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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for my first holster. I'm expecting to go with an IWB but can't decide which material to go with.

What are the pros and cons of each?

My situation is this:
I live in AZ, so there's heat and sweat to contend with.
I sit at a desk all day long, so sitting comfort is a big concern.
I'm fatter then I should be and poorer then I'd like, so it's going to be a tight fit until I:
A) Lose a couple inches
B) Buy new pants.
I wear shorts/jeans and tshrits 99% of the time.
I'm left handed. :(

I've gone through a lot of the holster threads here and I see a lot of unquantified recommendations. I've seen a wide range of products recommended to other people, but that doesn't really get me any closer to a decision for myself.

A little guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
UD.
 

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Like every other gun owner that carrys by the time you find just the right one you will have a big ( pick one - bag,box,drawer,duffel bag) you get the picture. I like leather holsters, but sometimes I like kydex. So I guess thats no help.

Once you do think that you know what you want rember that you do get what you pay for.(Milt Sparks Summer Special= $80.00) and it's worth every penny. I carry a Springfeidl Light Weight Comander in 45acp, or a STI BLS in 40s&w in one almost every day. I just haven't got one for an XD yet, and the XD still needs night sights to by my every day carry gun. I think I will order them right now.

So like ED said good luck.
 

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Expect to see a lot more unquantified recommendations! People are just giving opinion of what works...for them. Its up to you to decide what works for you. I can only give my experience. I first got a hume clip-on leather IWB - thought it was a good deal and I still use it occasionally when i'm running out the door and don't have time to put my rig on. I then got a Hume open top OWB leather holster. Another good deal. This one is really comfortable and hides just about as well as an IWB under an untucked T-shirt. Some people invest alot of money (for me) in a top of the line Holster, I like to get good holsters at a good price. Although I could drive a BMW, my Honda does just fine.
 

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I use a nylon IWB that is fine in hot weather, but I honestly HATE the holster. I am waiting for Eric Larson to drop me an email about a COM3 and I think that should fit my comfort bill nicely.
 

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I can only speak for a 1911 carry holster but I use a Sparks VM2 and love it. It was expensive but in my opinion worth it. It hides a 5" 1911 with only a t-shirt and is comfortable for all day carry. It is one of the most popular conceal carry holster with the 1911 crowd.

I also have a kydex in the waist band and for me it is fine if I will be standing but not for sitting. And even standing it is not as comfortable as the VM2. It is very quick for the draw though.

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I think it's safe to say that I won't be ordering a Sparks VM2 or a COM3 or any other custom handmade for a while. I'll probably end up at a local sporting goods store and pick up the first left handed IWB I can find. Gotta get that box'o'holsters started I guess.

Thanks,
UD.
 

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Here's my advice on how to not go broke buying holsters that don't work for you.

The first thing you need to figure out is HOW you want to carry. IWB, OWB, location on the body, etc. If you want to carry IWB, unload your gun, and slip it in your waistband. If you want to carry OWB, you might need to rig up something a little more creative to experiment with, like a short piece of rope looped at 2 ends, that you can run your belt through. Try a few different positions, see what feels comfortable, and practice drawing.

Once you figure out how you want to carry, get a cheap Uncle Mikes-type holster and actually carry that way for a while to see if it works (A #15 IWB nylon Unkle Mike's will fit a Service model XD). If it does, NOW you should consider the material, maker, etc. of your holster. If this doesn't work, you've only out a $10 holster, and not a pricey rig. Go back to the drawing board, and figure out where to try next.

My advice is, know for sure HOW you want to carry before you buy the leather rig. Even if you mess up and get one you don't like, more than likely you will be able to get some of your money back selling it here on the trading post.

Good Luck!
 

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I have heard from some people that Kydex holsters wear on the slide more that leather...is this true? It seems that metal should hold its own against plastic as well as leather. Just wondering. To go along with that, is the finish on the XD slide very durable? I have heard a few complaints about wear. What are the best options for aftermarket finishes?
 

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Buy both, I got kydex first and leather second. I use both.

My kydex seems to hold it closer to me, my leather seems to be more comfortable.
 

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Hi UberDuper~

I've had too many holsters to count and luckily the first 'real' one I got is still #1. Don't know what its called but Mas Ayoob and Blocker got together for a leather IWB back in the 80's. Uses a velcro belt (which I always wear anyway) and it is for a 5" 1911. Its infinitely adjustable position is a real plus and I've used it for everything down to the Springfield Micro .40 ... and it is 'it'!

IWB tip is to buy pant waist one size larger. For that reason, I am often OWB w/same holster. And because of the bulk of the XD's (I have the 3 lengths), I keep going back to the slim 1911 in the Ayoob/Blocker leather. NO Kydex has been has comfortable.

Just my esperience.

~ E Mont
 

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Every body has to start thier own holster box. What works for me may or may not work for you. That being said, I like Com-Tac's CTAK and Shirt Tucker, both are kydex and IWB. When I carry OWB (which is not often) I prefer variations of the old Askins Avenger, which is leather.
 

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I live in the valley of the sun too so I know what HOT is! A lot of people will recomend this and that without knowing how hot/sweaty it is for us. But I have found that unless I want my pistol in a piece wet tissue I will use kydex. If you find your sweet spot it will be as comfotable as leather, a least for me it is.

That being said I would also have you consider the belt that will be holding it all together. I use an 1 3/4" Wilderness belt but they have an 1 1/2" as well. I have had it for 3 years and it is as strong as the day I bought it. It has no sagged areas and I have only had to sew a new velcro tap back on due to wear.

But as said by others you will decide for yourself what is best for you. :D
 

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I'll never buy another Kydex of Fobus holster again after seening what it did to my Colt Defender after 1 year......... now I have to get it refinished, probably duracoated.
 
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