Lined - Unlined Holsters

This is a discussion on Lined - Unlined Holsters within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have had this on going discussion with a friend over lined and unlined holsters. His argument being the lined holster is "easier" on the ...

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Thread: Lined - Unlined Holsters

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    Member Array jbuck's Avatar
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    Lined - Unlined Holsters

    I have had this on going discussion with a friend over lined and unlined holsters. His argument being the lined holster is "easier" on the finish of the gun. Mine is the lined will hold or collect sand, grit and other thing that will do more damage to the finish of the gun.
    I personally don't really care about the finish within reason. I expect reasonable holster wear on my guns.
    This may bave been answered before if so Mod feel free to close.

    JBuck

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  3. #2
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    This has been addressed before recently, but here's my 2 cents:
    The answer really depends on the type of lining used. If suede is used as a lining then you are correct. It can act as a sponge, absorb the oils used to lubricate your pistol, and the fine knap can beome a trap for dirt and grit and be abrasive to your pistol's finish. Suede should also be avoided because it is not vegatable tanned like holster leather. it is chrome-tanned and the chromium salts can pitted a blued firearm that is stored in it for extended periods. The third reason I advise against a suede lining is the holster will be bulkier than a it's unlined counterpart and will not be as detail molded. Suede has no density or rigidness on it's own, so you cannot use a much lighter weight holster leather when incorporating a suede lining. So essentially you have the same thickness of holster leather now lined with suede, making a thicker bulkier holster. Not something you want for concealment.
    Now a smooth leather lining will protect your firearm's finish much more than an unlined holster. This is acheived by using two thinner pieces of leather glued back-to-back that equal the thickness of a standard piece of holster leather so the holster is equally as smooth on the inside as outside. A smooth leather lined holster will be the exact thickness as it's unlined counterpart, so there is no increased bulk, and it will be able to molded just as detailed. Common smooth linings are standard cowhide, calf-skin, goat-skin, or veg-tanned kangaroo (which is what I use). Kangaroo has greater tensile strength than any leather on the market, so it is actually adding a ceratin degree of durability to the holster while still keeping it thin. And kangaroo is smoother and less porous than cowhide so it makes for a glass-smooth lining. It also is very scratch and scuff resitant, so the smooth lining is less likely to be abraded by sharp edges or front cocking serrations than a smooth cow-hide lining.
    It should be noted that all exotic holsters are smooth lined if properly constructed. Since cowhide or horsehide is used as a base or foundation leather, it is basically turned inside-out, with the exotic glued to the rougher side and the smooth side turned in against the gun.
    Any pistol that is worn daily and drawn on a regular basis will show some amount of wear eventually, but a smooth lining will reduce it or at least extend the duration that it begins to show.
    "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."
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    Member Array jbuck's Avatar
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    Mark,
    Thanks for the "education", this is one I will file.
    I was not aware of kangaroo leather being used for holsters. I have see several drover whips made of Roo.
    I have a few holsters made in the 40's and 50's that show a greenish material around the rivets which I am sure is the results of the tanning process.
    Thanks,

    JBuck

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    I have a pair of kangaroo boots, They started out as dress boots some 20+ years ago , 6 pair of soles and heels later they are nicely broken in. Roo if tanned right is some tough stuff , and the boots never were real stiff , not as soft as elk or osterage , but not as stiff as normal cowhide either .
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    Member Array madecov's Avatar
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    I kinda believe that lining is useless
    Anytime you rub two surfaces together one of them is going to wear. A lined holster may make the draw a bit smoother but it's still going to wear on the finish.

    The only way to prevent holster wear is to not holster the weapon, leave it in the box and never touch it.
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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    mad , unless i mistake , even the original question deals with how much wear , Yes carry guns wear , and further than holster wear they will pick up character marks , the issue is not gun wear , but how to limit it imho
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

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    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    madecov,
    As stated, any pistol that is carried regularly will show signs of wear.
    But I don't think that makes a smooth lining useless. It's a question of when that wear will show. A suede lining will likely accelorate it, and a smooth lining will decrease and prolong it.
    "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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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Mark, thanks for the educational post!

    If I understand correctly, a rough side out cowhide holster achieves the "smoothness" objective, but does not resist wear as well as kangaroo, right?

    Is there such an option as horsehide, rough side out, that would get the smooth, tough interior?

    Thanks again for your insights.
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith

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    I've Learned a Few Things...

    in this thread...Thanks, Mark!

    I just assume that there will be 'wear and tear' on any tool I use a lot.
    This includes an expensive pistol, or my prize holster.

    Disappointing as it may sound, even my favorite pair of shoes are starting to show signs of wear.

    I never promised my kids (grown now), a pistol collection of 'never used' weapons when I'm gone...

    Heck, even my body is starting to wear...everywhere!

    Side Note: Tried one of them thar' kangaroo holsters and my pistol kept jumpin' out of it...

    ret
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    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    Mark has pretty much given us the definative low down on linings. I wish I had something to add...

