How thick of a belt?


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Chrome
August 3, 2007, 12:08 AM
I'm in need of a gun belt, but I'd rather not purchase an overpriced thick leather belt someone calls a "gun belt." How thick should a belt be before it would be adequate as a gun belt?

Thanks,
Chrome...

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ClarkEMyers
August 3, 2007, 01:53 AM
Thick is not the way to judge. Gunbelt or not a gunbelt is the way to judge. There are thin leather belts with reinforcement which run slimmer - e.g. Josh Bulman's UGBSURBAN GUN BELT (SLIM):
The leather used to construct this belt is much thinner that that used on the standard UGB. The thread and stitch spacing are also smaller, as with a dress belt. A closed cell poly carbon membrane is sewn in between the layers, which gives the belt excellent lateral rigidity.
There are thick belts which are inferior and thin belts which are better.

It is true that most fine gun belts run thick - Beltman and Rafter S are two fine makers who make admittedly thick belts that are great values. Filson say makes a thick belt that is a fine belt - all Filson products are first rate - but Filson is not the best buy for carrying handguns.

Many holsters for concealed carry are made to fit a domed - thinned edge - dressy looking belt and many other holsters are made to fit a belt that carries full thickness edge to edge so it pays to match belt and holster. The web site for Milt Sparks has a good discussion of belts and a listing of available options include thin edge or no thin edge. Lou Alessi makes a particularly fine dressy looking belt. Andy Aratoonian at Horseshoe makes a belt slightly thinner than the run of gun belts and with English styling. There are many fine makers who offer good quality and faster delivery times than ordering direct from the great names. Brownell's and Lightening and other dealers can often deliver fine belts from stock promptly.

Wilderness and others make fine belts that aren't leather and perhaps go better with tactical pants than with Hickey Freeman suits. Competition rigs may have include separate inner and outer belts with inserts to stabilize the belt and Velcro to locate the holster - unlimited guns with optical sights, fat grips and long compensated barrels in speed holsters are used with a different rig than say a Smith 3913 designed more for ease of carry and concealment.

CajunBass
August 3, 2007, 04:04 AM
I just bought one of those "overpriced thick leather belts someone calls a gunbelt" a few weeks ago.

I should have bought it before I bought my gun. For what I paid for belts trying to make them be gunbelts, I could have paid for this one.

Now I gotta get another one in black. :D

CypherNinja
August 3, 2007, 04:17 AM
Hey Cajun, what make is it? I've been looking at the Beltman stuff for a while.....

DrDavidM
August 3, 2007, 08:32 AM
Several months ago I purchased an acker dress belt. It has been very good. It is reinforced so it is not double leather thick. I read several good reviews on it before purchasing it. It was only about $40 so I thought why not. I think I made a good decision. If I am not mistaking, I ordered it from copquest.

David

CajunBass
August 3, 2007, 08:40 AM
Hey Cajun, what make is it? I've been looking the Beltman stuff for a while.....

The Beltman's dual layer bullhide one. Great belt.

http://thebeltman.net/

Now to be fair, I've got an inexpensive Uncle Mikes 2" nylon gunbelt that does a decent job with a small to moderate weight pistol. When I got up to 1911 size though it just wasn't up to the task.

XavierBreath
August 3, 2007, 08:42 AM
I'm in need of a gun belt, but I'd rather not purchase an overpriced thick leather belt someone calls a "gun belt." How thick should a belt be before it would be adequate as a gun belt?In my experience, thickness does not matter, stiffness does.

Also, in my experience, you can spend thirty bucks four or five times buying a non-gun belt and educating yourself, or you can take the advice from the errors of others, and buy a dedicated gun belt. Waste a hundred bucks incrementally and get a back ache and frustration for your trouble while printing all over the place, or cough up the dough, buy what you need, and go on with life.......The choice is yours.

I went with "thick but inexpensive" belts for a while too. When I finally broke down and bought the real deal, I could not believe the difference.

Beltman (http://thebeltman.net/)

Looper Leather (http://looperleather.com/KydexBelt.html)

Mitch Rosen (http://www.mitchrosen.com/product_line/product_line.html)

Milt Sparks (http://www.miltsparks.com/)

1911 guy
August 3, 2007, 09:23 AM
I made do with inferior belts for a while, then ponied up and got a gunbelt. Huge difference. Recently, I got a 5-stitch Instructor belt from The Wilderness. By far my favorite belt.

GunTech
August 3, 2007, 09:47 AM
I have a gunners alley 1.5 inch gun belt. I've had it for seevral years and used and abused it. Much carry, including a 4 inch N frame model 57. I will never buy a cheap belt again.

http://www.gunnersalley.com/category/accessories.belts/

Chrome
August 3, 2007, 01:27 PM
Sounds like I better start looking for a gun belt then!

