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Ten minutes on the internet, and you will see hundreds of different ways that people have tried to condition or “Dress” their holsters. Many of them swear by their methods whether what they are doing is good or bad for their holsters. Holster manufacturers are the professionals on this topic and should be the only ones you take advice from on this topic.
Dressing your holster only takes a few minutes and prolongs the life of your leather. Dressing your holster conditions and waterproofs the leather which prevents drying, cracking and water retention which can lead to rotting.
When choosing a leather dressing for your holster, select the right one. There are many leather conditioners, pastes, waxes, oils, silicones etc. on the market today. Most of them claim to do whatever you want them to do to whatever leather items you have. The reality is that you need specific styles for specific applications.
Good leather gun holsters are molded to your specific model of gun. They are molded and rigid, so they will retain your gun tightly, preventing it from falling out.
A dry holster will crack and tear, rendering it useless.
While oils, liquid conditioners, silicones and pastes may be great for leather vehicle seats, leather coats, boots and ball gloves, they are not the preferred choice for good leather gun holsters.
Oiling a leather holster will soften the holster to the point where it will lose its retention, eventually causing your gun to fall out when you least expect it.
The best option for a leather holster is a Beeswax mixture with a small amount of a petroleum product infused. This will condition the leather enough that it will not crack or tear, but will not over condition so you will not lose the retention or molding of the holster. This process also helps to waterproof your holster. This is important because if excessive moisture is soaked into the grain of your leather, it will rot and become useless. Using this Beeswax compound on the inside of your holster will condition and seal the open grain and will also aid in the drawing and holstering of your gun.
The end result is that you have a good leather holster that will not dry, crack or rot and maintain its retention and shape for many years of use. Continued care of your leather holster may make it last a lifetime.
For a step-by-step guide see our Holster Dressing Instructions
About the Author:
Retired Veteran Police Officer, Firearms Armorer and Holster Sales Manager