Kydex and Leather

This is a discussion on Kydex and Leather within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We can talk about 1000 holsters and have as many varied opinions about them. This is from personal experience and force on force with sims ...

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Thread: Kydex and Leather

  1. #1
    Member Array FIREARMZ's Avatar
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    Kydex and Leather

    We can talk about 1000 holsters and have as many varied opinions about them. This is from personal experience and force on force with sims and real people.

    Kydex is fast, leather is slower, owb is faster and iwb is slower. The fact is that what you gain in speed deters from retention and the more retention we have the slower we are. So we need to find a happy medium for the CCW and I admit it just will not work for everyone. The Leather IWB is best for concealed carry. In numerous FOF scenarios nearly anyone that had a plastic or kydex holster, especially an OWB lost there guns to the bad guy or ended up fighting over the gun. The kydex being fast offered the easy opportunity to slide the gun out, the plastic holsters like Fobus usually burst at the rivet points and became totally separated dropping the gun. Thatís bad jo jo there.

    The leather iwb fits inside the pants and the leather being able to collapse slightly under body and belt pressure add good retention and still be drawn under 1.5 seconds with practice.


    I do use kydex and use it frequently in IDPA, classes and inthe winter when the gun can be hidden easier. So no I am not knocking any of them, just remember that faster may not always be better.
    Ken Forbus Owner of FIREARMZ
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    Way back when my P95 was carry - I made do with a Fobus paddle. Surprisingly enough it served well and gave me no scares or failures. The draw did I admit have be ''inertial'' - very brisk, to break it free.

    These days I certainly appreciate the comfort aspect of good leather, OWB in my case. Retention is not as tight which is pretty much expected but overall it's apples and oranges now.

    That said I have one or two kydex rigs in the box of holsters and still more than a couple of Fobus! These can serve for the range but as my EDC is leather, that is what I use for practice mostly.
    Chris - P95
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    Member Array FIREARMZ's Avatar
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    You are correct about the Fobus as I keep several to use for students on the range. Just about 99% of my carry is a Milt Sparks Summer Special II. it is warm usually here in Georgia and can get away with a polo almost 10 months out of the year. Late Jan to March is when I may have to add additional clothing.
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    I have to admit that I have a Fobus holster in my holster drawer, but it will stay there after we did the pull test and ripped one off the paddle (off another guys waist) and after a UC was doing a buy bust and his glock went sliding across the parking lot. That lil nub just isnt enough for me, so Fobus will stay nice and safe.

    I prefer leather as it just "feels" better but I have my fair share of kydex that I use in tactical situations. I guess when its time to conceal (and the t-shirt isnt being used) I go with leather, but when concealment isnt an issue, I go with kydex.
    Steve
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    I never liked Fobus or Unc Mikes.
    I would not have either or any paddle for a street defensive rig.

    Sidearmor is decent and "pulls in" closer than Fobus and/or Michaels of Oregon. Better overall design & construction.
    Naturally more expensive also.


    Some Kydex rigs can be "tension set" so that they have extremely tight retention.

    I stay with leather & OWB when I carry at the waist.

    Most of the "draw speed" should be wiping the cover garment - gaining access to the firearm - and proper grip on said firearm married to a smooth, consistent, & deliberate presentation.

    Not really sure how much speed is lost with a high quality leather VS Kydex rig & I am educated guessing that much depends on the construction of the actual holsters themselves.

    We are "slicing & dicing" a very small increment of a fraction of a second actual time of firearm to clear properly constructed leather (no retaining strap) VS Kydex.

    Just my personal opinion on the fact that the vast majority of defensive shooters are not skilled enough to take any sort of advantage of a slight minute difference in reduced friction out of the Kydex or Carbon Fiber holster.
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    My Serpa holster works well for rention, yet fast draw. I feel lumping kydex vs leather is a broad generalization. I use IWB kydex holsters as well as leather holsters.
    Depending on your intended purpose /job a variety of holsters will or will not do.
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    Member Array FIREARMZ's Avatar
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    The Georgia Public Safety Training Center has banned all Serpa CQC Holsters, citing neglegent discharges coming out of the holsters. As well as any other holster that releases it's retention over the trigger and or trigger guard.
    Ken Forbus Owner of FIREARMZ
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    Good thing I am not in Georgia.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Having grown up "in the saddle" so to speak, I like leather.

    I have a Kydex for my Glock 19, and see nothing wrong with a plastic holster for a "plastic" gun. I do however cringe when I even think about putting a blued revolver in plastic.

    I use a CTAC for the 19 and Bruce Gibson, from this forum is making me an OWB for my S&W Model 22. My conceal carry holster for this boat anchor will be a Garrity Incognito. I look forward to getting this from Mark when he gets it built.

    My Fobus is for range days and days when concealment isn't an issue. I can't last remember when I didn't consider concealment an issue.

    Biker

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    I don't really have enough experience with leather to compare it to kydex (I carry in a Comp-Tac C-T.A.C.). However, a lot of the previous posters are comparing leather holsters to cheap kydex holsters from Fobus and Uncle Mikes. Of course kydex is going to seem like crap if all you look at is the cheapest holster available. Even in plastic $20 isn't going to buy you much. A better comparison would be a high end kydex holster from a quality manufacturer like Blade-Tech or Comp-Tac.

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    I Prefer Leather...

    but Kydex has its place. I have a couple of Kydex pocket holsters, and these are thin, light, and comfortable. Most of my other rigs are leather IWB...comfortable, good retention, dependable, and great for concealment...

    OMO

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    I think kydex is great, as long as it is never used OWB. OWB kydex holsters can be easily defeated. I have never seen on work in a serious retention drill. Whether it is a Fobus or Comp-Tac, they always have come apart when pulled hard enough.
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    The fastest carry is pocket IMHO because you can have your hand on the gun before anything happens like walking to your car!

    Appendix IWB is a great fast option with less cover garment to get out of the way.

    I like leather better...
    MNBurl

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    The comp~tac belt holster is a nice piece of Kydex.
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    I have a MaxConVI on order for my new Glock 26, however in the meantime I have purchased a cheap Fobus Paddle holster. While not a perfect rig by any means it is not as bad as some might say. I think it will have its place in the future. It carries very well if concealment is not a magor concern, it fits and retains the firearm very nice and it stays put when drawing. I think it will make a great range holster or holster for open carry around the property.

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