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Thread: Nylon holsters vs. Leather holsters

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    Regular Member Chickgun's Avatar
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    Nylon holsters vs. Leather holsters

    Okay I've heard a lot about leather holsters and only know the nylon holsters exist, but nothing else about them. What is the difference? What makes leather better than nylon or is it not any better? These holsters all look great what is the difference?
    Nylon Holster
    Leather Holster

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO!! Stick around and you will learn a lot!!!!!

    A leather holster is typically thought to be better for a couple of reasons. First, it is molded to a specific gun for a tight and proper fit. Nylon holsters are usually generic and not made for any specific pistol. Leather is more durable. Nylon holsters tend to rip or fray after extended use. I highly recommend that you spend the extra money and get a leather holster. You may also want to look into Kydex type holsters. Some good leather holster companies are Galco, Bianchi, Kholsters, and many more. Some good Kydex brands are Blackhawk, Safariland and Bladetech.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 10-05-2011 at 07:12 PM.
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    Personally, I prefer leather. I have the option of making holsters in nylon, canvas, or kydex/polymers, but I prefer leather.
    Each have their own qualities and advantages, pros and cons, though. Leather wears better, looks better IMO,and is a lot easier to work with from a making them standpoint.
    The poly holsters might last longer, be more durable in some regards, but..they are plastic... stiff, and they click when they bump or rub against things.. I just dont like em at all.
    Nylon.. something very well-made and tough, like 1000 denier or better weaves may last for a while, but eventually they fray,and begin to unravel either way.
    Last edited by j4l; 10-05-2011 at 07:40 PM.

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    Regular Member steelhawk's Avatar
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    I got a nylon holster once, years ago. My gun fell out while hiking and got scratched up. That's when I started making my own holsters.

    It is likely that the better quality nylon holsters keep the gun more secure than the one I used, but I haven't actually used one.

    A good quality leather holster is what I prefer.

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    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Welcome to OCDO!! Stick around and you will learn a lot!!!!!

    A leather holster is typically thought to be better for a couple of reasons. First, it is molded to a specific gun for a tight and proper fit. Nylon holsters are usually generic and not made for any specific pistol. Leather is more durable. Nylon holsters tend to rip or fray after extended use. I highly recommend that you spend the extra money and get a leather holster. You may also want to look into Kydex type holsters. Some good leather holster companies are Galco, Bianchi, Kholsters, and many more. Some good Kydex brands are Blackhawk, Safariland and Bladetech.
    you left off Vega. They make leather and Kydex holsters
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    Well, I suppose there is a couple of things to consider. First of all, nylon is generally going to be cheaper initially than leather. I write initially because you will probably have to replace the nylon holster before the leather one as leather stands up better over time. Generally speaking, a Nylon holster is most likely going to be a tiny bit thinner and lighter than leather (if this matters to you). Aesthetically, leather looks a lot better than nylon (again, if this matters to you). There are some other things to consider as well. Do you want to be able to adjust the cant or ride height when attached to your belt? What level of retention do you want? As someone else mentioned, do you want an exact fit to your gun (most likely leather holsters will fall under this, but not always) or do you want a more "universal" holster that will work with multiple pistols (most likely nylon will apply here, but not always).

    Choosing a holster is a very personal thing and what will work for one person may not work for the next. Another option you can look into beyond nylon or leather is either Kydex or leather/Kydex hybrids. There are a bunch of them out there but two major brands are Comp-Tac (http://www.comp-tac.com/) and Crossbreed Holsters (http://www.crossbreedholsters.com/). I use the comp-tac holsters for 4 of my pistols and have been very happy with them (Crossbreed is just a good, but the fit and finish isn't as nice. They are cheaper however - I would be happy with either one). As someone else mentioned, I would also look at Galco (http://www.usgalco.com/), Bianchi (http://www.bianchi-intl.com/), Kholster (http://www.kholster.com/), High Noon Holsters (http://www.highnoonholsters.com/), Milt Sparks (http://www.miltsparks.com/) - crazy wait time but worth it

    Good luck with your search.
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    What Sgt Kabukiman said reminded me of something...

    I have a leather holster (no longer in use) that was originally a NYCP issue holster from the 1920's. I just replaced it last year> How is that for life? 35 years of constant use, then another 55 years of intermittent use. It is still a good holster but the leather is getting dry and I don't want it to fall apart. However, I was still carrying the old Colt revolver that came with it, in it, up to last year.

    I have a new Ross Leather hunting holster that I use for that revolver now.

    All but one of my holsters are level II or level III retention in leather. Why? In over 40 years I have never dropped a pistol, even when I fell off a horse. It all has to do with confidence. Do you want you self defence weapon to fall on the ground at the most inopportune time?

    The one holster I have that is not leather is a Blackhawk shoulder rig that I wore once. No, don't like it at all, I'll stick to my OC leather holsters.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    We're pleased to have you join us on the forum.

    Thanks for starting this thread, as I've already learned some things from reading the posters' responses.

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    Yes, but

    I agree with most of the posts but two very important advantages of Nylon were missed. First Nylon although a more generic fit is usually faster on draw. Second and it saved me a broken hip, Nylon holsters have a lot more padding so if you fall directly on you weapon you have less chance of injury. I fell off my dirt bike right on my hip and only got a bruise because of padding and gun.

