked (now 11 1/2" barreled) Super Redhawk with barrel mounted Harris bipod and Leupold scope. I've had a few leather folks respond and willing to have a go at it (money talks). Then I just received an email from a custom nylon holster maker. What are you folks ideas on this matter. Is nylon a better choice in the hunting field? At least looking at them, the nylon would be cheaper and has more adjustments than the leather offerings. I of course am looking to get an across the chest type of holster regardless of the material. Smithy.

February 5, 2012, 09:07 AM
Leather looks way cooler and is classier. Nylon is easier on the finish of blued guns, is lighter in weight and dries out more quickly when wet. I use both, so I suppose I'm not of much help.

February 5, 2012, 10:33 AM
I think they can work equally well if they are made right. I personally think that leather is quieter, and I like the look better.

February 5, 2012, 11:39 AM
Which ever one is closest to filling all of your needs and wants would be the one I go with. The leather is heavier, but will hold up better. Either one will serve your purpose well if made to fit your needs.

February 6, 2012, 09:07 AM
Leather is quieter when sneaking through the brush.

Ever brushed a bush with a nylon jacket on? Same affect with the holster, and both holster and jacket doing this can get the attention of game animals pretty quickly.

Other than that, it's pretty much a matter of choice. For me, I've always preferred leather for that reason above all others.


February 6, 2012, 03:49 PM
I prefer leather for looks, durability and they are quieter, but there are some good synthetics around too, whatever is going to carry the way you want it comfortably is the way to go.
I had a nice leather shoulder rig given to me by my father for a 629 a few years ago, wore it once hiking around for mulies and gave it back.... fit and comfort are everything.

Red Eye
February 8, 2012, 08:10 AM
You might want to check out the Bianchi Ranger Hush System holster. Its a nylon front carry bandolier style holster, it has many adjustments and can also be used as a belt holster. They are made in many sizes and made wider for pistols with scopes. I have two of them for my Super Redhawk 7.5" barrel w/ 30mm red dot scope and my 5.5 Target Buckmark also w/ red dot. I like them alot, they serve me well in the field.

I got mine from Optics Planet, I think they run around $80.

February 9, 2012, 10:19 AM
I like leather for my revolvers as it seems to be sturdier in that the gun doesn't flop. The fit of leather gives me a little more piece of mind when it comes to retention after a fall or something like that. I use both plastic and leather holsters for my autos. There's just something about leather that I like, though.

February 9, 2012, 05:13 PM
I have a bisley hunter 8 1/2 inch barrel with a fixed 2x leupold scope, I purchased a Blackhawk bandolier style holster, made out of nylon and it works very well, expecially over bulky hunting chlothes

Deja vu
February 9, 2012, 09:38 PM
I use leather. I guess it all depends on what you like, i think its more of a taste thing than any real difference.

February 10, 2012, 09:47 PM
A little dampness in a leather holster can cause severe damage to the finish of a gun in a rather short period of time. Getting caught in the rain, falling in the snow, etc. happens.

February 11, 2012, 04:49 PM
I gave away or threw out ALL of my nylon holsters. They were cheapies though.

I have all stainless hunting guns so I worry less about the elements than if they were blued. I also use RIG on all my guns.

February 12, 2012, 09:38 AM
A little dampness in a leather holster can cause severe damage to the finish of a gun in a rather short period of time. Getting caught in the rain, falling in the snow, etc. happens.

This is true, but as long as you don't store your gun in the holster its a non-issue.

TX Hunter
February 12, 2012, 07:33 PM
I prefer Leather for My Hunting Revolver, but its a Stainless Ruger Single Six that I wear when I am Coonhunting. I Bought a Cross Draw Holster, with a Button Snap across the Hammer, from Hunter. Its very comfortable, with the 6 inch barrel, Im still able to sit down. I like it.

February 15, 2012, 12:06 PM
I picked up a leather Hunter holster from wal mart in 1972. I use it for all of my Long barrelled pistols. After 40 years of exposure to conditions ranging from Lousiana Swamps to Minnesota blizards and marshes, it has retained its form and the strap retains the pistol.

It has carried replica cap and ball remingtons and colts. A couple of Peace makers, a Ruger Blackhawk and now my DW when I mount the 8 inch barrell.

For the price the leather was excellent and it never gave me a problem. I doubt that you can find that quality today at a reasonable price.

February 15, 2012, 04:02 PM
One would think it would be but in actuality it is harsher than leather.

The nylon fabric collects grit and particulate matter,,,
This acts like sandpaper on a blue guns finish.

This was observed when LE started to use nylon fabric rigs,,,
The cops loved the lighter weight of he ballistic fabric,,,
But they all noticed an increase in the surface wear.

Same thing for suede lined holsters,,,
The nap of the suede collects grit.

Also the chromium salt residue in suede leather attacks steel if it becomes wet,,,
Many a nice handgun has been ruined by damp suede lined holsters.

The loose fit of any nylon fabric holster allows movement,,,
That movement is what really abrades the finish.

But if you have a stainless handgun,,,
The nylon holsters actually polish them a bit,,,
Not evenly enough for a good look but it shows the abrasive quality.

The best holster for any blued handgun is vegetable tanned leather,,,
Preferable lined with the smooth side of pigskin or thin calf.

If the gun is properly "fitted" to the holster,,,
It will sit snug and not move around in the holster.



February 19, 2012, 01:18 PM
You cannot beat the sex appeal of fine leather, which is a reward to behold (and smell) unto itself even without your favorite gun inside, but it is unkind to blued finishes. Which is more valuable, your gun or you holster? I use nylon for most day to day purposes, and especially any situation where I may draw often, although I have more than one holster for most.

An obvious drawback to leather holsters is the temptation to go high end and get one that is as expensive as a cheap gun. That never happens with nylon of course.....

February 21, 2012, 08:53 PM
This may sound a little redneck, but I just came across a holster for a cordless drill at my local hardware store and on a whim bought it and not only does it fit my 7'' scoped 44mag perfectly but it looks pretty good too!