My thoughts on leather vs kydex

This is a discussion on My thoughts on leather vs kydex within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was looking at holsters and giving it some thought. I have had both leather and Kydex holsters (though no leather from one of the ...

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Thread: My thoughts on leather vs kydex

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    Member Array Illusive Man's Avatar
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    My thoughts on leather vs kydex

    I was looking at holsters and giving it some thought. I have had both leather and Kydex holsters (though no leather from one of the top makers). I have to admit that I have always admired 1911's. They are not only a time proven design, but are works of art in themselves. Kydex is functional, but leather is beautiful. I never get tired of looking at 1911's in fine leather holsters. They seem to be a combination made in heaven. I know some here view their guns as nothing more than tools, but I'm just a little different. I believe a gun has to function (and beauty is no substitute for function), but is it a bad thing for a gun to be both? Is it a bad thing to want to house your beautiful gun in a beautiful piece of gun leather? Although my preference is for IWB where no one but me knows what my holster looks like, I still want it to be beautiful. The masters of leather holsters are craftsmen and artisans. The make something that is the perfect union of beauty and function. These are just the ramblings of a man who is bordering on insanity.
    Badey likes this.
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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Elk Hunter's Avatar
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    I have to agree, I like the look of a fine handgun in leather.

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    Member Array All_Business's Avatar
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    Leather just doesn't do it for me. After awhile alot of them get flimsy and ugly. You can clear your gun with one hand and a kydex holster, and reholstering is easier for me. Out of the box it's no question, leather is far more beautiful.
    "When that gun comes out of that holster; it's business time." -Chris Costa

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    Member Array swelly61's Avatar
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    I can't remember who but someone make a leather covered kydex holster... If you looked I'm sure you could find it.

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    Senior Member Array TheShadow's Avatar
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    I agree 100%, hell even most of the polymer combat pistols to me are fine pieces of workmanship. Not like a 1911 but I still enjoy seeing members post photos of there rigs. For me the kydex hybrids are the most comfortable IWB's. I have only one leather holster from a top maker, a milt owb tk-60 which is also very comfortable. So would a 1911 inside kydex be considered desecration of a 100+ year iconic design?

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    “Put your pain in a box. Lock it down. No man is stronger than one who can harness his emotions.” -Act of Valor

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Fine leather holsters, like a fine sidearm, belong together..... regardless if either are ever 'seen'.

    I also have leather and kydex holsters in my 'drawer'. I love my leather AND the functionality it serves. All of my kydex holsters are purchased with the sole purpose of function and fit.... to be used for the carrying of my sidearm. My leather is purchased for function, but it has to be well made and look good.

    I'm onboard with your feelings regarding the 1911 platform as well. That platform, from one of the master craftsmen (Volkman comes to mind, but there are others that I respect and covet as well), is well regarded, respected, and truely beautiful......as long as your not 'lucky enough' to be viewing one of those 1911's barrel first...........
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    If I were going in to a line of work where I could carry on the job (Education. Maybe the gov't will wake up in my life time), I would invest in a nice OWB holster to go with my suits, but I see no point in paying for beautiful leather when I am just going to shove it down my pants. I'm a hybrid kind of guy.

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    Member Array swelly61's Avatar
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    I think if you have a OWB holster then looks matter... But if you carry IWB then I should be about function and comfort.
    I just picked up 2 "Crossbreed" type holsters from Theis Holsters. They work great for how I carry.

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    Leather or Kydex? Much of it is personal preference. I will say that a leather holster can be functional as well as beautiful. Let's also not forget how leather will mold itself to the wearer which Kydex will not do. I have also never seen a holster by (just to name a couple) Milt Sparks or Pure Kustom get soft and cause reholstering problems.
    Then I guess also for IWB the combination Kydex & leather can offer the best of two worlds.

    The bottom line is that a cheap, lousy, holster will still be a lousy & cheap holster no matter if it's made from lleather or Kydex.

    So....pick your poison and buy the best that you can afford.

    And...don't forget to invest in a good gun belt while your wallet is cracked open. That's also VERY important.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    I like Kydex for my "plastic" gun, for OWB. Kydex IWB is VERY uncomfortable for me. Leather, however, looks much nicer, IMO.
    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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    Member Array swood's Avatar
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    It took everything I could muster to avoid getting an American Holster Company Invisi-Tuck. Those are beautiful holsters! I finally convinced myself that a hybrid holster would be thinner and better for IWB, and I really didn't want to wait 14-16 weeks for a holster. Hopefully I made the right choice. My next holster will be a leather OWB though.

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    Member Array Illusive Man's Avatar
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    I have a Silent Thunder due any day now. The only problem with fine leather holsters is the long wait. I'm just going to have to order me something and forget about it until it shows up. Kydex is great for my G22 (I keep it in a CBST), but I just don't want to subject my new 1911 to kydex. I know there are those who will poo poo on what I'm about to say, but I care about keeping my weapons looking good as well as functioning well. Although I carry IWB (on my property and in my business), I still appreciate the beauty of a good leather holster.
    Glock 22 Gen 4 w/CBST
    Kimber Compact CDP II w/Silent Thunder
    A man, without force, is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human nature is so constituted, that it cannot honor a helpless man, although it can pity him; and even this it cannot do long, if the signs of power do not arise.

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    Member Array glock42's Avatar
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    i prefer leather for iwb and not kydex but specifically a blackhawk cqc for owb. but never put a 1911 in a kydex holster i agree its just wrong.

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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Kydex has it's place but I prefer the functionality of leather. it molds to the gun, you, and your belt. It does wear and becomes unservicable but so does Kydex. I've had a "split" kydex holster as I'm sure you have. I tend to use leather almost exclusively because of comfort and fit but I do have a great Kydex for a Ruger 22/45. It was really the only holster that met my needs for that particular gun. Never could get myself to ordre a crossbreed type holster. Seems like they're great but they just don't work for me. I guess it's a personal thing like picking out a pair of shoes!
    Gideon

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    Senior Member Array jblives2ride's Avatar
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    the holster for my 1911's (kimber, para, and now colt) are combination from kholster leatehr and kydexkimber 1911 small.jpg
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    And die to find out there isn't, than live my life
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