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  1. #1
    SelfDefenseNovice is offline Junior Member
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    Saddle Soap on Leather Holster (is there a better alternative)

    I was told that to keep leather moist I can apply saddle soap to the holster. How often should I do this. Is there something better.

  2. #2
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
    SouthernBoy is offline Senior Member
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    Years ago, as in maybe 40 or so, when I would buy a new holster for a single action revolver, I would first clean the holster then a few days later I would treat it with Neatsfoot Oil. After that soaked in some, I would wrap my gun in some plastic and insert it into the holster firmly. After it sat like that for a day or two, it had a nice form of the gun and fit beautifully.

  3. #3
    acepilot's Avatar
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    I've heard guys that like good ole WD40. I've never used that and don't know if I'd like the smell...

  4. #4
    rex
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    What does the manufacturer suggest?Saddle soap is more of a cleaner isn't it?I don't know about Galco,Bianchi and other "box store" makers,but most holster makers will tell you just wipe it down with a damp rag if dirty and use something like Renaisance Wax,neutral Kiwi shoe polish or whatever they use.Oils will ruin a holster by softening it,which in turn makes it stretch easier.Not a huge deal on a snap scabbard,but a boned and fit holster will be a pile of junk.

    If I were to use anything besides a damp rag to clean a holster,I'd use Lexol leather cleaner and after it dried I'd coat it with Renaisance wax.

  5. #5
    Jonny_Cannon's Avatar
    Jonny_Cannon is offline Junior Member
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    Well, as silly as this seems, Harley-Davidson makes a leather dressing you might want to try that looks like saddle-soap. It has the consistency & look of either soupy wax, or thick honey. It works AMAZING. I use it on my custom leather seats, and I also do my gear a couple of times a year. I found it surprising since usually Harley products are overpriced junk designed to take advantage of consumers who just want the Harley name. You apply it with a rag, and then let it sit overnight for the stuff to soak in and work. I think it's only around $20 or so, and I've had the container still for a couple of years. I was really, really surprised at how well it works - I've tried everything, and I tried it just on a lark. Here's a link for what it looks like: Leather Dressing - Lakeside Harley-Davidson Store

    Cannon

  6. #6
    SMann is offline Member
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    What Rex said. Is it molded? If it is you are going to ruin it.

  7. #7
    Jonny_Cannon's Avatar
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    The HD stuff will work - it also works on hard leather. The custom seat I have on my chopper ($1000.00) is hard tooled leather, and I've been using the HD stuff exclusively on it.

    Cannon

  8. #8
    rex
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    You also need to be aware there are 2 different leather tanning procedures.Tanning with chromium salts is what most leather is,boots,jackets,Harley's seats,etc.This can be hard or softer leather but it can't be used for holsters because the leftover salts will rust your gun,hence the old addage never leave your gun holstered for extended periods.

    Vegetable tanned leather is what's used for holsters,and during the process oils are retained or put into the leather.When the maker is done molding,boning and coloring the leather they use a sealant to seal in the oils.If you start agressively cleaning or keep oiling it,it will oversaturate the leather and soften it,ruining it.As I said earlier,a scabbrd with a strap isn't a huge concern because retention doesn't rely solely on the rigidity of the leather,but it will get limper in time,which will also cause the strap and belt loop to stretch making for a sloppy fit and retension.Renaisance Wax isn't very cheap,but a little goes a long way,and museums use it for preservation it's so good.Mitch Rosen sells some stuff for his holsters,and is probably very similar.

    Safariland holsters are a little different,their Safari-laminate isn't pure leather and has some sort of polymer coating.An old holster I have still looks good,but the mag pouches are delaminating in the concave areas between the mags.Galco also had a weird finish to them but I don't know what exactly it is.

  9. #9
    Trooperc7 is offline Junior Member
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    You might consider Lexol......it is a good leather conditioner.....

  10. #10
    rdstrain49 is offline Junior Member
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    conditioner will soften the leather and ruin the holster also.

  11. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Advice From a Professional Leathersmith:
    Do not use WD-40, neatsfoot oil, Lexol, liquid shoe "polish," saddlesoap, or any other liquid of any kind on a well-made and properly-fitted, wet-formed leather holster.
    Rex, SMann, and rdstrain49 are correct. Everybody else who has already commented here is wrong.

    To maintain a properly-made, wood-hard, wet-formed leather holster, just brush any accumulation of dirt out of its inside and out of its crevices. An old toothbrush is a good tool.
    Then, maybe once-a-month, go over its exterior (only) with a light coat of some sort of "neutral" (colorless) cake shoe wax (e.g., Kiwi). Buff it with a brush, just as you do shoes.
    If you want to buy something fancy and expensive, use anything that Mitch Rosen sells. But Kiwi is quite good enough.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Advice From a Professional Leathersmith:. . . Everybody else who has already commented here is wrong. . . But Kiwi is quite good enough.
    Damn, Steve beats me with the good advice. Again.

  13. #13
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    Damn, Steve beats me with the good advice. Again.
    I'm quick!
    Sometimes, I'm even accurate.

    Writing. Shooting. Same, same.

  14. #14
    rdstrain49 is offline Junior Member
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    even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then

  15. #15
    fotojo is offline Junior Member
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    Kiwi safest and cheapest and with a quick buff look and works great.

  16. #16
    Jonny_Cannon's Avatar
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    And of course, only the products the professional leathersmith sells will work properly, lol.

    Cannon

  17. #17
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotojo View Post
    Kiwi safest and cheapest and with a quick buff look and works great.
    Gee...I thought I'd already written that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny_Cannon View Post
    And of course, only the products the professional leathersmith sells will work properly, lol.

    Cannon
    Um, what?
    Maybe you should go back and re-read what's been written.

  18. #18
    tntviper1's Avatar
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    if it was a softball glove i would stick with vaseline, beeen using it on my gloves for 40 years. but since its a holster i dont have enuff knowledge to contribute to this thread

    wait yes i do, listen to Steve M1911A1

  19. #19
    andymidplains is offline Junior Member
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    My favorite holster is an old Enger-Kress M3 tanker model in perfect shape. I've always used neatsfoot oil on it because that's what my great uncle used on his horse and oxen harness. Because the holster is vertical and has a thumb break it doesn't matter if the leather is soft--I'm not going to lose my 1911--but now I'm thinking that the oxidation of the oil may eventually damage the leather, and it won't be in perfect shape for another 70 years. I've heard that Pecard's leather dressing is used by museums and I see that Renaisance Wax is suggested above. I still have some really old Pecard's, but it smells like solvent and it feels greasy. Can I or should I put Renaisance Wax on top of the oiled leather??

  20. #20
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Andy: See my PM.

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