Many shooters like the look and feel of leather holsters for concealed carry, and leather holsters also have several attractive advantages. They’re oftentimes more comfortable than synthetic holsters, and they’re also quieter when carrying concealed.
Despite their many advantages, leather holsters are more susceptible to wear and damage than other holsters. Eventhough today’s modern leather holsters are durable and robust, there are some basic steps you can take to prolong the life of your holster and protect it from the elements.
Properly care for leather holsters by following these seven tips, and you’ll be able to use your holster every day for several years.
Rodents are even worse—a mouse, rat or squirrel that finds your holster will chew on it for the salt, to create bedding and/or to dull their ever-growing incisor teeth. A leather holster that is kept within reach of animals is doomed.
A bar of glycerin soap or a product specifically designed to clean holsters like Galco's Leather Lotion is your best bet for holsters with a smooth finish.
To accomplish this, place your pistol in a Ziploc bag and push it into the holster. This will allow the leather fibers to stretch and will provide just enough extra room in the holster to allow for a smooth draw and yet will maintain a solid grip on your gun.
It is critical to use only cleaning agents that are designed for leather holsters. Excessive amounts of saddle soaps and other soft leather conditioners may protect the leather, but over time they can soften the material and cause the holster to lose its form.
If possible, keep a barrier of clothing between yourself and the holster to keep as much perspiration off the holster as possible. If you’ve been sweating and the surface of the holster is moist, wipe it down with a dry rag. If the moisture has soaked into the leather, properly dry the holster (see next tip).
Instead, place the holster in a dry place with a moderate temperature and allow the leather to dry on its own. Heat can change the shape of the leather and will likely do permanent damage to your holster.
Leaving the gun on the dash of your car is a major mistake. Direct sunlight and heat will eventually break down the structure of the leather and will shorten the life of your holster.