Belts

This is a discussion on Belts within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I seem to see alot of threads pertaining to who's who in the world of belts. Manufacturer or supplier names are often mentioned. Me? I ...

View Poll Results: Leather belts for CCW repertoire

Voters
104. You may not vote on this poll
  • I buy leather belts from a source that's listed on the stock market

    0 0%
  • I buy leather belts only from manufacturers mentioned in these forums

    45 43.27%
  • I believe it's my duty to support a vendor because of their connection with the site

    7 6.73%
  • My belt aint genuine leather unless it's got some well-known brand name

    2 1.92%
  • I'd rather pay five times as much for my belt, because I'm supporting someone interested in my second amendment rights

    11 10.58%
  • Leather aint leather unless you get it off the internet

    2 1.92%
  • Genuine leather is leather no matter how you slice it

    23 22.12%
  • I've spent more than enough on my carry rigs, and a leather belt is a leather belt

    14 13.46%
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Thread: Belts

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Belts

    I seem to see alot of threads pertaining to who's who in the world of belts. Manufacturer or supplier names are often mentioned. Me? I like real leather. I actually looked at a couple of potential carry belts today at JCPenney! $9.99 I found the one I wanted, but alas---only in 36", and 42". I'll take a 38" thank you. So---this brings me to my question--(and poll)--why does anyone pay outrageous prices for some leather belt of a specific dimension, from a holster manufacturer when you could find an almost seemingly endless resource in your own community? Genuine leather is not good enough? Don't want to pay anything less than a dollar per inch? Must have some well-known 'tactical' name on the inside where no-one can see? What makes you want to spend an exorbitant amount on the belt?

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  3. #2
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    I just want quality craftsmanship and quality leather so I pay what I must to get it!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

  4. #3
    Member Array myusername's Avatar
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    Its not just a strip of leather. The ones I have are two strips of thick leather sewn together very strongly. They do not flex when twisted and can support more stuff than I'll ever carry. I have yet to find anything like it in a department store. Even the thicker belts at the western stores aren't as strong as a good gunbelt.

  5. #4
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    I said someone mentioned on the forum, but it was me that mentioned it. I buy leather belts only from Looper Leather. You can buy online, but I buy from their store in Oklahoma City.

    As for non-leather, it is Wilderness belts.
    "The only people I like besides my wife and children are Marines."
    - Lt. Col. Oliver North

  6. #5
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    Actually, you would THINK that leather is leather...and it is.
    But, when you really start to get to know leather...beginning at the hide then you realize how much variation there is in leather & MUCH depends on where it's taken from on the hide.
    There are also huge differences in the density and compactness of leather from different tanneries.
    The age of the animal, the quality of the tanning and finishing process & the list goes on.
    Also the strength and tenacity of the leather is in the top grain.
    Most good gun belts are not one strip of thicker leather.
    They are made up of two thinner top grain strips cemented Flesh to Flesh and then additionally Lock~Stitched together.
    Before even beginning to do the construction the Maker needs TWO high quality top grains and that means double the "highest quality material cost" right off the bat.
    Also the reality is that you can only cut so many BEST QUALITY belt strips from one hide.
    That is because the closer you get to the BELLY the LESS suitable the leather becomes for holster or belt applications.
    The direction that the strips are cut is also critical or you will have a stretchy belt.
    The strips cannot be cut from the back to the belly because that will give you a crappy gun belt.
    Now and hopefully you can see how a BEST quality Gun-Belt is more than just a leather belt.
    Especially in how long they will last and how long they will continue to properly support a full size full weight firearm.
    Now add the hand finishing - the careful edge dyeing and edge finishing - & the final overall hand finish on the belt and the cost starts to stack up.
    The buckles should also be either solid brass or Nickel Silver or some quality material that is NOT Plated Pot Metal or Zinc Die Cast which can give you a very embarrassing and inopportune break when you are carrying a firearm.
    Are best quality gun-belts worth the extra cost? I think they are. They are every bit AS IMPORTANT as the holster.
    They are probably LESS important if you are carrying a smaller .380 OWB but, for sure if you intend to pack a full weight serious Self~Defensive firearm in a proper fashion a good belt is a must.
    Even MORE important if you are carrying in a rig that places a full size/full weight firearm higher up on the belt because you never want your rig flipping down on you.
    With a cheap belt you'll need cinch up the belt overly tight. A BEST quality gun belt distributes the weight of the firearm (and possible accouterments) on the belt which can structurally handle the gun weight and so the belt can be worn less tight....allowing you to do things like go out and eat a good dinner without constricting your intestines.
    You will never fully appreciate having a high quality GUN Belt until you buy one.
    Just my personal somewhat educated opinion that gun belts really are worth the price.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  7. #6
    Member Array dropped_71chevy's Avatar
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    Where's the poll option about how a quality gun belt is the best way to go? I didn't buy a quality belt because I was trying to support a vendor nor was it my attempt to be a snob. I bought one because, on the advice of the good folks here, I realized that it was the best decision that I could make.

    I went with a belt from the vendor that made my holster and magazine holder.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Pitmaster's Avatar
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    I had to make a small adjustment to the truth of my leather belt purchasing. I prefer to buy quality gun belts and have purchased two belts in different colors. I also buy extra snaps to match the belts for my IWB holster. I have purchased my holster and belts from Black Hills Leather who leans more towards cowboy shooting but does great work.
    Pitmaster

    HELGA: Where are you going?
    HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
    HELGA: Then why take all those weapons?
    HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    I actually looked at a couple of potential carry belts today at JCPenney! $9.99
    Great. I have yet to find a decent carry belt at any strip-mall department store. Not to say they don't exist. They just don't exist near me frequently enough for me to have ever seen them, in 16yrs of looking.

