The Nitty-Gritty of CCW Belts

The Nitty-Gritty of CCW Belts

This is a discussion on The Nitty-Gritty of CCW Belts within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I tip my hat to defensivecarry.com user "muddy" for having a good idea. In the post labeled "How About a Belt Test," muddy proposed a ...

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Thread: The Nitty-Gritty of CCW Belts

  1. #1
    Member Array Czampion's Avatar
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    Lightbulb The Nitty-Gritty of CCW Belts

    I tip my hat to defensivecarry.com user "muddy" for having a good idea. In the post labeled "How About a Belt test," muddy proposed a longitudinal study of how different CCW belts perform under the stresses of real life.

    What criteria will we choose when selecting a belt for daily carry? What options offer the most longevity or the best value for our needs? That's what I'd like to clarify.

    Let's begin with an example. This is a "Rock Steady" 1 1/4" reinforced, cowhide belt made per my instructions 3 years ago. I have worn this belt darn near 365 days per year both with and without a weapon, light, mag pouches and knife attached.

    No chemicals have been used to treat the leather or dark the brass. This belt hasn't even been cleaned with mild soap and water. It is, quite simply, a workhorse belt. Here are the areas of wear I should draw attention to.

    #1: Buckle Joint. This is where the belt is creased by the top of the buckle. Note the uneven surface wear caused by wearing the belt IWB & OWB (different holes used). Also not the effects of a semi-rounded buckle on the edges of the belt.


    #2: Thread Wear. Note the fraying to the stitching on the inside edge of the belt end and the edge detail -two very well blended strips of cowhide.


    #3: Hardware & Internals. Note the quality of fastners, buckle and keeper. This buckle's made in Taiwan.


    #4. Stitching & Finish. What quality of thread is used? How well does the stitching blend with the belt surface? How has surface wear affected the quality of finish on the belt?


    #5. Hardware Finish. How do the buckle and keeper look after long-term regular use?


    #6. Thickness. How does this belt compare to lower priced models. (The second belt is my first CCW belt, also 1 1/4" though only $35 at a local Sears department store.)

    And...


    Please share your thoughts about and images of your belts so others can benefit from your experience. I will soon be the owner of a $180 shark belt from The Beltman and will post some pics of the new belt as well.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array redbird's Avatar
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    There is quite a difference in a quality gun belt and a department store mass produced belt. I only use good quality gun belts now. They sure make a difference.
    thanks for posting the pictures.

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    Member Array Stormtruck2's Avatar
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    Talking

    Thanks for the pics and data on your belt. You stated that you are getting a new shark belt from belt man. Question that I have is, how does one type of leather differ from another in wear? Does steer hide last better than cow hide, elephant, shark, or some other hide. A steer hide belt from belt man is $79, while a shark is $180. What do I gain from the difference in price? Looks, or is there a difference in durability and support when wearing? I'll be buying my first gun belt from beltman soon so these are some of the questions that I have.
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    Member Array CRags99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormtruck2 View Post
    Thanks for the pics and data on your belt. You stated that you are getting a new shark belt from belt man. Question that I have is, how does one type of leather differ from another in wear? Does steer hide last better than cow hide, elephant, shark, or some other hide. A steer hide belt from belt man is $79, while a shark is $180. What do I gain from the difference in price? Looks, or is there a difference in durability and support when wearing? I'll be buying my first gun belt from beltman soon so these are some of the questions that I have.
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    Member Array Czampion's Avatar
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    Unfortunately all I have is the maker's word on shark being "...up to 25 times tougher than cow hide (according to the Discovery Channel)" Frankly I'm getting the belt because it looks great! I did notice that the reinforcement layer was included in the price on this belt so maybe strentgh (or stretch?) would be an issue with shark on bullhide, as they make the belt.

    If you're not so impressed with the look of shark skin, get the bullhide belt (or horse which is REALLY stiffer. $180 alot of cash to spend on a belt for aesthetics, but I really like the way it looks. As for the shark, I'll give you my impressions when it arrives.

  6. #6
    kpw
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    I just bought my first shark belt from Eric at HBE. I've always heard of the abrasion and scuff resistance that shark has. That and I just really like the look were the reasons I bought one. I've also heard it doesn't stretch as easy as leather but I don't know that for fact. It is not as stiff as my all leather gunbelts and it is a bit more flexible although I haven't had any rolling or sagging issues with it. It was never intended to be an everyday carry belt for me so I don't really know how long it will hold up. I'm betting a decade or two, easily. If I were looking for a shark belt for everyday carry, I would probably prefer a stiffener in it but that's just me. I like stiff belts.
    The problem with a belt test for me is that I wear any one of 6-7 belts, daily. The tend to last longer than my waist size.
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    Member Array Czampion's Avatar
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    kpw -do you have the technology to show us some pics of the shark belt? I'd love to see Eric's work. I will shortly be in posession of one of his DC Tuckable holsters w/ shark trim. This is partly why I'm getting a shark belt in the first place. Is it two layers of shark? Shark on leather??

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