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Safest leather treatment? (for holsters)


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I have a few old holsters that really need to be treated. 

What is the safest way to do this? Looking ideally for something natural and maybe traditional (how soldiers may have treated their holsters in WWII)


Would neatsfoot oil be a good option?

Open to any input. Thanks!

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Charlie Flick



This is a subject which comes up often among collectors.  As someone who has collected USGI holsters for four decades I have some opinions on the subject that I will share.  I will say, however, that there are many different opinions on this subject.  I can only say what has and has not worked for me.


Museum professionals and curators insist that absolutely nothing be done to leather other than to blow the dust off.  I reject that advice having observed many, many decaying bits of leather in otherwise wonderful museum displays. I believe most would have survived better with a modicum of modern treatment.


Do not use Neatsfoot oil.  I won't get technical here but it will substantially darken and overly soften your leather.  Use it on your catcher's mitt, not your prized holsters.


For many years I used Pecard Leather Treatment.  I still do so on some items.  It does not darken leather or have many other bad qualities.  None of my holsters on which I have used Pecard over the years have suffered and most look great to this day.


In more recent years I have switched to mostly using Blackrock Leather 'N Rich.  It has worked very well for me and my holsters that have had it applied look marvelous.  It gives a slight sheen once properly applied that is harder to achieve with Pecard.


Other guys will swear by other products such as Lexol, XYZ Brand saddle soap, Connolly's Hide Food, etc.  I have used many but not all of them.  None I have used have worked for me as well over time as Blackrock and Pecard.


I hope that helps you.




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