Weight, carry options and gear

This is a discussion on Weight, carry options and gear within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This discussion is drawing upon a rather unique point of view. In the last 5 1/2 months I have lost 70 pounds voluntarily and this ...

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Thread: Weight, carry options and gear

  1. #1
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    Weight, carry options and gear

    This discussion is drawing upon a rather unique point of view. In the last 5 1/2 months I have lost 70 pounds voluntarily and this week I am no longer considered to be overweight by this set of standards. Ideal Body Weight Calculator - HealthCentral.com The reason I put on the weight was part issues from old injuries, but mostly because I became an undisciplined and lazy turd over the last 5 years. This isn't going to be a discussion on how I lost the weight, rather a discussion on gear, and the ability to conceal carry from my unique point of view of across a broad spectrum of weight.

    As a frame of reference: My body type is of the large frame, short legged, long torso and I have an ass. I carry my weight evenly distributed throughout my body and put on a belly as I get fatter. If you are of the "John Wayne" type, i.e. long legs, belly and no ass, then this may not apply to you.

    TROUSERS

    IWB
    If you are going to carry IWB, fitment of your trousers is very important. To comfortable carry IWB when you are heavy, you need an extra 2" in the waist or at least two fingers of slop between a RELAXED belly and the waist of the trousers. In the alternative and which I found even better was to get the "comfort fit" wranglers or expandable waist trousers. As you drop weight that requirement doesn't change much until you get down to the normal range, then it becomes imperative to have the extra room.....you just no longer have belly cushion to absorb the extra stuff tucked into your trousers, but then you run into the problem of saggy material in the butt and legs in the trousers.
    OWB
    While heavy when you carry OWB you will want your trousers to fit perfectly...You are going to be cinching your belt up to provide extra support and a too large trouser will bunch up and be uncomfortable. As you drop weight that becomes less critical as you do not have to cinch your belt up to compensate for lack of support because of the looseness of the flab around your belly. I found it is easy to carry OWB skinnier rather than heavier, given proper fit of clothing

    BELTS

    IWB/OWB
    The skinnier you become the more critical the fitment of your belts become. Buy your belts SHORT when you are heavy because you will be cinching them up so that weapon is adequately supported. Bullhide belts need to be 5" longer than your trouser size (they run small) and Beltman belts need to be 4" longer than you pants size (they run true). When you are heavier and if you carry OWB skinny a QUALITY heavy-duty belt is a MUST. If you don't, the belt will roll and sag on you causing you to constantly hitch your belt to keep it in place. Remember the difference in trouser size when ordering your belt for IWB/versus OWB. The skinnier you are, the less critical belt size becomes and the closer to the maker's recommended size you can use and shoot for the middle hole in the belt, that way you can use it for IWB and OWB.

    COMFORT/CONCEALABILITY

    IWB
    Given you are wearing the right size trousers and belt, I found that IWB was more comfortable the heavier I was. It did require me to wear my holster back around the 5 o'clock position because of fat roll and I have a real nice hiding gap in the back. It also prevented by belt/trousers from sagging. Skinnier, I had to start moving it up to 4 to 4:30 to keep my trousers from falling off and to be able to conceal it better.
    OWB
    I really didn't like OWB, except for crossdraw when I was heavy. Hard to conceal and uncomfortable. Skinny however it becomes a more viable option. I have transitioned to more OWB carry as my trouser fitment in the ass and legs is very loose if I get 2" bigger trousers for IWB and at the 4:30 position a good OWB pancake seems to conceal well

    CONCLUSION

    Well, just some observations I have made over the last six months. Buying new trousers hasn't been costly, but damn, the cost of belts during the change was the cost of a nice new sidearm. I have a whole closet of belts that vary up to 6 inches shorter now to when I started. While you may have a different perspective, mine is recent on the broad spectrum and it may help those on both ends. As you can see from my experience, the issues change depending on whether you are heavy or skinny.
    Last edited by Chorizo; July 19th, 2014 at 03:18 PM.
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  3. #2
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    If you are going to loose weight and want to keep one belt in the process, you need a belt and buckle system with holes in the belt. If you go instructor type belt during the transition, you will spend a boatload of money.
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    No, that is incorrect. I use a belt and buckle system on all my belts. When you lose 70 pounds and 6 inches in the waist, you have to buy new belts. In a 7 hole belt with 3/4" between holes 6 holes is 4.5 inches. If you start with a properly fitting belt, you only have 2" of shrink before you need a new belt.

    If you want to lose 10 pounds and an inch or two, then you don't need a new belt.
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    Congratulations Chorizo! I am also built like you and have lost 34 pounds recently. I have twenty-five year old brown and black belts that have a buckle with two prongs and with two holes the entire length of the belts. The overlap is getting really long. I always carry a 5" 1911 @ 3:00 with a spare magazine @ 9:00 on my belt covered by an un-tucked shirt. The only issue I have found is the size of front pockets. I also pocket carry a BUG. With four inch larger waist size pants, the pockets were always large enough. As I get smaller pants, I have to pay more attention to the size of the pockets especially for the SA XDs-45.
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    When I first started to lose the weight, the pockets were an issue. Now, as I start to stabilize I find I have too much room in the pockets/ass and legs. I suspect that that may be a personal issue, unique to each persons body type and form.

