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Difference between a "Gun Belt" and a Dickies belt from Wal-Mart

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by wrangler_dave9, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    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.
  2. blackjack


    Jan 22, 2000
    Sand Springs OK

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

    Whatever works for you, though...

  3. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    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.
  4. series1811

    series1811 Enforcerator. CLM

    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 :supergrin:).

    But, the way my body is shaped, (mesomorph), I need a good belt. :supergrin:
  5. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    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.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  6. AngryPanda

    AngryPanda Is he a troll?

    Sep 25, 2009
    I read all about the gun belts, went out and bought one. I noticed zero difference. I know I am in the minority, but after reading all the ZOMG!!! IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!!1!! posts I thought I would at least notice something. Like I said, I know I am in the minority here but that is my experience.
  7. pipedreams

    pipedreams Member

    Feb 19, 2011
    S. E. Iowa

    I have a nice Carhartt 1.5" belt that works nice with a firearm that is smaller such as my LC9. I do find I prefer one of my gun belts to the Carhartt belt if carrying all day or if carrying extra mags. and accessories.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  8. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

    Jan 31, 2003
    La Porte Texas
    The first time you needs to use the facilities in public, you will notice a substantial difference between a wide belt and a gun belt, as your holster will not impersonate a roller coaster when you assume the position
  9. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Yep, it's good to figure out what fits & works best for you, your guns and your situational needs.

    When I was wearing an all-steel duty pistol (4566TSW) for my plainclothes assignment, along with spare mags, cuffs, radio and everything that needed to be in slacks pockets (including a couple of folding knives), my belt got a real workout. Being worn with slacks, it was narrower than most belts worn with jeans & some types of "dockers". I also needed both black and brown belts.

    Having tried a "gun belt" made by one of the major holster makers, to carry a much lighter issued pistol (5903), with less than satisfactory results for me, I tried some different dress belts off the rack at some chain stores. Surprisingly, (or maybe not so surprisingly, given my experiences over the years :) ) I found some that worked great.

    Now that I wear more paddle holsters than holsters with belt slots/tunnels (another subject entirely ;) ), I find the belt issue is less critical for me, and I'm able to wear a wider range of belts with different jeans, slacks, shorts, etc.

    I still have to use just as much consideration when selecting footwear, too. ;)
  10. vmann

    vmann Controller

    Jan 22, 2010
    not all gun belts are made with internal stiffners or multiple layers....

    and if you went out and bought a gun belt and dont see any differences between that and regular belts, you bought the wrong belt....

    i bought a belt from and its a single piece bull hide belt....its over twice as thick as my regular department store belt...

    its great for what its designed for, but sometimes i think its to thick for some of my holsters....
  11. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    AGREED! :cool:
  12. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI
    I had a good quality American made Looper belt that I carried on for many years. It was a good trouser belt made from a fairly thin single piece of leather.

    I carried on it for a long time thinking it was good enough and never noticing the droop so much. It wasn't until I carried like that a lot then moved up to a real gun belt that I noticed the difference.

    I'm not kidding when I say I thought the Looper was good enough.

    I progressed to a Hume double thickness gunbelt, then through several others before arriving at the Wilderness CSM.
  13. Dickies belts can work well, if you choose the right one. They work fine when I carry IWB. It is not as good as a purpose designed gun belt, but it is better than the other belts in Walmart.
  14. EAJuggalo


    Jan 17, 2005
    Eagan, MN
    Looper makes some of the best gun belts around, at reasonable prices too. $45 for a kydex reinforced belt with a lifetime warranty against drooping or stretching.
  15. John Rambo

    John Rambo Raven

    Feb 15, 2010
    Tampa, Fl.
    One leaves your wallet a little lighter.

    I wear a double-grommet belt from Walmart. It looks somewhat like this, maybe a bit thicker, I can't really tell from these pics. Buckle is a bit different and more rugged, I can tell you that much.:

    It cost me ~10 bucks. I've had it since as far back as I can remember. Easily over 5 years. I've worn it boating, hiking, camping, hunting. I've clipped all manner of crap onto it. I've threaded it through belt loops on khakis, fatigues, and jeans. I even throw it over shorts or my bathing suit when I want to carry stuff on it. Its been soaked, frozen, washed in saltwater, heated like only Florida sun inside a car for weeks can deliver, you name it. It has never once failed me in any way, shape or form.

    Yes, it isn't named, "Super Macho Wilderness Tactical Instructor Grizzly Bear Raping Rough Tough Nitro Burn Dee Doo belt," but dammit, it does its job just fine.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  16. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI
    My belt did not have sexual relations with that bear, Smokey the Bear.
  17. TheJ

    TheJ NRA Life Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    IMHO.... Although I'm sure there are plenty of people who are exceptions.. (People who paid 25 cent for a sears leather belt 18 years ago and have carried full size firearms IWB all day every day with it ever since and it is a good as the day they bought it....) typically, for most people gun belts are actually worth the extra money.

    Your mileage may vary.
  18. FFR Spyder GT

    FFR Spyder GT Ex-Gunslinger

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hog Jaw, Arkansas

    I've been carrying for over 30 years and except for when I was in uniform I have never used a "gun belt".

    Go to WalMart, Tractor Supply, Academy Sports, etc and look at their belts.

    I usually either wear a Dickies' or a Wrangler belt. You do have to pick out one that is thicker and stiffer than a simple "dress type" belt. I usually pay about $10.00 to $13.00 for a belt.

    After its a couple of years old I wear it as a work belt and when it's starts to fall apart, like the 5yo $10.00 belt that I'm currently wearing to work, I throw 'em away.

    I usually have a couple in my closet that I've bought because I like the way they're made.

    The handguns that I carry with my Dickies' belt? Look at my Sig line plus a Taurus PT845, a steel frame 5" 1911, a 4" S&W Model 15 and several other full side guns.

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  19. dosei


    Mar 22, 2005
    Upstate SC
    I have been wanting to make a video on this topic for quite some time...but still have not made one. I need to get one done.

    However, I did find this excellent video by the late Paul Gomez where he points out one of the key differences:

    [ame=""]Choosing Gear for Concealed Carry by - YouTube[/ame]
  20. Clutch Cargo

    Clutch Cargo Amsterdam Haze

    Nov 29, 2010
    The difference is the reason they were made
    One was made to hold up your pants.
    One was made to hold up your pants as well as 2 pounds of weapons and ammo.