Review: Armour Belts (Mike Bissell) -- excellent service, quality

Review: Armour Belts (Mike Bissell) -- excellent service, quality

This is a discussion on Review: Armour Belts (Mike Bissell) -- excellent service, quality within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just received a new belt from Mike Bissell at Armour Belts . He's newly on his own, making belts. As many of you know, his ...

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Thread: Review: Armour Belts (Mike Bissell) -- excellent service, quality

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Review: Armour Belts (Mike Bissell) -- excellent service, quality

    Just received a new belt from Mike Bissell at Armour Belts. He's newly on his own, making belts. As many of you know, his uncle (IIRC) Jerry Bissell recently retired from the leathermaking he's so well-known for.

    Well, it looks like the belt's a winner.

    Specs: "Gun" belt, dual-hide, dual-stitched, 1.5" width, 7 holes, D-ring brass buckle, Chicago screws. $65 shipped.

    Sizing: My couple of 1.5" 'gun' belts from TheBeltMan are somewhat less thick, much less stiff/firm than this Armour belt. It is newly-minted, so it does grab the pants belt loops a bit more due to the rougher/newer material.

    Thickness: This belt is definitely thicker than the dual-hide BeltMan belts, bigger around. I believe the hide that Armour uses is of a thicker sort. Bonded together, it absolutely fills the belt loops much more snugly. The dual-hide, double thickness also ends at the point where the fold-over at the belt buckle occurs (about ~3" back from the buckle); meaning, it won't handle any real shortening, from that end, if I end up shrinking considerably (which I continue to do ... yaaaaay!).

    Firmness: This belt is firm. My ~7yr old BeltMan belts are a bit softer, overall, from continued use. On this new one, I will wear it for several weeks to see if it'll break-in a bit of my body's contour. Won't know for awhile. It absolutely easily holds up my heaviest/largest holstered gun (~38oz total weight, with spare mags, holders, and the holster). No flex at all, on this baby. The gun ain't goin' nowhere.

    Taper (none): My prior belts (from TheBeltMan) both were 1.5" wide with a 1.25" taper out front, for comfort reasons. This Armour belt is 1.5" wide but has no such taper. Out front, there's a bit more leather, overall, outside my pants, based on the thickness, the stiffness, and how the fold-over point around the buckle is. So, it'll take a little bit of getting used to, as I'm generally used to wearing less leather out front than is the case now. But as it softens up a bit, around the buckle area, I'm sure I'll start forgetting it's there.

    Coloring/Stitching: Great looking mahogany coloring, with dual rows of black stitching. Stitches are tight and well-done.

    Web Site: The web site is easy to read, easy to navigate. Clearly identifies how to measure. Clearly shows the various buckle options available. He has pictures of the colors, which closely match the product that I received. Selection of options is simple, and payment (via PayPal) is integrated right in the site. Not a lot of fluff on the site, which is a good thing. Simple, easy to order, hard to get it wrong.

    OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: Excellent quality, workmanship. Quick turnaround time, receiving it within the week, along with a tracking number emailed as notification. $65 shipped. And the package arrived with an invoice, a personal note from Mike Bissell himself, and a business card. Two thumbs up.


    ArmourBelts.com
    mike@armourbelts.com



    Pic (L to R): black, tan, brown, mahogany.


    Note: Am not affiliated with Mike Bissell or Armour Belts in any way. I just thought I'd give his decent-sounding "gun" belts a try. If this belt is any indication, he's following nicely in the Bissell leatherworking footsteps.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; June 11th, 2013 at 06:18 PM.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.


  2. #2
    Member Array maddy345's Avatar
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    Mike is somehow related to Jerry Bissell and turned the belt business over to him. If Mike continues the fine craftsmanship that Jerry did he will do very well.


    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddy345 View Post
    Mike is somehow related to Jerry Bissell and turned the belt business over to him. If Mike continues the fine craftsmanship that Jerry did he will do very well.
    Per Jerry's words, from a post @ 1911forum.com on 5/5/13: ...