Later,
Chrome...

Technosavant
August 3, 2007, 05:27 PM
A real gun belt is worth it, and if you take care in your purchase, looks great. I have one from Gunner's Alley that looks decent and works well. I also have one from Milt Sparks with a pebbled finish that looks absolutely fantastic.

Either one is light years better than any other belt I have ever used, whether I had a gun hanging off of it or not.

strat81
August 3, 2007, 05:56 PM
Rafter S Gun Leather. Awesome belt, great price, nice people.

AZAndy
August 3, 2007, 09:12 PM
Like 1911 guy, I'm partial to instructor-style belts. I have a Galco and a couple of Wilderness; the Wilderness is a better value. They're not dressy, but I usually wear outside-the-pants shirts anyway (the better to carry with, my dear).

By the way-- if you get an instructor belt, go one size bigger than you think you need. That will allow for IWB carry but it will still fit fine if you carry outside. Cost me $40 to learn that. ;-)

Andy

biggiesmalls
August 5, 2007, 06:25 PM
to me, width matters a lot. 1.5 inch works way better than 1 inch for all the SOB and IWB holsters i have. as for quality and thickness, listen to the guys who've already posted replies.

koja48
August 5, 2007, 06:47 PM
Rafter S makes some nice belts. I also have one from Kirkpatrick Leather that I really like.

The Lone Haranguer
August 5, 2007, 07:27 PM
I measured the thickness of my Beltman two-layer bullhide belt with a caliper. (A micrometer would have been better but I don't have one handy.) ;) While it might vary a bit due to the slight resiliency in the leather and the slight protrusion of the stitching threads, it was .210", just under a quarter inch. However, sheer thickness is not what you need, but stiffness. Pinch the edges of the belt between your thumb and middle finger and try to bend the belt with pressure in the center from your index finger. If it bends at all it is not stiff enough. Excessive thickness also makes it difficult to thread a belt through the slots or loops in the holster, too, possibly causing wear on either or both over time.

Michael_2112
August 5, 2007, 10:24 PM
Depending on your dress requirements and budget, maybe an "instructor" style belt will fit the bill.

The one that I wear (daily) is a 1.5", 5-stitch belt which cost about $35. It does a great job handling the weight of pretty much any handgun your going to strap onto it.

The only downside is that it won't work with "formal" attire. It works great for casual dress though.


Mike

buzzard80
August 6, 2007, 01:08 PM
I went to the local police supply store and picked up a "detective belt" (I want to say Triple-K, but I'm not sure about that) for $35. Quite stiff and works well, and doesn't look like it doesn't belong with what I'm wearing (casual clothes). As mentioned above, it won't work with suits, but I've worn it with khakis and such and it looks acceptable.

Tully M. Pick
August 6, 2007, 02:03 PM
Thanks for reminding me, I need to buy another Beltman belt this month. I have two dual layer bullhide belts, one in brown and one in black, but I'd like to get one in cordovan, too. I didn't realize what I was missing until I picked up my first real belt. I'm sure other manufacturers do a great job with their belts, too, but I need a third pen for my collection.

336A
August 6, 2007, 03:10 PM
I wear a Riggers' belt and love it, it is similar to the wilderness belt. The ad says that the belt is 1" but it is not, it is 1 3/4" wide as you can see from the pic.

http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam?xax=18684&M5COPY%2Ectx=27038&M5%2Ectx=3535&M2%5FDESC%2Ectx=Belts%2C%20Buckles%2C%20Accessories&level3%2Ectx=level3c%2Etam&BC3%2Ectx=Adventure%20Clothing%2C%20Foot%2C%20Head%20%26%20Handwear%2C%20Rain%20Gear%2C%20Logo%20Apparel&BC4%2Ectx=Belts%2C%20Buckles%2C%20Accessories&backto=%2Fagcatalog%2Flevel3c%2Etam

Soybomb
August 10, 2007, 05:14 AM
Pinch the edges of the belt between your thumb and middle finger and try to bend the belt with pressure in the center from your index finger. If it bends at all it is not stiff enough.
There's the best line in the whole thread I think. The thickness of gunbelts is usually the result of having 2 pieces of leather sewn together with the grain running in opposing directions to make sure it won't roll. A belt can be thick, but if it rolls from the weight of your holster it isn't a gun belt.

ZeSpectre
August 10, 2007, 06:02 AM
+1 on the Beltman belts. I have the heavy bullhide one and it provides an excellent and solid platform for my CCW.

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