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I have a bad habit of having backups, not only with guns but holsters too and most everything else. I live in Kentucky and opened carry till 5 years ago when I got my permit to conceal a weapon. I bought a Desantis holster then, a dual carry 2, I bought two of them so I would have one for IWB and one for owb without having to change on the clip. I carry everyday 6-12 hours and carry 7 day a week, both holsters still look great without any wear to speak of. with that though I have now bought two more and put them up as back up. I even think I might need backup to my back up. I am on a tight budget and can't save to get a high dollar holster, i have tried and somehing comes up to get my money. But I can't complain on the Desantis, so my question is this, do any of ya'll have backup holsters? and about how long will a decent leather holster last? thanks for any help.
 

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I've got a couple of boxes of holsters. I've got a few faves and a few that just didn't work out. I really prefer OWB to IWB, but it can be concealed with a long shirt.
 

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Yes. When Sig closed out the P250 line, a major online company was selling the Desantis "Sky Cop" for 15 bucks. I liked the holster and had a few 250's, so I bought 3. I have an EP Saddlery pancake I bought in El Paso in 1981 that I still sometimes use, although it's a bit loose. Every year or two I saddle soap and re-dye, if needed.
 

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I have more than I need. All of mine are OWB except one and it's SOB. I have finally decided on Versacary and I have one for every pistol. My Glock 40 10mm even fits nicely in them( I'm not affiliated or have any vested interest in Versacary). I don't do any run and gun and they just fit my body shape very nicely. And I conceal carry with them very well.
 

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I use a Don Hume IWB daily that I bought in '96 or '97. It hasn't been used daily since '97, though. I've used that particular gun as my primary carry off and on for that long. Carried it for about 18 months OWB and swapped back to IWB about 4 years ago.

I prefer to buy a good holster once than have to replace a cheaper one regularly.
 

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I am mostly an IWB guy and have Alien Gear holsters in service for 5 years plus. Outbags are made in the USA and are of decent quality and price point. I have an OWB of theirs for my CZ 75 Compact. I grabbed a leather OWB holster for my Rossi 462-2 that I hope fits the Taurus 605 when they finally get around to shipping it out. I have more holsters than guns like most people.
 

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My wife has labeled me as a Holster Whore.
 

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From the very early 1900's

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I have a really nice Bucheimer "FederalMan" holster for my 1911's. It is a high-ride, OWB, with a snap retention in kind of a thumb-break on a steel stem. a favorite since I bought it in 1967, but the stitching just gave up the ghost last year, all the way from top to bottom. Don't know if it was sewn with cotton or linen, but - - KAPUT!

And about 1970, I bought the similar holster for a 4" S&W Model 19. (Which is a perfect fit for my Taurus Model 66, and out in the woods this spring and THAT holster opened from top to bottom.

But for being fifty years old, I guess they don't owe me anything. However, I went to Harbor Freight and bought a hand-stitching awl and some black poly thread - ought to see me through, I guess.
 

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I have a really nice Bucheimer "FederalMan" holster for my 1911's. It is a high-ride, OWB, with a snap retention in kind of a thumb-break on a steel stem. a favorite since I bought it in 1967, but the stitching just gave up the ghost last year, all the way from top to bottom. Don't know if it was sewn with cotton or linen, but - - KAPUT!

And about 1970, I bought the similar holster for a 4" S&W Model 19. (Which is a perfect fit for my Taurus Model 66, and out in the woods this spring and THAT holster opened from top to bottom.

But for being fifty years old, I guess they don't owe me anything. However, I went to Harbor Freight and bought a hand-stitching awl and some black poly thread - ought to see me through, I guess.
I've tried stitching leather with those and it takes much practice to get it looking good...I still haven't mastered it.

Maybe find a shoemaker to stitch it back together for 15 bucks...MOL.
 
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I have several boxes of holsters and the oldest holsters were made during WWI. Right now they are separated into revolver holster boxes and semi-automatic holster boxes and the Box of Shame for those that simply did not do the job they were designed to do.

I've a few holsters that I still use on occasion, one Brauer Bros in particular was used when I first got it back in the late 1950s. It was in rough shape then but I thought it was COOL.



 

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I've tried stitching leather with those and it takes much practice to get it looking good...I still haven't mastered it.

Maybe find a shoemaker to stitch it back together for 15 bucks...MOL.
A little shoemaker is a true asset. I have a late WWII German holster for a JP Sauer HSc at my shoemaker right now to get a replacement strap made. The issue was being late war the metal work was at best crude but part of the character. He is making a retainer that will slip over the inner stud like a button into a button hole so it will retain the WWII characteristics.

He has also restitched other holsters bringing them back into usable condition.
 