    I went for a walk this morning in the countryside and took my new Sig M11-A1 in an OWB and even as heavy as it is, it carried well in a cheap pancake holster at 4:30. I have ordered a Pheatos from Nate at UBG to carry OWB and it will be even better!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chorizo View Post
    This discussion is drawing upon a rather unique point of view. In the last 5 1/2 months I have lost 70 pounds voluntarily and this week I am no longer considered to be overweight by this set of standards. Ideal Body Weight Calculator - HealthCentral.com The reason I put on the weight was part issues from old injuries, but mostly because I became an undisciplined and lazy turd over the last 5 years. This isn't going to be a discussion on how I lost the weight, rather a discussion on gear, and the ability to conceal carry from my unique point of view of across a broad spectrum of weight.
    Nicely done!

    Now we need a separate thread on how a lazy turd can drop 70 pounds voluntarily!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Nicely done!
    Now we need a separate thread on how a lazy turd can drop 70 pounds voluntarily!
    Thank you.

    Link is below how I did it. I had blood work done for my annual VA physical in June and it was all perfect and in the middle of acceptable ranges...that wasn't so when I started, so the diet works on several levels.

    Ruling the Keto Diet & Getting in Shape ? Guides | Recipes | Tips
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    After my heart attack four years ago I managed to gain around 20 extra pounds. I was between jean/pant sizes so I squeezed me and my belly into the 34's I still wear.

    I've lost ten of those pounds and I'll lose the rest of it before Oktoberfest.

    My IWB holsters/firearms are already fitting better and not so tight. Already can pull the belt two notches tigher than before and I'm working on the next two notches.

    No more sweet tea, ice cream, or candy for me.
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    Can't you take one of those really good quality belts to a shoe repair shop and have them cut it down and make new holes in it for you? Seems like that would be doable and save the cost of having to buy several new and expensive belts while "your body is transitioning to its new shape and size."

    Gramps and I have have both had holsters modified, recut, retention straps added, etc. for a fraction of the price of what a new one would cost. Should be easier to modify a belt............just a thought......

    AND, congratulations, Chorizo, on the new and healthier you. Stay that way for ever and ever, amen.
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    I have stitching in mine and it is tough to do the mods with that. I'll just save them for when I wear long heavy underwear or heavy wool trousers and long underwear.

    I can do the leather work myself...I make holsters and chaps, but it did my heart good to buy a new belt to measure up to my old ones.

    I have bought 8 belts. 2 each brown in dress (1 1/4 ") and jean (1 1/2") and 2 each black in dress and jean, in the middle transition weight and in the final weight (I bought the final weight 1" small as I am going to loose 10 more pounds to put me dead center in the ideal weight category). I have found that using belts is a much better metric for weight and size than pants.

    Yep, Granny, I was out hunting last winter and said to myself I am either too old or too fat to be doing this. I looked in the mirror and thought, well I can't do anything about being too old, but I sure the hell can do something about the fat.

    This wasn't to spout off about weight loss...but thank you all for the kind words and LimaCharlie and WunderNine keep it up and let me know if your experience varies.
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    Congrats, Chorizo! My wife and I started dieting/exercising about a month ago. I specifically want to lose weight so AIWB is more comfy. I've lost 12 and have about 30-35 to go. Great write up!
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    Congratulations!! I'm ashamed to say at 5' 6", I got up to 267. Now at 205 thanks to my wife, weight watchers and you fit gym. I am 55 an ran my 1st 5k race on the 4th of July. Now I at least look in proportion for my height.
    Keep up the great work!
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    I figured out how to shorten my gun belts without ruining the stitching at the tip. What you do is to take the buckle end and shorten it by cutting a new slot for the buckle hasp and then punching new holes for the retaining screws. Some of the older bullhide belts are "skivved" (thinned) at the buckle end, newer ones are not. You still have to cut the threads, but it is where you can't see it and by putting super glue in the thread holes in the final inch or so, the thread will not come unraveled.

    These belts were shortened 6 inches. As Bullhide belts run short by 2", they fit a 36" set of pants perfectly with the alignment coming to the middle hole with an IWB.

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    That is how I have done my belts for years. Some had a sewn on buckle, but a Leather Punch (Pliers-type) has 5 hole size options and allowed me to replace buckles with 2 Chicago Screws (like pic above). Any holes needed for the buckle prong was easily made with the leather punch.
    I secured any loose threads with shoe "GOOP" (lasts forever). never really cared how many adjustment holes my belt had.

    Myself, I prefer the horse/bull hide belts without the stitching, when I can find them. I am the John Wayne type build, small butt & weight goes to belly... suspenders are a part of my carry life. 6'5" & 295 lbs, AFTER losing 40+ pounds... another 30lbs would be my ideal weight. Could happen.
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    Congrats Chorizo! I have lost 45 pounds in the last year. It totally changed my carry. I used to need a pair of suspenders to keep my pants up. With or without a gun. I haven't put on a pair in about 6 months.

    I now can carry my Glock 23 and my Shield using OWB holsters. I never could do that before. It looked I had a backpack stuck to my side. I still use my IWB holsters, but the point is I don't have to. I also can carry my spare mag in a mag holder instead of my pocket.

    I have gone from a 44 waist pants down to a loose fitting 38. That wasn't too bad. I'm not a clothes horse so I only bought one pair of jeans at a time. The belt thing had me wondering though. I use 511 casual belts. I have two of them and they wear like iron. At my highest weight (262) I had to use a buckle that actually extended the length of the belt. Just to be able to get it buckled with an IWB holster. Noe I'm in the last hole and was wondering how long before I had to buy a new belt. Your belt adjustment is gonna save me some time and money! Thanks. I never would have thought of cutting it off the buckle end! It's a DUH moment!
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