Are Gunbelts Really Necessary?


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SeanMTX
June 29, 2008, 11:25 AM
I have a new Crossbreed supertuck for my G27, and as I break it in, I'm wondering about gun belts.

I live in Texas, so my clothing is often shorts and an untucked shirt. I often wear a thick, 1 1/2" standard leather belt. What are the thoughts behind gunbelts? What makes them specific for carry?

Someone educate this poor guy.

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Double Naught Spy
June 29, 2008, 11:56 AM
Gun belts are usually stouter belts that do a better job of securing the holster and helping it to be worn more comfortable. They may be both thicker and wider than normal belts (but not always).

Your 1.5" belt should do fine as it will should meet the carry needs.

Now with that in mind, you need to be sure you have a holster that properly fits the belt and the belt should properly fit the belt loops on the pants/shorts you wear. When those three are in harmony, your holster will ride most securely. If the belt is too small for the holster, it can slide and rock. If too small for the belt loops, the belt may slide with the holster, allowing the gun to ride high or low.

4v50 Gary
June 29, 2008, 12:06 PM
Gunbelts are made with thick leather to prevent sagging. Belts for your pants or trousers are thin because they are intended to keep the pants or trousers up AND in some cases, look good. Your belt is thick enough to do both.

AndyC
June 29, 2008, 12:07 PM
What are the thoughts behind gunbelts? What makes them specific for carry?
Their rigidity; it's a pain (and dangerous) if your holster is flopping all over the place because your belt is too limp to handle the pound or so of steel it's trying to bear (this applies more to external holsters than IWB, genrally-speaking).

SeanMTX
June 29, 2008, 12:37 PM
Sounds about right. I don't have any problems with the holster wobbling or moving about with the belt I currently use.

Thanks for the input folks.

Linda
June 29, 2008, 03:09 PM
A cheap belt can make your $100 holster feel like a $10 holster. Invest some $$ into a good gun belt. The webbed wilderness gun belts only run about $35.

For some real deals, check out:
http://www.gunnersalley.com

highorder
June 29, 2008, 03:16 PM
www.thebeltman.net.

Before I got mine, I thought I understood; now I know I had no idea. The difference is amazing.

hexidismal
June 29, 2008, 03:25 PM
www.thebeltman.net

Before I got mine, I thought I understood; now I know I had no idea. The difference is amazing.

Really I'm only posting to strongly second this post by highorder. I can't think of how I could any better expand upon that statement.

NG VI
June 29, 2008, 04:35 PM
Yes they are. Get one, you will be amazed at the difference.

shark40sw
June 29, 2008, 06:10 PM
I have to second Highorder's comments exactly. Before I bought a proper gunbelt I thought it couldn't make much of a differance. I now own two proper belts (one leather with plastic lineing and one Galco instructors belt). The cost wasn't any more than what I pay for a regular good belt and I wouldn't wear a holster without them.

hankdatank1362
June 29, 2008, 06:14 PM
I'm wearing a 5.11 Tactical Leather gunbelt with polymer stiffener, 1.5" width, with a Comp-Tac Minotaur IWB holster.

It makes a world of difference.

$25 from lapolicegear.com.

The Lone Haranguer
June 29, 2008, 07:15 PM
Take your belt, pinch the sides of it between your thumb and middle finger and depress the center of it with your index finger. If it bends, it is not stiff enough for gun carry.

I also endorse Beltman's quality and service. :) If it goes with your clothing, also the Wilderness Instructor five-stitch.

Kevin108
June 29, 2008, 07:29 PM
I don't think there's much to be gained from most gun belts, but there is a substantial difference between a regular leather dress belt and a polymer-lined Aker belt. I have two. I bought the first one a few lbs ago and got a larger one earlier this year. ;) http://galls.com/style.html?assort=general_catalog&style=LP224

borntwice
June 29, 2008, 07:40 PM
I have a Galco 1.5" gunbelt for my sidearm, and I really like it. It holds everything in place.

herohog
June 29, 2008, 08:09 PM
I bought one just to hold up my pants! I am tapered like an ice cream cone and gravity is NOT my friend so I wear suspenders. Those clamp on ones tend to pop loose and smack ya in the back of the head so I switched to Perry Suspenders (http://www.perrysuspenders.com). These bad boys clip onto your belt and will NOT EVER slip off and are will take a TON of abuse. I wear my pants loose in the waist for comfort and got tired of the sag in them, especially when I carried so I bought a gun belt from the leather guy that is always at the local gun shows. Best money I ever spent! My belt doesn't sag and the weight of my gun is well distributed and the holster stays where it should. Web belts are for sailors and Mall Ninjas!

rantingredneck
June 29, 2008, 08:09 PM
Yet another satisfied Beltman wearer here.

