How does a gun belt increase support?

This is a discussion on How does a gun belt increase support? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm new to carrying, so I'm trying to make it as comfortable as possible. With my Alien Gear Holster and my Holster Store Pro Carry ...

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Thread: How does a gun belt increase support?

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    Member Array haldermand's Avatar
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    How does a gun belt increase support?

    I'm new to carrying, so I'm trying to make it as comfortable as possible. With my Alien Gear Holster and my Holster Store Pro Carry HD, my Ruger SR1911 CMD is pretty comfortable. How much help would a gun belt be? I guess I don't understand what makes it more supportive, so I'd appreciate if you filled me in. Thanks!
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    A good stiff gun belt takes the sag out of the guns weight and distributes it more evenly across the waist, thereby reducing the felt weight of the gun.
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    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    A gun belt is usually much stiffer than a normal belt. That stiffness holds the weapon tighter to your body. With the weight of your 1911, you will notice a difference in the amount of unwanted movement.
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    When I first got my CCL I used a 1.75" belt I already had. It was wide but soft & supple. I can still see where the holstered pistol stretched it. The rig was constantly bouncing when I walked & was uncomfortable. I finally bought a thicker stiffer leather belt which helped a lot & now I have a 5.11 Operator reinforced with a stiffener. A vast improvement. I'm starting to think about getting the 5.11 Double Duty TDU 1.5" belt - not reinforced like the Operator with the nylon insert stiffener but "five rows of stitching for stability" - to give me more choices in holster selections. The 1.75" belt limits me.
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    What is a Holster Store Pro Carry HD? Is it a belt? It may already be a stiff belt and, if so, a different belt may make no difference. If not. then as mentioned above, the added stiffness of a good gunbelt will keep your holster/gun upright, distribute weight more evenly and keep everything snug and tight when you draw the weapon. It's just better than a flimsy belt of any other kind.
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    Senior Member Array Chad0724's Avatar
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    i never have an issue of my pants falling down but when i go to draw it pulls my pants way up:( I gotta hold my belt to keep it down.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haldermand View Post
    How does a gun belt increase support? How much help would a gun belt be? I guess I don't understand what makes it more supportive ...
    Having a belt versus no belt at all?

    Well, just based on weight alone, putting something onto the pants that help pull them lower is one of the things corrected by having a belt. Depends on a person's basic shape and the fit of that pair, of course, but generally speaking a belt helps avoid that impact.

    And a good belt, a "gun" belt, one designed to handle ~40oz loads, daily carry for years? IMO, at least on my frame, it makes a very noticeable difference in terms of overall comfort, retaining the initial positioning (without moving around or sagging). With a good belt, I also find that one that's wide and firm enough helps to redistribute and balance the load across my hips and waist in a way that a lesser belt can't quite match. Helps with consistent draw, as well.

    As for going without a belt at all, I'd say it'll boost the risk of losing the holster's position along the waist. Myself, if a situation arose I would want to ensure the gun was in the right spot for an effective draw. The last thing I want is something like so-called "Mexican" (holster-less) carry in which the gun has migrated elsewhere, dropped out of the pants, shifted badly so my draw is inhibited.

    Can't say that this applies to every body shape and cut of pants, as many people might well find a decent belt (or even a belt at all) simply isn't required to get a fair measure of support. But, for me it makes a difference in these ways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    A good stiff gun belt takes the sag out of the guns weight and distributes it more evenly across the waist, thereby reducing the felt weight of the gun.
    ^ This. Plus a sturdy belt will hold your firearm vertically, where a weak one will twist, allowing the grip to sag outward. The only way to compensate for a flimsy belt is to cinch it down, which quickly becomes uncomfortable. I suspect that many folks who carry "smaller and lighter" never gave a good gun belt a chance. You'll swear your 1911 got a few ounces lighter once it's carried on a proper belt.
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    Member Array luke213's Avatar
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    I agree the heavier the gun the more it will typically benefit from a good gun belt. Also the higher riding the holster the more pronounced the effect can be as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robhic View Post
    What is a Holster Store Pro Carry HD? Is it a belt? It may already be a stiff belt and, if so, a different belt may make no difference. If not. then as mentioned above, the added stiffness of a good gunbelt will keep your holster/gun upright, distribute weight more evenly and keep everything snug and tight when you draw the weapon. It's just better than a flimsy belt of any other kind.
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    Member Array cb619's Avatar
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    A good gun belt can be like night and day. I have a 5.11 (5.11 Tactical Basketweave Leather Belt | Official 5.11 Site) with their permastiff inserts. It was only like $40. I noticed that it allows me to carry without having to have the belt cinched super tight as the it distributes the weight of the gun over more area than a traditional belt. Some people only use gunbelts with "heavy" guns but I use mine with my M&P Shield and find that it provides a lot more comfort than a regular belt.

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    Get a good belt. Don't fight it. Spend the money. Go with the collective wisdom of the forum, shooters around the world and shooters over the span of time. Just do it. I like my Crossbreed belt: Gun Belt | CrossBreed® Holsters - Gun Belts but there are a ton of good belts out there that will serve its/your purpose (just like there are a ton of good holsters, firearms, etc). Good luck!
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    Biggest difference I saw when I switched to a proper gun belt was how much it helped the draw. My original belt was a good quality leather belt that supported the weight well, but was flimsy enough that when I would try to draw it would twist toward my side and almost lock my gun down. This was with a White Hat Max tuck and a Sig P250. Got a belt from White hat and never had another problem.
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    I cant tell you all the benefits of good, intensive, training, but sorting out gear, is one of them. Tactical Response says something like "You might well save more than the cost of the course in proper weapon selection". And I agree with them on that, and also in terms of gear.

    For their courses, they have an equipment list, and you either rent gear, or show up with the gear & weapon/s required. One of the things on the list is a proper gun belt. Obviously a proper holster is there as well.

    After such a course, you leave with more ideas on what works, and what doesnt. As well as what most use, and why.

    I left that course not only with new ideas on training, & practice, but also with new ideas on gear, and what to buy, and what to avoid. It may sound a minor point, but I consider it a big deal. Certainly as much as all this stuff costs, and considering that most of us, when we first get into it all, have no idea what are good brands, what to buy, what to avoid, etc.

    Oh, MEASURE YOUR BELT LOOPS! It doesnt do any good to have the bestest gun belt out there, if it wont fit your pants, lol.
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    Member Array GaugedFreak's Avatar
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    I have a Wilderness Tactical Instructor and a 5.11 Instructor belt, both appear to be a 5 stitch design in 1.5 inch. The WT seems to be a tad more sturdy, but 5.11 is a little easier to find locally so you can try them on without worrying about getting the wrong size. Both belts work great, you can't really go wrong with either. A good sturdy belt makes a huge difference, it stays tight through out the day and reduces sagging/stretching under the weight of the gun.

    I've found that the Instructor style best work best because you don't have to worry about being between holes, and can get the fitment just right.

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