I got a new Concealed Carry belt this week, and it reminded me to pass on some information about such things to people who may not have thought about belts to go along with their Concealed Carry pistol rig. One of the biggest CCW tells, is having to pull up your pants and waistband getting out of a car because the weight of the pistol has drug your belt down. It has happened to everyone who wears a gun in and out of vehicles. You look like one of those old southern sheriffs pulling up your gun belt and about to announce “Y’all in a heap o’ trouble.”  A good belt designed for CCW is a veritable anchor. It keeps your stuff where it should be- sitting, standing, running.

The belt I got today is a blemished model (I can’t tell), double ply water buffalo hide by Versacarry.com,  and it was on clearance special for something like $35. I have had Versacarry belts in the past that wore like …well water buffalo hide. Versacarry also makes leather holsters too for modest prices and best of all, near every holiday they have huge online sales-get on their email list. This week they are having 4th of July sales with almost everything in their online Texas store an honest 40% off. 

Why listen to me about gun belts? Well to put a fine point on it-been there done that. I carried large firearms daily for 30 years working for the government, as well as every day carry for an additional seven or so years in retirement where I wear pants nearly every day! With the gummamint, I had to frequently wear my large frame .357 Dan Wesson or my sainted Sig P226 with suit pants as well as tactical pants, khakis, and most preferably blue jeans. Getting my first dedicated leather gun belt many years ago, a 5.11 product, was a game changer for sure.

It’s one of those things where you have to try it for yourself. It was so stiff…and comfortable. It held up me, my holstered gun, and my pants in new and exciting ways! OK yes I felt more like a gunfighter, but it was just an ordinary leather appearing belt-only I knew it was there. The reason it was so stiff was because it had a plastic liner sandwiched between the double ply leather…and a hidden handcuff key holder- which is nifty if you are into that.

I loved that 5.11 belt but after a few years of daily wear I noticed a couple of things. First, it was made in a land far far away where they eat a lot of rice (5.11 made in Chyn-na? Really?) Second the finish wore off- alot. I touched it up with shoe polish, but it was not a great fix. Third, the double ply came apart and exposed the white plastic stiffener. I had to relegate the belt to every day blue jeans carry for a few more years. I looked on the amazing internet today and found a couple 5.11 “Casual Belt 1.5″ ” still on the market, with a 2mm “Permastiff insert” (no wise cracks please) and the hidden hand cuff key pocket for sale about $50.

If you have never owned a concealed carry dedicated belt you will probably be amazed to try one on. I have a rack of daily wear type belts and dress belts, and none hold a candle to the stability and support of even a medium priced concealed carry belt.

Those thin buy ’em off the rack 1 1/4″ wide dress belts are awful for concealed carry. You can get a dedicated concealed carry dress belt and have a lot more belt and stability and look just fine for office/formal attire. Jeans and tactical pants accept wider 1 1/5″ belts, but you cant stuff those into dress pant loops.

I went along with the tactical trend years ago trying out some desert color nylon belts for a while, but they really scream “Something is going on in my pants!” I found them to be pretty soft and not real supportive- and that pseudo tactical/rappelling buckle…forget about it! (Did you ever hear of anyone actually rapelling with their 5.11 belt, or pulling cars out of ditches with it? Me either.”

Working for the G, my guns were almost always concealed, and I never wanted to be featured on a “That Wasn’t Very Grayman of You” Facebook website. That tan nylon trainer belt really stands out to anyone even remotely interested in your waist- or pants. (If you don’t subscribe, do look at That Wasn’t Very Grayman Of You on Facebook – people post pictures of “fierce” and “dangerous” people out in the wilds of Walmart or Subway sporting guns, vests and swords and vehicles plastered with “steal me there is a gun inside stickers.”  Hilarious.)

Why get a concealed carry belt? It holds your gun/holster tight against your body. The good ones are double ply leather or extra thick bull hide or water buffalo hide. They can feel stiff- but in a good way. When you are moving and grooving and have to reach for your piece- you want it to be anchored in one spot. An off the shelf Carhartt ,or other ordinary soft leather belt has a lot of wiggle room as well as sagging and stretching out of shape after about 10 minutes of ownership.

