Bought a new gun belt and I don't "get it"

This is a discussion on Bought a new gun belt and I don't "get it" within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've had a couple dedicated gun belts back in the day. Still got 'em, too, even though they stopped fitting me a few years back ...

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Thread: Bought a new gun belt and I don't "get it"

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Bought a new gun belt and I don't "get it"

    I've had a couple dedicated gun belts back in the day. Still got 'em, too, even though they stopped fitting me a few years back I definitely think you need a good, stiff belt when carrying OWB, but really didn't see the need for IWB... Still, after all the recent talk and accolades on the merits of wearing an actual gun belt for carrying, I bought one. A Wilderness frequent flyer. Having a belt with rings again appealed to me, and I saw quite a few members here saying they had one. I got it Saturday. I'm not quite sure I see any advantage to it over a good leather belt though
    My leather Levi Strauss belt is thicker and stiffer than the Wilderness belt. And I don't understand what all that velcro on the side of the belt is for.
    Now for anyone that hasn't seen one of these belts, there is a small piece of velcro on the tip of the belt that mates with the velcro on the side of the belt. I guess to keep it tight to the belt ond not flopping around (?), but there is exposed, or extra velcro running from 1:30 to 3:30, and that's without wearing my IWB. If I were to be wearing a gun right now I would have even more velcro exposed I don't get it.
    Does anyone know what all that velcro is for?
    And are the benefits of wearing a good gun belt lost on IWB carry? I always felt the gun was held in place more from the tension of tightening the belt, as opposed to any sag one might get wearing an el cheapo belt and not tightening it at all.

    Thanks for any insight.
    And BTW, it's a nice belt and good fit. I've got no qualms with the belt as a belt.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Yes. As you cinch up the belt the excess is folded back and secured with the velcro. I have one but seldom use it for carrying a gun as the velcro always seems to be in the way of something I want to carry on the belt. The Wilderness Instructor is a very good belt but not for my weapons carry purposes. If you are finding it to be a problem you are not alone.

  4. #3
    Member Array luke213's Avatar
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    I can't talk much on the Wilderness belts because all I really know about them isn't personal experience, I have run several regular gun belts and carry IWB allot. I find that it depends on the design of the holster, and the weight of the carry gun. A good carry belt will spread the weight of the gun over a larger surface and keep it from creating basically pressure points where the top of the pants will drag down. I'm a guy who doesn't like my belt tight, really don't like it, as a result I need a very stiff belt to carry a full sized 1911 and mags without it being uncomfortable. I find that the vertical stability of the belt though is far more important than the horizontal(wish I had a better way to say that, but like a 2x4 on edge).

    So in my opinion it certainly helps having a good belt IWB or OWB, if you carry a lighter gun IWB the benefits aren't quite as apparent or obvious as OWB can be. But with a heavy gun it's a very noticable change for me with a gun belt vs. a normal belt. Another thing that I've noticed is that a normal belt will be bent nearly out of shape after a very short time of carry(it will literally be bent down in the area my 1911 rides), where my carry belt will last me a fair while before it starts to break down.

    Like everything else though your mileage might vary:)

    Take care!

    Luke

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    Member Array ABC111's Avatar
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    luke213 IMO is right on. The Wilderness 5 Stitch is a fine belt. I own 4, and I think all are almost new. I purchased them to wear with a Hawk holster when I carried my Glocks OWB and didn't want to scratch a leather belt up. Buit it seems that I never wear them anymore.

    Many guys, on the forum love them and that's great. I just don't think they give you the solid platform you need to carry a heavy gun, all day long. It makes no difference if you are carrying OWB or IWB you still need that support. And IMO nylon just doesn't do it. Even if you elect to get a stiffener in it, it will still sag unless cinched up tight. You have to tighten it up so tight it becomes uncomfortable.

    I'm sure many will disagree, and that's fine but for all day carry with a heaver gun, I don't think the Wilderness is the way to go.
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I just started wearing IWB (Crossbreed MiniTuck) last year for the first time. My EDC is a Kahr PM9 and I figured I would buy a Beltman gunbelt since they were so highly recommended. I love the belt, but I actually don't wear it with my PM9. It's too stiff and isn't comfortable for that reason. I actually wear a normal belt with my CB and PM9 since it's so light. Different strokes for different folks.

    I do wear my Beltman when I pocket carry. It's a very supportive belt and looks great.

