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holster material: Kydex, horse, cow

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by ZombieAssassin, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    I know there is no right answer, and it's more of a personal preference issue, on what material is best for a holster. I'd like to hear from those that have tried at least 2 materials (Kydex, horse, cow, etc.) so you can give the pros/cons of each from your personal experience. Please specify the style of the holsters (IWB, OWB, etc).

    I want to buy a holster for my 1911, and know that I need to buy a good belt. What I can't decide on yet is what material and style. Some types that I have looked at:

    http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/I...efault.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName

    http://www.comp-tac.com/product_info.php?products_id=95

    http://armory.jsholsters.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=2060

    http://rmholsters.com/store/
     
  2. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    For all day carry I prefer leather, as it moves with and forms to you. I've tried kydex IWB holsters, but unless there's something something soft between you and the holster, you may as well have a rock grinding on you.

    I have leather for most everything I do, but use both Kydex & leather when I conduct trainings, but again depends on the training.

    If I'm teaching concealed carry, I use leather, if I'm teaching fundamentals etc., I'll use the kydex. Kydex tends to be easier to use for multiple holstering/drawing etc.
     
  3. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    I agree. The reason Kydex works for training is exactly why it doesn't work for concealed carry - it's rigid and irritating. For training, it makes re-holstering easy. For duty carry, I imagine it's not so bad because it's out away from your body farther. But for CC I don't want that up close. Leather is the only way to go.

    As to horse/cow - cow please. Horses are raised/bred for human companionship, pleasure, and as work partners. Just like dogs. The idea of making a product later out of their hide is about the same as making a holster out of dog hide, or eating dog meat. They may do it in some countries, like France and China. But do you want to do it just because they do? No horse hide-anything for me, please.

    I have never met an IWB holster I liked, and a 1911 type auto is a tough one to IWB carry if you haven't tried it yet. I had an Alessi I tried it in for a while years ago. I like high-ride OWB pancakes with either mid-sized revolvers or Commander sized 1911s. Much more comfortable.
     
  4. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    Kydex for me, especially if you plan on getting it wet and muddy. The friction of the leather, especially dirty leather, (good luck cleaning it, especially suede-type leather) will continue to rub off the finish of the weapon.
     
  5. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    Um, Kydex has a reputation of wearing faster - especially the high points like slide edges, frame edges, etc. Kydex is just much harder so it's going to wear faster. It's not rocket science. Cleaning leather is also not hard. If you don't know how to, talk to anyone with a horse and they can tell you how to keep leather in great shape and looking good for a hundred years or more.

    I agree - suede is a terrible choice to line a holster with, period. It holds grit and greatly increases surface area to cause wear. Avoiding that is wise.

    In my experience the most gun-friendly holsters to limit finish wear (some is inevitable no matter how you carry) are lined leather ones fit tightly. Like a pig-skin lined one from El Paso, or the many less expensive lined variants that Bianchi sells.

    If wear is REALLY a concern for the carry gun, just get a stainless one. Give it a nice polish, then no problem ever, really.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  6. dragonsden73

    dragonsden73 Salem, Oregun Active Member

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    I love the leather IWB, but also have a Kramer IWB made from horse....I thought at first it was lined with Kydex or something, absolutely no give at all! I only have about a week total on it, so far seems comfortable. Leather is very nice, although it has more give (Which can be good) but doesn't last as long as horse. (So I'm told.) I have a couple Galco's that are just plain wore out, still work but not nearly as snug of a fit as when new. I also have a cheaper leather IWB for G27.....should have got a Galco or better but it works....just thinner, more collapsible, etc.

    I don't like Kydex for a number of reasons, many are just personal as I'm sure they are awesome for what they are designed for. I'm pretty much exclusively an IWB guy now....OWB seems to print more. Not that the average Joe would notice, but it gives me more piece of mind when I carry.

    :twocents:
     
  7. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    Um, Thanks. Um.
    Nice attitude, I appreciate the consideration given to my response. I don't appreciate the fact that you just blew it off in such an arrogant manner. If there's a difference, I think you should have asked for specifics instead of flat out saying I was completely wrong. I was stating my experience, particularly in outdoor weather. The reason I say that leather wears faster is the surface inside leather holsters trap dust, which is impossible to remove completely. Similarly, kydex can be cleaned completely. Kydex wears the plastic frames faster, but not slide edges. Perhaps H&K finishes are the reason for this durability.
     
  8. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

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    Why don't I just make you one from Kydex. By from a local guy and save!!

    Here are a couple I've done so far, though the 1911 one is not yet perfect. I need to remake the belt loop. I just picked up some more Kydex today so I can finish it up this week.

    IMG_8437.jpg
    IMG_8439.jpg
    IMG_8440.jpg
    IMG_8216.jpg
    IMG_8203.jpg

    Let me know what you think! Thanks, Mike
     
  9. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    If you haven't been making holsters for a while, and thus have the expertise, then as a consumer it's in my best interests to buy from someone that has the expertise. Do you have expertise in making holsters, e.g. you've made hundreds and have a proven technique, and can stand by your product and will be in business to honor that guarantee?
     
  10. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    If you aren't capable of civil disagreement, you might want to re-consider a spending lots of time in on-line forums. My prior post was polite, reasoned, thoughtful, and explained the differences. It was not arrogant or inconsiderate.
     
  11. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

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    Let's see, where do you think the big guys started out at? They weren't all pros and super experienced when they started so I can't say that I am but I have the technique down better than most I've worked with.

    To answer your questions, I haven't made hundreds but I've probably made more than most on this, and many other sites, my business will be around and I will stand behind my product to a certain extent. Abuse will not be warrantied, this is pretty much what every other manufacturer does.

