Kydex vs Leather


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The argument goes on. And of course, it's personal choice but based on past experience, I've found that leather, for all day carry, is more comfortable for me when carrying IWB. However, if I'm taking or teaching a course, Kydex seems to work better due to the constant holstering and reholstering. The repetitive reholstering seems to go a lot better. As a cop, off duty, I carried a 1911 in a leather Milt Sparks Versa Max IWB in the 4 o'clock position most of the time. On occasion I would carry OWB, which is arguably, in my opinion, more comfortable, in a leather WM. Davis. I have a Wilson EDC x9 now that I'm in the process of finding a good AIWB holster for, and since it's a pretty new issue gun, don't find a really lot of options. Kydex is selling really well now for several reasons: Price, but also, good leather holsters take several months to get in some circumstances, and some makers just aren't taking any new orders. Have ordered both a Kydex and leather and hopefully they will both serve their purpose based on the particular circumstances. I got a lot of good suggestions when posed the question of which holster to get for it on this forum.


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Was always a leather holster man. Usually went with Galco holsters.Good quality and fit. have recently gone with more kydex. both are good options

HB Rider

My carrying days date back to before Kydex was in our vocabulary, so on and off duty it was leather, and I still prefer leather. However, Kydex does have a place, such as all day repetitive use during a training session. I recently purchased an STI Staccato C, which came with a Kydex IWB holster. I carried in that holster off and on for a few months until I received custom leather OWB holsters for it from One In The Chamber and from Lobo Gun Leather. So, leather 85% of the time, Kydex 15% - they each have their applications.


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Strictly a leather snob. These days I only carry two models for all my guns. For IWB it is Milt Sparks Criterions and OWB it is their 55BNs. Leather has soul and plastic does not, but then I’m just an old dinosaur. Was lucky enough to have been invited to their 50th Anniversary shop tour and shoot a couple weeks ago and the 4,500 mile drive was certainly worth it.


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Fanatic Family
Leather for daily carry. Galco leather pocket holsters for my pocket rockets, and ChiefJason leather pancakes for belt carry.
Kydex for matches and range days. CompTac and Blade Tech.


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I was never able to find a leather holster that worked for my body type and got tired of loosing money in buying leather to try so I bought the tools to make kydex holsters and settled on this design.
523252335234523552365237I have seen some leather holsters now that are of a similar design. I may have to give one of those a try.


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Food for thought...What would Jeff (Cooper ) holster in,if he were alive?
I trained with Jeff Cooper at several courses at Gunsite a number of years ago. He carried his 1911 in a Yaqui slide holster, right side at 3 o'clock. Of course, it was leather in that Kydex hadn't hit the market yet.
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✌ Thank you have trained with the best,perhaps one day you,might share your experiences with us pogies.
You're kind. A very affordable training venue is with Mas Ayoob. The MAG 40 experience is good, not only from the practical range time but the 20 hour lecture series giving a lot of the legal and moral issues with defensive pistol shooting, should you ever be in an armed conflict. Of course, the top of the heap, albeit expensive, is the training at Gunsite. Everyone has to take the introductory course, 250, but after that the door is open for a long list of defensive firearms courses, including emergency first aid, tracking and related subjects.
I carry daily, shoot and train weekly.
Almost never carry IWB.
I carry a 1911, but have trained and carried a Glock 19 extensively.
Leather is great for a 1911, For outside waistband carry, they are much lower profile.
I will not carry a Glock in leather, I like the positive insertion and "click" that kydex provides. Jamming a Glock into leather until it "feels" secure is a great way to have a negligent discharge.
On the range, kydex is a better choice for 1911's as well.

I don't get wrapped up in the "romance" of leather, etc. Use what is best for the task at hand. These are firearms for self defense.

41 Charlie

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It’s only natural to prefer what you grew up with. From hot rods to hand guns. Everyone has a soft spot for their High School hot rod, and the firearms they were raised with. Without a doubt, it’s a generational thing.

I was long out of the Military when Glocks hit the street, and were in vogue. I’ve never owned a plastic gun, or plan too. This includes plastic holsters.

These are things I didn’t grow up around. That doesn’t mean they are inferior, just not my bag baby. Blue steel & gun leather make (my world) complete. ymmv.


Wow, interesting comments. Is there anyone here who doesn't have a bag full of holsters? I was a cop for 32 years and I've got so many duty and off duty holsters I can't believe it. Off duty, leather until I picked up a Sig 365. On my uncles recommendation, I picked up a holster for it from Red River Tactical. It's IWB, but it has a high back that rides higher. I think that addition makes it more comfortable. That holster is Kydex. Otherwise, nothing is more comfortable OWB then leather. It's sexier too.


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A lot of people say that looks don't matter that it's really about affordability and function. That would apply to both their handgun and the holster that they carry it in. For some, that may actually be true. I'm not one of those. I want both. I have a lot of kydex holsters and I like them. Very functional and some with leather backing which you could say is the best of both worlds. But not really. A beautiful crafted leather holster is something to behold. Good to look at, functional, and good fit. Comfortable both OWB and IWB. A lot of folks must agree with me because a short wait for a good custom leather holster is about 6 weeks and for some of the top makers, 6-7 months and in some cases they aren't even taking new orders. And beyond comfort and function is the pride of ownership thing. I have yet to take one of my kydex holsters and admire it, feel the texture and respect the amount of workmanship that went into pressing it out but still enjoy admiring my STI, Wilson or whatever gun I'm holding and seeing how it looks in my Mitch Rosen or Davis holster.


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Holsters for the EDCX9 are still elusive. Nightingale holsters have proven to be the best in quality of all of my custom leather holsters. I have only owned about 14 different co's holsters and waited up to 16 months for some. The leather used by some hokster makers are so thin it is unusable and not safe when reholstering. Unfortunately most leather makers lack an actual EDCX9 or cast of it to use. Perhaps by next year.


I carry my ATI 1911 Military in a custom "Talon Tactical Outfitters" modified Rogue IWB Holster in a kidney carry, it sits nice & flat & distributes the weight of the full sized 1911 nicely, throw a tshirt over it & it's out of sight out of mind, a jacket & it disappears...1911 & talon iwb holster 1.jpg


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