90.00 for a double layer horsehide belt and worth every penny and more.

littlelefty
June 29, 2008, 08:14 PM
I can get away with carrying my Kel Tek P11 IWB w/o my gun belt, which is a Wilderness Tactical 5 stitch, though I prefer going with the gun belt. But the belt is absolutely essential for carrying my 1911 IWB or OWB.
It's basically the foundation of the whole platform.

SCKimberFan
June 29, 2008, 09:30 PM
Yet one more thumbs up for the belt man. I carry my Kimber 4" or my XD 9 without any issues at all.

btg3
June 29, 2008, 10:12 PM
Can anyone comment on the 1-1/4" gunbelts?

The Lone Haranguer
June 29, 2008, 11:39 PM
A 1 1/4" is quite adequate for light (aluminum or polymer framed) guns but is marginal for heavy guns like 1911s, IMO. You can also get belts that taper from 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" at the front, e.g., for wear with an open suit or sport coat.

highorder
June 30, 2008, 01:22 AM
You can also get belts that taper from 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" at the front, e.g., for wear with an open suit or sport coat.

You just described my next Beltman belt; in brown bullhide with a brass round buckle. :)

aikidoka-mks
July 2, 2008, 08:28 PM
What's the consensus on Comp-tac belts?

http://www.comp-tac.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=43

The Wiry Irishman
July 2, 2008, 08:40 PM
When I first started carrying, all my friends kept telling me that I just NEEDED a specifically-designed gun belt. I figured I'd give my regular one a try first. Its an inch and a quarter, maybe inch an a half fairly thick leather belt. Works great.

Last week I came back from work and had to run some errands. I didn't feel like changing clothes, so I put on my 1911 still wearing my thin little dress belt. That worked just fine, too. No flopping around, no discomfort. I carry with that frequently now.

Having never tried a real gun belt I can't comment on the difference, only say that my normal ones work just fine. There's a lot of respectable people that swear by them though, maybe its just like guns - you use what fits you best, and its different for every person.

lesjones
July 2, 2008, 09:09 PM
I have two 1 and 1/4 inch belts in different colors.

One of them has the taper cut in the front. It's worth the $15 difference if your belly hangs over the belt. Much more comfortable.

The Canuck
July 2, 2008, 10:49 PM
Hey guys, let him carry it on a normal belt if he wants. If it works for him, great (I doubt it will though), if not, he'll be by to ask about reputable gun belt makers in a little bit. Then we will help him out like we have been helped here before.

Daemon688
July 3, 2008, 01:26 AM
I would think having a proper belt would be more of an issue with OWB carry. I've been doing IWB with my regular "dress" belt and it works just fine. Although my belt is a bit thicker than most.

BikerRN
July 3, 2008, 03:46 AM
I have a new Crossbreed supertuck for my G27, and as I break it in, I'm wondering about gun belts.

I live in Texas, so my clothing is often shorts and an untucked shirt. I often wear a thick, 1 1/2" standard leather belt. What are the thoughts behind gunbelts? What makes them specific for carry?

Someone educate this poor guy.

Gunbelts are only neccessary if you want to maximize concealment and comfort when you are carrying a gun.

That's the long and short of it. :)

BikerRN

DWARREN123
July 3, 2008, 08:01 AM
For correct positoning of an Outside The Waistband holster (OWB), the answer is yes. It is needed to keep the holstered firearm in the correct position and close to the body.
For Inside The Waistband (IWB) a good regular belt may work for you since the pants also help in keeping the holstered firearm correctly positioned.
I use a Don Hume IWB for GLOCK 23 and 27 and a web type 1 1/4 inch belt for casual carry and it works well for me.

Geronimo45
July 3, 2008, 06:43 PM
DWarren's got it. OWB needs a very stiff belt with loops on the holster that fit the belt snugly. IWB needs enough rigidity to hold it up, your pants will usually keep it from flopping around.
Or do like me and just get a shoulder holster, and you won't need a belt. :p

Autolycus
July 3, 2008, 11:25 PM
I believe that Beltman actually makes the belts for Comp-tac. I maybe wrong.

SeanMTX
July 10, 2008, 06:08 PM
Well...based on the font of knowledge around here, I ordered my 1.5" Bullhide belt from the Beltman today.

I opted for the internal stiffener, so we'll see in 3-5 weeks how it works.


