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Wrinkled Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Need advice on the pros & cons of Cow Hide vs Horse Hide.

Looking at Milt Sparks SS II. The Cow Hide version is rough finish out. The Horse Hide version is rough side in. Does one material have a longevity or comfort advantage over the other? Is either more concealable due to material thickness? Anything else I need to consider?

Thank you.
 

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To me, thinner is more comfortable so Kydex - Lined Kydex - Horse - Cow is the order of preference. In other words, I have holsters from all four materials but only carry kydex and the rest are piled up in the holster drawer.
 

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No experience with cowhide, my only hybrid holster is horsehide. It’s held up fine, but almost always carry in a kydex appendix holster.
 

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Have a look at exodus leather. I think he only uses horse.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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born in the wrong century
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I'm in the market for a commander / cco sized OWB and not sure exactly what's what.....been studying up on various offerings. Want something that will conceal well under an untucked shirt or light sport jacket.

I've got a few M.Sparks IWB (all cowhide). A member here, @BigJimP spoke very, very highly of his experience with Kramer leather (horsehide) over the years. His holsters looked brand new after years of use.






Excerpt below taken from the FAQ's from Kramer's webpage......

https://www.kramerleather.com/pages/faqs

IS HORSEHIDE REALLY BETTER FOR HOLSTER MAKING THAN COWHIDE?3
Horsehide is an extremely dense, non-porous leather. Until the end of the 1930's horsehide was the leather of choice for products that required extreme durability. Horsehide holsters will last longer and withstand considerably more abuse than a cowhide holster. U.S. Navy SEAL TEAMS use our horsehide rigs for extended salt water operations. Cowhide will not stand up to this kind of use. This however, is not to say that cowhide doesn't make a fine holster that will provide many years of hard service if properly cared for. But, if you want the ultimate in holster leather, horsehide is the answer.














Now......as far as the Navy Seal endorsement above......this is about as close as Ill get:






 

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From personal experience horse is a great holster material. More wear and moisture resistant than cow but very stiff yet gentle on the pistol's finish. Downside to horse is sometimes it appears to just not break in completely or conform to your body. What I have settled on after many years of carry is I go cow for OWB but for IWB I certainly go horse.
 

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Kramer is the king of horsehide. I absolutely love his Belt Scabbard. Thin yet very strong. I’ve been wearing them for years.
 

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A superb holster maker out of England, Andy Arratoolian, about 80 years old now doing limited work.
For good information on holsters
9F8673FE-06B1-4A2C-A1CA-D9AF7D3F3CD5.jpeg
6EACDCC3-FA6B-450F-9E88-D551C907A8E0.jpeg
check out his website; Holsters.org.
The company name is ‘Horseshoe Gun Leather’.
Read the FAQ, all are good but the part on cowhide versus horsehide is excellent.
Pictured is one of my favorite holsters by him that I use for dress wear. Rides at the 4 O’clock position.
 

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The holster pictured above has seen lots of use under a suit coat in sweaty East Coast summers and is almost impervious to sweat and stains. One of the best uses for horsehide is in these conditions.
This horsehide holster has about eight years of summer only usage.
 

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The Milt Sparks web site explains the difference very well. Go to the bottom of the web site main page and select questions for a good tutorial on the differences.
 
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