In this age of synthetics, leather continues to be very popular when it comes to holsters. While synthetic holsters are often the best choice for many applications, there’s still something to be said for real leather. Man-made materials certainly can’t beat leather for its natural beauty. Aesthetics aside, there are other pluses to leather, as well, that continue to make it one of the better materials for holster construction.
Galco Holster Care Kit
A quality leather holster will need minimal care. Leather is a natural product and will tend to break down over time without proper care. With a little care, a well-constructed leather holster can provide many years of dependable service. There are numerous examples of holsters dating back to the Old West that are just as serviceable today as they were back when they were made. Follow the recommendations of the maker.
The Galco Gunleather® Holster Care Kit includes everything that you need to help care for your leather holster and prolong its life. It’s easy to use. Complete instructions are included.
The Holster Care Kit comes with five components. There’s a four fluid ounce bottle Galco Leather Lotion™ Cleaner & Conditioner; one-half fluid ounce bottle of Galco Draw-EZ™ Holster Lubricant; application dauber; synthetic wool buffing pad; and a synthetic wool & foam scrubbing pad. The Leather Lotion and Draw-EZ are each also available separately from Galco.
Leather Holster Break-In
A good leather holster will be precision molded by the maker to specific firearms. It will be tight at first by design, since the leather fibers will relax to the proper fit with use. If a new holster has tension screws, these will need to be adjusted. Once adjusted, clear nail polish can be used to reduce any unwarranted loosening. Don’t use LocTite® or threadlocker.
Leather holsters will usually break-in on there own over time. If the holster is too tight when holstering your firearm for the first time, don’t force it. It can easily be remedied by a process known as “blocking out.” Never moisten your holster in any way in an attempt to stretch the leather.
Blocking out the leather is accomplished by placing the unloaded firearm in a plastic freezer bag or two to three layers of plastic kitchen wrap and insert the bagged/wrapped firearm fully into the holster. Wait at least 15 minutes and then unholster the firearm. Remove the bag or wrap from the firearm and then try the fit again. The fit should be snug but not tight. If the holster is still two tight you can repeat the process with two or three bags or additional wraps. Another technique is to twist the holstered bagged or wrapped firearm about 1/16-inch (1.6 mm) in both directions six to 12 times.
Galco’s Draw-EZ can greatly shorten the break-in process your leather holster and provide a much slicker draw. Draw-EZ is a surface treatment that’s applied to the interior of the holster. It’s not absorbed by the leather and won’t alter the fit of the holster or harm the finish of your firearm. Draw-EZ needs to be used in conjunction with presentations (again with an unloaded firearm) to break-in the holster. Simply leaving your handgun in the holster won’t do any good in this regard.
Cleaning and Conditioning
Leather needs to be regularly cleaned and conditioned. How often this is necessary will depend on the amount of use that the leather gets and the environmental conditions to which it’s exposed. Dirt and other foreign matter can get foreign matter can get into the pores and crevices of the leather. Cleaning the leather regularly will help prolong its life. Holsters and accessories that are used on a daily basis or that are exposed to excessive perspiration should be cleaned at least once a month.
Regular conditioning is also important. Conditioning serves several purposes. Conditioning moisturizes the leather to help prevent it from drying out. It provides a surface barrier to help prevent soiling and staining. It also enhances the beauty and appearance of the leather. Don’t use oils (such as Neats Foot or Mink oil) as they will soften the leather, which is a bad thing when it comes to holsters.
Galco’s Leather Lotion Cleaner & Conditioner is one of the best products that I’ve found for cleaning and conditioning leather holsters. Leather lotion is a specially formulated, wax-free lotion designed to clean, condition and preserve smooth, vegetable-tanned leathers. It removes surface dirt and penetrates deeply into the pores of the leather to moisturize the internal fibers. It restores the oils that are naturally lost over time as the leather ages and helps prevent drying a cracking without softening the leather. It also provides water resistance.
Leather Lotion shouldn’t be used on chrome-tanned, suede, nubuck or napped leathers as it can stain them. Dirt should be removed from these leathers with a clean terry cloth towel or soft suede brush. Grease stains may sometimes may be removed from suede, nubuck or napped leathers with a soft eraser. There are also a number of commercial suede cleaners that are available.
A fine leather holster is an investment that can give many years of service. To get the most out of your gunleather, all that’s necessary is a little care.
The Galco Holster Care Kit has a MSRP of $34.00. It’s an excellent product and one that I wholeheartedly recommend If you take care of your gunleather, it will take care of you.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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