Thanks for the input.

researchdoc
July 11, 2008, 04:00 PM
The quality exceeds the price on these.
They do not sag with the heaviest guns and holsters.. and they will last forever... Very Very comfortable!!!

rantingredneck
July 11, 2008, 04:05 PM
I believe that Beltman actually makes the belts for Comp-tac. I maybe wrong.

Not sure if he actually makes belts for comp-tac, but he makes belts with a velcro liner that work well with comp-tac and other velcro clip type holsters.

His quality is outstanding. I was planning to order a belt from him for months and never got around to it. I actually got to meet him at the last Raleigh, NC gunshow and he happened to have some samples on hand and one was my size :D.

I ended up taking home a double layer brown horsehide belt and it has held everything I've hung on it, including my Ruger P90.

SeanMTX
August 20, 2008, 02:00 PM
I put in my order for a Beltman brown belt with the 7 hole option and the internal stiffener.

Almost a month to the day later it arrived and looked great.

After about a month of using it, it's now my daily casual belt. I use it when I'm carrying and when I'm not.

My current rigs are a Crossbreed Supertuck for HK USPc and G27, so there isn't a lot of strain on the belt itself. I notice a little difference from my regular 1.60" wide normal belt, but frankly not much. I imagine if I carried an all metal pistol, OWB or both, there would be a noticable difference.

All in all, it was well worth the $80 I paid for the belt. I would have paid roughly $50 for a quality belt at a department store anyway, and it's nice to support a small operation that's geared toward the gun owners.

If I had to do it over again, I don't think I'd get the internal stiffener. I just don't need it with the rigs I'm using, and it makes the belt a little tough to put on. I'm sure it will loosen up a bit as it gets worn in and older, but frankly, the quality of this belt is such that I don't think it will get THAT much looser.

I would recommend this belt to anyone who is looking for a good belt, especially if they are looking to carry 24/7 with it. I would also recommend definitely the 7 hole option and would pass on the stiffener.

VegasOPM
August 20, 2008, 04:59 PM
I've got a few "stiffened" gun belts but I rarely wear them. My Dickies Brand heavy duty work belt ($12.97 at Wally World) works the same for 75% less.

Valkman
August 21, 2008, 08:27 PM
I've worn cheap belts, a good gun belt and now a Beltman belt with stiffener. The difference between the Beltman belt and the regular gunbelt is amazing - the new one is so much stiffer it makes all the gear seem lighter. There is no belt at Wal-Mart that is going to work as well as a true gunbelt. I got the Gray Elephant belt from Beltman and not only is it great at doing what it's supposed to do but it is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Feanaro
August 23, 2008, 06:30 PM
I've got a few "stiffened" gun belts but I rarely wear them. My Dickies Brand heavy duty work belt ($12.97 at Wally World) works the same for 75% less.

I wore out the same belt in six months. When I tossed it in the trash, it was a limp noodle that could hold up my pants or my K-frame in a competition OWB holster... but not both. I've had my Beltman for more than six months and it will hold a 40 ounce revolver as well as the day I bought it, which is really darn well.

If you don't notice any difference, no point in using an expensive belt when you can use a cheap one. For me, it was well worth the price.

JoeSlomo
August 23, 2008, 06:39 PM
I've been doing IWB with my regular "dress" belt and it works just fine.

I'm a big proponent of the "works just fine" method myself. If a belt "works just fine" as a "gun belt", than it IS a "gun belt" imo...

Floppy_D
August 23, 2008, 06:46 PM
I carry a 229 IWB, and it's heavy. For me, the BIGGEST aid in carrying was a belt. My gun belts are those that I picked up at American Eagle.

The biggest thing is to wear a belt... I tried not wearing a belt and CC'ing my Sig, and it popped the button off of two good pairs of shorts in less than a month.

I'm Thinking...
August 23, 2008, 07:05 PM
Just because Filson double-belts (http://www.filson.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2092378&cp=2069836.2069840.2075127) are pricey, and not widely known (no usual advertising; just
catalogs, word of mouth, and online), is not an excuse to set them aside as a potential
valid choice.

Yes, I do own a pair of Filson's Style 901 "Upland" boots ;). *Superb* stuff, Filson.

