Received holster/belt from HBE yesterday!

This is a discussion on Received holster/belt from HBE yesterday! within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It is really beautiful. No time to try to take photos today - will try to do that in the next few days. The black ...

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Thread: Received holster/belt from HBE yesterday!

  1. #1
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    Received holster/belt from HBE yesterday!

    It is really beautiful. No time to try to take photos today - will try to do that in the next few days. The black cherry is so dark, if I didn't know better - I would have thought it was black. Very happy with the color.

    Holster is for S&W 649 snub. Fits beautifully - but this is my first leather holster, so I don't have much experience to go on.

    The belt is really stiff - again, my first experience with any sort of gun belt.

    I am the one with the nerve disease in my shoulders - and I am not a very strong woman. Especially with my left hand. It is very weak. I can type, but have no strength to speak of. I am having great difficulty latching the belt. When I do get it latched, I almost could not get it off. I mean really difficult - next to impossible.

    Can I expect it to loosen up? Should I call Eric for advice? Hate to bother him for a dumb newbie question... I know I should not put anything on the holster to soften it, but how about on the belt? I am afraid if I wear it anywhere outside of the house, where I do have someone else living that could help me get out of the thing --- that I might have so much trouble unlatching it that I won't be able to get my jeans off to go to the bathroom!

    Thanks for any advice you can offer!! For right now, I don't think I will be wearing it to work this afternoon...

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalScream View Post
    It is really beautiful. No time to try to take photos today - will try to do that in the next few days. The black cherry is so dark, if I didn't know better - I would have thought it was black. Very happy with the color.

    Holster is for S&W 649 snub. Fits beautifully - but this is my first leather holster, so I don't have much experience to go on.

    The belt is really stiff - again, my first experience with any sort of gun belt.

    I am the one with the nerve disease in my shoulders - and I am not a very strong woman. Especially with my left hand. It is very weak. I can type, but have no strength to speak of. I am having great difficulty latching the belt. When I do get it latched, I almost could not get it off. I mean really difficult - next to impossible.

    Can I expect it to loosen up? Should I call Eric for advice? Hate to bother him for a dumb newbie question... I know I should not put anything on the holster to soften it, but how about on the belt? I am afraid if I wear it anywhere outside of the house, where I do have someone else living that could help me get out of the thing --- that I might have so much trouble unlatching it that I won't be able to get my jeans off to go to the bathroom!

    Thanks for any advice you can offer!! For right now, I don't think I will be wearing it to work this afternoon...
    Call Eric.
    Best,
    Jerry

  4. #3
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    I should say that I am 100% sure this issue is due to my weakness / handicap, and NOT due to the craftmanship or quality of the belt.... that is why I didn't want to bother Eric if it was just a matter of giving the belt time to break in....

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalScream View Post
    I should say that I am 100% sure this issue is due to my weakness / handicap, and NOT due to the craftmanship or quality of the belt.... that is why I didn't want to bother Eric if it was just a matter of giving the belt time to break in....
    It might be that Eric can help, or at least give you some advice. In this case I do not think he would consider himself bothered, and he might gain some information that would be useful to him in the future. Yours is not a routine problem he often faces I would assume.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    I have had a HBE belt for 1.5 years and it is stiff by design to properly support your weapon. They will loosen a little over time. You should not bend it past 90 degrees when you run it through the buckle as it will cause premature wear at that spot. Your snubby does not weigh that much and you may be able to get by with a thinner belt. How are you carrying it OWB/IWB? I'd call Eric. He's a great guy and will answer your Q's.

    I do have an off the wall idea for you. If you have a vise you could put the end of the belt in it, crank the vise tight (using something between the jaws and your belt to cause no damage to the belt) and let the vise do the work for you. Be careful with your stance if and when you try it. I had some old leather for protecting my old Beltman and just used the vise idea in the garage. It works.

    Best of luck Maam. Eric WILL help you out with your dilemma!
    Last edited by Sportsterguy; February 3rd, 2009 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Adition
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  7. #6
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    put a call in to Eric last night - waiting on his call back.

    I asked if I might put some sort of leather softener on the end of the belt where the holes are, or if the holes might be made a bit bigger.

    If there is no other option on his belt.... I am wondering if I could go to a Wilderness tactical belt - the one with the two rings. I might have better luck getting that one to work, since it does not have a standard belt buckle.

    Anyone have this type belt and could comment on how stiffly it "buckles" ???

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array T Bone's Avatar
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    The two ring Wilderness (I have the nylon "Frequent Flyer" version) is pretty easy. But I do not know the specifics of your strength limitations. It also will depend on how tight you want the belt. These need to be pulled to desired tightness. The standard Wilderness Instructor belt would probably also work as well for you (maybe even easier) as again there is no tang. Simply slips through and a slide moves against the webbing to lock it in place (and there is Velcro to hold the loose end).

    If you go with the Wilderness, get the five stitch model. It provides the lateral stiffness needed for firearm support. It is still quite flexible longitudinally.

    The Wilderness (either) would probably be easier to fasten than a leather belt. HTH.
    Regards, T Bone.


