Do the holsters from some Kydex holster makers wear finish more than others?

This is a discussion on Do the holsters from some Kydex holster makers wear finish more than others? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Has anyone used a variety of Kydex holsters and found that some wear the gun's finish more than others? Specifically, I was curious about the ...

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Thread: Do the holsters from some Kydex holster makers wear finish more than others?

  1. #1
    Member Array Talking_Monkey's Avatar
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    Do the holsters from some Kydex holster makers wear finish more than others?

    Has anyone used a variety of Kydex holsters and found that some wear the gun's finish more than others? Specifically, I was curious about the Blade-Tech OWB vs. the Raven Concealment Phantom, but any other input would be appreciated.

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    Senior Member Array Happypuppy's Avatar
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    Blade tech and another from the gun show some no name brand was rough and I used some fine sandpaper to finish it better.

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    I have a custom Kydex for my lc9 and it wore the bluing on the slide a little but I think that's from a poor quality finish not so much the holster. I think any holster would have done the same.
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    Well plastic and kydex are different, as well there are a couple different types of kydex. I'm not sure what the abrasion differences are between them but there are allot of different holsters that people call "kydex" when they aren't really kydex. Seldom does the company mislabel them but often customers see plastic and say or assume kydex. I know for instance that Blade Tech used to separate their holsters by kydex and injection molded, but looking at their site not since I haven't been there in quite a while my quick glance only sees injection molded rigs.

    So keep that in mind when looking at wear, its going to vary by material very likely.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Kydex is a.thermoplastic brand name. If a holster is constructed of true "Kydex" it's gonna' have relatively identical finish-wear characteristics as any other Kydex holster. So it comes down more to the quality of the finished holster (burrs and sharp edges) than to the construction materials.
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    I have a Raven Concealment Bravo and have used it well over a year on a M&P with no signs of wear on the gun's finish. I usually unholster and put the gun back 3-4 times per day for various reasons.

    I'm not entirely positive, but I think the "underside" of kydex is smooth so it really shouldn't be an issue with any typical holster. The only time you may run into excessive wear with kydex is if the maker uses really dense foam in their press and tighten things down extra tight to really make the holster show the guns lines and contours and you unholster and reholster a lot. I wouldn't worry too much anyways with the modern coatings the majority of gun manufactures use... Melonite/Tenifer/whatever they call it.
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    Senior Member Array denclaste's Avatar
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    They do seem to be prone to causing wear marks. There is a holster maker that lines theirs with leather, this seems like the best bet for that kind of holster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Kydex is a.thermoplastic brand name. If a holster is constructed of true "Kydex" it's gonna' have relatively identical finish-wear characteristics as any other Kydex holster. So it comes down more to the quality of the finished holster (burrs and sharp edges) than to the construction materials.
    Not to mention their molding method/skill. Pressure hot-spots from the forming can cause additional wear.

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    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    The only way to keep a gun in 'like new' condition, is to keep it in protective material in your gun safe, and never use it.

    None of my handguns is a 'safe queen', and that includes several that cost over $1,000. But that is just my choice. Yours could be different. A gun that is carried and shot will show wear - there's no way around that. I once badly scratched the outside grip panel on a $100 set of grips the very first time I wore the gun. Some finishes are more protective than others, but nothing protects absolutely.

    Kydex tends to show wear at the retention areas, chiefly around the trigger guard. But if sand or grit get into a kydex holster, the damage can be all too obvious. So I regularly wipe out the inside of my kydex holsters. On the other hand, leather, IMO, uses overall friction to retain the gun, so wear is more of a polishing in many places on the gun vs. specific area wear like kydex.

    I have both leather and kydex holsters for each of my handguns, and I switch between them as my mood dictates.

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Personally I dont worry about wear on my carry guns. They are for protection not beauty pageants. However, I have found through very un scientific testing ( using them) some holsters wear differently than others. As previously mentioned, the molding process used has as much to do with wear as material used. Finely molded holsters seem to wear on the edges as will any gun in any holster eventually. The worst I had was a kydex holster I bought on flea bay. It was shaped using fingers and had odd spots of contact which caused wear on the flat side of the slide.
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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    If you holster/un-holster often enough, even a holster made of baby-butt skin will eventually cause "holster wear."