VARifleman
August 23, 2008, 07:38 PM
A cheap belt can make your $100 holster feel like a $10 holster. Invest some $$ into a good gun belt. The webbed wilderness gun belts only run about $35.
Those wilderness belts are good for construction type work because they stand up to abuse, but they really suck as gun belts. The problem with belts not meant for guns, and the wilderness one never was designed for a gun no matter what they say, is that the flop over. The Wilderness belt may be a 1.75" belt, but it twists really easily so it must be worn tighter to keep the holster positioned correctly. That is very uncomfortable, not to mention most holsters won't fit the ones I've seen.

thebaldguy
August 23, 2008, 08:21 PM
I have seen a few belts that are close to thickness to a good gun belt. If that's the case, then you're good to go. Most of my belts are too thin and flexible for carry, so I got a very nice black sharkskin belt (1.5 inch) from Rafter S Gunleather. I will get a 1.25 inch black belt for dress carry soon.

bp78
August 23, 2008, 08:39 PM
Just to add to the chorus, what you consider a thick belt now is probably well short of an average gun belt. A nice 1.5" gun belt really does make a dramatic difference.

+Another for http://thebeltman.net/ I had the pleasure of visiting his shop not too long ago and bought another one of his belts. I wear them daily, non-carry mostly, and am very impressed with them. The owner/maker is also a very nice guy too.

iiibdsiil
August 23, 2008, 10:08 PM
IWB I haven't had any problems with a regular dress belt from Dillards.

I have 2 OWB holsters that I never use because I don't have a good belt. I tried it a couple times and the grip of the gun was way too far from my body. I'm saving my pennies for a Beltman belt for all 2 weeks of winter that I'll get to carry OWB.

Artiz
August 23, 2008, 10:33 PM
I am looking for a belt too, but i don't want to open another thread for a simple question..
I want to buy the 5.11 Tactical 1.75" Operator belt, can anyone tell me if it's a good buy? I never hear comments about these belts.
http://www.copsplus.com/prodnum6071.php

bp78
August 23, 2008, 11:11 PM
I want to buy the 5.11 Tactical 1.75" Operator belt
Make sure your holster will accommodate that width. A lot of holsters have slots that are just 1.5" wide.

Artiz
August 23, 2008, 11:38 PM
It's ok, it's a Safariland, fits belts up to 2.25".

VARifleman
August 23, 2008, 11:50 PM
bp78,

When I was over there looking at horse vs. bull belts he let me shoot his airsoft Thompson in his shop. Very cool times. He was sadly correct that I would outgrow his belt before it wore out. 32" waists don't last afterall. I need to get another belt from Jim.

CajunBass
August 24, 2008, 08:24 AM
I tried a lot of different belts because I thought all the "experts" who said "get a real gunbelt" were full of applesauce.

Then I got a gunbelt from "The Beltman." Now I have two, and haven't worn anything but since.

Dollar An Hour
August 24, 2008, 02:07 PM
Beltman for me, I've got two. A good quality belt makes the gear seem lighter and better balanced, as mentioned above. :)

ferretray
August 25, 2008, 02:28 PM
I've been toting a firearm for several decades. Started with Bruce Nelson leather and have'nt looked back. I learned quick that quality gear is worth the price. There is more to a good gunbelt than the thickness. Good leather, properly tanned, dyed and finished. Skived where it should be, etc.,.
In the long run the cheap belts will cost more and absolutely will not provide a proper foundation for your firearm and accessories.
Beltman is good-to-go! I've been using a 1 1/2" Bullhide to tote 1911's. It will be loaded down with a S&W .44 Mountain Gun here soon. I anticipate no problems.
Good luck in whatever you choose.

Mickstix
August 26, 2008, 12:58 AM
Just because Filson double-belts (http://www.filson.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2092378&cp=2069836.2069840.2075127) are pricey, and not widely known, is not an excuse to set them aside as a potential
valid choice.

Holy Cow!! What do you do with that thing, lift weights?? :neener: Nice lookin belts!! ;)

redintex
September 6, 2008, 11:15 PM
Belts made a huge difference for me. I'm also in Texas. The beltman makes a great product, as does Wilderness Tactical. Those are the two that I have dealt with...

redintex

Guy de Loimbard
September 7, 2008, 03:39 PM
It may not be necessary, but they help a LOT. I recently received my horsehide belt from the beltman. Now I can carry my 1911, something that was not possible with my former belt. I'm definitely happy with it.

kcshooter
September 7, 2008, 06:36 PM
Yes, they make a difference. But they aren't necessary.

wcwhitey
September 7, 2008, 08:36 PM
When you find the holster you like from a quality company or custom maker the next thing you do is order a matching belt from them. You will be rewarded with years of service and durability. I have the same holsters and belts for the last 15 years and they still work great. Cheap holsters and belts are more costly in the long run, trust me, I have a box full and I am sure a few others here do as well. Bill

RONSTAR
October 6, 2008, 06:37 PM
Ive carried without them but there is a huge difference. I wear one everyday now.

highorder
October 7, 2008, 02:50 AM
Then I got a gunbelt from "The Beltman."

nuff said.

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