Since I have been an every day concealed carrier for years, I have had exposure to a lot of different equipment……like gun belts. I own at least 5 at the moment because it took me a while to learn my lesson. “Buying cheap is a waste of money as you have to buy again and again”. With this article I hope to give you the benefit of what I have learned.
Daltech Force gun belt
I wear jeans and boots everyday so I really didn’t want a dress type belt. I really like the looks of this one because it goes with my daily attire which is jeans and boots. Of my recommendations it has more of a rugged tactical look than the others and is the second thickest which means it will last more than a lifetime.
It is the Daltech Force Tactical Belt. When you handle it you know it is indestructible and will last for many years to come. This is one of the toughest on the market with a steel core insert. It will carry whatever you hook to it.
There are several different styles in case your tastes vary from mine but all are super rugged and designed for everyday use and pistol carry. See the different styles below.
From heavy pistols and holsters to many extra loaded magazines this belt can handle it. It is made from good tough leather that looks good and stitching is very strong. Keep in mind that this belt is a quarter of an inch thick.
Exactly what I was looking for but it does take some getting used to. I picked this belt because I occasionally do some competition IDPA shooting. There are specialty made belts for that purpose but I wanted to compete with my actual EDC equipment. It may not be the best pick for you because of this.
Below are the others I would recommend if you are looking for a great belt but do not plan to use it for competitiion.
Hank’s steel core gun belt
Another very good option is the Hank’s steel core belt. It is touted as the thickest on the market at .37 inches. The manufacturer warns that this belt is so thick it takes time to break it in. Made out of 20 oz leather it is 1.5 inches wide.
This is truly a heavy duty belt that is designed to last a lifetime. The belt is made of 2 layers of steer leather with the steel core sandwiched in between. This belt will hold way more than you could ever carry and is warrantied for 100 years, guaranteed not to break.
Hank’s also offers their extreme gun belt pictured above. This one is made of a double layer of 18 oz bridle leather in 4 colors and comes in around ,28 inches thick. It is 1.5 inches wide and also comes with a 100 year guarantee.
This belt is billed as indestructible as well despite the fact it does not have a steel core. I don’t normally recommend or prefer a gun belt without a steel core or rigid core of any kind but I will recommend this one due to the double thickness of fine leather.
Because it doesn’t have an insert it won’t be quite as strong as those that do but it will break in quicker and be much more comfortable for every day use. It’s a good one to start with if you are a new carrier.
The buckle is attached with Chicago bolts that screw on, these are preferable to the snap on type which can sometimes come undone. The buckle can be changed fairly easily if required.
These belts are without a doubt the thinnest of the bunch which makes them a little easier to break in and get used to.
They are made of premium 14 oz US grade leather and still provides a very stable platform for whatever you want to carry. I have carried a loaded 5 inch Smith and Wesson with holster and double magazine pouch with no discomfort using one of these and had no issues with drawing and firing quickly.
There are a couple of different styles but the appearance of all of them is very close to a normal belt and also comes with a lifetime guarantee. When ordering follow the instructions on the Amazon listing to ensure you get the proper fit.
Do you have to change anything on your holster to use these belts?
You should be aware on the much thicker than normal belts above, you gain stability and durability but you might have to change the clips on some, but not all, IWB holsters in order for them to work properly. I have only had to change the clips on 1 out 12 holsters for it to work with the Daltech above.
If you need to change clips on your holster you can find what you need here on Amazon. This Daltech may be a bit of overkill if you are just carrying a light gun. But for those that carry a heavy gun and all the tactical gear that goes with it, it is a must have if you can afford it. It will certainly support anything you throw at it and is made in the USA by the Amish.
Other Gun Belts
If you are going to participate in competition, that is another world and another class of what you need in a gun belt. I periodically shoot in IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) matches in my area. The belts used by most competitors are outside the loop gun belts used with OWB holsters. They all have steel inserts. See some of them here on Amazon.
Those I have recommended above are for EDC. Will they work for compeitition? Yes, but if you compete regularly, you will probably want to upgrade after few matches to give yourself all of the advantages you can.
Western style gun belts and holsters are also another style not discussed in this article focused on EDC. See some here.
Most gun belts are fairly similar but those that I have featured above stand above most others. I have owned and worn for months, one from each brand recommended. My feedback here is based on those experiences.
The prices are not cheap but you get what you pay for and through experience I know, at least in gun belts, it is cheaper to buy top quality once as opposed to buying a cheap one several times. I have spent hundreds on cheap gun belts without steel inserts only to regret it as a few months later I am buying another.
Without fail all of the cheap ones began to sag and stretch as they are broke in. The one exception to the steel insert I would make is the above Hanks Premier belt which with it’s two layers of leather is certainly not going to sag or stretch for many years, if ever.
If you are going to concealed carry a pistol daily, which you should, you won’t be dissatisfied with any of the belts I recommend above.