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Old February 19, 2000, 07:01 AM   #1
Don Parsley
Join Date: January 27, 2000
Posts: 17
I need some opinions on what is the best gun belt for concealed carry. I have looked at Kramer,Alessi,Sparks,and Rosen,but have never worn any of them. Is horsehide better than cowhide? Is a double thickness better than single?
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Old February 19, 2000, 10:37 AM   #2
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A lot depends on the type of holster you will be using.

A belt slide type holster, with only a couple of slots, requires a belt that is fairly stiff and fits the slots exactly to provide good support. A double thickness belt that's 1 1/2" wide will usually be called for unless you buy a set like the Galco Firm System that had the holster and matching belt in 1 1/4" width. These will generally look right if wearing jeans but not for dress slacks.

A belt holster with the "tunnel loop" type of support structure will allow the use of a thinner belt but not much narrower than the belt slide type. Slot to belt fit is still critical to prevent the gun from wobbling.

A well done paddle holster and almost any good IWB holster will allow you to use belts with a lot less stiffness and width. These types are better suited to business dress like suits or slacks but work with anything. With the IWB you will need to have the belt made one or two inches longer than your normal size.

ALL gun belts should be contoured or "cut on the curve" for proper fit without breaking them in. This aids in keeping the butt of the gun tucked in and not allowing the weight of the gun to sag out and give you away.

I have the Hellweg belt - VERY thick and VERY stiff - I use it in competition only. I also have the Milt Sparks fancy stitched belt - not as stiff or thick - works great with jeans. My latest belt is the DeSantis 1 1/4" fancy stitched dress belt - works with anything.

After over 6 years of concealed carry, ALL of my carry holsters are IWB. I use the paddles and belt types for IDPA. Once you get used to IWB carry, everything else just seem to stick out like a sore thumb. At least that's my opinion.

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Old February 19, 2000, 06:26 PM   #3
Jim V
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Join Date: January 31, 1999
Location: SE Michigan - USA
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I like 1 1/4" wide lined belts for dress, you can also get 1 1/5" wide belts that are tapered to 1 1/4 or 1" at the buckle end. They look good with suits and not like a gunbelt as a wider belt may. Of course if you live in Texas wear a wide belt with a big fancy buckle. LOL

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"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"
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Old February 20, 2000, 01:32 AM   #4
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Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
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I have been using a Wilderness Instructor Belt by Giles Stock. It is 1.75" wide and about 1/8" thick. It is made from MilSpec nylon webbing with either 3 or 5 lines of reinforcement stitching for rigidity. They go for about 35$. I have been wearing this 3 stitch belt for almost five years now. I even wear it with my tuxedo, under my cummerbund. I have worn it with a suit, as the jacket covers the buckle (which is flat black). I don't often wear a suit, or a tuxedo for that matter, but when I do my holster stays put.
Did I mention I had to have the beltloops on my dress slacks altered as they were too narrow? I still spent less, on the belt and alterations, than I would have for some of the leather belts that are on the market.

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Old February 20, 2000, 03:13 AM   #5
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I have the Wilderness Instructor belt also in the 5-stitch version and have worn it on a daily basis. It has been used to support my duty weapon, double mag carrier, two sets of cuffs, badge and pager. These things are impossible to kill. They keep their shape and give constant support that cannot be matched by leather. If the 1.75 width is too large, I also purchased the Ring Belt from the Wilderness. This is the same 5-stitch design, but in a 1.25 width which fits a larger variety of pants loops. The buckle consists of two rings that hold the belt firmly and the end is secured by velcro as with the Instructors belt. I found the Ring Belt more comfortable to wear on a long term basis and have worn it every day since buying it. It still performs above and beyond after carring this load day in and day out for a year and a half. Consider the Wilderness line of prods, you will have a belt that will last forever.

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Old February 20, 2000, 07:59 AM   #6
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Join Date: December 27, 1998
Location: Northern Virginia, USA
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I visited The Wilderness' store in Phoenix a few weeks ago and they have a new thinner instructor's belt with a smaller version of the same type of buckle as the 1.75". It is pretty nice for dress pants.
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Old February 20, 2000, 02:12 PM   #7
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As for leather, horsehide is perhaps longer-wearing than horsehide.
Lou Alessi's belts are an excellent choice, and his "1 1/2" models will fit either 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" holster belt loops. They are also more "dressy" in appearance, with their double keepers and tapered adges, than many others' belts. Best.

"Potius sero quam nunquam."

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Old February 20, 2000, 09:52 PM   #8
Sid Post
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Is their a web site for the Wilderness Instructor belt? A store phone number and/or address?

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Old February 21, 2000, 02:24 AM   #9
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The website is and a catalog can be had in hard copy by calling (602)242-4945. Their website is top-notch as are their products. They have a new product the 1 1/2" Instructors belt. I will be ordering mine this week.

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Old February 21, 2000, 12:08 PM   #10
Mark King
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Join Date: December 17, 1998
Location: FLA USA
Posts: 361
Don, I recently purchased a 1 1/4 inch gunbelt from Lou Alessi. It's by far the nicest gun belt I've ever seen. The leather is beautiful and the belt itself is STIFF. It keeps my Colt Officer's ACP very stable due to the lack of flex. The belt looks like a very expensive dress belt and looks right at home when I'm wearing a suit. You can contact Mr. Alessi via email at [email protected] An Artisan and a Gentleman.. Mark / FL
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Old February 21, 2000, 06:13 PM   #11
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I have two Kramer double-thickness horsehide belts. The key is to have a belt that is thick enough (and stiff enough) to hold up your rig, without sagging. The stiffness also helps your holster stay in place during your draw stroke -- you don't want your holster coming up with your gun!

If you wear a suit or business casual clothing, a 1.25" belt will do just fine. I would recommend paying the extra money for horsehide (much stiffer than cowhide) and double-thickness.

Any other questions, let me know.

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Old February 23, 2000, 04:00 PM   #12
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tactailor's 1.5" rigger belt is my daily belt. for those of you considering a rigger/wilderness type belt, these are excellent for carrying gear and are built indestructible for emergency rappel. the tactailor belts are made from a double layer of scuba webbing, and have velcro to hold down the end. i only stock the 1.5" because it works with a wider variety of pants and gear, yet is just as effective. if you are buying a wilderness belt, get the 1.5". it is a much better choice than the 1.75" for all the same reasons. i've got tactailor rigger belts in stock and ready to ship - current stock has black buckles.

tactical accessories for self-defense and le
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