I have a Smith & Wesson Model 629 .44 magnum revolver with a 6 inch barrel and a Blackman Size 3 Nylon holster along with a holster for two speedloaders. I have been carrying on the same belt that holds up my pants. It has a tendency to pull them down. My topic for discussion is the carrying on pants belt versus carrying on a separate gun belt. What are the pros and cons of each.
My everyday belts, two, a brown and a black, are 1 1/2" bullhide with stiffeners. They carry my OCW 1911A1 in a SERPA or my CCW in a SOB or, my favorite, VersaCarry IWB and hold up my trousers comfortably. Great beautiful belts. I bought them oversized for winter wear outside my heavy coats.
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Is your belt a "dress belt" or one designed to carry the weight of a handgun and reloads. Easiest way to figure it out is to see if the belt is pulled/twisted where the holster is. If so, you need a heavier/thicker/stiffer belt. (Changing to any one might solve your problem.)
The other questions are about how tight you pull the belt and where on your body you wear it. When holding up a handgun you cannot have slack - that's where the belt will twist or sag. There's no need to cut off circulation, but it should be tight enough that you cannot get more than one finger between the belt and your body. If you have ever saddled a horse you know what this magic gap looks and feels like. Your "natural waistline" is the plane where your bellybutton is. Your hip line is where the bones stick oyt and keep something that fits yur natural waistline from slipping down any farther. Wear your belt somewhere between those two points. Too high and you look like your grandfather with his pants pulled up to just under his armpits. Too low and you look like you need to have your diaper changed, plus your pants will slip down around your ankles unless you keep a death grip on them with one hand.
With a hand cannon such as yours you might find a wider belt more comfortable because, among other things, it gives you that slight bit of back support that means the difference between aching and not aching. If you do not like the look of a wide belt at the front go check out "ranger" style belts that narrow down where the buckle meets the holes.
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Belts not intended for carry will stretch. I had a reasonably thick casual belt that stretched after a few months carrying.
Gun belts are thicker leather. Some are even made with stiffeners to help resist stretching.
An actual dress belt doesn't stand a chance with anything bigger than a back-up gun, I would think.
And, if you're gonna carry a 629 at better than (40 oz?), you're definitely gonna need a belt made for carrying a gun. That or towing hitch--those 629's are heavy. I'm betting the only thing heavier is a Redhawk, not counting the X-frames. Even if there are a few guns heavier, a 629 is a lot closer to the top of the weight scale than the bottom.
If budget is an issue, take your time looking around. I bought a gun belt five or six years ago. Black, very plain. No-name brand. It hasn't stretched with almost daily carry. Its one attribute is that it is rather thick. Cost was $25.
Last edited by Citizen; 08-20-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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Not all belts are belts. I think the point is getting across. Nothing sold at Walmart is going to do the job.
Now, you don't have to get Milt Sparks sharkskin, either, but get a belt made by a holster manufacturer. It will usually be two layers of leather. Get one as wide as your belt loops will allow, but remember it will be thicker than the belt you wear currently.
If you get the proper belt, you need only wear one belt.
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Thank you all who responded. I guess I need to do some shopping. :-)
I prefer a gun belt worn on the hips, the hips naturally keep the belt in position. Even a inch thick belt is going to submit to gravity. If you have a narrow waist it will be less of a problem with a wider girth from obesity, which will naturally make the belt seek the lowest point on the body until the body widens. A thicker belt helps with high ride holsters that tend to pull away from the waist though. But then if I wear a belt slide holster all that is needed is a waxed cotton belt is necessary.
Originally Posted by Primus
I started out using a simple 1 1/2 inch leather belt and looping it through my pants but after awhile the belts would stretch and secondly they didnt do a good job of stablizing the holster when drawing because the belt loops on the holster I use is actually suited for a 2 1/4in duty belt. What's more once I began carrying two fully loaded FNP-45s; thirty spare rounds of 45acp, a flashlight, pocketknife, and cell phone my belt loops on my dress pants couldnt take the weight and would begin to pop as I tightened the belt in place around my waist.
Not to mention it became a pain in the rear everytime I needed to change pants or disarm to go inside a PFZ. I mean the last thing you want is for a criminal to see you OCing an EMPTY holster, much less two. So when disarming I found it prudent to take all firearm related accutrements off my persons. But still this required having to fiddle with my trouser belt loops EVERY TIME when putting all that stuff back on. And at no time is a person who carries a gun(s) more vulnerable than when arming and disarming - hence you want to be quick. This is when I decided to go with a 1 3/4 inch bullhide belt and use it like a dutybelt. For the past 2 1/2 years this set-up has worked well for me because now I can arm and disarm in seconds and I can position all my gear exactly where I want it on my belt without being constrained by my trouser belt loops.
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I OC a 4" S&W model 29 in the boonies so here is my take:
A gun belt from www.thebeltman.com or www.agcustomgunleathercom is the place to start. If you have hips this will probably be enough.
Perry's Suspenders www.perrysuspenders.com will cure any remaining sagging. With no hips or a lesser belt, including the so-called Instructor Belt, Perry's are a must.
Just thought I'd mention Crossbreed belts. I've had one for a couple of years now and I don't think it'll wear out any time soon . . .
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