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Old March 31, 2012, 05:17 PM   #1
Arch Angel
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1911 Finish and Kydex

I carry my G22 in a kydex holster with no problems at all. Monday I get to pick up my Kimber Compact CDP. I have been reading complaints on other forums about kydex being hard on the finish. Since I don't have a ton of money to spend on holsters (been there done that), I'm looking to make a good decision between Kydex and leather. Can someone chime in with their experience?
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Old March 31, 2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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I find that kydex holsters have a few internal "hot spots" that wear heavily on a gun's finish. A blued gun will be worn down to bare metal in these spots after relatively few draw/holster strokes. Leather holsters will also wear a finish, but it will be spread over larger areas, especially sharp edges, and not so noticeable.
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Old March 31, 2012, 07:07 PM   #3
Arch Angel
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This is rather bad news since I like to shoot my guns, but I also want them to stay looking like new!! And suggestions?
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Old April 1, 2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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A blued gun will be worn down to bare metal in these spots after relatively few draw/holster strokes.
While possibly true, i'm not entirely convinced on the "few". Methinks the holster is much too tight.

I have been carrying my Colt New Agent .45 in a CrossBreed Supertuck IWB holster, which is horsehide/kydex hybrid. I draw it every time to put my holster on, and then replace it. I've been doing this 3-4 times per week for about eight months now, and the only markings I can find on the gun is the very front of the slide where my pants themselves have made the finish slightly lighter (and it may have always been like that), and a pinpoint mark on the front of the triggerguard where the gun is supported. If I clean the gun with a Hoppe's #9 silicone cloth, the marks disappear. It's almost as if the marks have been made by the same abrasiveness as a fingernail. The effect may be pronounced with different holsters, but my CB treats my gun very well. And I know my Colt is an expensive piece, but I didn't buy it to put it in a display case; I bought it to come with me wherever I go. Yes, the sad truth is your gun will start to get a little holster worn, but the easy solution is this:

If you want your gun's finish to stay beautiful - Keep it in a nice padded case and use it for range only.

Get a carry gun that you won't feel bad about carrying. I'm not saying beat the tar out of it- just don't sweat it when it gets a little holster rash.
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Old April 1, 2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Leather is generally much easier than kydex on a guns finish. With that said, all holsters will create wear. If I were you, I'd buy a leather holster, shoot your gun and enjoy it, wear happens.
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Old April 1, 2012, 08:24 PM   #6
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As RickB stated, guns carried in kydex holsters usually have a few hot spots of wear, with basically no wear elsewhere. I suppose the timing of it depends on the guns finish.

My experience with leather has been that it wears the guns finish more overall, and leaves it looking worn, washed out and faded over time. You also have the rust issue if you sweat a lot, one thing kydex pretty much eliminates.

This is my old Colt Commander. It started out as a nice Colt blue, and lasted about a year in a couple of Galco Royal Guards before rust set in and it needed to be refinished. What you see here is the hard chrome refinish after 10+ years of hard daily use in a Blade Tech kydex IWB. The "black" streaks are actually polished chrome, and not black. They look like a mirror in person. They didnt appear overnight, more like over a couple of years. The kydex and HC knocked down 99% of the rust issue, but I still got a little "powder" like rust at and under the grip panel on the body side of the gun where it was exposed to my body now and then.

No matter what you choose, if you use and carry your gun, its going to get beat up. You might as well accept that right off. If you cant live with that, then dont carry it, and find something you arent as worried about.
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