Leather For Holsters

If you’re shopping leather holsters, be prepared for some confusion - the choices you have here are damned-near equal to the choices in handguns on the market. If you’ve decided on cowhide, make sure that it’s VEGETABLE-tanned cowhide - and the maker prominently features it in his promos. AVOID ACID-tanned cowhide - the tannic acids used for this will leach, to attack a gun’s frame and finish. One leather-maker who’s taken on prominence is Hermann Oak - their oak-tanned cowhide is used in their saddlery, belts, and holsters. One subject I want to point out is if you want a holster LINER - one leather still used for this by long-time makers like Bianchi and Kirkpatrick is SUEDE - a cheap, sleazy leather that’s hardly fit for clothing - ever try to get snot off a suede jacket? Any maker who won’t offer liner options is one to pass by. Suede will readily soak up moisture, and collect dirt and grit - you 1911 aficionados, take note. Years ago, Smith had a proprietary line of holsters with CORFAM liners. which reputedly imparted a really slick draw. Horsehide or “cordovan” is another leather to consider, which doesn’t require a liner, because of the tanning method used. Mitch Rosen is reputedly one of the best overall holster-makers in the U.S. using horsehide - I would prefer a thin, roughout-to-roughout horsehide liner in these, to strengthen and stiffen the holster’s body. There are “exotic” leathers to choose from - sharkskin, ray-skin, alligator and crocodile, etc. - but like horsehide, quality and quantity remains an issue, so don’t be shocked by the prices. As always, SHOP HARD for these, to get the best value-for-value exchange - you could be betting your LIFE on the holster you choose to wear! FYI


This is the one I use everyday, have for going on 5 years now. I don’t know what tanning process they use but I have not seen any effect from the leather on my EDC. Plus, when they say No Bull**** warranty they mean it. I had one that would pull off my belt 1 or 2 times in a hundred draws, sent it in to get it fixed, they sent me a new one, no questions asked.


I use a guy who does custom holsters. He is a down to earth guy up in the North Carolina Mountains. He’s done a lot of custom leather work for me. Tell him Zavier sent you.

His name is
David Caudle
1 (336) 486-7421


Bumping to show off my new leather from Craft Holsters. I opted for a cross draw this time because I wanted an easier draw while seated in my car. It’s in a plastic bag because they said it gives just that little extra space needed to draw without too much resistance. My last leather holster was a clip on and I snagged it making the clip useless.

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