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What You Need to Know About Pistol Skins and Holsters

What You Need to Know About Pistol Skins and Holsters - GunSkins
What You Need to Know About Pistol Skins and Holsters - GunSkins

Pistol Skins are More Than Just Camouflage

Pistol Skins are a great way to add some color to your handgun, but they also take the damage from dings and scratches so your gun doesn't have to. The durability of the vinyl acts as a protective layer. It's even completely waterproof! It's a great investment and it can turn your gun into something of a novelty, a real one-of-a-kind.

I'm sure most of those who wrap their pistols don't intend to put them on display behind a glass case. It was our intention from the beginning that GunSkins were designed for day to day use in the field and at the range. The big question remains: How well do Pistol Skins hold up to being holstered?

Pistol Skins Protect the Gun, First and Foremost

The material used to produce Pistol Skins is a high performance vinyl with a matte finish. It is designed to take the wear from every day use. Once installed properly and allowed to cool, holstering your pistol will not cause the material to rip. Pistol Skins are very strong and will continue to protect the gun even when holstered frequently.

Pistol Skin and Holster

Both Pistol and Holster Wrapped in A-TACS FG

Pistol Skins will add 6/10 mm of thickness to your firearm on all sides. If your holster is adjustable, it would be a good idea to loosen it just a bit. However, if your holster is not adjustable, such as custom fitted holsters, you may want to take caution. Extremely tight fittings, as seen on molded Kydex Holsters, may cause early image fade and scuffing on the edges of the material. This is not a defect in the product, but rather friction doing what it does best: causing early wear.

A Realistic Expectation

Constant holstering will cause friction against the surface of the gun. You have the laws of physics to thank for that. The question becomes what do you want taking the friction, the surface of the gun or the surface of the Pistol Skin? Even in tight holsters, the worst that would ever happen to a Pistol Skin is early image fade and wear on the edges. The vinyl, however, will stay in tact and continue to protect the gun.

This is something that will vary from holster to holster, and there's no way to quantify the amount of friction that will occur from the constant drawing of the weapon. If you feel like your particular holster might cause an issue, considering wrapping it instead! We've had many customers wrap selective parts of their pistols, leaving the friction areas uncovered. This will give a seamless look when the pistol is properly holstered, and a "less is more" approach to the gun when drawn.

Pistol Skin in Kryptek Yeti

Kryptek Wraith looks great against the black leather!

GunSkins offers a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee Policy. Within two months of use if you are unsatisfied with the quality of the product, we will give you your money back. We're confident you'll be impressed with using a Pistol Skin on your favorite firearm. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Pistol Skins, please contact us and we'll take care of the problem.


  • GunSkins: January 15, 2021
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    Liam, when removing the vinyl it should come off clean but in the rare chance some residue remains, it’s very minor and can easily be wiped off using rubbing alcohol and a towel.

  • Liam : January 15, 2021
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    Hi was looking into getting a skin for my p365xl but I was Weary because I’m afraid that when I take it off and eczema time it’s going to leave a gross sticky residue on my gun

  • GunSkins: February 04, 2020
    Author's avatar image

    Quentin, the Glock 35 clocks in at 8.81” on the slide, and 8.74” for the Gen 4. Therefore, it would be better to use our generic Medium Gear Skin to wrap the gun with instead. Cut and trim to fit like normal.

  • Quentin Larson: February 03, 2020
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    Is the pistol kit big enough to cover a Glock 35? I just watched the install video on the Glock 17 and it looks likes it’s barley enough for it. Would like to know before I purchase, thank you.

  • Canislatrans: July 08, 2016
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    If you mess up cannon skin will fall off , and put it ? What would you do?

  • GunSkins: May 26, 2016
    Author's avatar image

    Good Questions, Travis. GunSkins is made from vinyl. Yes, it will be similar to the vehicle wraps you mentioned. The material is heat activated, which means that if you want the vinyl to conform around curves, you need to heat it while installing. Post heat is important too, but it’s also necessary to use heat throughout the entire installation process. Watch our installation videos to see examples of what you can do with GunSkins.

    Getting the pattern to line up perfectly will require patience and careful trimming. However, if that sounds like too much work for a seamless camo job, hydro-dipping is the way to go.

  • Travis Allred: May 26, 2016
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    I have a few questions rather than a comment. I’ve been considering buying one of your smaller kits (not pre-shaped &cut peces, just 1 solid peace) for use on various exessories. but was worried about trying to put it on anything that’s curved or just not gonna look right I guess. So I tried out a different type it’s actually a vinyl but it’s what they use on cars it was pretty heavy and I know I should’ve used the hairdryer while applying it, but I couldn’t anything curved to look right. even trying to wrap a Camelbak water bottle was very difficult and the end result was less than desirable. my question is. Are the pistol skins going to be just as heavy of a vinyl ? where the stuff I was useing was meant for automotive apps to take the place of paint I would imagine a firearm coating would have to be somewhere in the neighborhood thickness wise to have that durability? I’m just worried about not being able to apply it and line it up so that the pattern matches from peace to peace .I want it to look like it’s paint on the firearm and like in the pics have the pattern line up. so how thick is the stuff compared to the automotive type and do you actually have to heat it while applying it because from what I’ve just read you do that after and that’s what sets it because this other stuff definitely need to be heated while applying or their flexibility to wrap around curves. Thanks

  • GunSkins: March 24, 2016
    Author's avatar image

    Christina. the GunSkins vinyl is very easy to work with. If you place it but don’t like how it looks, you can peel it off and try again. The material won’t set until you hit it with post heat in the end and press firmly with your fingers. Even after installation, removal is simple: heat again to activate the material and then peel off.

  • Christina Rauch: March 24, 2016
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    Will gun skins come off if you mess up while putting it on??

  • GunSkins: February 22, 2016
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    Martin, Thank you for considering GunSkins for your personal carry. Your Pistol Skin should easily give you protection for up to 5 years or more!

  • Martin: February 21, 2016
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    I just finished up within one hour, cleaning and applying gunskin to a Ruger 9E. It looks great for my first one ever, I kind of used the material sparingly, as I had not used this product before. I had planned to dip this gun, and then happened upon your product..I will be using this as a truck carry arm around the farm and hard use, replacing my Glock for a while..If it stands up I’ll be ordering more product for my Ruger Super Redhawk for whitetails…Glad I found GunSkin..p.s. I learned about you while looking at the dipping process, just didn’t want to go to all that work…Thanks

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