Leather or plastic holsters?

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by TranterUK, Jun 23, 2008.

What do members prefer, Leather or Plastic Holsters

  1. Leather Holsters

    51 vote(s)
  2. Plastic Holsters

    10 vote(s)
  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Which do members prefer and why? I am curious.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008
  2. Xaiver56

    Xaiver56 New Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Grand Prairie, TX
    I definately prefer leather, I have a couple cheap holsters that I use strickly for protecting the firearms when they are in the safe, but when it comes to actually using a holster for carry, Leather all the way, the one rare exeption is an uncle mikes holster that works very well for me in certain situations.

  3. Definitely, positively, absolutely, indubitably, unequivocally, and emphatically high quality leather, Tranter! Modern plastics, however tough and lasting they may be, simply don't have the "feel" nor the ability to mold to the body like fine, well crafted leather. All of my CCW carry holsters are custom made leather, most of them built by Kramer from heavy horsehide. Some I have had for many years and they still look and feel like they were new. They are expensive, that is true, but well worth the cost in terms of comfort.

    Now, having said that, for military use, leather usually sucks muddy pond water, especially in a damp climate like Southeast Asia. Gor-Tex, as ugly as it is, does work a great deal better under those conditions IMHO.
  4. easy1

    easy1 New Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    more comfortable for ccw (I use 2 IWBs by Hume one for a 9mm the other for a 1911). Becomes more comfortable as it molds itself over time.
  5. TTUshooter

    TTUshooter New Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    DFW/Lubbock TX
    I voted for leather BUT... My favorite holster is my M.T.A.C. Holster from Comp-tac. It uses both. Its got a leather backing that sits up against my waist inside the w/b but the other half is good quality Kydex. Its the best of both worlds for me. comfort and molding against my body, but durable kydex on the outside that allows for extremely easy one handed holstering of the weapon.

    check them out at this link:
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  6. My answer is, "true". Depends on the purpose. My preference is for the feel of leather and the speed of plastic. Safariland tries to effect that compromise by laminating a thin layer of leather to the outside of plastic holsters, though I think they might have saved themselves the trouble. I don't think there's any compromise. Leather is flexible, plastic is rigid. Those are precisely the qualities of each. The U.S. Capitol Police have rigid plastic holsters that set out away from the body a bit, designed for rapid deployment in an environment that not only requires no concealment, but extends some psychological advantage to obvious armament, while at the same time, providing maximum retention. I don't generally have those requirements, so most of what I've got is leather. I see the advantages of each, and am of the opinion that the context determines the best approach.
  7. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

    May 2, 2008
    Leather, just my preference.

    Shouldn't there be a nylon option?
  8. obxned

    obxned Active Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    Actually, the nylon ones work best for me now. I'm always around water, and it's sweaty and very humid here. Leather takes eons to dry out, and I just flat don't like the plastic ones.
  9. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    It's made interesting reading. Being slightly older than some when I carried a sidearm it was leather or leather. Military holsters not included.

    There were some soft nylon ones around but they were too soft, moved about and tended to let the sidearm lean out too much. The first plastic ones I came across were made by a friend, and were plastic outer, leather inner. (He went on to become one of the planets largest manufacturer, but by then 100% plastic).

    I have tried a couple of plastic ones but not in daily use, and as you may know that's the tester. They look really practical and I imagine comfortable, especially the paddles. Though as I said, I have no valid experience of them.

    Final comment from me might be that a well made close fitting leather holster has class and is a pleasure to own and use. Plastic will never have that!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2008
  10. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

    May 2, 2008
    Just to toss this one out there, a highly experienced shootist I know seems to have had very good luck with the Safariland Batwing Holster. He stopped using leather due to the squeaking and kydex is too stiff or something to that effect.

    Attached Files:

  11. butchseaman

    butchseaman New Member

    May 19, 2008
    I have both leather and kydex and both work well. But my preference would be leather. Once broken in and formed to the body there is nothing as comfortable.
  12. Vector

    Vector New Member

    Jul 5, 2008
    Pretoria South Africa
    Personal prefference is also leather. Plastic is only practical in urban situations. And I found that nylon always gets ripped by your sights and tend to stretch which ends up in you having a malformed holster.
  13. As a matter of taste, I love the look and wear of leather holsters. That is an easy choice for normal civilian everyday carry.

    Sometimes though Nylon is very practical, especially for uniform work. (Weather is not kind to leather, but Nylon pretty much shakes off everything.)

    Kydex has a place in certain roles too, but I'd only put a polymer handgun in a Kydex holster because I've seen it mar finishes on other types of handguns. The good thing about Kydex style holsters is you can adjust tension to secure a sidearm very good and removes the need for a thumbstrap (exception being military work...nothing but straps will secure stuff when exiting certain things in the dark).
  14. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    This is an excellent point, retention. I was taught to use a leather holster with no thumb strap, but to check the function by holding the holster upside down with the sidearm in place and make sure it stays in place.

    Thumb straps do have their place though, their better to resist a grabber, also if you are likely to leap about a bit, it might save your sidearm from leaving you at a bad time!

    I wouldn't discount an open but tight holster, with a lanyard from weapon to belt. There are some good ones available from people like Black Hawk.
  15. The whole issue of thumb straps is a good one to discuss, I think. Some seem to like them and there is little question they offer some protection against a gun grab by one's opponent. Personally, I seldom use one, although I do have a good Galco design available as an option for my Glock 26 and 33 should I need one. Generally I prefer a custom made, properly molded open top leather holster for concealed carry. Bottom line, thumb straps get in the way sometimes. If I must draw a weapon in self-defense(God forbid!), I don't want any whistles and bells to get in the way, hence an open holster . . . and a Glock! :D

    For military use, I completely agree with Delta. But then, for military use, a pistol is secondary anyway.
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