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Old 06-15-2012, 19:39   #1
wrangler_dave9
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Difference between a "Gun Belt" and a Dickies belt from Wal-Mart

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?
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Old 06-15-2012, 19:59   #2
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A real gun belt is thicker and more rigid. It distributes the load better, so conceals better and is more comfortable.
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Old 06-15-2012, 20:01   #3
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It's all about how stiff the belt is. Most casual belts are made to be very soft for comfort reasons. The problem is that also allows the gun to sag due to the weight and forces you to wear the belt tighter in order to keep the gun in place. A stiffer belt will allow you to wear it a bit looser and still keep the gun firmly in place.

The leather is treated a bit differently and most are thicker or have a polymer stiffener inside.
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Old 06-15-2012, 20:29   #4
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Gun belts are for carry a gun the regular belts from where ever are for holding up your trousers/pants.
A true gun belts makes carrying a handgun so much better.
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Old 06-15-2012, 20:34   #5
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Go to a gun shop with your pants belt. Compare the two. You will immediately see the difference. Any pants belt will make your holster sag.
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Old 06-15-2012, 20:41   #6
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The gun belts are constructed with an internal reinforcement the prevents the belt from rolling over when you try to bend it edgewise (in the plane of the belt) thus it distributes the gun weight over a much greater distance around your waist.

Difference of "night and day".
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Old 06-15-2012, 20:48   #7
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My Beltman is 7 or more years old and still works fine, despite daily use under sometimes severe conditions for that period of time. I am considering purchasing another one for dress and to start breaking it in.

No comparison with Dickies which can't even come close.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:18   #8
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Gun belts are made double layer
That means they bias cut the leather, and have the grain going diagonaly
in one direction for one side and the other direction for the other side, the opposing bias
keeps the belt from developing a droop for many years, they also often have stiffeners,
lastly they are THICK in addition to being wide, and that adds to the holster not sliding around on the belt.
like said above Night and Day
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:03   #9
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Go to a gun shop with your pants belt. Compare the two. You will immediately see the difference. Any pants belt will make your holster sag.
Good advice - a few moments of direct comparison will clearly show the significant differences between the two and the differences will be undeniable. Take the next step of buying and using the properly designed gun belt - you will never again believe that any other belt will do the job. I wear gun belts nearly every day even though I cannot carry every day.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:24   #10
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A good gunbelt is the most important part of your carry gear. It's more important than your choice of gun and it's more important than your holster. Carrying on a good belt with a crappy holster is much easier than trying to carry with a great holster on a crappy belt. Anytime someone around her posts about problems with their Comp-Tac, Milt Sparks, Tucker or other quality holster you can pretty much bet they're using a crappy belt. I've had my Looper Leather for 6 or 7 years now and it's been fantastic
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:41   #11
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Once you've carried with a good gun belt, you'll never want anything else.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:55   #12
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After a period of use the Dickies belt will soften up on you and begin to stretch causing your holster to sag and the gun's butt to begin patterning. Successful and effective concealed carry ALWAYS begins with a strong gun belt. Many years ago, after I bought my first gun belt, I was so pleased with the improvement in how my equipment carried that I have never again gone back to cheap belts and the way things used to be. I've got several belts around here from $150 to over $300 dollars. I don't like paying that kind of money for a belt; but, I do like the results; and I've learned that you really can go through life with only 3 decent gun belts. (Just don't gain any weight!)
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:18   #13
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After a period of use the Dickies belt will soften up on you and begin to stretch causing your holster to sag and the gun's butt to begin patterning. Successful and effective concealed carry ALWAYS begins with a strong gun belt. Many years ago, after I bought my first gun belt, I was so pleased with the improvement in how my equipment carried that I have never again gone back to cheap belts and the way things used to be. I've got several belts around here from $150 to over $300 dollars. I don't like paying that kind of money for a belt; but, I do like the results; and I've learned that you really can go through life with only 3 decent gun belts. (Just don't gain any weight!)
^^Yep all this.

I've heard Tom Gresham refer it before has a "system" which is probably the best way to look at it. The firearm, the belt, the holster, manner of dress, etc. It all works to together to achieve the desired results.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:41   #14
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Guess which one is wearing a gun belt...

Carry Issues

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Old 06-16-2012, 12:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler_dave9 View Post
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?

