There are not many shooters among us who neglect their firearms after a hard day’s shooting. Whether they get cleaned that day (best case scenario) or a few weeks after they've been used, the fact remains that they eventually get the care and attention they deserve. For many of us, there's always that tinge of guilt hiding in the back of the brain that keeps reminding us, "Your guns are dirty…you're neglecting them…why exactly do you hate your guns so much, what have they ever done to you…" and so on. The question is though, if this much attention is paid to the firearms, why neglect what houses, protects, and makes your handgun available, the holster?
Although made to work in the worst environments around the world, even the best holsters (Safariland, of course) need some care and respect before, during, and after use. This doubly applies when working in extremely wet, sandy, or hot environments. There are a few rules to always keep in mind when caring for your holster:
- Always keep it out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time. This obviously does not mean it can't sit on your waist while you go about your business, whether on duty, out hunting, or for a day of competition shooting at the range. I'm talking about leaving it on the dashboard of your car or even in the trunk in an Arizona summer. All of these situations exceed 140°, which is a no-no. And did you know that the temperature in the dashboard of a vehicle or direct sunlight through the glass window can exceed 190° Fahrenheit? If a Safariland holster is exposed to these kinds of temperatures, visually inspect the product and if deformation has occurred, discontinue use immediately.
- Keep it clean of debris. This applies to both the interior and exterior of the holster. The SafariLaminate™ or STX finish makes this extremely easy to do on the outside. A quick wipe down with a clean cloth and warm soapy water will do. The interior, especially when covered with suede (which is often the case), can also be cleaned with warm soapy water. It can then be washed down and sprayed with any easy to find silicone spray for best results. Obviously, make sure there is never any large debris in the holster as this will affect holstering and possibly cause an accidental discharge.
- Let it dry. Although Safariland holsters will work under wet conditions, it's best to let it dry when given a chance. If your holster becomes submerged or soaked with water, the following steps should be taken to bring the holster back to satisfactory working condition.
- Remove the holster from wet conditions and ensure all excess water is drained from the holster.
- To enhance quick drying of the suede interior, use a towel or piece of cloth to pull through or dab the inside of the holster until contact dry.
- To fully dry the suede interior while concurrently drying the rest of the holster, place in a dry location and let air dry for 24 hours or accelerate the process with cool air from a fan or other cool air source. DO NOT use an oven, microwave, hair dryer, heat gun, or any other heat source.
- Spray a shot of silicone spray inside the holster on the suede.
- Specific products will need specific care. If you have an SLS™, ALS®, or other acronym titled Safariland holster, other care may be needed for its distinct retention device, such as re-lubing the retention mechanism, then locking and unlocking until the lubricant is fully in place. It's best to check your manual if you still have it, visit our website, or call our Customer Care department at (800) 347-1200.
Below is a short video on how to adjust and care for a new 6280 SLS Duty Holster. Most of the tips mentioned in the video apply to all of our holsters. It also demonstrates how to care for a wet holster.
In short, when in doubt, just think about giving that holster of yours the same love and attention your firearm gets.