Leather holsters causing rust?

This is a discussion on Leather holsters causing rust? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I had read on another post that someone had mentioned not to leave your gun in a leather holster as it would cause it to ...

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Thread: Leather holsters causing rust?

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    Leather holsters causing rust?

    I had read on another post that someone had mentioned not to leave your gun in a leather holster as it would cause it to rust really fast. I didn't know if it was just blued guns or any type of finish. I usually keep a light coat of gun oil on mine,would this prevent the premature rusting?
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    This is actually a more complex question than it seems to be.
    At one time the answer would have been a resounding & definitive "Yes" that storing a firearm in a holster would promote rusting.
    We need to get a few things clarified first though.

    > An all Stainless Steel firearm would be just fine stored in a holster. As would an internally & externally Electroless Nickel plated firearm.

    > Chromium tanned leather will absolutely mess up a blued firearm but, it is never used for making high quality holsters.
    The exception would be suede lined holsters and those soft, mushy, suede IWB & pocket holsters. They are likely made from Chrome tanned leather - but Stainless guns would be OK in those also.

    > All good holsters these days are crafted from vegetable tanned leather and the EASY answer is that since leather absorbs moisture from the atmosphere - the leather holster will hold that moisture next to the surface of the firearm and promote rusting.

    However - SOME top quality carry holsters are "final finished" by dipping them in an Acrylic sealer and they do not absorb much atmospheric moisture.
    In other words the typical "moisture wicking" property of the leather has pretty much been nearly eliminated by some top holster makers.

    > Much also depends on where & how you store your firearms. If you store your firearms in a safe and you have a GOLDEN ROD in your safe....then that unit keeps the internal air dry and so consequently there is no dampness for the leather to absorb.
    Those guns should do just fine stored in holsters since there is nothing "chemically" contained in vegetable tanned leather that harms bluing and the air is dry.
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    Much more detailed answer from QKShooter than I can offer. However, fwiw I keep two glocks (tough tenifer finish) stored for quick access in leather Fist #1A (one is in a garage safe with no climate control- very humid), and don't have any problems. I only subject the Glocks to that sort of rust temptation, though.

    Everything else stays in pristine environments.
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    I would also add that an IWB leather holster will absorb sweat,sweat is salty and the gun should be removed and wiped down with a silicone or oily rag to prevent rusting,holster should be air dried and then worn again,kydex may not absorb moisture,but I have had some rusting on a blued 1911 where my sweat soaked shirt and skin came in contact with the gun and areas like under the ambi safety and grip panels acquired surface rust
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    I would love for all forum members to invest in a small jar of Renaissance Wax.
    It is such a time tested neutral PH protective wax.
    It creates a fantastic sweat/acid barrier on firearm & blade steel and it does not dry slippery as you think that wax would.
    It's always for sale on Ebay. Buy the smallest size 'cause it lasts forever.

    It should also be noted that some carbon gun steel (especially if it just sports a cheapo black oxide finish) with have a strong tendency to show surface rust.
    Other carbon steel varieties will not be so prone to rust.

    Fingerprints should always be promptly wiped off a blued firearm after handling because they will eventually burn right into a nice blue finish.

    Carbon steel blued firearms that are left to gather dust will also be prone to rust under the dust.
    (I'm a poet and don't even know it.)

    That is because dust and or lint will also pull moisture out of damp air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    I would love for all forum members to invest in a small jar of Renaissance Wax.
    ....
    Okay. It's gonna be a hot/sweaty summer. $17.50 including shipping, and I'm in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    I would love for all forum members to invest in a small jar of Renaissance Wax.
    It is such a time tested neutral PH protective wax.
    It creates a fantastic sweat/acid barrier on firearm & blade steel and it does not dry slippery as you think that wax would.
    It's always for sale on Ebay. Buy the smallest size 'cause it lasts forever.


    It should also be noted that some carbon gun steel (especially if it just sports a cheapo black oxide finish) with have a strong tendency to show surface rust.
    Other carbon steel varieties will not be so prone to rust.

    Fingerprints should always be promptly wiped off a blued firearm after handling because they will eventually burn right into a nice blue finish.