    I found the one I wanted, but alas---only in 36", and 42". I'll take a 38" thank you. So---this brings me to my question--(and poll)--why does anyone pay outrageous prices for some leather belt of a specific dimension, from a holster manufacturer when you could find an almost seemingly endless resource in your own community?
    Availability. That's a pretty simple factor. No amount of wishing's going to make a sub-par belt for any amount of money stand up to the duty. Sizing, for another. No belt that's 6" too long or shot is going to help me much, though a long belt can be shortened for ... well, more than $9.99, but significantly less than an "exhobitant" price, if a sufficient belt could be found.

    Genuine leather is not good enough?
    If it's formed into a purposeful belt, sure.

    Don't want to pay anything less than a dollar per inch?
    Price has nothing to do with it. Who wouldn't want to spend less, assuming availability, sufficiency an durability? But without those factors, the price is irrelevant.

    What makes you want to spend an exorbitant amount on the belt?
    All of the above.
    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, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    I agree with QK completely, until you've tried a true, top quality gun belt you'll never realize how much difference there really is - or how much department store belts suck for supporting a carry rig. Are good belts worth the $75 to $100 or more? Absolutely!
    Jack

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Pitmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean3 View Post
    I agree with QK completely, until you've tried a true, top quality gun belt you'll never realize how much difference there really is - or how much department store belts suck for supporting a carry rig. Are good belts worth the $75 to $100 or more? Absolutely!
    Jack
    I've been described as rather rotund more than once. I used to buy my belts at Casual Male/Big & Tall. They stretched and wouldn't last that long and I would pay $30+ for them. Since I bought a couple of gun belts at twice the price I find they work better and last longer making them a better purchase in the long run. I would rather have a custom gun belt than any regular commercial belt.
    Pitmaster

    HELGA: Where are you going?
    HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
    HELGA: Then why take all those weapons?
    HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Wow! Consider myself educated. It's too late to amend my Christmas wish list, but if Uncle Sam sees fit to return some of that money I loaned him over the past year--I know what it will be used for! I will however check locally, and there is a Police equipment shop near me. http://www.nexport.com/company.cfm?c...AYETTEVILLE_AR
    I guess my last question would be---so aren't you then more 'identifiable' as a person who is 'carrying' with that top quality "gun belt"?

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    I had a couple of custom belts made to order the last time the wife and I visited Mexico. Excellent hand work and top quality belts for a reasonable price. It took about 3 weeks to get them, but it was worth the wait.

  14. #13
    JEC
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    The foundation for being comfortable carrying a large frame pistol is definitely a well made belt.
    I will pay a premium to get the best belt I can find that meets this requirement.
    I have purchased from Calco in the past and have not found another brand that beats their product.

    Jack

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    I guess my last question would be---so aren't you then more 'identifiable' as a person who is 'carrying' with that top quality "gun belt"?
    A 1.75" to 2" waffle weave Bianchi or Galco meant for on-duty LEO's is a "gun" belt.

    By comparison a good belt with none of the visual cues can still be suffiently durable and sturdy for the task of carrying a single holstered gun.

    A good belt need not look like a "gun" belt. Yes, it needs to be wide enough to get the job done. A 1" wide belt simply isn't enough. Some go as low as 1.25" and find them sufficient. For myself, I find 1.5" wide belts do the job admirably. Yes, it also needs to be stiff enough to get the job done. Some makers do this via selection of the leather, some via thickness, by via the number of layers, some with a stiffer insert between the layers, and some with all of the above.

    As for looks if the edges, sewing and finish are managed in a subtle, simple way, you can end up with durability, suitability to task and with a belt that looks like any other belt, just a bit wider. And with a good taper up front, the frontal view folks will see when you're carrying doesn't look any different than a "normal" belt.

    I've had a couple/three different belts over the past 15yrs, none of which had a taper, and all of which were 1.5" wide, very stiff, and a bit uncomfortable to wear. The past few months, I've been wearing a pair of BeltMan belts, both double bull hide, 1.5" wide, with taper. Night and day difference, in terms of looks and comfort, and these are just as capable at carrying ~40oz of full-size firearm and gear. Though the looks will fade a bit if used heavily over the years, I fully expect these two to last 10yrs or so, the way they're resisting deformation and holding up to daily use. Worth $110 each? I think so. My previous Kramer belt was great, but uncomfortable, so that the $140 over 10yrs of occasional use didn't seem such a value. By comparison, 2x$110 over 10yrs of constant, comfortable use seems like a bargain.

    As for the poll choices, my choice is: none of the above. I purchase a belt based on function, durability and fit. Doesn't matter who makes it, where it comes from, or (when it comes down to it), price. So long as it works properly and is comfortable, it's a value. It's the difference between helping the holstered gun disappear and having be, literally, a pain to carry.

    My $0.02.
    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, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  16. #15
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Although all my belts are not leather...nothing beats a great belt like a 'firm' leather belt...just as a good leather holster...both are important.

    Quality counts...and that's what you pay for!

    Stay armed...with good leather...stay safe!
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    NRA Life Member[/B]

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