I had the same question as I had been using a cheap leather belt from when I was in high school.
I was seeing all these guys on here wearing gunbelts and I was like...... Really? 50$ belt
After having a hard time keeping my iwb glock in place I decided to try one and let me say OMG.
It makes a huge difference and makes carrying much more comfortable.
I bought a Tactical Trainer, made by 5.11 Tactical, I got it from optics planet.com 40$
It's so much more rigid and stays really tight
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:50   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler_dave9 View Post
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.

Carry Issues

Carry Issues

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.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:53   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caver 60 View Post
My Beltman is 7 or more years old and still works fine, despite daily use under sometimes severe conditions for that period of time. I am considering purchasing another one for dress and to start breaking it in.

No comparison with Dickies which can't even come close.


I agree.

Mine is 10 years old and I bought a spare for when I enlarge to the point I need more belt. (coming soon)
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:12   #18
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I use a Belt Man 1.5" belt every day for carrying and for competitions. And I just bought my wife a Dickies work belt as a stop gap until her Belt Man belt arrives.

I would say my belt is nearly twice as thick as a "normal" belt. It's very stiff, and helps carry the weight of my gun instead of just distributing the load. I use to carry with a Dickie work belt and it wasn't bad, but using a proper gun belt is just so much better IMO.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:21   #19
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Right now, I'm wearing a Galco gun belt I paid $130 for in 1994. It is still as good and stiff as the day I bought it. I may be wrong, but I doubt the Dickies belt will be doing that ten or eleven years from now.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:52   #20
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Some years ago when I was first researching belts, holsters and concealed carry in general, I came across this website - it may have been linked from a thread on GlockTalk, but I no longer remember. This site was extremely helpful in my research!

http://www.gun-belt.com/

I recommend spending some time reading through all the articles as you will receive a quick, rounded education in the benefits of a good gun belt.

Personally, I purchased 2:

1) the wilderness instructor's belt that I wear every day - so easy to use, always the right tension.

2) the leather gun belt from Gunner's Alley for dress wear, I got the holes punched every 3/4 inch to help with my "adjustable sizing"!!

http://www.gunnersalley.com/product/...Gun-Belts.html

Bottom line is that there is no substitute for a good gun belt if you are planning to carry.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:00   #21
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Originally Posted by wrangler_dave9 View Post
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?
Gun belts are usually thicker and stiffer and some have stitching or liners that help stiffen them, so they don't sag with the gun.

Personally, I never buy "gun belts" even for competition. I look for a thick, leather single-layer belt (even some "gun belts" are crappy stitched layers that afll apart). I can get one at Tractor Supply that will work better than a high dollar belt from Galco or Bianchi.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:22   #22
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Personally, I never buy "gun belts" even for competition. I look for a thick, leather single-layer belt (even some "gun belts" are crappy stitched layers that afll apart). I can get one at Tractor Supply that will work better than a high dollar belt from Galco or Bianchi.


Hope your asbestos undies are back from the cleaners...if not, here's a for your trouble.

Whatever works for you, though...
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:52   #23
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Hope your asbestos undies are back from the cleaners...if not, here's a for your trouble.

Whatever works for you, though...
Been shooting, competing and teaching LE, military and civilians to shoot for 22+ years. I'm hardly worried about what the newbs on GT think about my opinions. Some day, some of them will have some knowledge and experience, but most never will.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:55   #24
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Hope your asbestos undies are back from the cleaners...if not, here's a for your trouble.

Whatever works for you, though...
I buy Galco exclusively for gunbelts, but I'm not a gun belt snob. If some other belt works as well (and, I have seen tons of our instructors who just wear nylon military issue belts with their holsters on the range, then go with it (I don't own any Galco stock ).

But, the way my body is shaped, (mesomorph), I need a good belt.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:33   #25
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Belts can be like footwear. Not all of them fit & work for everybody and every need.

I've had "gun belts" that were a pain in the side. Literally. Especially those that pressed upon the IC.

I've bought good quality leather belts that were only good for holding up pants, and others that were fine for many years no matter what I wore hanging from them.

Not all belt loops are the same size, so I have different belts.

Not all belts match all dress needs (suits, to rugged work, to leisure), so I own & use different belts.

Since I have belts & gun belts that are probably older than many of the posters on this and other forums, I tend to use what works for me ... and allow everyone else the same courtesy.
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