A good belt should last many years. I bought a Daltech CCW leather belt during covid and in only 3 months it was as saggy and stretched out as my 15 year old 5.11 belt. Daltech ponied up with a new belt for me via their lifetime warranty. Now I have two!

A hidden benefit no one talks about, is a stiff gun belt won’t let your holster fall off when changing clothes or consulting your smartphone while in the restroom. (Todays kids don’t know the tedium involved with a bowel movement without a smartphone do they?)

The concealed carry belts also provide a lot of lower back support when carrying inside or outside the waistband. Try stuffing 15 rds in a large Sig Sauer or a 1911 and carrying it all day, as opposed to something tiny like the uber popular 10-12 Rd Sig P365 and you will quickly appreciate that stiffened belt and the lower back support.

As a retired guy I don’t wear a gun every day-but I still wear a gun dedicated belt. It’s just a better belt! You can get them in several different finishes of course and you don’t have to throw a lot of money at it. Maybe the same amount as a good holster. A lot of people will buy the $1000 gun and never invest in a good holster or belt.

My next gun belt will be a steel cored version. They are super stiff and feel great. You can also get some with a Kydex stiffener inside the double ply leather.

Here are some sources to check out if you are interested. If you have a favorite leather holster, chances are the maker will offer matching leather gun belts too.

(Oh and do follow manufacturer’s instructions for size ordering- don’t just order your pants waist size- it won’t be big enough. Swallow your pride and get what the maker tells you is the correct size for your gun belt.)

Versacarry.com. Limited Lifetime Warranty. Made in Texas.
Rancher 1.5″ wide Water Buffalo, Double Ply on sale this week 40% off for $32.99. Their Classic belt is on sale for $39 this week.

Daltech Bull Belt $44 Amazon.com
Daltech Steel Core $60-$80 Amazon.com

Relentless Tactical $70 Amazon.com
Relentless Tactical Ultimate Steel Core $90 relentless-tactical.com

Hanks Montana Bison $155 hanksbelts.com
Hanks Gunner $79 This is Hanks best selling CCW belt.
Hanks Steel Core $140
Hanks Kydex Reinforced $124
Hanks is USA made with 100 year warranty.

Bigfoot leather belt, Steel Core $80 gunbelts.com



5 thoughts on “Concealed Carry Tip: You Could Use A Good Stiff Belt In The Pants”
  1. Thank you for the article. I too started with the 5-11 belts but they were always worn out in 12 to 18 months. At the suggestion of a coworker, I tried the NEXT- BELT. Im on my second, not because it wore out, but because I didn’t follow the manufacturers info on trimming to fit. Now the original is too small. Maybe I’ve gained a pound or two? The Next Belt has a ratcheting buckle in 1/4″ increments. I find myself clicking it tighter occasionally or letting out a click or two when I sit. However it is so natural and easy to do, often times I don’t realize I’m adjusting it. This is not a leather belt, they are nylon and stiff enough to transfer the weight of heavy guns and other equipment. Worth looking into.

    1. Thanks for submitting Keith. Alot of my clothes seem to shrink in the closet over time…I refuse to blame bacon and donuts…

  2. Wilderness Instructor belts for the win. They last about five or six years before the velcro kind of weakens. Fortunately mine hasn’t shrunk in the dryer. I know a lot of guys, after six years, their belts and pants have shrunk.
    I have had 5.11 a couple of times but the velcro there has a similar issue.
    By the way, what is a 1 1/5th inch belt?

  3. The first issue is longevity. One of my belts I bought in 1970 and it still works, but is somewhat scuffed. That is a Bianchi cop belt. When I buy a belt, it is almost always a 2″ belt with a suede liner and it is always leather. When I still wore suits for the job, I had the tailor make the belt loops stronger and to fit the larger belt. Jeans would always handle the belt in the first place.

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