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    I was just wondering!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Garrity View Post
    This has been addressed before recently, but here's my 2 cents:
    The answer really depends on the type of lining used. If suede is used as a lining then you are correct. It can act as a sponge, absorb the oils used to lubricate your pistol, and the fine knap can beome a trap for dirt and grit and be abrasive to your pistol's finish. Suede should also be avoided because it is not vegatable tanned like holster leather. it is chrome-tanned and the chromium salts can pitted a blued firearm that is stored in it for extended periods. The third reason I advise against a suede lining is the holster will be bulkier than a it's unlined counterpart and will not be as detail molded. Suede has no density or rigidness on it's own, so you cannot use a much lighter weight holster leather when incorporating a suede lining. So essentially you have the same thickness of holster leather now lined with suede, making a thicker bulkier holster. Not something you want for concealment.
    Now a smooth leather lining will protect your firearm's finish much more than an unlined holster. This is acheived by using two thinner pieces of leather glued back-to-back that equal the thickness of a standard piece of holster leather so the holster is equally as smooth on the inside as outside. A smooth leather lined holster will be the exact thickness as it's unlined counterpart, so there is no increased bulk, and it will be able to molded just as detailed. Common smooth linings are standard cowhide, calf-skin, goat-skin, or veg-tanned kangaroo (which is what I use). Kangaroo has greater tensile strength than any leather on the market, so it is actually adding a ceratin degree of durability to the holster while still keeping it thin. And kangaroo is smoother and less porous than cowhide so it makes for a glass-smooth lining. It also is very scratch and scuff resitant, so the smooth lining is less likely to be abraded by sharp edges or front cocking serrations than a smooth cow-hide lining.
    It should be noted that all exotic holsters are smooth lined if properly constructed. Since cowhide or horsehide is used as a base or foundation leather, it is basically turned inside-out, with the exotic glued to the rougher side and the smooth side turned in against the gun.
    Any pistol that is worn daily and drawn on a regular basis will show some amount of wear eventually, but a smooth lining will reduce it or at least extend the duration that it begins to show.


    Mark it took me awhile to post because I'm not sure now if I'm happy with the holster rig I bought last month. Let me ask why do some of the better known holster makers line their holster. I bought a holster rig last month that the holster, mag pouch and belt are all stamped. I was so proud of this rig but now not so sure if it is a nice rig or not. The holster is lined which I feel is suede. If I remember right that is what they advertise. Why would one of the leather artise put some material in your holster that might be harmful to your weapon. Mark if you want to know who made it for me I'll PM you.

  13. #12
    Member Array Realleycat's Avatar
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    I think that Andrews lines his holster's, but I don't own any of his. I do have one from Ross Leather that is lined, but I've never used it enough to see if it is good or bad!!!

  14. #13
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    I can't speak for other makers and why they do what they do or offer what they make. My decision to not offer suede as a lining is based on some bad experiences I had with suede lined holsters long before I got into making my own leather gear or selling it to anyone else.
    That said, with the influx of polymer pistols and wonder finishes on today's market, the effects of suede as damaging to a pistol's finish are probably much less likely today as opposed to years past when everything was blued. (I think the only blued pistols out there now are custom 1911s)
    I still won't use it based on the fact that it adds too much excess bulk to a concealment rig and the holster can't be detail molded to the extent that I like.
    "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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    Thanks Mark for getting back with me. I watched a program on the History Channel about leather making and the solution you said for suede is the same stuff they said. I just did not know it might be bad on your finish. Without knowing anything, I first thought it would be a soft touch to the finish. I'm glad you're here to be able to set me straight.

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    Member Array LTPhoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Realleycat View Post
    I think that Andrews lines his holster's, but I don't own any of his. I do have one from Ross Leather that is lined, but I've never used it enough to see if it is good or bad!!!
    I have a lined holster from Sam Andrews, here: http://www.andrewsleather.com/. It's his Saddle Style OWB with a thumbreak (which diminishes the need for super-detailed boning) and it is lined with suede. It is maybe a hundred times better-looking than the Ross, one of which Phil Smith of ccwsupply, here: http://www.ccwsupply.biz/OnBodyCarryHolstersPage.htm sent me for my evaluation. I sent it back with his blessings and ordered the Sam Andrews rig. With my Beltman Bullhide belt, Sam's holster carries my Sig P229 nice and tight and secure. The lining adds some bulk, yes, but not enough to make a practical difference, in my view. In the interest of objectivity, that view doesn't include an unlined open-top holster at this time. I will place an order for one of those soon, I swear, for my P239 DAK. As to added bulk, a re-inforced mouth should see to that, I would imagine. I also have a 4" Dan Wesson .357 that has lived in a suede-lined pancake holster for a loooong time with no ill effects other than normal carry wear that wore some of the blue off the muzzle.

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