IWB - Leather Dressing

This is a discussion on IWB - Leather Dressing within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am very new to CCW. Like probably a lot of people, I run in circles where it's very important that I don't get 'caught' ...

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Thread: IWB - Leather Dressing

  1. #1
    Member Array tjm's Avatar
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    IWB - Leather Dressing

    I am very new to CCW. Like probably a lot of people, I run in circles where it's very important that I don't get 'caught' carrying, though I have a license. I could sure use a few opinions from you folks.................

    I am fortunate to have a place that specializes in holsters within a 40 minute drive. Unfortunately, I managed to show up the one day the guys were packing up almost all their stuff to go to a big show. Anyway, I was willing to make a quick purchase for my Kahr CW9 and accept that it probably won't be the final solution (which would likely be the case if I had all day to look). He had a pretty decent, custom, IWB clip on, that holds the gun well and covers the trigger guard. But he was adamant about using some leather dressing on the inside to make it easier to draw and to protect the finish of the gun. I bought the dressing too. Now I have some nagging doubts about the dressing:

    • The gun is stainless steel and polymer. It is also a working gun, not a showpiece. How much damage can leather do to it?
    • It draws fine now. There is no thumb break (hope that's the right term) and all that is holding the gun is friction. I just plain don't want it coming out any easier. I am tempted to not use the dressing, at least until I can get back to the holster shop to go over some things. But I'm new to this. Is there any reason that I should go ahead and use the dressing?

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  3. #2
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    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Don't use that dressing.
    Your Stainless/polymer firearm should have absolutely no problems in leather.

    Chromium tanned leather is bad news for blued Carbon steel firearms. But, Chrome tanned leather is almost never used for holsters. Suede lined holsters usually have suede that is Chrome tanned so for that reason they are not great.

    Vegetable tanned leather can hold moisture so blued firearms should not be stored long term in leather.
    Your gun is Stainless and I have never seen a Stainless firearm rust in a holster unless the Stainless alloy itself was defective.

    In fact I've never had a Stainless firearm rust even when wet and damp & holstered out in the woods for 4 or 5 days.

  4. #3
    Member Array N-frame Smith's Avatar
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    I agree, do not use the dressing. Regardless of whether the gun is blue or stainless, or may wear or not wear, the function of the holster is to hold the gun. If the fit and retention are fine now, you don't want to put anything on it that will soften it and affect the proper fit and retention.

    I don't believe I've ever used any kind of dressing on the inside of a holster in all my years of carrying, and I don't intend to ever start.
    "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

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    Senior Member Array Rhome's Avatar
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    Although I agree with the above statements there is a dye that was used in the early years of the 1900's and late 1800's that some leather artisans have resercted called vinagaroon (sp). It is a black dye that saturates the leather completely through and will not bleed or come off on your clothes. It is made with rusty nails or steel wool and viniger. If the acid in the mixture is not neutrilized once applied to the leather with baking soda your blued gun will develope rust in a short time. I tried this mixture on a holster that was for a S&W M&P and the slide developed rust spots all over it ! Hence I no longer use this dye anymore. I'm just sending out a word of caution as the vinagaroon looks like any black dye on the market once applied to veggie tanned leather. I know most holster makers do not use this and as for me, well I learned a valuble lesson.
    Best,
    Rhome
    Politicians are like diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. ~ Robin Williams ~
    www.desbiensgunleather.com

  6. #5
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    Interesting post Rhome. New one on me.
    Good additional information.

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    Member Array tjm's Avatar
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    My thanks to all for the feedback!

    So, what about the lack of a thumb break, any thoughts on that? I haven't been in a fistfight for decades but I've been in more fistfights than gunfights. I'd like to think that gun is staying put no matter what, until and unless I deliberately draw it. Or am I over thinking it?

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    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    Thumb breaks are commonly advised against for concealed carry. I would only accept a person wanting a thumb break if they are law enforcement and their department requires it, otherwise I try to recommend not using it.

    Just make sure you use a holster that's designed and molded to your gun, not a generic "medium pistol holster", etc. If it's molded it'll hold. If it's IWB (as you stated), it will hold better, your belt is the tension.

    Nate
    www.ubgholsters.com short wait times. Use 'defensivecarry' as a coupon code for a discount to your order.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array T Bone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    My thanks to all for the feedback!

    So, what about the lack of a thumb break, any thoughts on that? I haven't been in a fistfight for decades but I've been in more fistfights than gunfights. I'd like to think that gun is staying put no matter what, until and unless I deliberately draw it. Or am I over thinking it?
    You've had professional holster builders respond, so I'll pretty well stay out of that discussion, other than to say I'm always inclined to follow the manufacturers instructions. I'd be very tempted to at least contact the maker of your holster and ask what the dressing's actual purpose is. I'd let them know you are happy with retention/draw now, and see if that impacts their suggestion that you use it. I've never put anything on the inside of any of mine, even slide glide, but then my holster makers never suggested it either (and like you, I'm happy with their performance).

    As to the fist fight, yeah, it can possibly be unavoidable. But most often it IS avoidable. As carriers of lethal weapons, IMHO, we have a higher standard of responsibility to avoid going to fisticuffs. That includes "walking" (or running!) away whenever possible, and backing down when the ego doesn't want to. Not saying you're looking for a fight (it's been decades, it's obvious you are not), just pointing out what you may already feel is obvious. We simply don't go around getting in fights. We can leave that for the gang bangers and kids...
    Regards, T Bone.


    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". Benjamin Franklin

  10. #9
    Member Array N-frame Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Bone View Post
    We simply don't go around getting in fights. We can leave that for the gang bangers and kids...
    Amen!
    "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Several of my holsters have remained very tight even with the "wax paper" treatment. That is fine as I have no worry about the gun coming out.
    In order to make the draw smoother I have used a product KG-9. It seems to be the same as Leather Lightning by Mitch Rosen, but is many tiimes cheaper.

    It only takes a couple of drops on your finger that is rubbed on the inside of the holster. It really makes the draw smoother without either softening the leather or making the holster too easy to draw from.
    Bore Cleaners by KG Industries

    I think that it was Alex Nossar who mentioned the product, although I am not sure. If your holsters are a little too difficult to draw from give KG-9 a try. I have used it with satisfaction for years with good results.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  12. #11
    Member Array REDTAIL's Avatar
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    the best and safest thing that you can use on your fine leather holsters & belts with out changing the color of the leather and damaging the holster is Kwie shoe wax netural paste wax you can do the inside & outside of all of your holsters just apply with a lint free rag and let dry then buff it clean with another lint free cloth do this every once in a while and your holsters etc will last for years and keep looking like new. Never use mink oil, neetsfoot oil.or saddle soap on leather holsters they will reuin the fine leather & make them too soft

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