Holsters causing rust??
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Thread: Holsters causing rust??

  1. #1
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    Default Holsters causing rust??

    I was just reading in the 1911 forum about how keeping a pistol in a holster can cause rust. Specifically, that leather retains moisture and will/can cause your precious steel pistol to rust. My Makarovs, Tokarev and Nagant are all in their respective holsters. Granted, I keep them nicely bathed in oil or RIG, but the discussion is worth having. What say you?


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  2. #2
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    I have kept pistols stored in their holsters for going on 50 years now, and I have never yet experienced the corrosion that is supposed to occur under these circumstances.

    I have had far more problems with my (now dead) cat peeing on a couple of rifles temporarily stored in a closet. THAT stuff is awful! No, the cat's death was not related to his 'disrespecting' the rifles.

  3. #3
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    I believe leather would be the worst for storage but as long as you didn't leave them for years and kept some coating of oil they should be ok. However, I do not store mine in a holster at all and if I did it would probably be nylon.

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  5. #4
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    I never store in a leather holster. I bought a used stainless revolver that had been stored in a leather holster and there was some small pitting on the frame. Some think stainless will not pit but it will due to the carbon content of the stainless steel used in guns.
    Last edited by bvd1; 03-07-2017 at 12:23 PM.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvd1 View Post
    I never store in a leather holster. I bought a used stainless revolver that had been stored in a leather holster and there was some small pitting on the frame. Some think stainless will not pit but it will due to the carbon content of the stainless used in guns.
    Yes, as others have stated, it's called stainLESS, not stainPROOF.


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  7. #6
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    I use to keep my Bursa 380 in a leather holster when I was not caring it (I have a CC License). After a few months of not wearing it I took it out of the holster and did see rust spots showing up. I oiled it regularly. Now I take it out of the leather holster when I am not caring it. The holster was made by High Noon Holsters in Florida. I live in Florida but do not think that was what caused the rust starting to appear.
    kaydees

  8. #7
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    Saddle soap (or neatsfoot oil) the holster and oil the pistol. Check at least every 6 mos. depending on humidity.
    Newsflash, firearms will also rust when not kept in leather holsters.

  9. #8
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    It appears that the main defense is a thick layer of RIG and to not use holsters as a storing device. The fight against rust never ends.


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  10. #9
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    There was a very good thread not very long ago about this exact situation. You may want to do a search because there was some good information.

  11. #10
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    Yes, the chemicals used in the tanning process can damage any metal coming into contact with it. The best storage is an acid free shoe box with acid free tissue between the pistol and the holster.

    However, like others here, I have used RIG for 35+ years and have never had an issue with any firearm slathered in RIG. This is especially true for Randall tool-steel knives which will stain with time in the sheath without RIG.
    "Socialism is the Philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." ~Winston Churchill

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinbanner View Post
    Saddle soap (or neatsfoot oil) the holster and oil the pistol. Check at least every 6 mos. depending on humidity.
    Newsflash, firearms will also rust when not kept in leather holsters.
    You can limit the direct metal to leather contact significantly by just going into the garage and putting a couple of coats of Turtle Wax on the external metal parts of the pistol.

    Additional plus: the wax finish is virtually undetectable.

  13. #12

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    use silicon wipes, a gallon baggie, and regular maintenance. I had a P38 that was coated in surface rust (including the mag in the pouch) where it was left in the bringback holster for about 40 years. Anywhere in contact with leather was orange. It happens especially a humidity uncontrolled environment like a garage, where if winter cooled the metal, the condensation forming when humidity rises will wick into the leather.

  14. #13
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    Interesting thread. As a collector of holsters, I refrain from storing pistols in them, simply because they are unissued and should be kept that way. Inserting a pistol in and out changes the shape of the holster and induces finish wear on the pistol (which may be fixed using plastic wrap, but to me this is not worth the hassle).

    Concerning rust, if stored properly, there is no problem. However, natural materials all retain moisture and may induce rust if stored in a humid environnement.

    I would personally never store a generously oiled pistol inside a leather holster, as the oil saturates and damages the leather. Just buy some Bore-Stores pouches, put the holsters aside, and enjoy the pistols separately!

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meerkoos View Post
    Interesting thread. As a collector of holsters, I refrain from storing pistols in them, simply because they are unissued and should be kept that way. Inserting a pistol in and out changes the shape of the holster and induces finish wear on the pistol (which may be fixed using plastic wrap, but to me this is not worth the hassle).

    Concerning rust, if stored properly, there is no problem. However, natural materials all retain moisture and may induce rust if stored in a humid environnement.

    I would personally never store a generously oiled pistol inside a leather holster, as the oil saturates and damages the leather. Just buy some Bore-Stores pouches, put the holsters aside, and enjoy the pistols separately!
    The Bore-Stores have been ordered from Brownells. I look forward to using them and I appreciate the tip!

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinbanner View Post
    Saddle soap (or neatsfoot oil) the holster and oil the pistol. Check at least every 6 mos. depending on humidity.
    Newsflash, firearms will also rust when not kept in leather holsters.
    Kept a pistol in a leather holster in my car for a time. Summer heat caused the holster to sweat to my surprise. It can get hot down here.
    "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for."

    Will Rogers

  17. #16
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    Tannic acid used to color, work the holster, moisture doesn't do good for long term storage!
    I spray oils on and wipe contact surfaces often never store guns in them.
    Last edited by DK PHILLIPS; 03-10-2017 at 05:23 AM.

  18. #17
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    I just recieved my Bore Store pistol pouches from Brownells. They indeed look like they will protect my Makarov from rust and are soft. I also discovered another reason not to store your Mak in their respective holster: I see that there are metal rivets inside of the holster. They connect the belt loop to the holster. While they are flat, it is another point of metal to metal contact as one holsters the Mak. Many thanks to Meerkoos for the tip on the Bore Stores! I will be putting all of my pistols into them for now on, including my rifles/shotguns.

  19. #18
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    You're welcome jlag19!

    It is important to realize that military holsters aren't made for long term storage for collectors. Also, if you have a large number of them, open the flap and store them flat for maximum life.

    Bore Stores are also great for avoiding gun safe nicks and scratches. I also recommend dropping a dessicant and oxygen absorber pack inside the pouches for extra peace of mind, as well as treating all your items with Renaissance Wax. This stuff is fantastic in preventing rust and excessive fingerprints, as well as imparting a wonderful soft sheen. Highly recommended museum wax!

  20. #19
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    It's chemistry. 1). Leather is hydrophilic, and will attract and retain moisture through capillary action from the air. If your pistol does not rust, it's because the surrounding air doesn't have enough moisture in it, or you have created a barrier with oil, grease, or something else - but why would you want to roll the dice when you can remove an unknown variable ? 2). You have NO idea, how a particular piece of leather was tanned, or the pH of the leather from that tanning process, so, once again, why gamble ?

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DK PHILLIPS View Post
    Tannic acid used to color work the holster, moisture doesn't do good for long term storage!
    You are correct, good sir. I am also considering switching from Birchwood Casey RIG to the silicone rag that Brownells sells. It is described as not greasy and protects just as well. I love RIG, but it is very greasy to the touch (guess that's why it prevents rust so well).


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  22. #21

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    I have a Ruger Single Six that has been in a Hunter leather holsters since 1960 with no apparent ill effects. Most of the blue is gone from this revolver, but no evidence of corrosion or other issues. Of course, the average humidity here is probably less than 10%.

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