Like others, I bought G17/22 holsters (we already own both guns) with the express intent that I will also buy a G23 and use the same holster. Longer is not a problem, where a shorter holster could be a problem with the longer gun.
Gary Brommeland gave me an unequivocal NO when I asked this same question. The shorter gun in a long holster will result in collapsing of the empty area and also each of his holster designs are different for each size of pistol. The design is dictated by comfort, safety and durability issues.
Tony at Milt Sparks also recommended not to use shorter guns in longer IWB leather holsters as he said the leather would deform at the muzzle over time, making holstering of the longer handgun difficult and cause wear to the leather in that area.
Like David III stated, once the muzzle of a leather holster collaspes around the shorter pistol it will make reholstering of the longer firearm more difficult. This may especially be true in AZ, where our slightly warm weather can cause a well-worn leather holster to get moist. It may actually mold itself around the muzzle of the shorter gun if worn for an extended period in such conditions, and you'd essentially have a closed bottom holster.
In MA we usually only get 20-30 days/year >80F, so heat isn't a real big issue. I have a lot of holsters (who doesn't?) and most of the time they are sitting empty in the safe. Currently only one gun sits in a holster full-time and that holster is custom to that particular gun.
I'm not likely to see any crushing of holster ends in my lifetime. Now if a buddy who escaped to AZ gets his way and convinces me to move there, this could change. :smile:
I carry a 3 inch 1911 in an IWB holster designed for a 3.5 inch 1911, from galco. The muzzle portion of the holster has formed to my Kimber due to the missing length and the hot weather here in Louisiana. It would be almost imposible to get a longer barreled gun into it now.
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