Originally Posted by wrangler_dave9
I am wondering what the differences are of an actual Gun Belt vs. a Dickies belt off the shelf at Wal-Mart. Are they thicker? made of a different material internally? Any note worthy differences in width? What makes it so much better to have a gun belt for IWB or OWB carry?
For starters, one needs to understand that not everything that is marketed as a "gun belt" is actually a "quality gun belt".
What makes a quality leather gun belt different?
1. Materials. Not all leather is of the same quality. A quality leather gun belt uses much higher quality leather than is used on a Dickies, Carhart, or other cheap "heavy duty" belt.
2. Construction. A quality leather gun belt will be made using two strips of high quality leather, cut and mated so that the grain of the leather in each strip is set opposing to the grain of leather in the other strip. This makes the belt much more resistant to stretching over time and also makes it more resistant to sagging. Also, by making the belt using two thinner strips of leather instead of a single thick one, the belt is much more resistant to "rolling". There isn't a single-ply leather belt in existence that can even come close to matching the performance of a proper double-ply leather belt...let alone the reinforced double-ply leather belts. Double-ply belts resist "rolling" much better than single-ply simply due to the structural advantages of "laminated" materials.
If you have ever noticed that your leather belts develop a small curl at the top edge of the belt, right in the middle of the belt where your middle/back belt loop on your jeans/pants rides on the belt, that is "rolling". A quality gun belt will not roll. It also will not sag. It will hold the gun closer to your body without you having to cinch the belt down so tight. It will spread the weight of the gun around your entire waist, increasing comfort and reducing/eliminating spinal problems.