Holster wear. Which is best, kydex or leather?

This is a discussion on Holster wear. Which is best, kydex or leather? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been tossing around the idea of a new tuckable IWB holster for my Kimber Ultra CDP II and am looking at getting a MTAC ...

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Thread: Holster wear. Which is best, kydex or leather?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Wasabi's Avatar
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    Holster wear. Which is best, kydex or leather?

    I've been tossing around the idea of a new tuckable IWB holster for my Kimber Ultra CDP II and am looking at getting a MTAC and/or a K&D Dakota Defender. Which is better in terms of holster wear, kydex or leather? If I get and keep the MTAC, I may get another body for a G29 down the road. Is kydex or leather harder on poly frames?

    Thanks for any input.

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  3. #2
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    Although either would work, I keep my Ultra in a Fist #1A IWB leather holster. Leather is more comfortable for IWB...OMO...I would also add the body protector of any leather holster to assist in keeping the gun away form the T-shirt (or skin if no T...no skin touch for me though).

    Stay armed...I prefer leather holsters...stay safe!
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    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    The Mtac has a leather backer that rides against your body, the kydex does not contact you. It is VERY comfortable.

    You can buy additional kydex bodies for the Mtac, just check to see which guns they'll fit. Any holster is going to eventually show some wear on your gun.

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Kydex put a 1/4" scratch on my slide almost immediately. It's leather or fabric for me now.

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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    I got one plain kydex and it is not very comfortable to wear. The MTAC is a 'mix' and much better. Leather only holsters sometimes don't have the "click" to ensure the weapon is safely stowed. (The MTAC doesn't have much of it... but a bit)

    Haven't had any scratches on my Glock yet.

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    Member Array 1911packer's Avatar
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    My rule of thumb is: Plastic gun, plastic holster. Steel gun, leather holster.

    I have heard (besides Grady) that Kydex is a bit prone to scratching.

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    I have a kydex holster for my 4506, and it put some scuff marks on the slide, which I thought would be tough to do with stainless. The leather holster I have for my 229 has only put minor marks on the blueing, and hasn't worn it down in any place.

    Any holster will eventually leave marks on a gun, but IMO, kydex seems a bit more rough, not as much give and that tends to make it scuff up a gun a little quicker and more aggressively. But that's just my experience with my guns.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Wasabi's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone,

    Sorry, I just realized that I posted this in the wrong forum. Mods, can you move this over to the holster forum?

    Yeah, I realize the MTAC has the leather backing and that I can swap-out kydex bodies for other guns later. That versatility and the fact it is available now are two great things about it. I thought I'd order the Dakota Defender now and buy the MTAC to hold me over until it's done. They're probably both very comfortable since there will be leather between me and the holster. I'm more concerned about long-term, which will put _more_ wear on my pistols, the kydex bodies or leather? It sounds like the leather is the way to go but will the MTAC kydex cause any major wear on my Ultra CDP II (or later on a G29) while I wait on the Dakota Defender? If so, I can get something like a High Noon Split Decision in the meantime instead. Just trying to take care of my babies you know.

    BTW, does anyone know anything about the anti-sweat panel that is offered by K&D? Does it take any away from the comfortable suede internal lining? I'm in Florida and will be sweating a lot at times. Most of those times the holster will be up against bare skin and a t-shirt/golf shirt over it.

    Thanks again for the input.

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    Actually my first choice is horsehide, followed by leather. Not into plastic guns or holsters.

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    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    Kydex wears the finish faster than leather.

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    Distinguished Member Array Wasabi's Avatar
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    Thanks again everyone,

    I just went ahead and ordered another Split Decision. A very fine holster itself (I have 3 now) that should definitely keep me happy if I decide to wait on a Dakota Defender. Man, the holster pile is getting bigger everyday.

  13. #12
    Member Array Cofaler's Avatar
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    I think that a dirty holster, dirt/dust in a holster acts as an abrasive which will accelerate wear on your gun. Wiping out Kydex with a damp cloth or cleaning leather as per manufacturer's instructions once in awhile should help.

    Personally, I don't worry about it. If you carry it, stuff will happen to it. If I ever have a gun I'm worried about scratching, I won't carry it.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Wasabi's Avatar
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    Good advice. I'll keep my leather clean. I realize that eventually things are going to show some wear and get scuffed up. I'm just trying to delay/diminish it some.

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    Go with leather and the best that you can afford.
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    Have my G19 in a Comp-Tac MTAC with c-clips.
    Leather backing is nice, but yes, the Kydex can wear the slide finish.
    It was worn already!
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