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How does one compare/contrast with the other - a well-made custom-fit kydex holster, vs. a well-made custom-fit leather holster? I'm concerned about wear on the weapon as it is pulled out and replaced, wear and tear on the holster, shape retention, weapon security and stability in the holster - and any other concerns you may have experience with. I have zero experience with either, so I need some educated advice, please.

This would be for an appendix carry, or maybe cross-draw.

Thanks...
 

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Wear on the weapon: Perhaps about the same. Some leather holsters offer an optional swede lining to reduce the wear.

Leather has a proven track record of durability. Kydex not so much. It's pretty tough stuff, however it just doesn't have the track record (100's of years).

Shape retention: the Kydex will hold it's shape until it's heated again. Form fitted (steam) leather will mold to your body and keep it's shape to the original gun's shape. They both have their place. My favorite carry is leather.

Properly fitted (ie: built for that gun) they both should keep it from rattling around. I think the only situation where you would see a gun rattling around loose would be a Kydex that wasn't make for it.

I carry 'thumb break' leather. If leather just doesn't turn you on and retention is a big issue, look at the Blackhawk Serpa. They have a release lever that you press with your trigger finger to remove the weapon.

A quality example of either should last you just about a life time. Look at what the LEOs use.
 

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I prefer leather for comfort and aesthetic reasons. I don't care about wear on a carry firearm. They are meant to be carried and used, not to sit in LNIB condition as museum pieces. You want to keep a firearm in as-new condition, don't carry it.

There are several companies that make hybrid holsters with a kydex form attached to a leather backing. People who like them swear by them.

I have heard some people complain about malfunctions with Serpa holsters. If some sand or object gets into the mechanism, it becomes impossible to remove the pistol without destroying the holster...not something you want to depend on if seconds count. I have no direct experience, since I only use all-leather.
 

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