Black leather discolors slide?

Black leather discolors slide?

This is a discussion on Black leather discolors slide? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Since I began toting around Glocks about 15 years ago, I've tried a number of different holsters, most of them with CC in mind. Recently, ...

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Thread: Black leather discolors slide?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array 1gunsnowbird's Avatar
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    Black leather discolors slide?

    Since I began toting around Glocks about 15 years ago, I've tried a number of different holsters, most of them with CC in mind.

    Recently, I've purchased a couple of AIWB holsters made of black leather. I won't mention brand names but I didn't see them listed in the thread about favorite leather holster makers (below). My theory is: I keep seeking the Holy Grail of CC guns, which means I seldom own them long enough to justify a very expensive holster, plus I generally slip them (with the gun) off and on in my vehicle before and after going into a store, restaurant, or other place of business.

    What I've noticed is that the slide of the guns will often get discoloration in these holsters, a problem I never have with kydex or carbon fiber rigs. It usually cleans up OK with a soft cloth or silicone cloth, but I worry that it might cause a permanent stain or other chemical reaction if the gun is stored in these holsters which is why I typically store them in a cheap padded nylon holster tucked between the driver's seat and the center console. (Before anyone goes off on a rant about storing guns in a vehicle, I keep it locked in my garage with the garage door down. When I'm out and about, the gun is worn.)

    Any ideas on what's happening here? Would a natural-colored leather correct the problem?

    I'd like to think that leather is more comfortable against my bare flesh, but is it really? I typically spend most of my time in warm to hot climates --- the result of a plan upon retirement --- so concealment is important to me under thin shirts, even t-shirts. When I shoot my CC guns in IDPA, BUG or USPSA matches, I generally use an IWB kydex at 3:30 in order to comply with the rules. I might also wear my guns in that position if I'm taking a long walk or a hike, but for public spaces I like the minimized printing AIWB.

    Your thoughts are much appreciated.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    I have no idea....I have any number of quality black leather holsters, and have never had that problem.
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  3. #3
    Member Array Skippys's Avatar
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    It's the dye. You get what you pay for. Leather is probably more comfortable against bare skin but in hot weather it'll soak up even the slightest perspiration and not completely dry out overnight. I usually wear a light undershirt under whatever I'm wearing, so I find kydex to be better because it's thinner.

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    It is really not good at all to store a gun in a leather holster! Leather attracts moisture and your gun will start to rust if it "lives" in leather. Leather holsters are for when you actually wear the gun. You did indicate that you usually store your gun in a cheap nylon gun rug and that's much better by far than in leather.

    And back to your question. Yes, it is the dye plus finishing compound that the excellent holster makers use so the dye stays in the leather and doesn't migrate to the gun.
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    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    I have never had that problem... however that being said in the hot, humid, salty, Gulf Coast climate I live in, leather holsters are a no-go 6 months of the year! I prefer kydex and nylon for this climate. Just my .02 worth!
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I have never had leather dye bleed on a gun. I have had wet leather bleed on my clothes and even skin. A good sealer stopped that. DR
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    Could be chrome tanned leather. I know of 2 holster makers who will use this for gun holsters and it is not good on metal.
    for a gun holster made of leather go for veg tanned leather, chrome tanned is corrosive, ever heard the thing about not leaving a gun in a leather holster or it will mess up the finish ? thats from many holsters be made from the wrong leather.
    This may not be the case in your holster but its just a thought.

  9. #8
    Member Array APX-9M's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan on kydex. Leather IWB with a strap or pancake holsters for OWB better for EDC carry comfort and concealment. I almost exclusively wear leather. I've been caught in the rain in general, I ride a motorcycle and have been caught in very bad the shy is falling thunderstorms, and have left my carry guns in their holsters all year around even during the humid months... I never had a holster bleed or damage the finish outside the normal gradual holster wear...
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array 1gunsnowbird's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Possibly the dye, huh? Now I recall my days in army basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington (50 years ago, that's where I was). It rained a LOT and we often wore wet weather gear, rubber boots and our black leather gloves with wool liners. Some of the troops - not all of them - would come back to the barracks at the end of the day with their hands a horrid shade of purple. I was one of the fortunate ones: my hands were simply wrinkled up like prunes, but not purple.

