Thick or thin leather?

Thick or thin leather?

This is a discussion on Thick or thin leather? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have posted this on another forum, but there are some great holster makers and experienced users here so I want the best opinions I ...

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Thread: Thick or thin leather?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Thick or thin leather?

    I have posted this on another forum, but there are some great holster makers and experienced users here so I want the best opinions I can get.

    Leather thick or thin better?
    I once thought thick leather was better, but in time I have changed to the thinking that thinner is better especially for IWB. Of course it has to hold its shape and not go soft soon. There is a thread on another forum re one maker' holsters and one complaint is that the holster was thin.
    I recall the first time I saw a Sparks ExC I thought the leather was too thin, and rejected it. It is now my favorite IWB holster. I do have some thicker IWB holsters but they do not compare with the ExC.

    In line with that I have seen a couple of post re Alex Nossar's holsters. It has been said that his are the thinnest seen, and he has an excellent reputation. He uses both cow and horse hide I think. Does thin mean cheap to some?

    So what is the thinking of holster makers or very experienced guys who have in fact tried enough thick and thin holsters to have a considered opinion.

    Regards, and thanks.
    Jerry


  2. #2
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    All of the top holster makers will make their highly qualified professional determination as to what exact weight of leather is best suited to a particular style of holster that they are crafting.

    They can select and order their high quality hides in any specific weight leather and they are just never going to compromise the durability and usefulness of one of their rigs by using an improper weight of leather.

    In my opinion they are the expert leather workers.

    They make the prototypes and extensively field test their individual holster styles before the first customer ever sees one.

    The reason that you choose a superior maker is so that they can sweat those fine details and you (the customer) don't ever have to.

    They know what weight of leather works best and that decision should remain in their capable hands.

    Just my personal opinion on that.
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  3. #3
    Member Array GingerKid's Avatar
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    I'm just the average consumer, but I think QKShooter gave a great explanation... The thinnest I've had was the Brommeland MCV. Tough AND thin. But I haven't had an opportunity to check out Sparks Heritage styles, Nossar, etc.
    Last edited by GingerKid; April 29th, 2008 at 11:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Rhome's Avatar
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    Most holster makers usually make their IWB holsters from between 5oz-7oz leather and OWB from 8-9 oz.
    When I was in the States making holsters, it depended on the holster style, and what it's intended end use was going to be that determined the wt. of leather used.
    Honestly, you want your IWB holster as thin as you can make it while not giving up stability, strength and, safety.
    On the other hand OWB holsters need the thicker leather for their strength and stability.
    Veg. tanned leather vs. horsehide is usually up to the customer. IMHO, Veg. tanned leather will outlast horsehide hands down.
    Plus horsehide is very hard to work with, dosen't really cost anymore than leather, just harder to work with.
    This is just my opinion, other holster makers may agree or disagree with me, thats fine as I'm not meaning to step on anyones toes.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array the_fallguy's Avatar
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    I've noticed that many holster makers start out with a heavier leather and eventually gravitate to a lighter weight over time. Most of the top makers I know of use a 7/8 oz. leather for their belt holsters instead of the 8/9 or even 9/10 oz. leather that many of the newer makers use. I believe that design, construction, and finishing methods (along with leather choice) play a bigger role in holster quality than the thickness of the leather.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Many thanks for the replies, and the info provided has been very helpful. If interested my thread on the 1911 forum has several replies, and one by Tony Kanaley.

    I really do appreciate the help from all, and have a good night.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Boom and Jeff are right.

    A balanced approach, right steps and right methods dictate what leather thickness per model. A holster maker will come up with his ideal.

    I tried some thinner leather and determined it works great but only for reinforced mouth holsters because the strength was just not there. It also depends on the weight of the gun and what we feel will work. My P32 (12 oz) vs my model 66 (32+ oz) guns need different thicknesses.
    MNBurl

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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    I trend to agree with you. I like thinner leather for IWB and thicker leather for OWB holsters.

    But exactly what thickness is needed I don’t know, so like QKshooter said, since I’m not an expert I trust manufactures like SGH to make the leather thickness decisions.

    I do know one thing that over the years I’ve tried numerous holsters made out of all kinds of artificial man maid material, and I all of them are in the trash. Leather and only leather feel good snuggled up against my body.

  9. #9
    Member Array detroit9mm's Avatar
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    I've tried several holsters/carry postions etc. and carry everyday. I have come to the conclusion that the best IWB holsters for me are thin leather. I currently have High Noon "Bare Asset" holsters for my Glock 19 and Kahr CW9. They have a great clip, are well made and they allow me to reholster one-handed (some claim they can't with these holsters but it has not been a problem with mine). They are very comfortable and when I carry my CW9 in one I forget I have it on.

  10. #10
    Member Array QuickDrawMcGraw's Avatar
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    I personally like the thin but really tough leather that Gary uses for the Max-Con V. If I had to guess, the thickness plays a part in rigidity but leather quality and holster-maker skill can make a thin but tough holster.

  11. #11
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    Of all the holsters I have, (ie: box-o-holster count presently at 34 holsters ), the most comfortable ones are the ones with thicker leather both IWB holsters like the VM-II and OWB holsters. The only exception is when I try to appendix carry... then thin seems to be the ticket for me.
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  12. #12
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    Just presented as a FYI - Nearly all of the strength of a hide is in the top grain.

    The flesh portion really does not add a ton of strength to the leather.
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  13. #13
    Member Array GingerKid's Avatar
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    34 Holsters? Wow, makes me feel much better!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    Of all the holsters I have, (ie: box-o-holster count presently at 34 holsters ), the most comfortable ones are the ones with thicker leather both IWB holsters like the VM-II and OWB holsters. The only exception is when I try to appendix carry... then thin seems to be the ticket for me.

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