Leather and Handguns: Breaking in Your Holster
Whether you’re a concealed carrier or at the range, you need a holster for your pistol the same way you need a long-range scope for 1000 yard shooting. If your leather holster is new, you’ll want to break it in as soon as possible to hold your firearm properly.
Why It’s Important
Brand new leather can be hard to work with because it’s so tight, but when it comes to your handgun that can affect your draw. It can also make it difficult to holster your pistol since it won’t accept the frame as easily as non-leather.
Whether you’re part of law enforcement, concealing, or competitive shooting, a clean draw is imperative. It can be the difference between life and death or a victory, so breaking in a leather holster should be near the top of the to-do list.
The “Blocking” Technique
To get a clean draw, you’ll want to stretch the leather enough to fit your handgun without becoming so loose that your pistol could slip out. That’s where the “blocking” technique comes in because it will achieve that while preserving the leather. Here are the steps:
- Wrap your handgun in a thicker plastic bag. Those few millimeters will make a huge difference and make sure the bag doesn’t tear.
- With your thumb on the back of the slide to make sure it doesn’t move, slide your pistol into the holster until it’s locked in. You’ll probably have to be firm to get it in.
- Once it’s in position, leave it overnight or for several hours. This will give the leather time to stretch and expand naturally around the fit of your handgun.
- Remove your weapon from the holster grip-first. Be careful not to grab your holster anywhere near the contours of the pistol, like the trigger guard or the barrel, because that might undo some of the stretching and you’d have to start over.
- Take off the bag and replace your pistol in the holster. It should be a little easier this time, but repeat steps 2-4. That should give your holster the desired fit for your handgun.
The goal is to have your holster be stretched enough to accept your pistol and allow for a clean draw, but not so stretched that it throws off your grip or allows your handgun to slide around.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to stretch a new leather holster is to use just any kind of lubricant. Not only could this damage the integrity of the leather, but it could have a couple of other negative side effects. That’s why you should be using high-quality products like those found from Falco Holsters. Their break-in sets offer leather impregnation oil and Break-In liquid solution and would be a great starting off point.
Any lubrication besides gun oil could tarnish your pistol, rubbing off the paint or rusting the metal. The other con is that it might make your holster slippery, which transfers to your handgun.
It goes without saying, but you don’t want your sidearm to slip out while you’re walking around or, even worse, slip from your hand when you need to draw your weapon. The “blocking” technique is the best way to get a clean draw from your holster every time.
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