Leather gun holsters offer many advantages over other holster materials. Leather holsters are often more comfortable than non-leather holsters, and when used for concealed carry, they make far less noise. However, with these benefits comes the responsibility of regular care and maintenance; like any other leather product, leather gun holsters can wear down quickly if not properly cared for. Here is an in-depth guide on what you should do to maintain your leather gun holster.
Keep it Away from Animals
Most gun owners are surprised to learn that one of the most common ways that leather holsters are damaged is from being chewed on by animals. Your pets, dogs in particular, will see the holster as a chew toy–after all, leather is made from animal hide. In addition, rodents, such as rats and mice, will chew on the leather for the salt (from residual sweat on the holster,) or when teething. In general, you’ll want to keep leather holsters away from an area where they could be accessed by pests or household pets.
Don’t Overuse Conditioner
It can be tempting to use lots of leather conditioner to clean and protect your holster, but overuse of leather conditioner can soften the holster to the point that it no longer fits the weapon. Leather holsters must typically be broken in and molded to fit a particular weapon, and because conditioner often softens leather, it can lead to your holster eventually falling out of shape. In addition, when you do treat your holster, remember to only use products that are designed to clean leather holsters.
Dry it Properly
Moisture is one of the leading causes of damage to leather, and leather gun holsters are no exception. Whether your holster becomes damp with sweat or gets caught in the rain, be sure to wipe it down afterwards and leave it to dry in a moderate-temperature room. It’s critical to never use blow dryers or other heat sources to dry your holster, as exposure to heat can cause the leather to lose its shape and may result in permanent damage to your holster.
Wash your Holster Whenever the Leather Becomes Soiled
You should be wiping down your leather holster after each use, but if the leather becomes coated in dirt, dust or other materials, you should clean it gently to protect the leather. For best results, wash the holster with warm water and a glycerin soap, using a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub. After washing the holster, pat it down with a paper towel until it is only slightly damp, but then let it air-dry, and avoid any artificial heat sources.
Store it in a Cool, Dry Location
Because moisture can easily damage leather, your leather holster should be stored in a cool, dry place whenever it isn’t in use. For extra protection, you can wrap the holster in a cotton cloth and keep it in a box or case, but however you decide to store it, remember to take the holster out periodically and wipe it clear of accumulated dust.
Treat your Holster with Spray Silicone
While it isn’t a necessity, treating your leather holster with spray silicone has numerous advantages. The material is applied by spraying the interior of the holster with the silicone formula, which acts as a sealant and protects the leather from moisture. As an added bonus, treating the holster with spray silicone will also increase your draw speed by reducing the friction between the gun and the leather.
Protect the Holster from Perspiration
Sweat, like any other form of moisture, can damage a leather holster, so if possible, always keep some kind of barrier between your holster and your bare skin to minimize the perspiration your holster is exposed to. This can be accomplished by tucking in a shirt, or you can keep a rag tucked into the waist of your pants.