I decided that if I was going to be gung-ho about carrying everywhere, I need to get a decent leather belt to hold the weight of my 1911 knock-off. The military style canvas belt I was using was getting tired, and the only other belt I had was one of those woven-web leather 'dress' belts, made for looks more than anything.
I couldn't find a decent belt locally, so on my way up to Shelton last weekend I stopped off in Centralia hoping to find something in one of the outlet stores. The only place that looked even remotely promising was the Centerville western store.
I went in, located the belt rack, and began to browse. One after another three seperate salesladies approached to see if they could assist. I was having quite a time finding something that was the right color without having a fillagreed buckle, or looking too 'cowboy' (stitching, webbing, snakeskin, etc.).
I finally settled on a belt that I really liked the look of, though it was thinner than I really wanted, so I decided to try it out first since it had this funky little 'double flap' kinda thing going on at the buckle. As I figured the extra bulk made it annoyingly bothersom to thread through the belt loops on my pankcake, so I put it back on the rack.
"Doesn't look right?' she asked.
"No...it looks just fine....but the double flap thing is a bit of a pain."
"Yes...that takes some getting used to. See this part goes behind the buckle...."
"Oh I figured out how it works just fine, and I like the way it looks, but it's just too much of a pain to thread through the holster.":?
"Oh, I see.... threading it through the........(suddenly noticing the) holster........?!!:shock:....HHmmm...." (shuffles away quietly)
(snicker snicker...I don't see how they missed it... I kept holding the belts up to the holster to match colors!):P
I finally found a nice, plain-ish two tone (black with brown ends and a silver buckle) double layer belt buried in the racks, that suited my tastes. I gotta say, having a decent belt makes a WORLD of difference in carry comfort.
Now I just gotta find a leather double mag holder that matches my Galco Horsehide.
For 30 years I have carried large frame revolvers and full sized all steel auto pistols. and I've formed several opinions of how to do so comfortably for long periods of time. 85% of that time I have used belt holsters. The design of the holster has a lot to do with how the gun rides. Butunless you have a proper belt no holster will work worth a tinker's damn. You need a good strong belt that will not only support the weight of the gun and other gear (magazines, speedloaders, cuff, knives, whatever) but is wide enough and stiff enough to hold it's shape without pinching your waist in two.
While it works okay for duty gear,you can forget web or nylon belts for anything less than two inches wide. A belt for trousers or jeans needs to be cowhide or horsehide. And it needs a good strong SOLID edge. Typical dress belts with tapered or stitched edges just won't do the job properly.
I wear a back brace and I can still carry two N-Frame revolvers (with speedloaders)in pancake holsters without losing my jeans.
Galco and Safariland make a great gunbelts. Pricey but they'll last for years. I wore my last onefor about eight years. I only stopped because it was too short to fit over my brace. Recently I have been really impressed with the belts and holsters from El Paso Saddlery. Dollar for dollar they're hard to beat.