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Old October 14, 2019, 06:17 PM   #1
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I Love Leather

Back in the early days the older family members that carried guns carried little wheel guns in leather holsters with snap tops in their waist bands. Shoulder holsters were a thing but most thought they were silly contraptions designed by and for police detectives.

When I started carrying I bypassed wheel guns and went straight to Semi-auto pistols. Synthetics were all the latest fad and felt so much more comfortable than hard leather so I used synthetic holsters.

Along came Glock and the shooting and CW market was changed forever. You just couldn't put a high tech wonder pistol in to a grandpa holster. But synthetic fabric holsters had been found to be too stretchy and not hold their shape well. Everything was good till the gun fell out. Something better was needed.

So along came plastic holsters. These were great. They held their shape forever. Especially if you wanted to move your bodily organs around from outside your body due to the lack of flexibility it was good for that. They were cold too. Until they made you sweat. Also they announced to everyone you had a gun with some clear printing. Uncomfortable and loud, really the worst of both worlds for concealment. Not too bad for open carry though, worn OTWB, where you want to announce.

Next came hybrids. Part plastic, part leather. The leather part goes against your body. This was more comfortable and smarter. The plastic part holds the gun. This was more practical in some ways although obvious printing was still obvious. Hybrids never really caught on though. Very few quality makers wanted to deal with them. Some have synthetic fabric with plastic on the outside. Then add some anti-printing feature to it. Seems complicated. And for what?

Which brings us back to the future.


A well done leather holster is not only comfortable it holds the weapon securely and does not print easily. Seems everyone knew the answer all along.
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Old October 15, 2019, 09:31 AM   #2
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As a leather holster maker,,,

As a leather holster maker,,,
I highly concur with your opinion.


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Old October 15, 2019, 10:12 AM   #3
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I'll add that leather doesn't cause the gun finish to wear like hard kydex does. I do have a couple hybrid holsters, however the polymer on those is well fitted to the gun and not tight, which would create wear marks.

However, I almost always use quality leather holsters. I'd agree they really are the most comfortable solution, and they form to the body very well.
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Old October 16, 2019, 12:15 PM   #4
Join Date: July 2, 2013
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I have a LH Bill Rogers polymer paddle holster for a S&W 4" K frame. The holster is polymer with the interior leather lined. The paddle is also leather lined for comfort. I've been informed that Bill Rogers was somewhat of a pioneer in designing and producing polymer holsters way before they were an industry mainstay.
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Old October 17, 2019, 01:26 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
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"...leather doesn't cause the gun finish to wear..." Yes, it does. How do you think all those 'cop turn ins' got they way they are/were and milsurps all having shiney marks? Leather is abrasive as hell.
Leather has one big advantage over the plastic holsters though. It's doesn't take any special equipment to make a leather holster.
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Old October 17, 2019, 09:51 PM   #6
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Leather has one big advantage over the plastic holsters though. It's doesn't take any special equipment to make a leather holster.
Kydex (plastic), holster making requires tin snips and a heat source like a readily available heat gun. Leather holsters require leather-working tools as, utility knife, skiver, leather awl, stitch-spacing wheels (or "pickle fork spacing tools), heavy threads used to sew, beeswax, edge burnishing tools, glycerine (to aid in burnishing the edges), as well as needles unique to leatherworking, dyes, embossing or carving tools, snaps, buckles, rivets, punches, etc. In short, I have made leather holsters and one kydex holster (Albeit for my cell phone, not for a gun.) and I have way more invested in leather working tools and equipment than I had to get for kydex forming.

I attempted to post a link to a picture of one of my holsters, but Photobucket has pulled a fast one, holding my photos hostage (blurred and stamped), until I "upgrade" (A.K.A., send money), so I will not be posting any photos that they are holding hostage.

Last edited by dahermit; October 18, 2019 at 07:57 AM.
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Old October 19, 2019, 07:25 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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A friend is a pro Kydex bender, dba Ready Tac holsters.
He has a lot of specialized and adapted equipment for the work.
Numerous templates for different guns and types.
A jigsaw to cut material to shape from his $$$ stock of Boltaron.
Shelves of dummy and real guns to mold to.
Lots of tape and wood shapes to fill in places that would form undercuts.
A carpenter's vise with thickly padded jaws.
A toaster oven and a heat gun.
A small belt sander and a hand grinder with sanding drum.
Stock of screws, T nuts, and capped grommets.

He also does leather and canvas work, mostly NSSA gear but he teamed up with a pro leather worker to produce a neat pancake for a pistol with red dot, completely shrouding the dot.
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