Leather holster and sweat

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Leather holster and sweat

Postby rimfireOH » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:13 am

For two years, I've used a DeSantis Sof-Tuck IWB holster for my S&W Shield. This summer I've had more than normal outdoor projects and between the rain, humidity and perspiration, I've picked up a touch of rust on the slide at the two points where the slide wears more against the holster. I'm not too worried about that--a bit of gun oil and some synthetic steel wool wipes it off and protects it for another day. It's a working tool, after all, not one of my collectibles. I've also been careful to clean it out thoroughly a bit more frequently than normal.

What I'm worried about is the holster -- have I, through repeated long-hour bouts with sweat and humidity, ruined the holster? Is it possible that I've sweat enough that there's salt in that leather and I'm exposing the slide (and other components) to more corrosion that I should? This model is cheap enough (and I've just ordered another one) that perhaps I should have an indoor/clean holster and an outdoor/already-sweaty holster? Should I saddle-soap the sweaty one and move on? Am I over-analyzing it? Am I under-worried about the rust?

Any thoughts?
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby TSiWRX » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:13 am

I'm more worried as to whether you've compromised the structural integrity of the holster.

Does it still retain its shape enough to facilitate proper re-holstering?

Is it physically still strong enough to prevent unintentional trigger actuation ( http://www.itstactical.com/warcom/firea ... ischarges/ )?

Leather has a lifespan moreso than polymer-plastics.

As for the gun's finish, I really like the Bullfrog "Rusthunter" wipes - https://www.amazon.com/Bullfrog-3529238 ... B0044X7UYS

My 870 rusts if you just look at it cross-eyed. As a newer gun-owner, I did not realize this, the first time I seriously used the gun in a training class - well, about a month later, taking it out of my closet (it's one of my home-defense weapons) for inspection, I noticed that it'd rusted pretty badly. Using the Rusthunter, I not only was able to easily wipe off the rust, but it's kept the gun rust-free for now going on two years since the last application.
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby rimfireOH » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:23 pm

TSiWRX -- thanks for the ideas. Somewhere along the way during one of my trainings (not sure if it was my initial CHL course, a followup day w/Validus or TDI 1-3), it was impressed upon me to always take off my IWB holster when reholstering, then re-install the holster and firearm together inside my belt. I have an OWB holster that I don't bother removing when reholstering, but with the IWB, I always reholster by removing, reholstering, then re-installing.
Maybe it's superstition at this point, but it doesn't come out of the holster much (ever) during the day, so it's not an inconvenience. Maybe it's time to make an IWB Kydex holster for it.

The DeSantis is "reinforced at the top with premium saddle leather" and that is still tight and stiff, so I don't see the trigger catching in it.

Thanks for the Rusthunter tip; I'll check it out.
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby Brian D. » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:57 pm

rimfireOH wrote:TSiWRX -- thanks for the ideas. Somewhere along the way during one of my trainings (not sure if it was my initial CHL course, a followup day w/Validus or TDI 1-3), it was impressed upon me to always take off my IWB holster when reholstering, then re-install the holster and firearm together inside my belt. I have an OWB holster that I don't bother removing when reholstering, but with the IWB, I always reholster by removing, reholstering, then re-installing.

Can't begin to tell you how strongly I disagree with this notion. How in the world could anyone ever practice a number of draws/reholsters, whether at the range or (verified empty) dryfire at home? I know others disagree, but it's a huge reason why I (and many other carriers) have no use for a holster that collapses when the gun is removed.
Sorry, could not NOT post this.
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby TSiWRX » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:12 pm

^ I think it may depend on what type of holster rimfireOH uses - not just that it's an IWB.

Some soft-synthetic or leather holsters don't collapse or may otherwise be just stiff enough at the mouth to facilitate safe one-handed re-holstering. On the other hand, some full-hardshell polymer-plastic holsters do not offer sufficient guideway during the holster stroke to insure that the trigger is protected.

I've had leather holsters that either had leather doubled-over the mouth or were reinforced by a steel/plastic insert there - or the hide was simply treated specifically so as to offer extreme "hardness" (i.e. Rocky's "Cow-Dex," with his Pure Kustom Holsters line). I've even had holsters where a simple steel insert "ring" around the perimeter of the very top lip of the mouth was used to support that area open, so that single-handed re-holstering would be possible.

Minimalist setups such as the Raven Concealment Vanguard 1/2 were not designed to be safe to re-holster with the holster in-situ, but instead mandated removal of the holster from their carry position to safely re-holster, since the "holster" itself is but little more than a guard for the trigger, and could potentially itself interact with the trigger during the holster stroke and furthermore provided no protection for the trigger against foreign-material (including one's finger) intrusion during the majority of the holster stroke. This, versus the RCS Vanguard 3, which as it indexes off the WML attached to the gun and provides significantly more coverage for the trigger during the holster stroke, allows for in-situ re-holstering.

