I own a Beltman horsehide and often carry my full sized all steel 1911 without issue. I've had the belt for over three years and it is as stiff as the day it was new. I have no doubt that I will get several more years of heavy use out of it.
It does not have the stiffener in it and I don't believe you need it unless you plan on carrying some kind of bat utility belt set up along with your gun.
I've owned some cheaper bull hide belts and there is no comparison to the Beltman. If you take care of it, I think you'll be very happy with horsehide without the stiffeners.
Besides, if the Beltman is telling you that you don't need them, he means it. When does any one not up sell when they can? I've never had McDonalds tell me that I don't need a super size Coke, have you? If the Beltman tells you that you don't need it, then you don't.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Last edited by Kreyzhorse; July 11, 2012 at 08:29 PM.