    The "problem" is typically exacerbated by guns which somehow have problematic finishes from the factory or a refinisher.

    Yes, a leather holster or a thermoplastic holster that is otherwise "lined" is typically "softer," but if dirt/debris comes between its inside surface and the gun, that can be more problematic than when the same happens to a "bare" plastic holster, which can be easier to clean.



    ^ That's a pretty famous picture on the 1911forum of a member's high-use gun at ~30K rounds.

    The following is my XDm, also at around 30K rounds - the gun and the gear below had just come off a ~3.5K round, 6-day class and had not yet been cleaned:



    In each case, you can see that there's some holster wear.

    Yes, the holster pictured with my gun is a Raven Phantom, and yes, that was the holster I used for that class.

    n terms of EDC, I favor leather simply for my comfort (Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro). That gun has about 9K rounds on it, but still looks new on the outside. This is mainly because that holster just hasn't had a chance to get all that dirty.

    I have a copy of my EDC which I use for training. That gun has a pretty significant scratch on its slide which came after a day of dropping down in the dirt (which looked like the background of the picture of my gun, above) - I have a copy of my EDC holster that I reserve strictly for training abuse, and in this particular case, a nice little rock must have got inside when I dropped prone.

    I typically practice at home using a Kydex holster (Kaluban Kloak), and the inside of that one is pretty darned clean as I've never used it in a training class or even at the range: I have yet to notice it impart any significant wear on my training-EDC copy.

    FWIW, I also have a couple of Comp-Tac and Blade-Tech holsters, as well as a leather-lined Kydex holster from Garrett Industries (Silent Thunder Slim II), and I haven't noticed any one or another take any more or less out of my various pistols. It's really more about keeping dirt/debris out of the inside of the holster and off the outside of the gun than anything else.

    That, and being resigned to the fact that a high-use gun will look like a high-use gun. That's how refinishers make their money.
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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensei2 View Post
    The only way to keep a gun in 'like new' condition, is to keep it in protective material in your gun safe, and never use it.

    None of my handguns is a 'safe queen', and that includes several that cost over $1,000. But that is just my choice. Yours could be different. A gun that is carried and shot will show wear - there's no way around that. I once badly scratched the outside grip panel on a $100 set of grips the very first time I wore the gun. Some finishes are more protective than others, but nothing protects absolutely.

    Kydex tends to show wear at the retention areas, chiefly around the trigger guard. But if sand or grit get into a kydex holster, the damage can be all too obvious. So I regularly wipe out the inside of my kydex holsters. On the other hand, leather, IMO, uses overall friction to retain the gun, so wear is more of a polishing in many places on the gun vs. specific area wear like kydex.

    I have both leather and kydex holsters for each of my handguns, and I switch between them as my mood dictates.
    This pretty well sums it up. Any holster is going to wear the gun carried in it. There is just a difference in the wear patterns between leather and Kydex.
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    What a lot of people don't realize is that it's not as much tbe holster material that causes wear as it is the abrasive debris/dirt/sand/etc. that gets inside the holster. Routinely cleaning out the inside of a holster should minimize wear, if that's something you're concerned about (I'm not).

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Many good points have been made, let me add the design of the Kydex holster will allow more wear if fitted incorrectly.

    For instance, on my holsters, I block out the ejection port entirely with balsa wood.
    IMG_0462.jpg
    Here you can see the blocking of the ejection port that allows extra clearance for re-holstering as well as a recess to keep the belt loop hardware from making contact with the gun. This also acts as a tucking feature pushing the grip into the body, enhancing concealment.

    Allowing the Kydex to form down inside of the ejection port, against the barrel on say a G19, that has a very deep recess will create a hot spot, or wear point on the slide in front of the port when the gun is drawn. This will eat the finish much quicker than a properly designed Kydex holster where the majority of the retention is on the trigger guard.

    I have found that keeping debris like abrasive sand/dirt/dust out of the inside of the holster is the surest way to protect a guns finish.
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