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Belts for Heavy Guns: Leather, Kydex, Steel?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Accessories, Holsters, and Optics' started by labnoti, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. Benp

    Benp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Northern MN
    My .02 and observations. I have a 5 stitch wilderness , a Kore reinforced and Tennessee Holster Company leather.

    The adjustability of the Wilderness and Kore can’t be denied. It is fantastic.

    Fatten up at lunch or have a good talk with a guy about a horse, you can adjust the tiny bit needed either way.

    Leather belts aren’t capable of that to that degree.

    When I ordered my Tennessee gun belt almost a decade ago I specified the holes be 3/4” center to center. That has helped a lot compared to 1” spacing.

    Next one I order will be 1/2” spaced.

    I see Beltman offers 3/4” spacing standard.

    I wouldn’t wear a leather gun belt with 1” spacing. The lack of adjustability would drive me nuts.

    I will agree about the Wilderness noise. It is very distinct but a small issue compared to how good the belt is.
     
    herrwalther and JTQ like this.
  2. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    I've worn out good quality leather gun belts. The last one I wore out El Paso Saddlery Ranger Belt. The hole I had been using stretched out and finally tore. Took 18 years but there ya go.

    I've got a few examples from Hank's and a couple other notable makers such as Milt Sparks.

    The bottom line is they will all wear out eventually and none of them save for the steel lined models will support your EDC like a synthetic reinforced belt.

    I'm on year two or three of a Vedder quick release but the brand isn't all that important. The belt is made out of the same style webbing I use for my diving back plate. A double layer of harness material with or without an internal stiffener and a Cobra buckle. There is no sag, you cannot make it roll or fold width wise.

    There is nothing on this belt you can wear out. You can set the length fractionally, no holes to contend with and once you've set it, it stays that way until you need to adjust it. Downside is that you aren't going to be adjusting it on the fly. It's a bit of a process.

    All that said, leather belts are more comfortable. They are more comfortable because they DO sag, bend and adjust to your body. The synthetic brands do not. They are rock solid and will stay exactly the same shape as they are NOT the shape YOU are. They stay supportive and keep things in place.

    In my opinion a heavy EDC loadout benefits from a synthetic belt. It simply performs better, the downside being it's not as comfortable as leather. If your load out is light and you don't mind the belt conforming to your gear and body go leather. Another plus to leather is that it looks WAY better. Synthetic belts, Kydex holsters and striker fired plastic guns have no soul.

    I like to have options but I get far more utility out of the synthetic gear. My leather gear just makes me feel right with the world. Get some of each.
     
    earlthegoat2 and Benp like this.
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  4. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Ooops, thanks looks like an errant finger typo.
     
  5. jimboecv

    jimboecv Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    NorKal
    I have a question for you guys; Anyone ever pass through TSA with a metal-lined belt? I fly a lot and bought kydex-lined specifically due to metal vs. TSA. I would hate to spend $100 on a nice leather belt and have some blue shirt dweeb take my kit away.
     
  6. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    You have to take your belt off so it will go through screening. Nobody is going to take your belt.
     
  7. RETG

    RETG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    Somewhere in Idaho But on the move; AGAIN!
    Kore may not sag, but they wear too fast. This belt was about a month old and only used with a Desantis holster and a H&K P30SK so not a heavy gun and not a cheap holster. I sent photos to Kore, they did replace the belt. however, the new one wore identically. I has never worn more other than some of the finish has come off. But really not impressed and for almost my entire life I carried some heavy handguns with double mag holders, cuffs on just thick leather belts with less wear.
    bELOAVb.jpg


    I also have a Kore tactical nylon that has worn a lot better, and has been used to carry a larger gun (Beretta PX4 .40-15 rounds) in a Desantis holster. (No photo)
     
  8. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,422
    Location:
    USA
    I'm a big fan of steel lined heavy leather belts. I used Ernie Hill belts starting in the 80s that were heavy duty and steel lined. Ernie started in Fast-Draw and his belts and holsters were steel lined and built like tanks. I currently have a couple of custom made belts from Silver Star Leather in Shipshewana Indiana, 100% Amish American made. Extremely high quality and reasonably priced.

    http://silverstarexoticleather.com/
    https://silverstarleather.com/
     
  9. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    4,751
    Don't have that problem with mine. I am going on a few years using my belts and I don't see the kind of wear you have. The holsters I use on my Kore have nylon belt clips instead of metal. That might have something to do with it. I have a Pitbull mag carrier with a strong plastic belt clip and it put a light scratch on my leather Kore belt. So I only use that mag carrier with my nylon Kore belt.
     
  10. BobWright

    BobWright Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,445
    Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
    I get my belts from my local western store. They are about 3/16" thick leather and work well for me.

    100_9996_zpszdmihbzi.jpg


    100_7171_zpsb719e98b.jpg

    100_9976.jpg



    Bob Wright
     
    the Black Spot likes this.
  11. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Southern Virginia
    I have two like Bob's one black, one brown. Best part they were cheap at a thrift store.
     
  12. jimboecv

    jimboecv Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2017
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    Location:
    NorKal
    Not if you're TSA pre, which I am. Nor do I want the additional hassle of taking off my belt.
    My experience has been you don't get to keep what TSA says you can't fly with; Confiscated. But it would be my luck to be in a rush and forget what belt I was wearing.
    I've flown with hand tools in my carry on, open booze and a discharged .38 Special round (I was on stage for a Penn and Teller bit and they let me keep the bullet and brass). Shoes on the belt, shoes in a container, etc. I've also had deodorant pulled from my bag because it was too big by .3 oz. You just never know and it's designed that way. Good times!
     
  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Location:
    Alaska
    Been there, done that. You're barking up the wrong tree. You need suspenders.

    Nothing holds up my Ruger Redhawk. Suspenders were the only thing that helped. I finally went to a chest holster. (But I'm not trying to conceal it.)
     
  14. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Did you get to keep the brass?
     
  15. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Apr 2, 2018
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    1,107
    Don't worry. Years carrying steel revolvers without a belt, I wasn't just wearing sweatpants.

    I'm thinking about a chest rig too, for outdoors use. I was scrambling on some boulders near a cliff face on the weekend, looking for bat caves and possibly bear dens. The gun at my waistline was interfering with the full range of motion of my legs and I was thinking it would be nice to have it in a chest rig.
     
  16. TopJeff

    TopJeff Member

    Joined:
    Sunday
    Messages:
    36
    Tuckergunleather.com

    Check out their product. Not cheap, but worth it!
     
    drband likes this.
  17. jimboecv

    jimboecv Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2017
    Messages:
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    Location:
    NorKal
    Yes. I explained to the agent it wasn't ammo. It was brass and a bullet, which was just metal, really (something to that effect).
     
    Trunk Monkey likes this.
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