Belts - general information thread
I am hoping this thread ends up as a good resource, so perhaps with your contributions it will become just that.
I should have started this earlier when I was looking around for a holster/belt system, but since I bought my Crossbreed set up I have some questions.
The belts designed for carry of a firearm are a lot tougher than your standard off-the-shelf single layer leather belt (perhaps even the stitch reinforced variety - which I wore for years). There are also a lot of options for the custom made belts out there.
My first question is regarding leather types. There is cowhide, horse hide, bull hide, and some are layers of a couple. What is the difference between the types and why would one be a better choice over another? From what I gather Horse hide is more "dense", less abrasion prone, and doesn't wick moisture as well as other types. It also appears to be the stiffest. Does that stiffness make it more prone to cracking over time, or otherwise wearing out sooner?
Stiffeners. There are options with some gunleather makers for stiffeners in belts. What materials are frequently used? Are the stiffeners in between two leather layers? How much thickness do they add to the belt? Do they really offer a significant improvement to the durability of the belt? How do they otherwise compare to a leather belt with reinforcing stitching only?