    To be safe, I think I'll stick with my current method. Thanks for the input, people.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1gunsnowbird View Post
    Hmmm. Possibly the dye, huh? Now I recall my days in army basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington (50 years ago, that's where I was). It rained a LOT and we often wore wet weather gear, rubber boots and our black leather gloves with wool liners. Some of the troops - not all of them - would come back to the barracks at the end of the day with their hands a horrid shade of purple. I was one of the fortunate ones: my hands were simply wrinkled up like prunes, but not purple.

    To be safe, I think I'll stick with my current method. Thanks for the input, people.
    It doesn't sound like a chemical reaction or anything worth worrying about. I have rub marks on the finish of my Beretta APX (black finish) after pulling it out of the holster. I originally thought it was finish wear (a slightly lighter shade of black) which is what it kind of looks like, but a light rub with my finger or from any cloth, the finish goes back to normal. The finish still is holding up and looks brand new after about almost a year of daily carry. If it were a chemical reaction or something similar, common sense tells me a simple light wipe from a cloth wouldn't return the finish back to normal.

    My guess is that the holster is new and not worn in yet. Once it is worn in, not as tight, and any residue on the inside is worn off, it'll stop happening. I don't really care of check for it anymore. I have well over 2k though the gun now, and expect it to look like I carry and shoot it. I do know that when I clean and oil it after a range visit, the finish still looks as good as new on everything but the barrel.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NelsonHolsters View Post
    Could be chrome tanned leather. I know of 2 holster makers who will use this for gun holsters and it is not good on metal.
    for a gun holster made of leather go for veg tanned leather, chrome tanned is corrosive, ever heard the thing about not leaving a gun in a leather holster or it will mess up the finish ? thats from many holsters be made from the wrong leather.
    This may not be the case in your holster but its just a thought.
    Hear this for years. It's "common knowledge". It's also wrong.

    To the OP, it might just be friction. Leather is softer and as it breaks in some of it can wear away on high friction spots. Is the discoloration on the edges or somewhere with a lot of friction in the holster?

    As to living in leather, I pocket carry a Sig P238 most of the time. It rarely ever leaves the holster. Out of my pocket and onto the nightstand, rinse repeat. No excessive rusting. I think gun materials and finish is the biggest issue with rusting, not the holster. Just don't leave a gun in a wet holster and it should be OK. I've had them rust on camping trips where I was getting wet and not taking it out of the holster to dry. But that was also a cheap revolver, so see about about material and finish.
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  13. #12
    Member Array APX-9M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    To the OP, it might just be friction. Leather is softer and as it breaks in some of it can wear away on high friction spots. Is the discoloration on the edges or somewhere with a lot of friction in the holster?
    I'm not the OP, but I know exactly what he's talking about. It even happens with the holster I purchased from Nelson Holsters. I can see if I can get it to show up on video. It happens in certain areas from friction, but the slide coloration will return to normal with a soft rub. Most people probably don't give it a second thought or even notice.
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  14. #13
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    What is wrong? chrome tanned leather on metal?
    Yes it could just be friction = leather dust. When I first read the post I thought the op was actually having his gun change colors.
    With most modern guns that have the fancy finish the chrome tan is not a problem but put one of those old blued 1911's in a leather holster made from the INCORRECT leather to make a gun holster out of and it will mess up the finish.
    Chrome tan leather is for upholstery and is in no way firm enough to be used in place of veg tan leather for a gun holster. I know of one maker who uses scraps of chrome tan leather he gets in boon NC to make holsters and he has made many folks pretty mad. I am sure you probably know the guy I am referring to as he sold alot of his holsters for $25 to any dealer but ups the price on the same holster to the public to over $100.
    Pm me and ill pass hi info on to you if you need it as you don't want to get mixed up in any way with this fellow, he has a long list of guys who has worked for him actually making the holsters and he never paid them.
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  15. #14
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    Ok that does sound like what cheifjason is referring to ass the friction and dust, if its anything more coming out of doing something to your finish on one of my holsters then I need to see it to see whats going on.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Array 1gunsnowbird's Avatar
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    Given our present situation, I haven't used the AIWB leather holster for nearly a month. For early mornings on the patio with my tea and pipe, I prefer wearing the Sig P365 at about 3:30. I get a little chafing while seated, but I like it better in that position for walking compared to AIWB.

    As things get back to normal, I'll simply use the leather holster for quick in-and-outs to stores and the rare restaurant that's still in business. When I'm done wearing it I'll wipe it down with a silicone cloth, slip it back into my cheap nylon holster and back between the driver's seat and the center console. Easy enough.
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