And, in the end, even with a holster that collapses or a minimalist setup which must be removed to re-holster safely, what you wrote of the repetitions is just that "how in the world?!" And in all honesty, the answer is really simple: that it's one of individual dedication. :) I've seen quite a few guys in class who run all day like that: they just resign themselves to shooting every other drill in an evolution, taking the time to remove the empty holster and re-install their re-holstered gun during the following string.
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby rimfireOH » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:03 pm

Brian D. wrote:How in the world could anyone ever practice a number of draws/reholsters, whether at the range or (verified empty) dryfire at home?

Good point, and that's why I clear and rope my firearm when I practice multiple draw-fire-reholster-reconceal repetitions at home. And at the range I get a handful of live-fire drills from that position. Probably not enough for some, but I do practice.

I figure a good day is when I never have to draw my firearm at all, so reholstering drills doesn't add much value for me.


But, getting back to my question: Should I worry that I've sweat-saturated this leather and am encouraging the corrosion?
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby TSiWRX » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:03 pm

rimfireOH wrote:But, getting back to my question: Should I worry that I've sweat-saturated this leather and am encouraging the corrosion?


I think that since you practice in-earnest, in your shoes, I'd be willing to make the investment in a second copy of the same holster if you really like that one that much - and just like you did already. This way, you can have a training holster or simply a holster that you don't mind getting roughed-up with yard-work, etc., while making sure that your EDC holster doesn't see as much abuse. :)

And yes, this isn't just empty talk. I actually do have training copies of my EDC. :)

https://imgur.com/VbZiOYP

This was from when I used a leather IWB setup. The gun in the middle is my training copy of my EDC, and the EDC is the all black one on the far right. Same pattern for the holsters and magazine holders.
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby Mr. Glock » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:38 pm

I am totally in Brian's camp here. Unless you are specifically carrying deep-cover (like the Raven Vanguard), you should have a IWB holster that you can/could do a one-hand re-holster if needed. It doesn't have to be a fast re-holster, but doable. And not the kind of re-holster where you have to fish your fat roll out of the way with the muzzle (this is an unconscious habit of people built with extra love...like me who loves beer) or pushing the gun into the holster means taking an angle toward your body because your fat roll/holster combo pushed the grip out and muzzle in)

You could have one hand out of action (shot, holding a kid) and the po-po is coming but you don't want to lose control of your gun as the BG might not be out of action. Just one example.

Not to sound like a holster snob, but I will. If you have a IWB that goes flat after the draw or has just a metal belt clip that is easy on/off (which, by definition, means it is easy off if you get in a skuffle) or is a all-in-one bulky style, you are running sub-standard equipment and I'd suggest you should do some research to upgrade your game.

All that said, pocket holsters always come out of the pocket for re-holstering.
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby TSiWRX » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:46 am

^ Ooooh, good call on pocket holsters. I'd totally forgotten about that!

------

While my personal sentiments align with yours, Mr. Glock, I also can't help but feel that there are reasonable compromises to be made.

The holster coming out of the waistband with the gun on the draw is inexcusable - I see that as failure of gear setup/selection on the part of the end-user, and not necessarily of the holster itself, as how the holster's interface hardware secures to one's belt (or simply the waistband, such as with the Ulticlip) is a responsibility of the end-user to validate.

I've seen plenty of guys and gals with otherwise really good holsters with really good hardware and really good belts that manage to screw this up and to end up with a holster that flies out of their waistband at some point during class or practice.

The interface hardware between the holster and the belt/waistband must work properly.

But as for the selection of a non-collapsing holster, I think that while this is preferred, I would not press this issue upon an average-Joe/Jane concealed-carrier simply because my view is that carrying is always better than not carrying: and to achieve the former, subjective comfort can really come into play...and not everyone has the ability to play musical chairs with holsters upon boxes of holsters ( https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/diary ... e.1522065/ - and no, that's -NOT- me! :lol: ).
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby techmike » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:56 am

Found the following on the Safariland website.
ADDITIONAL LEATHER TIPS

In addition to your regular cleaning routine, these tips will help you care for your leather products.

Use leather conditioners sparingly. Leather conditioners are specially formulated to loosen and moisturize leather as needed. Because Bianchi leather is hand finished with our special leather dressing, should your leather product become dry or scratched, you can treat the exterior with a commercial leather dressing that does not contain lacquer. (Be careful when using Neat’s foot oil; large amounts will soften the leather.)

Protect leather from perspiration. Placing a barrier such as a t-shirt, coat or the waistband of your pants between your skin and your holster will ensure your leather holster is protected.

Treat the interior of your holster with spray silicone to help protect against excess moisture. Spray silicone also speeds the draw by reducing friction.

If your product becomes water-soaked, reshape it as best you can and allow it to air-dry at room temperature. Do not use a hot oven – it will shrink, harden and crack the leather.


Also, I have read that horsehide holsters do much better with moisture. never had one, but found the following from High Noon Holsters interesting.
Vegetable tanned horsehide is extremely firm-grained, dense and water repellent. And one of the more notable properties of horsehide is its natural ability to repel moisture. This is due to the dense cell structure of the hide. This natural ability to repel moisture makes it very useful for certain applications, particularly for use inside the waistband or if you were going to be exposed to an excessive amount of water, moisture, body fluids and humidity.
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Re: Leather holster and sweat

Postby rimfireOH » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:43 pm

Thank you, techmike!
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