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How To Break In & Preserve Your Leather Holster

Nothing beats the quality craftsmanship and smell of fresh, fine, natural leather. While Nylon and Kydex retain a uniform shape and are easy to maintain, any honest gunslinger will tell you: the look and feel just isn’t the same. Leather holsters are generally much more comfortable and quieter than synthetic holsters. A premium-quality leather holster should last a lifetime, as long as it is well-maintained.

For more than four generations, 1791 Gunleather artisans have been handcrafting fine holsters that positively and reliably hold your firearm in leather you’ll be proud to own. You may notice your holster feels stiff and tight out of the box. It may be difficult to holster or draw your handgun initially. If drawing and holstering the firearm a few times doesn’t do the trick, then you’ll need to break the holster in to find a perfected fit.

How To Break-In A Leather Holster

Use a blocking technique to stretch the leather just enough to get a smooth draw. Place your firearm in a thick plastic bag. You can use a shopping bag or a Ziploc freezer bag. Some people use two sheets of wax paper (with the waxed side toward the leather). Wedge the firearm down into the holster, and let it sit for at least 24 hours. Remove the bag and test the draw, wearing the holster as you would for your intended use, without the plastic bag.

What NOT To Do:

We do NOT recommend using a lubricant like spray silicone or Leather Lightning to grease up the inside of your holster. You don’t want a gun slippery as it may slide out of the holster unintentionally. Beyond that, you don’t want to tarnish the finish of your firearm. The interiors of our holsters are hand-finished to protect your pistol’s bluing.

Want A Leather Holster That’ll Last A Lifetime?

1791 Gunleather holsters are made to last forever. A little care can go a long way in preserving the quality.

Leather Holster Care Do’s:

  • Use warm water and glycerin soap or Leather Lotion to remove impurities with a smooth finish.
  • Most leather holsters should only be cleaned with soap once every three to four months.
  • You may clean your holster with Bick 4 Conditioner or Fiebing’s Foaming Saddle Soap very sparingly.
  • Wipe off sweat, dust, dirt, or blood with a soft towel.
  • Stubborn dirt or stains can be gently scrubbed with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Maintain a layer of clothing between you and the holster to minimize perspiration.
  • If the leather has dampened, place the holster in a dry place to allow for natural air-drying.
  • Store your leather holster in a cool, dry location, wrapped in a soft cotton cloth or in the original box.
  • Minor cosmetic scratches will come off by rubbing olive, baby, or saddle oil into the scratch with a Q-tip.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol in a circular motion to minimize the appearance of deeper scratches.

Leather Holster Care Don’ts:

  • Do not leave your holster on the car dash or expose it to direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
  • Do not store your holster in the trunk of the car, an outdoor shed, the garage, or an attic.
  • Do not submerge your holster in water or any other liquid.
  • Do not use mink oil, Neat’s oil, or leather conditioner, which will soften and distort the molding.
  • Do not dry your holster with a hair dryer, radiator, oven, or laundry machine.
  • Do not store your holster within reach of your dog who may mistake it for a rawhide chew.
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