    Carbon steel blued firearms that are left to gather dust will also be prone to rust under the dust.
    (I'm a poet and don't even know it.)

    That is because dust and or lint will also pull moisture out of damp air.
    I agree 100%; Renaissance Wax is an excellent product. People should also give a chance to Eezox on all internals and where you cannot apply the wax; Eezox® Quart Size Premium Gun Care - Warren Custom Outdoor. I had a lot of rust related problems and nothing helped, but when I began to use Renaissance Wax and Eezox the rust problems disappeared and they never came back.
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    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    This is actually a more complex question than it seems to be.
    Good educational post! Thanks...
    Diddle
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    Another vote for renaissance wax! I use it mostly for my knives. For my firearms I use tuff cloth. Just wipe it down after I carry and cleaning and it's good to go.

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    Thanks for the info, I'll have to try the wax. I have been storing my 1911 stainless in a Desantis IWB on my nightstand but I wasnt sure if that was a good idea since lately the humidity has been really going up and I didn't want the finish to get damaged.
    I would rather die standing up than live life on my knees.

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    You can not prevent bad things from happening on your EDC guns. I use leather holsters because I like them. If my weapon starts to rust so much that it has an effect on working right then I'll buy a brand new gun and start all over again.
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    Be careful with the stainless guns. Most of them, if not all, being 400 series stainless steel have carbon in them and they will rust. They need to be wiped off too.

    Leaving a wet "stainless" gun in a gun case will result in tears being shed and gnashing of teeth. Just last night I sand blasted a stainless gun that had been left wet in a case and it looked terrible when taken out a month later.
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    I have had great luck with a Stainless Ruger Super Blackhawk (Stainless) that I often hiked out with and it has stayed decently damp & wet for days without showing a lick of rust. I have heard of some Stainless showing surface rusting though. On the plus side Stainless usually does not deeply pit so getting rid of the problem with a ScotchBrite pad is usually pretty easy.

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    I have used RenWax and it is a fine product. When I ran out of it last time I started using Johnson's Paste Wax (yellow can). I waxed some of my guns and oiled the rest. In February 2008, I lost my house and garage to an F3 tornado. We couldn't get back into the rubble for 3 days and it rained a deluge those days. All of my guns had been in the closet and were thoroughly doused. The guns that were oiled and CLP treated rusted badly, requiring extensive restoration efforts. The waxed guns (Johnson's Wax) had no rust at all.

    I even wax my EDCs now and yes, I do carry them in leather holsters.
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

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    All leather articles have a tendency to attract and retain moisture from the atmosphere, from precipitation, from perspiration.

    "Stainless steel" is a marketing moniker. Any ferrous metal can oxidize (rust), although stainless steel is less prone to this.

    Leather is produced by tanning animal skins. Several different methods have been used including vegetable tanning (tannin provided from vegetable sources such as tree bark), chrome tanning (chemical salts), brain tanning (using the brain of the animal rendered into a liquid solution), and good old-fashioned urine and dung methods (still in common use in some countries).

    Vegetable tanning leaves no potentially damaging materials in the leather. However, vegetable tanned leather has the greatest propensity for absorbing moisture. Vegetable tanned leather can be readily formed and molded when wet, making it the most useful for holsters.

    Chrome tanning leaves residual chemical salts in the leather, some of which are readily dissolved in water and corrosive to ferrous metals. Chrome tanned leather is typically soft and is frequently used for holster linings. Chrome tanned leather absorbs moisture less easily, but retains it quite well. I have seen stainless steel handguns with significant surface corrosion after being stored in leather holsters for extended periods.

    Brain tanned leather is uncommon in the US. It is very soft and pliable, and very absorbant. No chemical salts are involved.

    Urine and dung tanned leather is just something I don't want to have around me.

    I always recommend removing the handgun from the holster after each day's use and wiping it down with an oily rag or silicone-treated cloth. The weapon should be stored separately from leather holsters and cases. Leather holsters should be stored in an area having good airflow to permit residual moisture to evaporate off.

    Best regards.
    Lobo Gun Leather
    serious equipment for serious business, since 1972
    www.lobogunleather.com

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