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Thread: Belt - Do you have a special carry belt?

  1. #1
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    I'm getting ready to finally start carrying regularly. Before I realized that OC was really gaining acceptance I tried to CC, but usually didn'tmuchbecause I couldn't find a good way to conceal my full size USP. OC of course makes that unnecessary, but I still want a clean functional setup.

    I have a holster that I am very happy with for the most part, but I just can't get it to tuck into my body the way I want to. A large part of that, in my opinion, is that I have never gone belt shopping with an eye towards carry.

    I plan to stop by Wal*Mart this afternoon and see if they have any decent looking thick and wide belts. On the other hand, all the gun stores near me that *would* carry belts only special-order them.I'm not excited about waitinga week and a half to order a $70 belt that I end up notliking and doesn't make much of a difference, and then paying a restocking fee to return it, and then repeating the above 41312e14 more times.

    So let's hear it gang... what kind of a belt do you use? One of the special ones from a holster mfg? Or is there something that can be bought off the rack at a department or box store? Right now my belt only occupies about 1/2 of the slot in the holster... is the belt really the solution to my "floppy" holster problem, or is the holster I love so much really a piece of junk?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

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    Leather, thick, in black and brown.

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    I picked up two from Wally World that were the thickest they had, but I'm still suspicious.

    How much more rigid are the ones from the holster companies?

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    I have only one belt that I use for carry - it is a leather Filson, 1.5 inch, double-thick belt. It is extremely sturdy -"essentially two belts sewn together." I think I paid in the neighborhood of $65 with shipping - I searched the Internet to find the cheapest retailer, I didn't order it direct from Filson.

    The following applies to the younger carriers out there who typically wear their pants a little lower than normal waist level:

    One note on this belt (probably any good carry belt) you have to wear your pants above your hips. Most of my shorts and jeans are just a little too big for me, I don't let them fall down like that oh so popular "thug" look, but they tend to sit on my hips. When carrying, this is extremely uncomfortable because the weight of the gun can cause the belt to dig into your hip bones. Wearing your pants at "normal" waist level is a must for comfortable carry (IMO).

    Goot luck on the belt purchase, trust me, after spending $50-70 on a holster, I didn't want to spend another $50-70 on a belt!! But I did spend about $450 on the G23 I carry so I figured a good setup is a must!

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    There is a big difference between the stoutest belt Wal-Mart has, and a decent reinforced belt from a holster-maker! The only Wal-Mart belt that I ever use for carry is relegated to IWB carry. Don Hume has good belts for $30-$60, and some dept stores (I like Kohls) have thicker belts than Wal-Mart carries, but even those are only satisfactory in conjunction with a paddle-holster (in my opinion). Even Tractor Supply has some decent black-basketweave work belts for $9-$10, which are better than anything Wal-Mart carries. But, yes,a true belt-holster really needs a dedicated belt.

    molonlabetn

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Go with a heavy belt from a holster manufacturer, there is a world of difference in stability and comfort. However, if one is truly on a budget, postman's uniform belts can do an ok job for about 10-15 dollars. Check your local surplus store.


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    I'm a believer in the importance of a good quality, sturdy belt for carry. You save money over the long term as you do not wear out multiple cheaper belts, and when you conceal (as we must in Texas) it makes a huge difference in ease of concealment, as a belt designed for that purpose holds the gun much closer to your body.

    I have two belts I use for carry. 95+% of the time I use a Wilderness 5-Stitch Instructor's Belt. Very sturdy, and fastens without using the usual belt holes, so it can be adjusted to just the right tightness. For those times that I have to dress up I have an Aker B21 dress belt in black. Also very sturdy, and not too expensive. Both belts are 1.5 inches wide--this seems to be the standard width for holster loops.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    A good belt makes a lot of difference. Double thickness belts don't stretch like singles can.

    Some good information (and good products) here: http://www.thebeltman.net/

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    OK, OK!!! I'm a believer!

    I haven't had a chance to pick up a real "gun belt" yet, mostly because all the stores around me have is crap. But I did try on my Wal*Mart special, the thickest, widest belt they had.

    The difference was like night and day.

    If a thicker Wal*Mart belt can make that much of a difference, I can't wait to see what a "real" belt from a holster manufacturer is like.

    Thanks guys, you made carrying fun again.

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    We aim to please.

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    livitup wrote:
    I picked up two from Wally World that were the thickest they had, but I'm still suspicious.

    How much more rigid are the ones from the holster companies?
    MUCH more rigid. You definitely want to get a good belt. It will help your back, your posture and your carry position.

    For what it's worth, I have a Galco CSB7 Cop Belt and I LOVE it!!

    It is $56 plus shipping, but it will literally last you a decade of everyday carry.

    Just my .02.


    John

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    All great advice from the gentlemen above!

    Cheapskates like me have a belt made by a local saddler!Any GOOD leather worker can make you a suitable, double thick carry belt, a copy of a name brand , provided that you tell him EXACTLY what you require.

    It helps if you live in horse country , like I do, but VA is also horse friendly, and there should be a saddler somewhere in your vicinity. My feller makes me chaps, belts, holsters,rifle scabbards, all sorts. Check it out, maybe save a bunch of cash.

    I told you all before that I was cheap!

    TrueBrit, in Scrooge mode!

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    The very best gun belt in my collection is from FIST. Their standard belt has stiffening where your holster would normally be worn and is also available with full stiffening (except for buckle area. Prices are about $70.00 - 85.00 and avail. in 8 colors and several widths. I also love their hybrid holsters and wear one every weekend - good retention and very fast. Check them out at: http://www.fist-inc.com/holsters/belts/Default.htm
    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    A big difference in a purpose-built gunbelt is the construction. It's not just two layers of leather; the grains are oriented in different directions, like a sheet of plywood, to give greater stiffness and eliminate stretching.

    Since I got my beltman double-thick bullhide belt, I've been carrying more, because it's so much more comfortable. Pretty much now, if I'm awake, and not inside my place of employment, I'm heeled. The 229 isn't the lightest carry piece out there, but I barely notice it's there anymore.

  15. #15
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    You are absolutely right that a special purpose belt makes all of the difference in the world. I regularly carry a full size 1911 & 2 extra mags both OC & CC and more often than not I forget (not really) that they are there. They ride well, stay tight to my body and do not sag. Yata hey!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  16. #16
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    I use a really thick leather belt I got from a leathergoods vendor at the county fairwith a cowboy style metal belt buckle, it holds up my fullsize 1911 quite well. When I wear my alloy framed Para LTC I can hardly tell its there.

  17. #17
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    I bought an Aker belt with a polymer insert from Galls. With the insert, when it's buckled, the whole belt pretty much becomes a solid leather/plastic ring that doesn't twist. I wear mine all the time.

  18. #18
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    Really check out the belt loops on your pants. All of my pants will take a standard belt just fine, but several will not allow a thicker belt to pass through.



    LoveMyCountry

  19. #19
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    Would this be okay as a carry belt? http://www.impactguns.com/store/GAL-CSB7-.html

  20. #20
    Regular Member Kevin108's Avatar
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    The Aker belt is 1½" and fits 99% of my pants just fine. That's the advantage of it over some of these thick custom leather belts.

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    Got mine from http://www.thebeltman.net/and consider it a good investment.Since I wear it most of the time, I do not consider it "special", though.

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