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Good, bad, indifferent, must have, can live without, something only Galco (or Satan) would offer?

Discuss...

(ran a search, but didn't find anything specific to holster lining)

If it's a topic that passed me by, then :chairshot
 

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For me - and this may well be refuted by our esteemed holster makers - it provides a ''kinder'' contact surface for the gun - thus perhaps less holster wear - or at least slower holster wear.

It is perhaps something I regard as a luxury but not a prerequisite.

Only rigs I have with this are some very traditional rigs I made with a leatherworker friend back in 80's - here is one - suited my M27 when I used to shoot practical revo -


 

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Tough call but here's how I deal with options like that: I choose to work with custom leather craftsmen whenever possible (Eric Larsen, Gary Brommeland, Matt Del Fatti, etc.). My life could someday depend on my equipment so I'm willing to pay a little extra and buy the very best. When options are being discussed that I'm not sure of I ask them "What would YOU recommend?" Or simply tell them on the front end to use their best judgement when something's questionable. Hey, these are the very best guys in the business and I called them for a reason. :wink:
Jack
 

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Although suede leather lining feels soft to the touch, its very fine nap can trap alot of dust, dirt and grime which can work like rubbing compound on your pistol. In additon, if the holster is loose enough to allow a little movement as did the duty holsters of long ago, bluing can be worn off very quickly. I think it's generally accepted that a smooth leather lining will cause the slowest finish wear. It's easier to keep clean.
 

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Suede

I like the idea of a suede lining on a nice looking leather holster.
Especially on the high dollar fancy western "six shooter" rigs.
It sure looks gosh awful good and is a nice custom touch.

The nicest holster and gun belt that I ever owned was a fully tooled Colt SAA rig. It was overall tooled with some of the finest Oak Leaf and Acorn patterning (that I have ever seen) & was Triple Cordovan laced all the way around.
It was hand "saddle~stitched" with engraved silver hardware & the finish was truly amazing.
The silver buckle featured a steer head with little red rubies set in the eyes.
It was a magnificent Holster and Belt combination.
The holster featured a deep forest green suede lining.

That rig was a gift to me from a guy named Bill who tooled leather for Tandy Leather Company on the Blvd Of The Allies in Pittsburgh.
He put countless numbers of hours into its construction.
Sadly, it was stolen at an international leather show where I sent it on loan for display...just as an example of the Very Best Quality western leather craft.
One of these days I'm going to spot that holster again & whoever is unfortunate enough to be wearing it at the time...is gonna get their "plow cleaned" by me & I'll ask questions later. :mad:
 

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Matt sure brought up a real interesting point. Think I'll stick with the smooth leather.
 

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Well guys I agree with Matt.

Suede feels wonderful at first, but figure the oils from you gun wont evaporate like H20 will. Once its there, its there! and will attract and keep all dirt/debris particles that will start to wear your finish.

A smooth tight surface is what you want to keep against your gun....along with a holster thats properly fit so there is NO movement once the gun is holstered. This combination, IMO, will give you the least finish wear.
Great thread..................Shoot well.
 

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Good Points By Eric & Matt

That sure sounds true that carbon & dirt & grit would embed much more easily in a suede type leather & then act like a sort of rubbing compound.

Maybe on a Stainless or hard chrome finish...it would not be so bad but, that sure might accelerate wear on fine Blue or on a baked on type gun finish.

I still think it looks pretty doggone good though.
 

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Matt, Eric - on reflection what you say makes solid sense - thx for that :smile:
 

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To reiterate what Matt and Eric said, suede will absorb the lubricating oils from your pistol, and become a magnet for dirt and grit, thus causing excess wear to the pistols finish. Another more important point they didn't touch upon: all holster leather is, or should be, vegetable tanned. All suede is chrome-tanned, using chromium salts in the curing process to further soften the leather. These chromium salts will pit the finish of any finely blued gun that is stored in them for any length of time or carried for regular extended periods. This is where the old saying of "Do not store your gun in the holster" came from. The best lining for any holster is using the same veg-tanned leather smooth side in, so the holster is equally smooth inside and out. This is accomplished by using two pieces of 4 oz. leather glued back to back and treating it like one piece of 8 oz. leather to make the holster. Using this method, the holster is no thicker or bulkier than normal. Suede will add thickness and bulk. Since suede is genrally 3-4 oz., but soft, you can't use a 5 oz. piece of veg-tan with a 3 oz. suede lining to accomplish the same 8 oz. leather thickness, because the holster would be too soft and floppy. So suede lined holsters will always be thicker. Not something desireable for concealment. Of course, if you carry the pistol all day, every day; it will eventually show wear and bright spots no matter what type of holster lining or material you choose.
 

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Great Additional Information Mark

It's a mighty rare Internet Web Forum when a forum member can ask a holster question & get multiple thoughtful answers from the top holster makers in the country.

God!....I love this place! :smile:
 

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Hey guys!

I'm a little slow on the draw today, but I'll chime in w/ my $.02 anyway , just for the record. Matt, Eric and Mark have all pretty well nailed it. Between the nap trapping abrasive crud and the chromic acid residue, suede is a HORRIBLE lining material.
If you look at the holsters available today, you will not find a single custom shop offering suede. The only holsters made that way are from the "mega" factories.
When you consider what the factory stuff retails for today, you'll see pretty clearly that ANY custom shop will give you many times over the quality, for very little, if any more money.
 

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And another factor I forgot to mention: You'll never see a finely boned and molded suede lined holster. Reason being, (aside from it being thicker) as anyone who owns a suede jacket knows, suede does not like to get wet. It's just not good for it; especially being saturated to wet mold. So a suede lined holster cannot be dipped in water to mold the usual way. You have to sponge-dampen the outside veg-tanned leather without getting the suede lining wet, which doesn't saturate the leather enough for good detailed molding. Yes, I tried making a few suede-lined holsters when I first started doing this a decade ago; before I knew any better.

An interesting side note - northwest of me in Wickenburg, AZ is an old west historical museum with literally hundreds of authentic western holsters on display. Some of those late 1800's designs were lined with pool table felt.
 

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Mark,
I like the pool table felt idea........hmmm. The "8 ball" holster :chairshot
Sorry.......I need more coffee.
shoot well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mark Garrity said:
An interesting side note - northwest of me in Wickenburg, AZ is an old west historical museum with literally hundreds of authentic western holsters on display. Some of those late 1800's designs were lined with pool table felt.

OOooo...I'll have to check that out sometime.
 

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Hey guys, Andrews Custom Leather lines some of their holsters in suede. I have one of their Hybrid models for my 5" 1911 and it comes fully lined with suede. I asked Mr. Andrews when I was buying it about the acid bit. He agreed it was a problem if you stored the weapon in the holster (something I would never do) but said it wouldn't cause a problem for regular carry. I don't carry that 1911 on a regular basis so it's not a problem. I can certainly see how the suede would pick up some oil and dirt, however, after it's been used for a while, the suede seems to get as hard and smooth as any other holster I have. It's hard to imagine that the amount of oil and pariticles we're talking about are really going to have a signficant impact on gun finish. I have one revolver I've carried alot in a quality holster that is smooth on the inside and it's the most worn finish of all that I carry. I believe it's just the nature of the older blueing versus some of the newer coatings and finishes.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that some good custom holster users do use suede and feel the case against suede is somewhat exagerated. Of course, that's not my opinion and I'm not qualified to say. From everything I've read here and elsewhere I'd probably avoid it in the future too.

Have a good day!

Gideon
 
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