You just got your new pistol and you go to your nearest Sportsmen store and go down the aisle for holster and you are presented with tons of options. Now you’re confused with every configuration you can think of available for your pistol. One of the first things to consider is what the holster is made of. When broken down holsters are made of leather, Kydex, Nylon or a combination of them.
First let’s talk about leather holsters. Holsters made of leather have been around for a long time and can last if cared for. When looking at leather holsters here are some things to consider
They are flexible and they form to your body over time to give a perfect fit
Drawing from your gun is very quiet
Drawing your gun can be slower than Kydex due to friction
Leather degrades over time and can become unsafe
Leather can soak up a sweat (breaks down faster, smells)
A lot of newer uneducated pistol owners will be drawn to Nylon holsters due to their price. But with cheap holsters come things you’re going to give up. But it’s better than nothing.
Universal Fit since they are not molded to a particular gun
Drawing from nylon holster is very quiet
May not last as long as other holster materials
Less structure, normally nylon and foam, so less security
OWB and IWB options can be harder to use and be safe and stay place
Right now, one of the most popular materials is Kydex. For good reason too. Kydex is a very strong plastic that can form very precise forms and does not break down with minimal care. But nobody is perfect so let’s look at the pros and cons of Kydex holsters.
Do not lose their shape, years of use and abuse
No break in to get the fit right. If they don’t fit quite right you can add little heat to get it to fit right.
Kydex is very light and cheaper than Leather
Louder draw from your holster
Kydex can wear the finish on your gun over time, mainly on the corners and edges.
Now that we have the materials outlined, what’s best for you? Consider what is the purpose of the pistol. Is it for everyday carry? Going out to the range? Backpacking? Or maybe a truck gun. Once you have figured out the purpose of the pistol and where you plan to carry or use it will help figure out if one holster will do the job or if you might have to buy several holsters. But ask friends what they use and maybe they can loan one out to you to help with choosing what’s best for you.