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)
    83.6%
  2. Plastic Holsters

    10 vote(s)
    16.4%
  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

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    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

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    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

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    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:
    http://www.comp-tac.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=35&products_id=95
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  6. user

    user New Member

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    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

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    Leather, just my preference.

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

    obxned New Member

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    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.
  16. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Tranter....With retention you can have a holster with zero retention degrees to level III devices. Like the Safariland 070 SSIII and Safariland 0705 Belt Drop Level III, "features a top snap thumb break, middle finger release tab, patented molded ejection port or cylinder detent and decoy side strap which together provide the highest possibly degree of weapon retention."
    It is safe to say you'd need to "re-learn" to draw from such a holster.

    Many LE departments have a policy for Level II retention holsters etc. I believe the Sheriff Dept where I live just have simple nylon thumbreak holsters.

    The main thing to realize I guess is weapon retention must be excersized in layers. Even with mechanical retention devices, the owner of the weapon must understand and practice retention techniques and avoid being an easy target for a gun grabber.

    The thumbreak on a holster is a very personal choice...it will vary from person to person and each will have a good reason for the choice....kinda like argueing automatic transmission vs stick drive or closed-face fishing reel vs open-face reel. I like a leather IWB holster on strong-side with no thumbreak, but on a shoulder holster I always feel better about having a thumbreak....I don't know why but it feels right.

    Black Hawk are great holsters. I think every unit I've been in bought and issued holsters and modular pouches from Black Hawk. Carrying a service sidearm at work I prefer a drop-thigh holster when in full kit because it's out of the way....a lot of guys like attaching a holster to their body armor but I've avoided that habit because in accidental water emergency I'd drop that vest fast....dressed slicked down I like a simple nylon universal shoulder holster because it carries the weapon and spare mag under my left arm and I can drop it to relax with one unsnapped hook.

    I always use a thumbreak on a duty sidearm. I also have no problem using a modern coil-stretch lanyard.

    Pistol...a handgun is secondary, which is a tiny reason why you double secure that badboy! The other reason is though that if it gets seperated from you...it is now a serious primary problem! Just like any sensetive items like NVD, radios, explosive devices, etc....you go the extra mile to tie it down so you don't experience the drama of searching miles for the kit you lost!

    I once lost a rifle upon exiting a Chinook ramp in the pitch black night at an altitude of zero feet. My hands were full so the weapon was across my side with a 3-point sling. When I dropped off the ramp the plastic keepers on the sling snapped. I never felt it because of the rotorwash. The guy behind me brought me my weapon and it was kinda embarrassing because he asked, "is this your weapon??" and I said, "Hell no mine is???@#%%$%^&$...thank you brother!!!" Extreme heat and cold and lots of sunlight had degraded the plastic sling keepers until they were too weak to absorb shock. That totally changed what type of combat sling I buy or let my guys use.
  17. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    I like plastic
  18. bosun1

    bosun1 New Member

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    I carry a 1911 on duty (security guard) the blackhawk Serpa kidex locking plastic holster . I think is the best.
  19. bosun1

    bosun1 New Member

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    IT WILL BE OK IN THE END,,IF IT AINT OK. IT AINT THE END
  20. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    The retention issue is an important one, I remember twenty odd years ago most LE officers that got shot were shot with their own gun. I actually invented a device and had it patented to help fight this, but never had the money to take it forward.

    The officer had a sort of electronic piper like you get for your car lock. If his gun was grabbed he hit the button and a pin shot into the working parts, locking the action.

    The people I talked to preferred it to the later ideas for a gun that was locked until unlocked with a magnetic ring or similar. I think the idea of hitting the street with an unlocked sidearm you can lock was better that having a locked one that you hope will unlock when needed. If that's clear? I also met some prison officers who liked the idea of being able to lock all the guns in a section of the prison with and electronic signal, such as when overrun in a riot.
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