If you’re going to carry a handgun then you need a good belt. However, just any old belt won’t do. You need a concealed carry belt. At this point you’re probably asking what’s a concealed carry belt and why do I need one after all you probably already have several perfectly good belts that holds your pants up already, so what not just use one of those to carry your handgun?
After all, you already own it and it holds your pants up fine so why spend extra money on another belt just to carry your handgun and other EDC gear…
Well, in this article I’m going to tell you what a concealed carry belt is and my thoughts on why you should use one whenever you carry a handgun…
So what is a concealed carry belt? A concealed carry belt is basically the same as a regular belt only stiffer providing for more support of the handgun and holster and a good carry belt will also have a stronger more secure buckle to make it more difficult for someone who might try to grab your handgun to rip it off your body in a struggle for the handgun – this is especially important if you’re openly carrying a handgun.
Please read our article open vs concealed carry to find out the pros and cons of open and concealed carry and why concealed carry is the best option of the two.
If you’re new to concealed carry or strapped for cash, after all you might have just buy a handgun and holster and those aren’t cheap, in that case you might be temped to just use whatever belt you already have laying around the house and hope for the best and you might be fine with that, however I don’t recommend it!
Having a real belt that is designed for handgun carry will make the carrying process more comfortable, secure, and effective. The extra support given by a good purpose made concealed carry belt will keep your handgun closer to your body and help to keep “printing” of the handgun to a minimum and will also help to increase your draw speed and ability to deliver shots on target quickly if needed.
Using a regular belt when carrying a handgun will often allow the handgun to muzzle to dig into the body and the grip to fall further away from the body because the belt isn’t stiff enough to support the handgun and holster which is the opposite of what you need for comfort, security, and concealment.
Trying to use a standard belt that is only meant for holding your pants up can also allow more give and play when you draw the handgun which can slow your draw and the time that it takes to get the handgun out and on target.
Also, the bigger and heavier the handgun that you carry the more this will all become apparent… and you’ll notice a considerable difference and improvement in your comfort, concealment, and draw speed when you wear a proper carry belt.
The Big Mistake… Don’t Do This!
Over the years one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make is spending hundreds of dollars on a handgun and holsters and then try to carry that handgun and holster while using a regular “hold your pants up” type of belt.
These are the guys (and ladies) that you’ll often see tugging at their handgun to readjust it back into the correct carry position. Then will they blame the holster or the weight of the handgun while never considering that the problem might be their belt.
Don’t do this… get a real purpose made carry belt. Yes, it’s going to cost you a little extra to add a good carry belt to your every day carry setup, however, the comfort, security, and concealability are well worth it.
What to Look for When Choosing a Concealed Carry Belt
- Look for a rigid material or reinforced leather (some manufactures use steel or polymer to reinforce leather)…
- Look for a secure buckle…
- Make sure that the belt is the correct width to be used with your holster – in other words make sure the belt will fit through the holster loops or clip with minimal space left to minimize movement. The standard gun belt width is one and a half inches wide…
Choose The Right Belt For The Situation
How you dress and the situation or event you’re at will determine the kind of carry belt you wear. For example if you’re out hiking in the mountains, or going to town to pick up a few groceries then you will most likely dress differently than you would if you were going to a formal meeting or event.
Different situations and sittings whether they be formal or casual will be better suited by different carry belt styles. For example, a nice leather carry belt like this one would be better for formal type events where you’re wearing a suit and tie while still want to be armed and a carry belt like this one would work fine when dressed casually.
However, you can save money by buying a belt like this one that looks “good enough” with both formal and casual attire. However, I prefer having two totally different belt styles, one casual and one formal to choose from depending on the situation.
So What is “The Best” Concealed Carry Belt?
That’s a good question and one with a hundred different answers depending on the situation and who you’re asking, however, my current favorite is the Relentless Tactical The Ultimate Concealed Carry CCW Gun Belt. It’s a little pricey, well, for me anyway, but it’s a belt that will last many years and in fact, it has a lifetime warranty.
You can see all of my favorite concealed carry gear here… also, see this article for Jesse Mathewson’s thoughts, tips, and suggestions for concealed carry belts.
When it comes to leather belts they should be double layered and properly stitched. I prefer my leather belts to be a minimum of 1.5” or approximately 4 centimeters in width at a minimum. Less than this does not support even my smaller handguns well over time. Remember, just like gripping your handgun the more skin on the grip or in this case leather on body contact you have the more comfort you will also notice and a more even weight distribution.
Choosing to carry a handgun daily is a huge life choice and a lot of responsibility and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’ve decided to carry a handgun for protection then you need the right gear. Having the correct gear will allow you to carry more comfortably, securely and effectively.
Please don’t skimp or cut corners here… get a good carry belt… it will make you more effective and comfortable all at the same time…
I’d love to hear your thoughts on concealed carry belts! Please feel free to leave me a comment below the article!