Holster Maintenance

Once you find the holster of your dreams (or the one you are finally comfortable with), you need to make sure you’re checking it over from time to time. If you’re like me, when you find a great pair of boots that fit you, you want to keep them in great shape (because you hate shoe shopping). The same thing applies to holsters.

What do you do to keep your holsters in tip-top shape?

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Leather ones I do little with. They are thick and sturdy, so as long as the trigger guard is covered I’m happy.

Kydex ones get the inverted shake test. Holster an unloaded gun, hold it upside down and shake side to side (not up and down) and if the gun stays in all is good. If it slips out, I do 1/4 turns of tension screws until it stays in.

Attachment points for kydex get Loctite.


So far none needed for my leather. I buy holsters specifically made for the gun I plan on using with it. If I sweat a lot, I do let the holster dry without the gun in it, so no rust issues develop.

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With leather holsters sweat/body oil and some occasional Neatsfoot oil is about it.

With Kydex or hybrids you really need to pay close attention looking for cracking and eventual stretching.

I learned the hard way with one of my custom Kydex holsters with adjustable tension retention that you need to fit it to each firearm specifically if you’re using it for more than one even of the same/similar models.

After two days at the range I shifted from one of my XD’s to one of XDM’s and suddenly found myself trying to draw a gun that had all but glued itself to the holster.

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I check my carry holsters every 2 weeks or so. They’re all kydex, so mainly just checking retention (I should probably loctite them), clearing fuzz and lint out

I use OWB holsters, really nothing to do with them.

  • leather holster for 1911 - specially made for my gun, so if I find it dirty or sweaty just wipe it off with “leather wipes” and then with cotton cloth. If still wet, I put the gun into plastic bag and holster it overnight.
  • plastic / polymer holster for EDC - just checking for cracks and testing retention. Sometimes wipe it off.

When I find one I like, I buy a second one. Like @WildRose mentioned the kydex will eventually crack, so a backup that is ready to go is about all you can do.

So far at least my Fobus locking holsters have been pretty well bombproof.

They have a trigger guard physical lock that is extremely secure along with a very good “form fit”.

They are a partnership product by IWI and Fobus.

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I check my kydex holsters twice a week. I check mine with an unloaded firearm to check retention. Paid off too, had a holster the retention screw had fell out. Now I use locktite on threads.

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