This is a discussion on Does your belt really matter??? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by pax Yes, it makes a huge difference in comfort, stability, and concealability. pax I agree with Pax. Biker...
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Cheap belt=Belt conforms to the holster
Gun belt=Holster conforms to the belt
It is not only a matter of thickness, but also layers. A single layer belt like most regular belts can start out stiff. Over time however they begin to stretch and that is when your gun starts to flop or lean away from your body. Gun belts are multiple layers to add stiffness and to prevent stretching.
I just received my Wilderness instructors belt (5 stitch) and it makes a huge difference. I am currently waiting on my belt I ordered from the Beltman. I am looking forward to getting it.
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The above words point out the difference between most Western belts and a good leather gun belt.
I've had some Western belts that seemed OK at first, and I wondered the the same thing as you, why get a gun belt? It took several months, but the Western belts did stretch...none of my gun belts have...Wilderness , Looper Leather
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Yes, I recently made the switch from a "regular" belt to a Galco "Cop Belt," and it did make a huge difference. Since the holster is pulled close in, I get much better concealment.
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Not sure what belt you have but as long as you get a good quality double layer belt that is stitched all the way around you should not have a problem. I wear a $30.00 belt from the local farm and ranch store that works just fine. The belt holds my pistol tight to my body with out the sag.
There seam to be two classes of belts on this forum. The cheap $5.00 Wal-Mart belt that most start out with and find to be junk and the very high priced "gun belt" that most of the guys that bought the Wal-Mart belt go to. Over looked is the Cowboy type belts in the mid price range.
As I see it Cowboys have been wearing belts for a long time and understand what makes a good belt we don't need to pay for the "gun belt" title attached to a leather belt.
I suggest getting one that has a plastic insert sewn inside. It keeps the belt nice and stiff and really holds your holster firmly and snug to your body.
On duty I carry my Beretta in an Aker holster that is very tightly boned, when I bought it I also bought a regular belt that felt very stiff so I thought it would be a good match. But because the holster held the gun so tight I could barely draw it because of the belt flexing. I ended up carrying in a looser holster for a while until I switched to a 5.11 gun belt with the insert. Now I can wear the Aker holster and have no trouble drawing from it because the new belt holds it so securely, the gun comes free because the holster and belt don't move.
Big difference. Much more comfortable and easy to conceal.
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Some non-gun-specific belts will indeed work fine. I bought a non-gun-specific elephant leather dress belt at a western wear store, that has become one of my favorites for toting firearms. It is elephant on the outside, and cowhide on the inside, and though each layer is quite thin, the double-layer construction makes it stiff in the direction that counts, even though it is quite pliable in the direction that makes it superbly comfortable.
A big factor is the type of holster and the pants. IWB rigs, worn with pants made of sturdy fabric, may not need a very stiff belt for everything to work well.
Body type is important, too. The more one's body deviates from vertical and firm at the point where the holster is worn, the more importance a sturdy, stiff belt becomes.
It usually makes a big difference for me.
The heavier the gun the more it matters. My LCP doesn't seem to care. My all steel J-frame 640 sags a bit with a regular belt.
I wear fairly thin 1 1/4" belts with dress slacks. 1 1/2" belts may make a difference.
I sometimes wear OWB with an IWB holster (between the slacks and the belt). It depends on the tightness of the particular slacks I choose that day. I can wear OWB this way almost as well as completely IWB because my guns all have very short barrels. I like the belt to hold the holster in tight. The gunbelts do it better than the regular dress belts I have.
I use a kydex insert type belt from Loopers. About $40. That's cheap enough that I can afford one in black and one in brown.
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Def worth the money...when you see a holster on a gun belt and it stays upright and does not fall over when off of the pants....that is rigid and supportive.
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