    I will remind you that I am a supporting advertiser here and all I'm trying to do is support my family and make suggestions to hopefully help my fellow gun folks get the gear they need at a fair price. If you'd like to buy a $120 holster, I won't stop you but I can build something very similar, and fitted to your specific gun, grips, and hard parts for at least 2/3 that price.

    If you, or any others are interested, please let me know. If not, I wish you luck in your search and please let us know what you buy and how you like it!

    Thanks! Mike
     
  12. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    What is the width of the CrossBreed SuperTuck Deluxe?
    What is the width of the Comp-Tac Minotaur?

    Neither web site gives dimensions, but I haven't called each yet. The SuperTuck looks wider than the Minotaur.
     
  13. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    The holsters I'm looking at are $60-80. Would you do the same job for 2/3 the price? It's not encouraging that you don't have holsters on your web site, and you say your 1911 holster isn't perfect but you're working on it, and the picture you gave has 1 belt loop. I'm glad you're a supporter, and are trying to develop a new product. However, a customer likely isn't encouraged to buy a product that isn't perfected, tested, refined, and made great by experience over time.
     
  14. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you may want to make a few and pass them out to some some people to T&E.

    I regularly teach firearms and carry...and would be willing to test your stuff and give an honest opinion of the products.
     
  15. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

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    1 belt loop is more than enough for this type of design. I've carried it many times and love it. I've had friends and family try it out as well. Sounds like you should probably go with one of the ones you were looking at. But yes, I could produce a similar product for $40-$60 if you were indeed interested.

    Also, the difference between me and you is I don't have high expectations of folks that are starting out. I live here and support local businesses as much as possible. Being part of a new business and helping them out is a great feeling and it's lots of fun.

    As for the holsters not being on the website, well, let's see, working two jobs, trying to run my business and add to that the fact that my dad almost died recently, I haven't had much time to add to my site. He's in the hospital and not doing well so my priorities have not really been on updating products and descriptions. Soon, I hope, very soon.

    Basically, what I'd like to do is for a customer to come with me for a holster request and we build them what they want, not just something off the rack. Custom is in my business name for a reason! ;)

    Another point I like to make is, I don't like buying holster after holster. My dad has probably purchased something upwards of 100 holsters in his life just to find 2 or three he likes. I'm not that kind of person. If someone would have offered to make one for me, the way I wanted it, whew, I would have jumped at it. That's actually why I started making them, I was tired of paying for holsters and mag pouches that sounded good on the web and looked nice but ended up not fulfilling my needs. For me, need is WAY more important than want. My holster's won't necessarily win many beauty contests but they will function as designed and hold up since I won't use junk for material or fasteners.

    You sir, have a deal! PM me your info along with what weapons/mag you have and we'll discuss getting you a couple of my holsters to try out! Thanks! :thumbup:

    Thanks, Mike
     
  16. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    Please take the chatter to another thread so this thread isn't hijacked any further. I'm seriously trying to get opinions on holster material, design, etc.

    bnr32gtr, does your IWB holster have a backing so it doesn't rub on skin and cause discomfort?
     
  17. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    You brought up the idea, I'm going forward with it, and will give you the answers you're looking for. So, no it's not a hi-jack.
     
  18. bnr32gtr

    bnr32gtr Vancouver, WA Member

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    You guys are awesome.

    Back to the question at hand. I have holsters that are made of all three materials the OP mentioned. Each has it's merits and it's down falls. My IWB for my 1911 is from UGB(Ugly Bald Guy). It is called the Double Snap. I LOVE this holster. It is very comfortable but the problem with any porous material like leather, nylon, cloth and horse hide is that they collect moisture. So, now after a couple of hot days, my Kimber has surface rust on the slide(older Kimber, before they used Kim-Pro finish).

    Kydex does not tend to do this as it won't absorb sweat or anything, for that matter. Leather and horsehide are quite a bit more flexible than Kydex and usually more comfortable.

    This is why you see the Comp-Tac type holsters making such a mass emergence. They combine retention, comfort, utility, the ability to keep the holster mouth open, unlike some leathers and they won't keep as much moisture in.

    Summer time is usually when the Kydex pocket holsters get broken out and the leather stuff stays at home.

    I hope this was helpful and I look forward to having my items tested out! Mike
     
  19. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    I agree, once winter hits and the heavy clothing comes out, kydex will be a bit more comfortable as an IWB next to the heavy clothing. But still is a bit hard on bones! :D

    I come from an era of arguably when some of the best holster makers were doing their biz....Bruce Nelson, Gordon Davis, and Milt Sparks.

    Nelson and Davis were some true pioneers in holster design, in that they made items to fit how the body is made and how it moves. Most designers today have styled their own after these guys.

    Anyway, I prefer the leather, rough out type for an IWB holster, the Sparks Summer Special type. It stays put, molds to you a bit..and is pretty comfortable with a small sized gun.

    I don't care for any holster that is named after food (Pancake) or a discipline instrument (Paddle).

    I prefer a holster to be solid to the belt. It must stay put when drawing, stay open for easy holstering, and not interfere with the proper position of the hand when obtaining the initial grip on the gun.
     
  20. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Cow tastes good. Horse tastes better. Kydex is too chewy.

    But seriously, I've used bull, nylon, and kydex. My favourite holsters so far are the ones I've molded myself to my exact needs. I carry IWB, SOB or appendix and use minimally sized holsters. Haven't had a comfort issue so far. I'm happy that the kydex is unrelenting; I'll know where it is exactly when I need it. In a self-defense situation I'm really not going to give a flying cow patty about re-holstering.

    Edit; I have to add that I am experimenting with creating a dual-material holster, kydex for the outter plate and bull for the plate that sits against my body. I've seen these around and believe the utility makes them a viable option. Anyone have experience with those and can chime in?