How to Break in a Leather Holster?

How to Break in a Leather Holster?

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. [1], [2]

Why Breaking In a Leather Holster Is Important?

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! [2], [4]

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.

And finally, most lubricants might ruin the finish of your gun. So, avoid using any kind of lubricant on your leather holster. [1], [3]

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.

Don’t submerge the holster into a liquid

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! [1], [3]

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. [2], [4]

Unload your gun and put it into plastic bag

Once you’ve loosened the tension screws (if applicable), you can go ahead and unload your gun. Double check that the gun is unloaded before you begin!

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. [1], [2], [3], [4]

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. [1], [2], [3], [4]

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. [1], [2], [3], [4]

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. [1], [2], [3], [4]

How to Break In Your Leather Holster

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

If you want to keep your leather holster in good condition, you need to apply conditioner every few months. This will help to keep your leather soft and prevent it from cracking and drying out.

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.

How to Maintain a Leather Holster

If you have the original box that the holster came in, you can store it in there. Otherwise, any cool dry place will suffice. Just be sure to avoid places where there is direct sunlight or excessive heat, as this can damage the leather.

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. [1]


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.

How do you prevent your leather holster from becoming stiff?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your leather holster from becoming stiff. First, make sure to keep it clean and free of dirt and dust. You can also use a quality leather conditioner to help keep the leather soft and supple.

Store the holster in a dry place that is not in direct sunlight. Do not store it in a humid environment, as this can cause the leather to become dried out and brittle.

What are some tips for breaking in a new leather holster?

Here are a few tips for breaking in your new leather holster:

  1. Start by wearing the holster around the house a few times. This will help loosen up the leather and make it more comfortable to wear.
  2. Start by wearing the holster for a short amount of time. Gradually increase the amount of time you wear it to avoid any discomfort or soreness.
  3. You should moisturize the leather on a regular basis. This will keep it soft and help to prevent it from cracking over time.
  4. Avoid exposing the holster to excessive heat or sunlight, as this can damage the leather and make it brittle.

How can you make sure your leather holster lasts long?

To make sure your leather holster lasts long, you should take care of it and store it properly.

To take care of your holster, clean it with a damp cloth. Dry it off immediately afterwards. Do not soak the holster in water and do not use harsh chemicals or solvents to clean it.

To store your holster, make sure to keep it in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in direct sunlight or in extreme temperatures.

Can you stretch a leather holster?

Yes. A leather holster can be stretched with a little bit of effort. However, it is important to stretch the holster gradually and not forcefully, as this could damage the leather.

To stretch a leather holster, first find an area of the holster that is not tight or constricting. Gently pull on this area until you feel the leather stretching. Stretch the holster slowly in different areas. Don’t damage the leather.

Should I oil leather holsters?

Leather holsters should not be oiled because the oil will soak into the leather and make it difficult to draw the gun. The holster will also become more susceptible to water damage.

A better option is to use a leather conditioner, which will help keep the holster soft and protect it from moisture.

Will leather holsters damage guns?

There is some truth to this statement. Leather holsters can, in fact, damage a gun over time. The problem lies in the fact that leather is a natural product and, as it ages, it dries out.

If you do not clean your gun regularly, the leather can shrink and pull away from the metal. This separation creates small spaces where moisture can collect and corrode the metal of the gun.

If you want to avoid this problem, make sure that you buy a quality holster made from top-grain leather instead of a cheaper holster made from split or corrected leather.

You should also take care of your leather holster by cleaning and conditioning it on a regular basis.

How tight should a leather holster be?

A leather holster should be snug, but not too tight. If it’s too tight, the leather may pucker and damage the holster.

A good way to test if the holster is tight enough is to put your hand in it and make a fist. The holster should be tight enough that it takes some effort to remove your hand, but not so tight that you can’t make a fist.

What is the best conditioner for leather holsters?

Bick 4 Leather Conditioner is a conditioner that can be used on all types of leather, including holsters. Conditioning and restoring the oils in leather is important for preserving its natural beauty and suppleness.

Leather holsters need to be conditioned on a regular basis in order to keep them looking and feeling good. A good conditioner like Bick 4 will help protect your holster from drying out and cracking, while also repelling water and staining.

Are leather holsters more comfortable?

Leather holsters are more comfortable than other holsters. This is because they mold to the shape of your body over time and distribute the weight of the gun evenly.

This makes them more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Additionally, they protect your gun from scratches and moisture, which can damage the finish over time.

Is a leather holster good for concealed carry?

It depends on the type of leather holster. There are different types of leather holsters. The most common type is worn outside of your clothing on your waist. The front piece goes around the barrel of the gun, and the back piece fits around your waist.

A good quality leather holster can be a great choice for concealed carry. It is important to select the right style and size for your gun.

Leather holsters are also more expensive than other types of holsters, so you will need to weigh the cost against the benefits.

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.