    Jerry Bissell -- jbgunbelts dot com

    I have turned over my business to my nephew Mike Bissell his web site is Armour Belts

    He has been working with me for about 3 months picking my brain and learning what I do to make the best belt I can.

    He is offering his belts for $60.00 and they are as good or better than the ones I make.

    Give him a try and if your not satisfied with the quality of his gunbelts, I'll personally refund your money.

    Be safe and thanks for everything.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    That's a ringing endorsement!
    GSDSchutzhund likes this.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

  5. #5
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    Looks good and very competitively priced!
    NRA Life Member

    "I don't believe gun owners have rights." - Sarah Brady

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Looks good and very competitively priced!
    IMO, it's a pretty good value. Granted, he's breaking into the market right now, so who knows what his pricing will be in, say, 1yr, once he's got a solid clientele and repeat customers.

    As compared to my two other BeltMan 1.5" dual-hide belts (7+ yrs old) -- this Armour belt is noticeably stiffer, noticeably thicker, a good deal bigger around (circumference, such that it's tighter within the pants' belt loops). Downside is, there isn't a 1.25" taper out front, which I prefer for comfort reasons. But as my shape is improving/shrinking, that's becoming less of an issue for me, comfort-wise. In the BeltMan belts, I had thought fondly of the idea of an internal stiffener being needed for my next belts, if I stuck with BeltMan. With this Armour belt, there's absolutely no need for an internal stiffener. We'll see whether it's needed after ~7+ years. Somewhat less good-looking as compared to the BeltMan belts, which are great, but this Armour belt looks nice and appropriate with either dress-up or dress-down combinations. Dressy enough to fit in, but clearly a basic functional belt, all without screaming "gun belt." Right on the money, IMO.

    As compared to my one other Kramer 1.5" dual-hide duty belt -- this Armour belt is somewhat less stiff, about the same overall thickness and circumference (within the pants' belt loops). It's more comfortable than the Kramer was, IMO, which I had stopped using for comfort reasons in favor of the BeltMan belts. The Armour belt holds up heavier ~38oz loads nicely, as any duty-grade belt should. Don't imagine it'd much like 50oz (40oz revolver, two spare mags, cuffs, light, and all the rest), but it's pretty darned capable for "only" a 1.5" basic belt. I'd probably want a 1.75" belt at that point. Nicely, I don't do Clydesdale loads, myself. Looks pretty decent, IMO, as well, as compared to the Kramer, which was a bit more blue-collar (if you know what I mean). This one from Armour is a bit more dressy, though still functional looking.

    About the only thing I might suggest is the idea of a taper option, or perhaps the idea of adding another 1-2 holes per request. Didn't ask about those two things, myself. Didn't feel they were necessary this time around. If it comes to running out of holes, I'll ask at that point. And may I continue "shrinking" 'til I run out of holes. I think I'd be much less bummed about buying new belts each year than I imagine.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    I'm in a similar position! In a way I "hate" to buy new belts but I'm pleased that there's less of me! As for appearance, I do value looks to a degree but it's a rare time that my belt is visible anyways. Looks like this one would be more attractive than my BullhideBelts.com belt, though.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

  8. #8
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    Wow! Thank you very much guys for the kind words. Just FYI, Jerry is doing great and has taken up flying model airplanes now. I guess he has one with about a 6 foot wingspan. Armour belts is doing well and I am keeping up the same quality and service that Jerry provided as well. A huge thanks to those that have bought my product and have loved it. I have yet to hear someone not like the quality or the price. And so you know, if you ever need more holes, or something special I am just a email away and cater to everyone's specific needs. I have thought about the tapered belt but.....I'm not so sure on that...I like my Belts strong and stiff and I am afraid that might take away from it. But I never rule it out sometime I might try it. Thanks again for all the support!!!!

    Mike Bissell
    ccw9mm and ShooterGranny like this.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikedare View Post
    Just FYI, Jerry is doing great and has taken up flying model airplanes now. I guess he has one with about a 6 foot wingspan.
    I've got a couple of kites like that (~8ft+ span). In a stiff wind, the can lift you right up off the ground for a dozen yards. 20kt winds is about my limit ... I simply hate flying over fences without a plan.