    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". Benjamin Franklin

  9. #8
    Member Array Spike32's Avatar
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    I have a couple of Beltman belts with the kydex insert, and they too, are quite stiff. They will get a little better over time, but will still take some work to get tightened up when putting them on. That stiffness is very important for comfortable wear, so I live with it. One way to make it a little easier to tighten is to use a flat buckle, like cowboys use. You can get one made that looks dressy, and you don't have to thread the belt through the buckle, just underneath it.
    You'll rock, with a 357 Glock

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    Well, My advice:

    It will naturally loosen over time. DON'T OIL OR TREAT IT. If you want to speed the process, perhaps you can do this one-handed, or have someone do it for you. I'd just sort of roll only that part where the holes are. Don't crease it, just flex it back and forth and that will give it more flex. I think you'll be fine once you get it loosened up a bit.

    Nate
    www.ubgholsters.com short wait times. Use 'defensivecarry' as a coupon code for a discount to your order.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalScream View Post
    put a call in to Eric last night - waiting on his call back.

    I asked if I might put some sort of leather softener on the end of the belt where the holes are, or if the holes might be made a bit bigger.

    If there is no other option on his belt.... I am wondering if I could go to a Wilderness tactical belt - the one with the two rings. I might have better luck getting that one to work, since it does not have a standard belt buckle.

    Anyone have this type belt and could comment on how stiffly it "buckles" ???

    All of us are very interested in the best solution to your problem, and Eric's suggestion when he answers. I recently sent him an email re belts. He got back with me in a couple of days, and he will answer you soon I think.

    Maybe you have thought about it, but I seem to remember seeing belts that close with Velcro. Here is one.
    Gun Belts by The Belt Man | tel. (919) 387-1997 | NO-BUCKLE BELTS

    Not sure if you could tighten it enough to stay tight with the Velcro.

    I have a couple of thick single layer belts that are satisfactory with light guns such as LW J- Frames and even my steel 640. You might consider trying one, but it must be thick. It will be much easier to thread and buckle than the double layer belts. I do not normally wear a double thick belt during an average day. When I go out I usually put on a light gun in a paddle holster. I have found the thick single layer belt to be satisfactory. Of course I am not carrying a steel 5 inch 1911.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I have had a few velcro "buckless" belts when I was an auto mechanic to avoid scratching the cars. They don't have a problem staying tight, and with today's quality velcro, it won't wear out anytime soon. It's a great option to go with in your situation. Some people don't like the look of a buckless belt, but in function, I think they are every bit as good as a regular belt.

    My pistol belt I'm using right now for my thigh rig is webbing and has a metal buckle it just threads through. I take it on/off a lot, so I stopped threading it through the buckle. I just loop it through and use the velcro, and it holds just fine with 2 full mags, a surefire, a leatherman, and an M9.
    -Ryan

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  13. #12
    Member Array PrimalScream's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great ideas!

    It is a J-frame, in stainless. The holster is OWB, with the slots the belt goes through. I have not managed to get the holster on the belt, and then get the belt on yet. I do not have an older belt to try it with - belts have not been "my thing" in the past. LOL. I had one I could put on to measure with, but it's really narrow and not suitable to use with the holster. More of a woman's fashion belt.

    The velcro belt may be the answer if Eric doesn't have a good suggestion. I think I would be able to pull it off with my better hand.

    I do have a good horse/Western store nearby - I can look there for a belt buckle. I have one from way back when I was involved with horses that has a little hook that sticks in the holes - but it is way to small for the belt. I think that was a good idea - if I can find one that's not a huge silver rodeo belt that may be a really good answer.

    Hopefully Eric will have an idea. I am wondering if making the holes extra large will do it, so that the bar or latch or what ever it is called will go in the hole easier.

    Thank you!

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Hi PrimalScream,

    I sometimes carry a J-Frame. One of mine is a M640 which is all steel. With a thick single thickness belt and a kydex or plastic paddle holster it carries OK. To double check that I am going to carry it some today with the set up I mentioned, and see if there is a problem.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Today I carried my 640 in a plastic Fobus paddle holster. My belt was a single thickness 1.5 inch that is not very stiff. I experienced no problem with the gun moving or pressing out from my body.

    I know the comments about the Fobus, but I have used them for at least 10 years without any problems.
    They are cheap, and if you don't find another solution soon consider trying one. You will not need a heavy belt with it, unless you are going to use a heavy gun, such as a steel 1911.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    I have a suggestion to you from a friend who has an extensive leathermaking background. Try rubbing in Mink Oil on both sides of the belt starting just behind the hole you will be using when you snug it up. It will not effect the stiffness on the rest of the belt where you really need the heavy duty leather to properly support that little revolver. Try a little at a time and it should soften the leather hopefully enough that you can use that great HBE belt.

    You never stated if you had a IWB or OWB holster. You might also consider going with a Quality Paddle holster that does not need the heftiness of a true gun belt. Desantis, G&G both make quality paddle holsters that may solve your problem. You could sell that HBE combo and come out with money in your pocket.

    Good luck. Roger out.
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