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When a holster is made from good leather and gets taken care of (keep it clean, occasional polish or wax) it should last a lifetime. Don't get the wrong chemicals on it, don't let it get too dry, and you should be good. Splitting seams can happen, but it's fixable. You can even do it with a simple needle and some waxed thread from Tandy. We have a serious leather sewing machine, but I always sew by hand anyway.

gbusmech, that vintage holster is really nice.
 

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How long will they last? From one day, to 20 years!
I used to go to Oklahoma regularly for training in the '90s, and frequently stopped by Don Hume's place. I always bought something, and Don himself helped make some choices. By 2011 most were worn beyond use, but I still have a couple.

I had a Kramer since the early 80s, or so, for a Sig 228. Paddle holster of a type they no longer make. Loved it until it was on the brink of falling apart and reluctantly destroyed it.

In the mid-'80s I had a three-month assignment in a "Northern South-American Country". Don't remember the holsters, but they and my guns really took a hit from the heat and humidity. Upon return to the U.S. I needed a new holster RIGHT NOW and bought a cheapo nylon one. Almost lost my Sig while chasing a subset of the Future Felons of America. Next day bought a Galco I still have.

Safariland and Uncle Mike's make up the bulk of my leather and kydex holsters, and all served well, and I could still use any of them if desired.

I have a few De Santis holsters for my N-frame and L-frame revolvers, leather, not expensive.

I had a few custom ones made for special use, and these were always leather (except one, see below), and always expensive. One is a double shoulder rig made by a man in England. He uses a horseshoe as his symbol, but there is no name on the holsters.

Another custom one was a "bar-b-que" indulgence. It's rattlesnake skin over kydex. Pretty? Yes. Durable? Yes. Expensive? Yes. Practical? No. No name on it so I don't remember who made it.

I suggest that fit is the most important factor in holster selection. Closely-fitted or "boned" ones can prove problematic when a fast draw is required. Loose ones may allow your gun to go flying, or to not be quite where you expected it to be when you reach for it. Part of "good fit" is a belt that fills the holster loops, keeping it tightly in place. I well remember using a Fobus on a too-narrow belt. When I drew, all that happened was that the belt folded, pushing the top of the holster against my kidney, and the gun would not come out no matter how much I pulled and danced. Our training officer and the others who were in attendance laughed themselves sick. I like pants that have plenty of belt loops to help hold a gun in place.

Mag pouches have the same requirements. During one training session, the ones I had just purchased for carrying four magazines, proved too loose and the mags fell out as I was rolling from one firing position to the next. A photo was taken, and framed with "Ignominious Award" written on the frame.

Shoulder rigs for CCW, by-the-way, require two things: 1. Careful adjustment for a solid fit. 2. the right body shape.
Quick story: A young woman was hired by employer. She was proficient in several martial arts and had, shall we say, a bust that appeared a little large for her body size. The boss had her wearing a blazer or a business suit almost like a man's. Under it she could conceal TWO Sig 228's in shoulder holsters! And two spare mags. I gave her my no-name-but-excellent shoulder rig, that was perfectly adjusted for me, and she modified it for herself. I let her keep it.

Probably not a word in this that will really help you decide.
 

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I will admit to being of the 2-box contingency. Mine, are item specific; and those that were not, didn't fit anything well. Predisposed to OWB, class II or III. No one should be able to take it from the holster except me. And should I be inclined to break dance, never happen but ..., there should be 0 possibility of it parting my company. Blackhawk CQC's by the majority, I do have leather shoulder, sob, and OWB if the occasion demands discretion. As mentioned earlier, leather must be properly cared for, but should last well beyond my life time.

 

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Right now I mostly Outbags Pancake holsters, I have one for every carry gun I have. Have not had them long enough to say how long they last. However they are cheap enough that cost is not a problem.
 

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I have one for each pistola, some I have two holsters for. For example, I have my "Jr Ranger Rig" for 1911 fancy carry and a Galco Combat Master for regular 1911 carry.

I do have one orphan holster, an El Paso Saddelry 1920 Tom Threepersons for a 5 1/2" single action. I hate having orphan holsters so that means now I have to find/buy a 5 1/2" SAA, Ruger Blackhawk, or similar gun to fill the vacancy. Problems, problems.
 

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Y’all must be gentle on holsters. I very much like Galco Combat Master holsters for on the belt and have one or 2 for every pistol, but can wear one out in a couple years - they’re leather and stretch. For a paddle holster I like blade-tech, being kydex, they don’t have a stretch issue, but I do worry about breakage. I recently bought a GFI chest rig and will have to see how it does in Montana’s cold this winter.
 

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Each of my handguns has its own holster. Most are Safariland ALS; only my G19 and G23 share a holster. My 1911s have their own leather holsters as do each my Ruger revolvers. They are all OWB type.

My pocket pistols have their own pocket holster as well.
 
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