It can be frustrating when you get a new leather holster and it’s not quite broken in yet. You may not be able to draw your weapon as smoothly as you’d like, or the holster might feel stiff and uncomfortable. In this comprehensive guide, we will answer some common questions about how to break in a leather holster. We’ll provide tips on how to make the process easier and faster, so you can start using your holster right away!
Why Breaking In a Leather Holster Is Important?
Leather is a natural material, and as such, it can be quite stiff when new. This stiffness is one of the main reasons why breaking in your holster is so important. A well-fitted holster is important for both comfort and safety. Breaking in the leather will help it conform to the shape of your gun, making for a better fit.
If you don’t break in the leather, it will likely remain quite stiff, making it difficult to draw your gun quickly and smoothly. A properly broken-in leather holster will allow for a smoother draw, as the leather will be more pliable. This is especially important if you plan on using your holster for self-defense.
Additionally, a stiff holster can also be quite uncomfortable to wear, as it will rub against your skin and clothing. Breaking in the leather will help to soften it up, making it more comfortable to wear and use. , 
What You Shouldn’t Attempt to Break in a Leather Holster?
Before we get into how to break in your leather holster, there are a few things you should avoid doing.
Don’t insert your gun directly into the holster
This seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people make this mistake.Inserting your gun into the holster without breaking it first can damage both the gun and the holster. The leather will be too stiff and will not mold to the shape of the gun, which can cause scratches or other damage.
The worst consequence of that is trapping your gun in the holster. If the leather is too stiff, it can close up around the gun, making it difficult or impossible to draw. This could be a serious problem as you would most likely need to destroy the holster to get your gun out.
Additionally, if you try to draw your gun from a stiff holster, you could end up tearing the leather or even worse, damaging your gun. So, don’t insert your gun into the holster until it’s properly broken in! , 
Don’t use lubricants of any kind
Another common mistake people make is using lubricants to help break in their holster. Don’t try to speed up the process of breaking in your holster by using any sort of lubricant. This includes things like oils, saddle soaps, conditioners, and other products. While these may help to soften the leather, they will also make it more difficult to grip your gun, which can be dangerous.
Don’t submerge the holster into a liquid
This is similar to using lubricants, but it’s worth mentioning separately. Do not submerge your leather holster into any sort of liquid in an attempt to break it in. While some people swear by this method, it’s actually quite harmful to the leather.
The liquids will dry out the leather, making it more brittle and prone to cracking. Additionally, they can cause the colors to fade and can make the leather smell bad. So, avoid dropping your leather holster into any liquids! , 
How to Break In Your Leather Holster
Now that we’ve gone over what not to do, let’s talk about how to actually break in your leather holster.
Loosen tension screws if you have any
If your holster has tension screws, it’s a good idea to loosen them before you start breaking in the leather. This will make it easier to draw your gun from the holster and will help to prevent damage to the leather. , 
Unload your gun and put it into plastic bag
After the gun is unloaded, put it into a plastic bag. This will help to protect the gun from any potential damage while you’re breaking in the leather and will assure the gun will not get stuck in the holster. , , , 
Gently insert the gun into the holster
Now that your gun is safely in a plastic bag, you can begin breaking in the leather. Start by gently pushing the gun into the holster. You may need to use a little bit of force, but be careful not to damage the leather. , , , 
Leave the gun inside the holster overnight
Once you’ve inserted the gun into the holster, leave it there overnight. This will give the leather time to soften and mold to the shape of the gun. In the morning, remove the gun from the holster and check to see if it’s easier to draw. If not, repeat the process until it is. , , , 
Insert the gun again but without the bag
After a day of breaking in the leather, you can try inserting the gun into the holster again but without the plastic bag. If the gun is still difficult to draw, continue breaking in the leather until it’s not. , , , 
Once you’ve broken your leather holster, it’s important to take care of it so that it will last for many years. Here are a few extra tips on how to do that.
How to Maintain a Leather Holster
Apply a conditioner every few months
There are many different types of leather conditioners on the market, so you can choose one that fits your needs. You should always use a conditioner specifically designed for leather, as other products can damage it.
Once you’ve applied the conditioner, allow it to soak into the leather for several hours before wiping off any excess.
Wipe off dust and debris regularly
In addition to conditioning the leather, you should also wipe off dust and debris on a regular basis. This will ensure your holster is clean and will prevent any build-up from occurring.
You can use a soft cloth or brush to remove dust and debris from the leather. If there is any dirt or grime that won’t come off with a cloth, you can try using some soap.
Glycerin soap is specifically good for cleaning leather and won’t damage it like other cleaners might. Simply slightly wet a cloth with soap and wipe down the holster. Carefully wipe off the soap excesses afterwards.
As with other leather products, you should avoid getting the holster too wet as much as possible. If it does get wet, make sure to dry it off as soon as possible to prevent any damage from occurring.
Once you’ve cleaned your leather holster, be sure to dry it thoroughly before storing or using it.
Store it in a cool dry place or in the box it came in
When you’re not using your leather holster, it’s a good idea to store it in a cool dry place. This will help to prolong the lifespan of your holster.
Leather is prone to damage from dust and humidity, therefore it’s vital to keep it in a location that is free of both.
Don’t expose it to the direct sunlight
Leather is a natural material and as such, it can be damaged by the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause the leather to dry out, crack, and fade. So, it’s crucial to keep your leather holster out of direct sunlight whenever possible.
In the same way, don’t place it next to heat sources such as a radiator or fireplace. The heat can also cause the leather to dry out and crack.
Don’t dry it using heat
When you’re cleaning your leather holster, it’s important to let it air dry. As we mentioned before, heat can cause irreversible damage to leather. So, don’t use a hair dryer, clothes dryer, or any other type of heat to speed up the drying process.
Leather is a natural product and as such, it needs to be treated with care. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your leather holster will last for many years. 
How long does it take for a leather holster to break-in?
It generally takes about a day or two for a leather holster to break-in. However, this can vary depending on the leather type of your holster.
Will a leather holster stretch?
Leather is a natural material that will, over time, stretch slightly. This is why it’s important to choose a holster that has the correct fit for your gun.
If you have a leather holster that is too tight, you can try stretching it yourself. The best way is to do it naturally. Store your gun into a bag and insert it into the leather holster. Secure the bag around the gun and let it sit overnight. The next day, remove your gun and check to see if the holster has stretched.
Is leather a good material for holsters?
Leather is an excellent material for holsters because it is durable and will mold to the shape of your gun over time. Breaking in a leather holster will help it conform to the shape of your gun and make it more comfortable to wear.
How tight should a leather holster be?
A good rule of thumb is that the holster should be tight enough that the gun doesn’t move around when you wear it, but loose enough that you can draw the gun easily.
If you’re using a leather holster for concealed carry, you’ll want to make sure it’s not too tight. A tight leather holster can be uncomfortable to wear all day, and it can also print through your clothing if it’s too snug. On the other hand, a loose leather holster won’t do you any good if your gun falls out when you need it most.
Useful Video: How To Break-In A Leather Holster l 3 [Proven] Methods
A leather holster is a great way to carry your firearm, but it’s important that you break it in first for a safe, comfortable experience every time you draw your gun. Failing to do this may lead to discomfort or even safety issues down the road.
When it comes to leather holsters – you should never insert a gun into your holster without breaking it first. Instead, put the gun into a plastic bag and insert it that way. Leave it overnight and try it out. You’ll be glad you did when the time comes to draw your weapon in self-defense.