    Glad to hear that Jerry's enjoying himself. When you see him puttering about on a mini replica B-29 with four lawnmower engines, you'll know he's going' off the deep end. Just watch for the tannerite bomb loads ...


    Armour belts is doing well and I am keeping up the same quality and service that Jerry provided as well. A huge thanks to those that have bought my product and have loved it. I have yet to hear someone not like the quality or the price. And so you know, if you ever need more holes, or something special I am just a email away and cater to everyone's specific needs. I have thought about the tapered belt but.....I'm not so sure on that...I like my Belts strong and stiff and I am afraid that might take away from it. But I never rule it out sometime I might try it. Thanks again for all the support!!!!
    Glad to have you on DefensiveCarry, Mike. Welcome aboard!

    One thing I should say: I never give "ringing" endorsements to anything that doesn't justify it. Wouldn't do that. Either something performs and meets spec, or not. But unless this thing splits in two over the next year, I'm sure I'll be back for more. One thing that The Incredible Shrinking Man has is a decent wardrobe budget. There are worse things.

    Keep up the great work.
    Mikedare likes this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    I've got a couple of kites like that (~8ft+ span). In a stiff wind, the can lift you right up off the ground for a dozen yards. 20kt winds is about my limit ... I simply hate flying over fences without a plan.

    Glad to hear that Jerry's enjoying himself. When you see him puttering about on a mini replica B-29 with four lawnmower engines, you'll know he's going' off the deep end. Just watch for the tannerite bomb loads ...




    Glad to have you on DefensiveCarry, Mike. Welcome aboard!

    One thing I should say: I never give "ringing" endorsements to anything that doesn't justify it. Wouldn't do that. Either something performs and meets spec, or not. But unless this thing splits in two over the next year, I'm sure I'll be back for more. One thing that The Incredible Shrinking Man has is a decent wardrobe budget. There are worse things.

    Keep up the great work.
    I thought about that as well....If he straps an engine to his back.... I'll intervene then. Thanks for having me on this forum. some of the forums are kinda hard to navigate. this one is laid out nice though. and If your belts turns to shreds you send them back and ill get you a new one. (I don't think that will happen, but never know)

  11. #11
    Member Array tn_sig's Avatar
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    Ordered mine. Can't wait to get my hands on it.
    Mikedare likes this.

  12. #12
    Member Array tn_sig's Avatar
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    Well I've had my belt for a couple of weeks now. I have to concur with Michael. Excellent quality and craftsmanship. This belt is top notch. The belt is incredibly thick and sturdy and does an excellent job hold up my firearms. This belt is much thicker than my 5 or 6 year old beltman belt. I also want to say Mike's customer service is top notch. Very prompt at responding to queries and is willing to do what it takes to make customers happy, even if a mistake was made by the customer :-). I would highly recommend his belts.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Well, it's official: I'm down to the last hole on the belt. Dang, and I just started using it.

    Mike, I'm gonna need to place another order, before too long.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Well, it's official: I'm down to the last hole on the belt. Dang, and I just started using it.

    Mike, I'm gonna need to place another order, before too long.
    I can always make you a longer one and just punch more holes in it too...
    ccw9mm likes this.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 6-month review, update -- Armour gun belt

    Just a few notes on the quality and suitability of my 1/2in Armour gun belt, after 6 months.

    Two thumbs up:

    Quality has been exceptional. Very capable and durable. Comfortable enough for easy daily wear. Has gradually adapted to my shape, with minor changes in curve and flex. Utterly capable as a daily near-duty belt that needs to look good. A bit of scuffing on the back/inside near the holes, due to my own fumbling with hitting the right hole with the buckle. Still looks as good as the day I got it.

    About the only downside I can think of is that I need another one ... about 7" smaller than the previous one. Gotta love "clean" livin'.
    ShooterGranny likes this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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