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Gun Belt Leather

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by Bigg Jimm, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Bigg Jimm

    Bigg Jimm Well-Known Member

    Being in the rural South, my town still has a shoe repair/Leather shop. I'm going to ask the shop to fit me for and construct a gun belt for me. Is there any specific leather or feature
    that I should ask for???

    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
  2. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I like a single layer rather than bonded belt. If you carry a heavy gun, you want 11-14oz bridle leather 1.25-1.5" wide. Get him to show you leather of this thickness, as it may surprise you.

    That gives you a very stiff belt that will break in and form to you and the way you wear your pants. Just make sure such a belt will clear your belt loops twice (to accommodate the tail).

    Get a zinc plated or stainless buckle (or solid brass) with a real roller and have him use two or three chicago screws to attach it. Get it fitted so the the middle of 5 holes is your "normal," whether that is IWB or OWB.
  3. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    I like my bullhide and horsehide BeltMan belts, and prefer the two-layer approach, I think it leads to a stiffer belt.
  4. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Well-Known Member

    Are you looking for a belt to also hold your britches up or a conventional gun belt?
  5. Kcinnick

    Kcinnick Active Member

    You don't want bull hide. Only bull hide I know of is cheap Mexican Leather.

    You want two layers of Hermann Oak Strap Leather, 7 or 8 oz to give you about a 1/4" thick belt. Wickett and Craig would be OK only if you could not source Hermann Oak, Hermann Oak is by far the best.

    I have made belts from Bridle leather, it doesn't hold up as well has Hermann Oak strap leather.

    Let a shoe repair man repair your shoes, let a leather man make your belts and holsters.

    These are natural sun tanned


    Top is what has become known as "Dirty" (I didn't name it), then of course black and brown.

  6. crazyjennyblack

    crazyjennyblack Well-Known Member

    Look at this -

    1.5" garrison belt in plain black leather is what I wear daily. You can also get it in brown. I've had mine for two years and it holds a .357 or similar weight handgun with no flop at all. No need for expensive custom-made stuff unless you want it just for grins. If you do decide to go the custom-made route, I would second the recommendation for bridle or strap leather. Just make sure the belt is nice and thick, and about 1.5" wide. Slimmer than 1.5" won't hold a gun well, wider than that won't really fit through the belt loops of your jeans (and you can forget dress pants altogether)
  7. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Well-Known Member

    Best gun belts I have ever owned? Rafter S Gun Leather.

    Worse customer service currently? Rafter S Gun Leather.

    I was able to buy a couple of belts before their service went down the tubes.

    Very thick and the only belt maker that I have seen who double stitches the edge of the belt for long life (look closely at the belt on either edge of the below pic).

    My current rig includes this Rafter S sharkskin belt.

  8. Kcinnick

    Kcinnick Active Member

    Putting a double row of stitches actually will weaken the belt. More holes equals less strength. It doesn't really matter either way, it is an aesthetic decision to go with one or two rows of stitching, not a durability decision. A single row of bonded nylon is very strong and the adhesives used to bond the leather will probably hold a belt together for years as long as you don't boil it in water.

    I wouldn't call that tripple k belt linked a gun belt. Might as well go to Walmart and pick up a "geniune" leather belt.
  9. Bigg Jimm

    Bigg Jimm Well-Known Member

    The gentleman in question is pretty proficient with leather. He makes saddles and such. His current customers that I have asked like his work and say he is very reasonable in price. I figured it would be cheaper than the Belt Man and quicker.

    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
  10. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Well-Known Member

    Double stitching or not.....I have bought and used belts over the last 20 years from Rosen, Sparks, Del Fatti, High Noon, and the Beltman. They all have gone limp in comparison to the Rafter S belt. I have carried almost every day for 5 years on this black belt and it is still going strong.
  11. Kcinnick

    Kcinnick Active Member

    Holy overpriced belts batman, I need to raise my prices. My belts start at $75 and go to $90 depending on finish, +$10 for belts over 50". And nobody says what brand of leather they are using, my guess is they are using Mexican leather and they don't want to advertise it. I only use Hermann oak, only use solid brass hardware (some have stainless tounges) and have been favorably compared to Rosen, Beltman amoung others. I couldn't find a website for rafter s, but the first google search accuses him of being a crook. I wanted to see if he mentioned materials used.
  12. BrainOnSigs

    BrainOnSigs Well-Known Member

    Steve Schafer started Rafter S Gunleather in 1994 and had control of the business until 2006. Steve and his wife Della divorced in early 2008. As part of the divorce settlement, Della bought his half of the business. During the time Steve was at the helm of Rafter S it was run with the highest of ethics. Customer service and a quality product was their the piority. Once Steve was out....it all went south.

    I guess divorce has screwed up more than a few small businesses.

    I've yet to own a belt that has come close to the quality and the longevity the two I purchased from Steve several years ago. Mitch Rosen's belt came close but I still give the nod to the Rafter S. You can find them on Ebay occasionally.

    Anyway...the point of this thread is that a good "gun" belt is the base for carrying a gun. Don't try and buy a wide, crappy Walmart belt and think it will work.
  13. Kcinnick

    Kcinnick Active Member

    That sucks.
  14. mjkten

    mjkten Well-Known Member

    I have a nice one made by Crossbreed Holsters, the 1 1/4" wide plain brown gun belt, sized to allow IWB carry. I am very satisfied with the quality and cost. I will probably buy another in the 1.5" width, still deciding on black or brown.
  15. erikk8829

    erikk8829 Well-Known Member

    I know nothing about belts however I have 2 1 1/2" x 1/4" from BullHide Belts that I have been using every day for several months and they seem to be working well. Very heavy and stiff and stay put with no sag. Time will tell
  16. 45_auto

    45_auto Well-Known Member

  17. Kcinnick

    Kcinnick Active Member

    Wow. My belts are constructed in the same manner as Kramer belts and don't cost near as much. If you want to pay me $142 for a belt (over 44" he adds $40, over 50" he doubles the price!) I will donate $42 to the charity of our choice and ship it for free. Or you could just buy one, priced from $75-$90 depending on finish, I ship up to two and a holster for $6. I do charge $10 extra for belts over 50", which is a reasonable material cost increase. Doubleing the price!
  18. Double_J

    Double_J Well-Known Member

    Mitch Rosen Express Line is around $85.00. I have one for 7 years and have never looked back. I do agree that if you spend around $75 to $100 you will get a GREAT belt, over that much is almost a waste.
  19. rayban

    rayban Well-Known Member

    May I shamelessly throw my hat in the ring....

  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Shame on you. :) Your belts look great!

    I am very pleased with the Rafter S belt I purchased around 2005-2006. Sad to hear that they have problems now. They had a good product at a fair price.

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