Leather Holster Break-In Guide

A new leather holster is an exciting thing to purchase and wear, but they do require some break-in. After all, you want your firearm to fit as perfectly as possible. While other holster materials such as nylon or kydex are ready to go straight from the box, they are not as comfortable or high quality as a good leather holster.

Who can say no to the smell and texture of a fresh, new leather holster? Not only are the quality and craftsmanship excellent, but they can be the most comfortable holster you have ever worn. But before they are this comfortable, they must be properly broken in. Luckily there are a few simple things that you can do in order to speed along this process and get your leather holster ready for years of use! Whether the holster itself needs work or the thumb strap, there is a simple way to get everything broken in and ready to properly carry your firearm.

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Breaking In Your Holster

In order to break in your leather holster in a short amount of time, there is a very simple method that only involves a few basic materials. This method is sometimes called the “wet” method and involves using denatured alcohol. In order to perform this method with your holster, you will need:

  • Your firearm
  • The leather holster
  • A plastic bag
  • Denatured alcohol
  • A small brush or rag

Once you have all of these items gathered together, you can start the process of breaking in your holster! To get started, you can insert your firearm into the holster just to see what parts need the most work. This will give you a better idea of where to apply the denatured alcohol in the later steps. Some common areas that need work are places like the trigger guard.

The next step is to take the gun out of the holster and get the denatured alcohol ready with the brush. Lightly apply the alcohol throughout the inside of the holster, paying special attention to the areas you noticed before that needed it.

Falco Break in set

Once you have applied it to the inside of the holster, place your gun inside the plastic bag. Push the gun back into the holster with the plastic bag around it. This will not only protect your gun from the alcohol but it will slightly stretch the leather just big enough to give a perfect fit. Stretch the sides of holster to seat gun properly and to give it a little more space.

Leather holster C106 Shikra

You may have to leave the gun for a little bit of time (or even overnight) in the holster this way, but once the alcohol evaporate, remove the gun from the holster and then from the plastic bag. Check the fit and see how you like it!


Breaking in the Thumb Break

Just like the actual holster will likely need to be broken in, the thumb break on most leather holsters will also need some work. In fact, it is more likely to need to be broken in than the holster itself! Luckily, the process is very similar and easy to do.

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Start by again applying denatured alcohol to the inside part of the thumb break. Place the firearm in the plastic bag once again, and slide it into the holster.

Now grab the strap firmly, and pull it out towards the snap. In order to stretch it slightly for better results, twist and bend the strap as you are pulling it. Use a little force with it, but not too much that it harms the leather itself.

Pulling the strap will allow the gun to slide all the way into the holster, and allow you to pull it all the way until it can properly snap. Doing this method should allow the thumb break to more easily snap closed, but if not, repeat the process.

The gun inside of the plastic bag should work to stretch out the thumb break with the help of the denatured alcohol, allowing it to be broken in. While you may have to leave it snapped close until alcohol evaporates, once you take it out and test-fit the gun without the bag you should be ready to wear it!

With both the holster and the thumb break properly broken in, your new leather holster is now ready to safely and securely hold your firearm wherever you may go!

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