September 12 2023 – Rick Jorgenson
The Science Of A Concealed Carry Belt
You spent your hard earned money on the "gun of your dreams" or at least one you hope to appreciate and like! Now, it's time for a Holster (spending more cash) and then the Holster guy asks "what belt will you be using with your new Holster?"
Here are some tips to help you decide if...
#1, Do you need a "Belt Upgrade"?
#2, Why do I need a Heavier Duty Belt?
#3, Which type of Belt and build configuration should you consider?
Can I use the Belt I've been wearing?
This is a valid question, if it was purchased at a department store... probably not. Many of the designer type dress belts found in big retail stores and not "Full Grain Leather". They have leather in them but most are leather and plastic ground together and molded to look like leather.
Some even have "faux" stitching in the mold (not real thread). "But it looks thick", many have cardboard for a center filling to make it appear thicker.
If your lucky, the belt buckle holes won't tear (much) and having a belt so tight on your waist to keep your gear held up while training/shooting isn't very comfortable.
"This is a Great Belt... I've had this belt since the mid seventies, I bought it from a hippie that made them right there at a Grateful Dead Concert."
This statement was made to me in the summer of 2022! True story! (He had a new belt made to match his Holster! )
If the Belt you're using falls in this category you probably need a new belt! Even an "all leather" belt can wear out. Normally they are not very heavy/thick leather to start with (1/8" or so)
I've seen a 30 year old belt that started out to be 1 1/2" wide. The customer has worn it so much (and stretched it) it was now about 7/8" except for the ends!
Whats the difference? All new belts look great to me!
With a light weight belt you're going to need to "cinch up" tight to hold your new Holster, Gun and Mag Carrier to keep it from sagging, that belt will screaming!
This happens because the weight is not distributed evenly across the pants belt loops. The belt sags at the Holster belt slots from the weight you just put on it.
Over tightening a belt can cause hip and back pain sometimes immediately or later if it causes bruising.
Depending on what guns and gear you carry determines what type of belt you might choose.
What Should I Be Looking For In A Belt And What Are The Options?
For Lighter Guns...
If carrying something in the 6 to 10 oz. weight (loaded) a single layer Heavy Duty English Bridle Leather 1 1/2" wide and 3/16" to 1/4" thick (13 to 14 oz. Leather) will work well and can double as an "everyday" belt.
Most North American Arms Revolvers are in the 6 to 11 oz. range, some small frame .380's and 9mm's can be in this weight range.
For more "Robust" Guns...
For Larger, Heavier Guns... The Double Layer, Double Stitched Gun Belt is the way to go. Two layers of Veg-Tan Leather glued together and two rows of nylon stitching hold it all together. The multiple layers and glue create a "stiffness" similar to multiple layers of wood when they are laminated together.
This type of Gun Belt will support a Full Size 1911 and 3 Loaded Double Mag Carriers without needing to over tighten to hold it in position, hurting yourself, or straining the Belt beyond it's capabilities.
Our Gun Belts are available in 1 1/2" or 1 3/4" wide. Both are almost 1/4" thick when finished.
They are made from the same hides as your Holster so the Leather will "match". While you're thinking about it, add a Single or Double Mag Carrier so the whole rig will match!