Cowhide or Horsehide

Cowhide or Horsehide

This is a discussion on Cowhide or Horsehide within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Happy New Year everybody. I have a S&W M&P 9c. I live in florida. I usually dress in shorts and a tucked in shirt. I ...

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Thread: Cowhide or Horsehide

  1. #1
    Member Array jumeda33's Avatar
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    Cowhide or Horsehide

    Happy New Year everybody. I have a S&W M&P 9c. I live in florida. I usually dress in shorts and a tucked in shirt. I have narrowed my holster search down to one of the High Noon holsters. Now, here is my question. Should I go cowhide or spend the extra forty dollars for horsehide. I have looked at all their models and still cant really decide which one. I think I like the idea of the extra piece of leather that keeps the slide off your skin. To cant or not to cant is the other question. I will carry between 3 and 5 more than likely. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    David


  2. #2
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    There will be a million or so opinions here on your questions, so I'll go early.

    Cowhide is not as hard as horsehide. The stitching on a horsehide will wear versus the hide because the stitch will not pull down into the hide quite as much as cowhide. All of mine are cowhide, but some think horse handles the sweat and heat better. Here's a better discussion from another site:

    A lot has been said about horsehide as a holster material, and there are several very competent holstermakers using it in their products. However, I’d like to point out something: have you ever examined a really worn out holster? More often than not, it is the stitching that gives out, way before the leather does. One of the beautiful qualities of premium cowhide is that it molds up very firmly, yet is still fairly flexible. It is also just soft enough to allow the stitching to be pulled tight below the surface, where it is protected from abrasion. Horsehide is so hard that the thread sits on the surface of the holster where it is easily damaged. For this reason, I believe that a holster properly constructed from a premium cowhide is actually going to last longer than a comparable one made of horsehide. The other consideration that favors the use of cowhide is the issue of comfort. A holster’s job is to act as the “interface” between a block of steel and the human body. A holster made from cowhide will “break - in” and soften up just enough to mold itself to the contours of your body, which greatly enhances the level of comfort. Horsehide is almost as hard as Kydex when it is new, and will remain so for a very long time. The only solution is to oil it, which makes it too soft to properly support the weapon and makes an oily mess on your clothing. In the defense of horsehide, I will say this: The available supply of truly premium cowhide is rapidly dwindling. If it becomes unavailable, I will certainly employ horsehide rather than use a poor quality cowhide.
    If you carry between 3 and 5, you'll want a 15 degree cant or more typically, although everyone has an individual preference. It is very dependent on your body shape, size, length of waist, arm length, etc. QK Shooter has a good schematic on cant selection. The further around the holster is, the more cant you want.

    Here's a great resource on holsters, and a site for fantastic leather: http://www.delfatti.com/webdoc20.html

    Good luck.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

  3. #3
    Member Array jumeda33's Avatar
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    Richard, Thank you so much for that. That was great information. Have a great New Year.
    David

  4. #4
    Member Array luke213's Avatar
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    I hadn't worn nor even touched horsehide until recently I order up some pieces to play around with. It's some weird material it's harder than cowhide in some ways but in others it still remains pliable. I made up a couple holsters for myself out of it for some of my primary carry guns and I was surprised that the one for my 1911 was comfortable faster than my cowhide of the same model. Now I don't think this is the norm and my second test holster is still drying so I haven't tried it yet but it's a weird result.

    I will say it's tougher to cut with my knife, it's tougher to sew with my needles and sanding the edge is harder also. Also it's a pain in the butt to get detail into compared to cow hide when wet molding even after letting it soak. Overall pretty much everything that I do to it making a holster seems to be harder and more time consuming with horsehide vs. cowhide.

    So that's just my 2 cents from someone who's spent a little time making a few holsters from it. Because my first one turned out so comfortable I'm going to continue testing but I don't think it's really that different to cow hide. Like the quote above me said, usually you see the thread wearing before the leather. Occasionally your going to see dry rot but usually the thread is shot at the same time.

    Just my experiences.

    Luke

  5. #5
    Member Array JayHawker45's Avatar
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    I'm one that has a drawer full, or more accurately, a "shoe hanger" full of holsters. Each one gets used, depending on what I'm carrying and what I'm wearing. However, the holsters that get carried more are my Kramer horsehide. After having carried a P220/P226 and a P228/P229 IWB in a Kramer #3 for about a year, I can wholeheartedly endorse horsehide.

    From my experience, horsehide supports the weight of those weapons better and just "feels" more comfortable and more sturdy. During hot Kansas summers, the horsehide seems to be more resistant to sweat than does cowhide. As you have seen with the above posts, each individual has a preference. One thing that you'll find with cowhide is that leather accepts dye more readily than horsehide, so you'll get a richer, fuller color from a cowhide holster.

    As far as cant goes, when I order a holster, I usually talk with the maker and specify that I prefer at a minimum, 15 degrees of cant. I normally carry at the 4-5 o'clock position and 15 degrees of cant affords me the maximum level of concealment carrying a full sized pistol.
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  6. #6
    Sponsor Array High Noon's Avatar
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    Hers's just our take on it.

    Questions


    Alex

  7. #7
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    Hers's just our take on it.
    Nice link.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

  8. #8
    Member Array jholen's Avatar
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    If you're looking into the High Noon Holsters, just give them a call and they'll be able to answer all your questions.

    I called them and they helped me pick out the Public Secret in Horsehide. While I live up here in Seattle, and don't see very high temperatures, we have a ton of moisture (ie. rain) and so the natural ability of horsehide to repel water better was a big selling point for me.

    For whether you want cant or no cant, that really is based on where you want to carry. Refer to the link that Alex posted, as HNH address that very question.

    Hope that helps!

  9. #9
    Member Array jumeda33's Avatar
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    Alex,
    Thanks for that link. I had seen that before on your site since I am really leaning toward your product. I think I want the Closing Arguement. That way I have tuckable concealment, option to cant or not, and the protective piece of leather that keeps the gun off my skin. I guess living in Florida, I should get horsehide due to the humidity that we have and I would like to carry all the time so I am sure some sweat will happen. Let me know if you have any other ideas.
    Thanks,
    David

  10. #10
    Sponsor Array High Noon's Avatar
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    Hi David,

    You hit the bullseye. Thats a great choice. You will not be disappointed.


    Take Care
    Alex

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array NYcarry's Avatar
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    Great write up here, I am now sticking with Cowhide, though I currently own two Kramers. If you like the boning cow is the way to go.

    But check out this article, breaks down the parts and pieces used for differnt purchases in the leather industry

    Holsters in Cowhide or Horsehide from Horseshoe Leather

    From what I can tell horsehide pieces are basically the scraps and worst quality from the hides. I am no expert by any means but makes sense.

    Happy New Year, Stay Safe and keep carrying.

  12. #12
    Member Array Samwolf's Avatar
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    Thanbks for the link NYcarry.

    Really interesting reading at Horseshoe Leather site.
    Samwolf

    "One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms."

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