How well do leather IWB holsters hold up over time?

How well do leather IWB holsters hold up over time?

This is a discussion on How well do leather IWB holsters hold up over time? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't have any full-leather IWB holsters, so I don't have much experience in how they hold up after a couple years of use. My ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array ShooterMcGavin's Avatar
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    Question How well do leather IWB holsters hold up over time?

    I don't have any full-leather IWB holsters, so I don't have much experience in how they hold up after a couple years of use. My main question is: do they maintain their retention?

    My main holster now is an MTAC. The draw is easy, but I'd prefer a little more retention. I have tightened it up a bit, but I worry that it might settle and get loose if I make it much tighter. I do really like it for everyday carry, BTW.

    Thanks.

    Oh, here is a dancing banana, because I keep looking at it while I'm writing this That banana has some great moves!


  2. #2
    Member Array bigiceman's Avatar
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    I have the Minitaur that I bought from CompTac. I only have six months use so far, but I still have room to make adjustments to the retention system. (hex heads and compression system) I don't think the leather will be able to give more than the adjustments will make up for. Hopefully someone with more time in one will answer. I am interested in hearing the answer.
    But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Several years on an Andrews McDaniel II and still holding fine. I know one gent who has one that has been in service close to 10 years and still doing it's job.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  4. #4
    Member Array Final Option's Avatar
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    I've carried the same Summer Special and an early version of the Executive Companion (I think thats the name) on a daily basis for over 15 years with no issues. With IWB retention is as much a function of your belt as it is the holster IMO.

  5. #5
    Member Array RochPersDef's Avatar
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    I have had an IWB from Rusty Sherrick for almost 6 years. The thing is still going strong. The trick is to find one made from horsehide and a reinforced top. I carry in that rig all day, every day, and I have never had a problem.

    I'm actually looking to get another just for S&G's

    Dave

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    It's all going to depend on how hard you are on your holster. Don't wear the holster without a gun. Never allow it to get wet. Don't let it get flattened. No oil.
    www.ubgholsters.com short wait times. Use 'defensivecarry' as a coupon code for a discount to your order.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    I have carried the pictured Taurus in the Bianchi 3S Pistol Pocket (also pictured) since 1995 and it has held up wonderfully.


    It shows no excessive wear, and is still in use from time to time (semi-retired to a 1911). As much as I like that holster, my next IWB will be a little wider. This one is nice, but because the snap loop is right on top of the holster, all of the pressure is centered on the gun and not spread out like others out on the market.
    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out." British Prime Minister Tony Blair

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarhead79 View Post
    It's all going to depend on how hard you are on your holster. Don't wear the holster without a gun. Never allow it to get wet. Don't let it get flattened. No oil.
    I can only assume that you have had some bad past experiences with leather. The one that I pictured is nearly 13 years old, and I assure you that it has been saturated on more than one occasion. By sweat, rain, tap water and a pool (long story). It has been worn for extended periods without a gun, and has been not only flattened, but rolled over on itself. I have cleaned and oiled it more than a couple of times over the years and it has held up quite well.

    In short, I have done everything to my holster that you say don't do, and it is every bit as good today as it was when I bought it.
    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out." British Prime Minister Tony Blair

  9. #9
    JD
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    I have a beat up Galco Royal Guard IWB that's seen more miles than a Greyhound Bus, I bought it used on eBay about 3.5 years ago, and it still holds well, it was my primary IWB before I got my VMII.

    It looks like crap, half of the rough-out grain of the leather is worn smooth, it's got sweat stains, and the loops are dyed black, I think it's missing a screw...

    But it will still do it's job.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Mtbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    I have a beat up Galco Royal Guard IWB that's seen more miles than a Greyhound Bus, I bought it used on eBay about 3.5 years ago, and it still holds well, it was my primary IWB before I got my VMII.

    It looks like crap, half of the rough-out grain of the leather is worn smooth, it's got sweat stains, and the loops are dyed black, I think it's missing a screw...

    But it will still do it's job.

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  11. #11
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtbiker View Post
    Do you want a 3 legged, blind, deaf dog named "Lucky"?
    Only if he still has a tail to wag and is also mute.

  12. #12
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    I'm hard on holsters. I have some kydex ones, but they are relegated to range & competition.

    For concealment I use leather. My OWB leather ones have taken a lot of abuse & rarely do they last more than 1-2 years of constant use.

    However, I recently bought my first leather IWB (from UBG!) & boy am I impressed. It has held up a lot better than the OWBs have & has not lost any of its retention. I think it is mainly due to being INSIDE the waist & doesn't get subject to zippers & buttons of cover garments, seat belts...etc.....

    It is a little slower to draw than an OWB, but it is a much better concealment holster.
    Last edited by goawayfarm; January 31st, 2008 at 05:20 PM.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    I have an ancient OWB maybe a duty holster that is over thirty years old works just fine. Granted it does not see much use these days but I can strap it on any day and it will function fine. I have every expectation that my IWB (Maverick Defender) will out live me.
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  14. #14
    Member Array ShooterMcGavin's Avatar
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    I appreciate hearing everyone's input. It looks like I'll be getting a new leather holster. The front runner so far is the Dakota Defender.

  15. #15
    Member Array B. Adams's Avatar
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    I've had a Dakota Defender for about 4 months, and it looks like it did the day I got it. I haven't worn it for more than a day, so that might explain it.

    A couple days after I got my Dakota Defender, I got a Garrity Triskel and that's what I've been carrying in for the last 4 months. It also looks like it did the day I got it.

    My Dakota Defender is probably the best made holster I've ever seen, it's certainly the best made holster I've ever owned. I carry in my Garrity holster because it covers the rear sight a little better, which pokes into my flabby sides a little bit when I use the K&D. I leave my velcro clips on the K&D and use it only when I need to tuck in my shirt, which is almost never.

    But back on topic, my leather holsters are wearing very well, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to buy leather again. FWIW, all my holsters are cowhide, and I've never owned a horsehide holster, so I can't comment on their durability.

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