Belt: cow vs. bull hide

Belt: cow vs. bull hide

This is a discussion on Belt: cow vs. bull hide within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Does anyone have both a cowhide and bullhide gun belt that can comment on the real differences? Or are the differences unnoticeable? On a dual ...

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Thread: Belt: cow vs. bull hide

  1. #1
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Belt: cow vs. bull hide

    Does anyone have both a cowhide and bullhide gun belt that can comment on the real differences? Or are the differences unnoticeable?

    On a dual layer belts (horse + cow/bull), some belt manufacturers are using bull hide as the inner layer, and others using cow.

    Interested in stiffness, rugged, longevity, quality.


  2. #2
    Member Array eipo's Avatar
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    Ive no experience with cowhide only belt, both of mine from 2 different makers are HH on the outer layer. They are quite stiff but not uncomfortably so. They do their job well. One came from a local guy to me and is, IMO, just as nice at half the price as the other.

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    snakyjake;

    Lets see if I can help.

    We've been handcrafting both Bull Hide and Horse Hide for years. The difference: Horse Hide is more dense, less abrasive and moisture resistance. Thus a little more stiff. It also has a sheen unlike Bull. The thickness of Horse is somewhat irregular from end to end. This is due to muscle mass and generally not a problem.

    Most makers, that I know of, puts the outer layer of the belt out of Horse and the inner layer out of Bull Hide, as we do. This makes for a very sturdy belt. We have on many occasions constructed both layers out of Horse Hide (and I'm sure many other makers has done so, as well) and this will give you a belt that is STIFF and many may think "over-kill".

    It will take some breaking in but will contour to your body in a couple of weeks.

    All of this depends on how stiff you want your belt.

    Another option is inserting a stiffener in your belt. This, you may want to discuss with your belt maker.

    Anyway, I hope this helps.

    If we can be of assistance, just let us know.

    Good luck.
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  4. #4
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Instead of horse vs. bull, what about dual layer horsehide belts lined with cow instead of bull? Is bullhide better for the inner liner than cow? Or pretty much the same?

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    Member Array ABC111's Avatar
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    I personally have no experience with cow. But I would think it would be softer. If you put 2 layers of Horse together and then line it with a layer of cow, you might come up with a belt that is too thick for some holster slots.

    If you're looking for stiffness two layers of Horse should do it.
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    Member Array JerryMac's Avatar
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    Are you asking about cow and bull or throwing horse in there, I was told by the man that makes my belts, that you do no know the difference in a cow versus bull hide belt, as you honestly do not know which your getting unless your there for the whole process, and that they are pretty much the same, do not know about the horse end of it, but just know what I was told by a leathersmith. Just order a quality leather gun belt and you will be fine. IMO..... and that is my $.02 ....
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    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    Since a cow and bull are the same critter except for their sex, I wouldn't think there would be any difference in the hide unless it was taken from center-stage off the rear end to have a choice between a belt with either a built-in pocket or a pouch?
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    Senior Member Array ironmike86's Avatar
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    I heard the same as Jerry Mac but i dunno
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  9. #9
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    For clarification: I've seen dual layer belts that come in horse+cow and horse+bull (and others too, but only interested in the ones I listed).

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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    Unless you carry a full size steel gun, you probably won't notice a difference IMO. I have horsehide and bullhide. No experience with the cow

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array BruceGibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryMac View Post
    Are you asking about cow and bull or throwing horse in there, I was told by the man that makes my belts, that you do no know the difference in a cow versus bull hide belt, as you honestly do not know which your getting unless your there for the whole process, and that they are pretty much the same, do not know about the horse end of it, but just know what I was told by a leathersmith. Just order a quality leather gun belt and you will be fine. IMO..... and that is my $.02 ....
    snakyjake...great question. I've never used horsehide, so I can't address that. However, for a straight answer from a guy that knows what he's talking about, call Tony at Milt Sparks.

    As for "bull hide," it's a tricky path to walk as a Maker. Leather in America is a by-product of the meat industry. The leather I use for my gunleather products is Hermann Oak, exclusively. No brands, and the highest quality available. It's also produced in this country, which is important to me. The overwhelming majority of cattle shipped to slaughter (where our leather ultimately comes from) are dehorned, castrated (males/bulls), vaccinated, and branded. Once a baby bull is castrated he's no longer a "bull." Based on that, the safest assumption I can make is that the great majority of the leather I use is from steers.

    I don't use "bullhide." I wouldn't know where to buy it. And, unless it's certified in some way, there's no way of telling if the hide you're getting came from a steer (castrated), or a bull. Leather is also split at the tannery to specific thicknesses (ounces) for use by manufacturers. Long story short, if there's no certification of tracking from when a "bull" enters the slaughterhouse all the way through to the finished leather, there is truly no way of knowing if you have bullhide or steerhide.

    As for the difference/benefit between "bullhide" and the average American steer? I would submit there is none.

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