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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    I hate the design of those wilderness belts, and such. I don't see spending $60 for a belt either. I usually find a $15 belt at Walmart, Tractor Supply, a boot store, or some place like that and I wear it til the holes wear out. Works for me.
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    kpw
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    VIP Member Array kpw's Avatar
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    Did you get the 3 stitch or the 5 stitch? There is a difference. My 2 most worn belts are a 5 stitch and a CSM. I prefer the 5 stitch for IWB as it is a little more pliable than the CSM but still has good vertical rigidity. Leather is great and will never be replaced. I still use most of mine frequently but the adjustability with the Wilderness, especially with IWB, is what makes them so good for me. That Levi's belt may be thicker and stiffer right now but that stiffness won't last if your carrying daily. The single ply leather will soften and sag and it will lose it's vertical rigidity over time and that is the most important part of what a gun belt provides. BTDT many times with Levi, Carhartt and Dickies belts and Walmart sold me a lot of belts before I wised up a bit. As for the velcro, it's just part of the design for adjustability. Try turning it around so that the velcro is on the other side.
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  9. #8
    Member Array luke213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkruf View Post
    I don't see spending $60 for a belt either. I usually find a $15 belt at Walmart, Tractor Supply, a boot store, or some place like that and I wear it til the holes wear out. Works for me.
    To each his own, I did the same thing for years but once I got around to picking up my first gunbelt I haven't honestly had a need for any of my other belts since. Actually I have thrown out all my old cheap belts that I had around because I just don't use them. I have so far seen allot longer life on these gunbelts than a normal belt with more comfort for me. It really comes down to the fact that I only have to snug the belt rather than tighten it and for me that makes a big difference in all day comfort. I also should say that I carry a full sized gun all day everyday, which is from when I get up around 6am, till I go to bed at 10-11pm. Not saying that your carrying less, etc but your carry method could very well change your opinion on belts too. For me there isn't a better solution that I've found:) Doesn't mean I've stopped looking though;)

    Take care!

    Luke

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    New Member Array Grey40's Avatar
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    I still prefer a gun belt for IWB carry. For a long time I used a thick leather belt made buy a guy at a local flea mall made from a single piece of ~9oz cowhide. What I find is that for short trips out of the house it works ok but after a couple hours the leather warms up from my body heat and becomes more pliable. I find myself having to crank the belt down tighter and tighter. If you say a thick Levi's belt works very well for you perhaps you have a certain body shape that lets it work well, in which case you're lucky to have a readily accessible supply of belts.
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    Senior Member Array LoveLeather's Avatar
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    I have a 1 1/2" Instructor's belt and a 1 1/4" frequent flyer...I use the frequent flyer most of the time...plenty stiff for my needs....and it's much more comfortable than my thick Alessi leather gun belt...as for the exposed velcro, I don't see a problem...my pancake holster fits over it just fine as does the clip on my IWB...

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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    I have a 1.5" 5.11 Tactical brown casual leather gun belt that I use with dress pants, cargo pants or jeans and a 1.5" 5.11 Tactical TDU belt that I use with casual shorts or jeans. I only conceal carry IWB and both belts are fantastic for this type of carry. They are sturdy, thick and very comfortable to wear. The leather belt even has a secret compartment in the back area of the belt to hide a handcuff key (in case you are ever handcuffed by a criminal). Both belts were inexpensive and they have been fantastic so far. I strongly recommend them to anyone.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Great replies, guys. You've cleared up a lot.
    I was really thinking there had to be an alternative use for that velcro that I was missing. For as precise as they want you to measure yourself and existing belts, having that much play just didn't occurr to me. I was even thinking it was supposed to be a friction point so your shirt couldn't ride up, but then I noticed it was loop and not hook. Duh, lol.
    And I cinch my belts fairly tight, so maybe my benefits of a bonifide gun belt wearing IWB might not be as apparent as someone else's. OWB would be a different story though... although I got rid of my heavy gun when I traded that Cougar in on an M&P9c.

    Thanks again. It's a nice belt, so maybe I'll turn it around to hide the velcro and make it look more normal. Oh, and it's a 5 stitch for whoever asked.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have a 5 stitch wilderness belt,I carry a steel frame Combat commander everyday from when I get up until I go to bed
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  15. #14
    Member Array luke213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I have a 5 stitch wilderness belt,I carry a steel frame Combat commander everyday from when I get up until I go to bed
    Just for curiosity sake, how tight do you run your belt and do you carry IWB or OWB? I'm just wondering if perhaps it's those of us that hate tight belts that find the super stiff belts to be the serious improvement. Well and like I said in my first post I haven't had a Wilderness in hand to compare to anything so maybe it's even stiffer than what I'm used to but it doesn't sound like it.

    Take care!

    Luke

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I have used the Bianchi reversable gun belt for 15 years now, and to be honest its one of the best belts I ever had, and one that I wear almost every day with my off duty guns.

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