Kydex holsters

by Hayden Cooper
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Kydex holsters

Kydex holsters are holsters that are made from a synthetic material called Kydex, which is a type of plastic. Kydex holsters have gained popularity in recent years due to their versatility and customizability. Kydex is a very sturdy and weather-resistant material, and Kydex holsters are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. They are also resistant to water and humidity, making them a good choice for outdoor use.


How are Kydex Holsters made ?

Kydex holsters are typically made through a process called thermoforming. They are made by heating a sheet of Kydex plastic and forming it over a mold that is shaped like the specific make and model of the gun it is intended to hold. The Kydex is then allowed to cool and harden, resulting in a custom-fit holster. Some Kydex holsters are made using a vacuum-forming process, in which the heated Kydex is placed over the mold and a vacuum is used to pull the Kydex down into the shape of the mold. Other Kydex holsters are made using a press-forming process, in which the heated Kydex is placed over the mold and pressure is applied to shape it into the mold.

In either case the Kydex takes on the precise shape of the mold and results in a tight, custom fit and a secure hold on the gun. The process of making a Kydex holster is generally quick and efficient.

Kydex Holster

Kydex Holster


Features of Kydex Holsters:

Kydex holsters are generally easier to clean and maintain, as they do not require any special conditioning. They can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth and are not affected by sweat or oils. They are not affected by water or humidity, and they do not become stiff or brittle in cold temperatures.

There are also a variety of Kydex holster designs available, including inside the waistband (IWB), outside the waistband (OWB), ankle, shoulder, and thigh holsters. This allows users to choose the type of holster that best fits their carrying needs and personal style.

Kydex holsters are popular with law enforcement and military personnel, as well as with civilians who carry concealed firearms.


Advantages of Kydex holsters:


  1. Kydex is a very durable material, and Kydex holsters are resistant to wear and tear. They can also withstand exposure to water and humidity, making them a good choice for outdoor use. Kydex holsters are generally more durable and resistant to the elements than other holsters. They are also less prone to damage from sweat and oils, which can cause other holsters such as leather holsters to deteriorate over time. They do not become stiff or brittle in cold temperatures.
  2. Kydex holsters offer a more secure fit for the gun, which can be important for law enforcement or military applications. They also generally have better retention than leather holsters, which means the gun will stay in place more securely. They also have little screws in the holster to increase the tension on the weapon.
  3. Kydex holster especially with level 3 or level 4 retention levels helps to keep the firearm secure. They have built in locking systems which automatically lock your gun once holstered. This prevents unauthorized access to the weapon. It also helps avoid accidental discharge and the gun from falling out. Kydex holsters are generally more secure than holsters made from other materials, which can be important in high-stress situations.
  4. They do not require any special maintenance or conditioning. They can be easily cleaned with soap or water and can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth.
  5. They can be molded to fit specific makes and models of guns, allowing for a custom fit.
  6. Some Kydex holsters are adjustable, which allows the user to customize the fit of the holster to their specific gun. This can be particularly useful for people who own multiple guns and want to use the same holster for all of them.
  7. Kydex holsters are also very low profile, making them ideal for concealed carry. They don’t have the bulk of other holster materials, so they won’t print (show the outline of the firearm through clothing) as much. This can be especially important for those who need to keep their weapon concealed for work or personal safety reasons.
  8. These holsters are not prone to stretching or sagging, which can be a problem with other holsters such as leather holsters over time.
  9. Some people may find that Kydex holsters are easier to draw from because the gun is held more securely in place.
  10. They do not require any break-in period like leather holsters do. They are ready to use right out of the box.
  11. These holsters are also very lightweight, making them comfortable to wear for long periods of time.


Disadvantages of Kydex holsters:


  1. Some people may find Kydex holsters to be less comfortable than other holsters, especially when worn for long periods of time.
  2. These holsters can make noise when the gun is drawn or re-holstered, which may be a concern for some people. The material can make a clicking or snapping sound as you draw your firearm, which could give away your position in a tactical situation.
  3. These types of holsters are generally more rigid and less flexible than other holsters, which can be uncomfortable if carrying for prolonged periods.
  4. Some people may prefer the classic look and feel of other holsters such as a leather holster over the more modern, synthetic look of a Kydex holster.
  5. Kydex holsters with higher retention levels can be more expensive than other types of holsters due to their specialized features. A good high quality kydex holster with level 3 or 4 retention levels normally runs in the $ 150 to $ 280 plus range.


Are Kydex Holsters & Tactical Holsters the same thing ?

Tactical holster made of kydex

Tactical holster made of kydex


Tactical holsters and Kydex holsters are not necessarily the same thing. Tactical holsters are designed to be used in high-stress, tactical situations, such as those encountered by military or law enforcement personnel.

The most common material from which tactical hostlers are made from is Kydex. Tactical holsters have many additional features such as adjustable retention, a sweat guard, a thumb release and other level 3 or 4 retention levels. Tactical holsters also have features like retention straps, automatic locking systems (ALS) or thumb breaks to help secure the firearm in place. Tactical holsters can easily accommodate firearms with additional features such as optics, laser sights, and silencers. They may also have additional pockets or pouches for carrying spare magazines or other smaller items.

Kydex, on the other hand, is a type of plastic material that is commonly used to make holsters. Kydex holsters can be either tactical or non-tactical in design, depending on the intended use and features. The main difference between the two is the intended use and the features that are included. Tactical holsters are designed specifically for use in tactical situations, while Kydex holsters can be used for a variety of purposes, including daily carry, recreational shooting, and self-defense.

Ultimately, the choice of buying a Kydex holster will depend on the individual’s personal preferences and needs.

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