Holsters, lined or unlined

Holsters, lined or unlined

This is a discussion on Holsters, lined or unlined within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This may have been cover before, new here to the site. I have had this on going discussion with a friend about the merits of ...

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Thread: Holsters, lined or unlined

  1. #1
    Member Array jbuck's Avatar
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    Holsters, lined or unlined

    This may have been cover before, new here to the site.

    I have had this on going discussion with a friend about the merits of a lined or unlined holster. He believes the lined holster protects the finish on his guns better.
    My counter is the lining can and does collect sand, dirt etc wearing the finish. I do not abuse my guns but they are not safe queens either.

    Opinion?

    JBuck


  2. #2
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    Array Ben Hennessy's Avatar
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    Only one holster rig of mine is the holster suede lined. It was advertised as protecting the finish. With the unline holsters I have I still do not see wear on the finish after 2 years of use. After saying that, with my lined holster I also do not see it collecting dirt or sand. After more years of use, I might see a difference between the 2, but not as of yet.

  3. #3
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    This has been addressed on various forums. Here's my 2 cents:
    I feel there are three reasons a suede lining should be avoided.
    First off, all suede is chrome-tanned, as opposed to the vegetable-tanned leathers used in holster manufacture. The chromium salts in suede can pit a finely blued firearm that is stored in it for any length of time. This may not have as much effect on a stainless or other finish, but if you've ever seen a blued gun with pitting along it's edges it may have been stored in a suede holster.
    Secondly, as stated above, suede can act as a sponge and absorb any oils used to lubricate the firearm. Then these oils act as a magnet and trap dirt and grit and the carbon deposits from the fired pistol, and that can actully make the suede abrasive to the gun's finish.
    Third, suede has no structural density of it's own. What this means is that any holster made with a suede lining is thicker, bulkier, and less detail molded than it's non-suede lined counterpart. You can't use a much thinner piece of holster leather and line it with suede and have any strength to the holster, so using a piece of leather almost as thick as standard holster leather and adding suede will naturally make the holster thicker - not something that is condusive to concealment.

    Now this is not to say that there are not other lining options available if you are concerned about the pistol's finish. If you want a lining, a smooth leather lining is the way to go. This puts the same leather on the inside of the holster that is on the outside. This results in a holster that is the exact same thickness and has the exact same degree of detail molding as it's unlined counterpart. This is acheived by (in layman's terms) using two pieces of 4 oz leather glued back-to-back and treated like one piece of 8 oz leather comonly used to construct a holster. This can also result in a stronger holster than unlined, because you have two different grainpatterns in the same piece, and since even 4 oz veg-tan does have some structural merit (at least more so than suede) with two pieces glued back-to-back one can make up for any soft spots or defciencies that may have been overlooked in the other.
    When I construct a lined holster, I use a 5-6 oz piece of cowhide backed with a 2 oz piece of veg-tanned kangaroo. Kangaroo is smoother and denser than cowhide, and has more tensile strength than any leather on the market; so this construction is keeping things thin, smooth, and making it more durable.
    As a side note, all exotic holster have a smooth lining, since the exotic hide is glued onto the rough side of the foundation leather and the smooth part of the hide that is usually the outside of the holster is now on the inside.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."
    www.garritysgunleather.com

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