    Finally a few months back some were dissing the Gas Pedal for 1911 because it could not be be put in a holster. Here is a You Tube of Nylon holster that works well
    with 1911 Gas Pedal

    http://youtu.be/_evQ7vzksDQ

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    I would not buy a nylon holster unless it was the only holster available holster for a pistol. Even then I'd rather make one from leather first.

    What is the purpose of a "gas pedal"? It just looks like a way someone found for getting money from a fool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45oftheday View Post
    I agree with most of the posts but two very important advantages of Nylon were missed. First Nylon although a more generic fit is usually faster on draw. Second and it saved me a broken hip, Nylon holsters have a lot more padding so if you fall directly on you weapon you have less chance of injury. I fell off my dirt bike right on my hip and only got a bruise because of padding and gun.

    Finally a few months back some were dissing the Gas Pedal for 1911 because it could not be be put in a holster. Here is a You Tube of Nylon holster that works well
    with 1911 Gas Pedal

    http://youtu.be/_evQ7vzksDQ
    I really do hope that's a joke..and that contraption isnt really making him that slow on the draw, or he's just going slow-ish for the camera. I'd have had 2 rounds into his head by the time he got that thing out...
    And all that head-down, fumbling biz... let's hope that poor guy never has an encounter.. The draw-and re-holstering, from CC OR OC, should be a natural movement- and never with the head down, eyes off the target..
    Last edited by j4l; 10-13-2011 at 12:53 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45oftheday View Post
    I agree with most of the posts but two very important advantages of Nylon were missed. First Nylon although a more generic fit is usually faster on draw. Second and it saved me a broken hip, Nylon holsters have a lot more padding so if you fall directly on you weapon you have less chance of injury. I fell off my dirt bike right on my hip and only got a bruise because of padding and gun.

    Finally a few months back some were dissing the Gas Pedal for 1911 because it could not be be put in a holster. Here is a You Tube of Nylon holster that works well
    with 1911 Gas Pedal

    http://youtu.be/_evQ7vzksDQ
    Thank you so much for posting this. I looked at the date on the video and saw that they are still trying. I literally lol'd. Is anyone buying this product!?!?!?
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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chickgun View Post
    Okay I've heard a lot about leather holsters and only know the nylon holsters exist, but nothing else about them. What is the difference? What makes leather better than nylon or is it not any better? These holsters all look great what is the difference?
    Nylon Holster
    Leather Holster

    I'll tell you what makes a leather holster better - everything.

    You need to go buy one of each and wear it around and you'll know. I started with nylon holster - taking the cheap way out. They're flimsy, they have crap retention, they don't stay at the same can't (like a leather pancake holster) because the nylon sags when you put weight on it (anything other than a tiny little .22 pistol). Because they sag they'll start to sag out and away from your body so you're constantly hitting your funny bone on them. They just over all SUCK.

    Oh yeah, and if you wear one in public you might as well be wearing a sign over your head that says "I'm a **** head because I spend $500 on a gun and $5 on a holster that's now leaning out and hitting everything on the shelves as I walk through this grocery store."

    Even better, conceal carry with a OWB nylon holster, you'll think you're printing your gun, but what you're really printing to other people is that you have some extra limb growing out of your side/back. So unless you want to come off as the hunchback of notre dame I suggest you stick with a leather pancake holster.


    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    [Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. Supp. 486, 489 (1956)]
    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
    [Sherar vs. Cullen, 481 F2d. 946 (1973)]

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    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45oftheday View Post
    I agree with most of the posts but two very important advantages of Nylon were missed. First Nylon although a more generic fit is usually faster on draw. Second and it saved me a broken hip, Nylon holsters have a lot more padding so if you fall directly on you weapon you have less chance of injury. I fell off my dirt bike right on my hip and only got a bruise because of padding and gun.

    Finally a few months back some were dissing the Gas Pedal for 1911 because it could not be be put in a holster. Here is a You Tube of Nylon holster that works well
    with 1911 Gas Pedal

    http://youtu.be/_evQ7vzksDQ
    Unless it hangs up on something since it's not fitted for the gun.

    That holster has to be the poorest choice for a CC holster, WTH is that that grip thing supposed to do? Just another piece to get caught or snagged on your draw stroke.

    Hope he's carrying good liability insurance.
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    I have a nylon holster, have been using it since April for CC, and I love it. I also don't carry in a "standard" spot as I carry at the 10-11 o'clock postion and I cant the gun slightly forward (it's a full-size XDm40 and canting it forward is the best way for me to conceal it). The holster that I use is a Blackhawk nylon holster. The only issue I've had with it was when I lost a bit of weight and so the gun wanted to lean forward more than normal; but tightening my belt fixed that issue.

    I've tried a few different types of holsters and so far this one has been the most comfortable and it allows me to carry in the position that I want. If I were to carry it in a different position I could see using a different holster, but the nylon holster fits it snugly and in it's current position the body is pressed up against it pretty much all the time which ensures that it isn't going anywhere unless I were to be upside down. I've also taken it on walks in 90+ degree weather and I had no issues with chafing or excessive sweating at the point of contact. Now if I were to carry in a different spot I could understand potentially not wanting to use a nylon holster, but in my current carry position I've had no issues at all with it.

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