Whether Holster, sheath or boot, leather all the way. While many knives I've bought over the years have come with Kydex sheaths, I've yet to find even one that was a pleasure to use. In most cases I just put up with the kydex because that's the easy path, but where ever possible, I either use one of my existing leather heaths or replace the kydex with leather.
Just to keep the confusion up, I prefer "plastic" CCW holsters. I have carried an HK P-7 in a Blade Tech IWB holster for about 4 years now. Leather is great as a belt holster, meaning outside the waistband on display, but that is all the use I have for it these days. Kydex is thinner, doesn't soak up and hold sweat, and you don't have to worry about your gun rusting in plastic because of the corrosive tanning salts used in a lot of leather. Kydex also keeps it's shape- a big concern for those of use who carry IWB and find it counter productive to have our pants fall down around our ankles after drawing the weapon. Another kydex perk with a P-7 is that you can adjust the holster so that it holds onto the weapon tightly enough that the effort required to draw is equal to that reqiured to arm the squeeze cocker. You don't have to think about it- if it's up, it's cocked.
The only negatives I know of are 2- it ain't pretty, and it does hold sand.
Ill take leather. Ive cracked or borken a blade Tech holster and a Sog Knife sheath. Never have had any problems from leather but you do get what you pay for even when it comes to hide.
In all fairness both companies were right on the ball and replaced the broken items.
I prefer leather myself. I have a Rosen 1.25" tapered belt, ARG, and SOS for my 1991A1, and after 7 or 8 years of almost daily wear in hot & humid SC, the rig still functions as well as it did after it was newly broken in.
Having said that, I've found another leather supplier that I like. Check out Tucker Leather.
My wife gave me a Kimber Ultra Ten II for our 25th anniversary back in November, and I contacted Rosen to see if he would make either an ARG Slim or a Workman for the gun. The answer was yes, but I would need to send him my gun for 3 to 4 months, and the price would have been $500 since it would be the first made for this particular model of firearm. He also would require a %50 deposit, which was puzzling to me seeing as how he would have my new $850 gun in hand before he could even begin. So, I went exploring, and found Tucker.
I placed an order for the Cover-up model, and specified that I wanted both a 1.25" and 1.5" belt clip supplied. The holster was $65, the extra clip $4, and the shipping was $5. I received them less than a week after I placed the order. I've been wearing it for the past couple of days, and so far, I like it a LOT. It remains to be seen how it will stand up to sweat this summer. I hope it does well, 'cause I really like the style and the way it rides.
For those of you who can't decide between leather or Kydex, look at Tucker's The Answer holster, a combination of both materials. If the Cover-up doesn't hold up under sweat, I may go with The Answer for summer wear and use the Cover-up only in winter.
The majority of my carry holsters are IWB design. The majority of the other pistoleros I shoot with, all, prefer IWB holsters, too. I don't know what to say about leather or Kydex. I switch, frequently, between the both of them. If I have an opinion it would be that leather is a little more comfortable and might pattern a little less. Kydex seems to be almost indestructible, though; and it seems to have an edge when it comes to retention. (Just remember not to let Kydex freeze on you; when it's real cold outside, and you expect to be out in the weather, it's best to replace Kydex with something made of leather.) :wink:
I prefer leather, but I have a kydex holster as well (Fobus model, for a Bulgie Makarov). I do like kydex's properties (slick, fast & easy draw, tough), but I'm pretty anal about my firearm's finishes, and kydex holds too much debris right on the surface where it can scratch the finish.
Most of my holsters are leather. I just prefer the feel, smell, and slight give leather brings. It molds to your body, where kydex makes your body mold to IT (much less comfortable, to say the least). I'd never use kydex for IWB - I don't use IWB holsters much anyway (I have a very bad back, and IWB puts me in even more pain, but I do use the method when necessary), I much prefer OWB in a pancake.
To me, concealment is not so much about the holster (but the right design DOES help a lot), but in how you dress. With all the hype about vests, etc., I've never seen anyone use this mode of dress - much less for concealing a firearm. In the wooly wilds of west central Florida, anyone wearing a photog vest would be looked at as an idiot, frankly. It's too darn hot here 90% of the year for something like that, no matter how much high-tech fabric and mesh is used. I conceal fine in an untucked polo shirt (and I'm 6'1", 135 lbs w/ a commander-sized 1911!), or a T shirt and a open, button-up shirt as cover. This will get you through 90% of casual situations. I carry the Makarov if I have to go with a tucked shirt, either in a tuckable IWB or in a khaki's pocket, in a pocket holster. It's a big large for this, but my khaki's have big, deep pockets.
I do recognise the newer materials' utility and properties, but I still feel leather is still one of the best materials ever discovered for many applications. And, for IWB, I'd rather have something that "gives" a little than a piece of hard plastic in my pants!
Both are Wilson's Officer size. I put the lower profile base pads on them. Still trying to make up my mind about them. I have about a dozen Springfield magazines from CDNN Investments (around 10 bucks a piece) that work and 3 or 4 Colt Officer ones (also from CDNN) that don't have bumper pads.
What I usualy do is buy about a 1/2 dozen mags from CDNN. The ones that work get the springs replaced with ones from Wolff. The ones that don't get thrown in a box next to all the holsters that I have collected over the years that didn't quite cut the mustard. The next range trip, I'll take the new ones with me and try them out. Any that cause problems there also get thrown in the box when I get back.
What I have found is that usualy the screw bushings are a tad too long, especially on Springfields. I keep a supply of bushings on hand and when I purchase a new pistol the factory ones come off. I stone a new set so they fit slight below flush and then use blue medium strength Permatex threadlocker on them. All the 1911 style pistols I have have had their stock stocks replaced. I put some blue threadlocker on the screws when installing them and as of yet have not had a screw back out on me. I can still get the screws off and remove the stocks to clean the pistol. When I'm done, I just put a touch of threadlocker on the screws again and tighten them up.