This is how a gun belt transformed my concealed carry life.
When I started concealed carry, I knew very little about the ins-and-outs of carrying a gun all day. Two crusty, old sharpshooters ran my concealed carry course and I listened to their words with all the attention the then 20 year-old me could muster.
These old guys — each over 60 — had spent their entire lives around guns and taught the class from a single perspective. If your gun isn’t comfortable, you won’t carry it. And the gun you carry is always better than the one you don’t.
There’s a lot of truth to that. But in the tenets of their doctrine, they pushed exclusively for what they called pocket-pistols. And in 2008, the options weren’t as good as they are today.
After the class, I ended up with a Ruger LCP chambered in .380 and a little nylon holster designed to carry in a pocket. It was a breeze to carry and I took it everywhere. But my draw times were cringe-worthy, and the pistol only carried 7 shots.
Plus — knowing what I do know about holster safety — nylon wasn’t the safest thing I could have used to protect my pocket-pistol’s trigger.
Eventually I upgraded to a Smith & Wesson M&P 9c. It was too big to go in a pocket, so I got a cheap Uncle Mike’s holster and a $5 belt to hang it on my hip. In my youth, I was happy with this set-up, but discomfort and concealment limitations led me to carry my pocket-pistol more often than not.
Then one day I read about a gun belt, and my life changed.
It’s hard to find good information out there. Gun stores have a reputation as dens of terrible, terrible firearms advice. The internet isn’t exactly better. As information and technology progresses, things get better. But you still have to be careful.
Well, one day, sifting through a mix of good and bad information online, I stumbled upon the idea of dedicated gun belts vs the standard supermarket cardboard belts hanging from the rack. I admit, it took me a while to take the plunge — $60 vs $5 seemed like a steep ask.
But once I’d tried it, I became baptized in the religion of gun belts for concealed carry.
The rigidity of a true gun belt is a weird feeling to get used to at first. But once you strap a gun on it all makes sense. The best gun belts support the gun on your waistline so it won’t sag or move around. They keep your firearm secure and ready for the moment when you’ll need it.
Suddenly I found myself carrying my M&P all the time. Since I’ve switched to real gun belts, My Ruger LCP has languished in my gun-safe for years now. And I don’t have a problem with that — over my time at the range I came to lovingly nickname it the “Jam-o-matic.”
The next upgrade I would eventually make was a good holster. Nylon doesn’t do a great job protecting the trigger. But that’s a story for another time.
Why does a gun belt matter?
A supermarket belt does one thing — it keeps your pants up. And it does it on-the-cheap.
But those belts aren’t designed to take the load of a pistol. They flex and sag. Worst case, they’ll break under stress.
The best gun belts are:
● Rigid– so it won’t flex. It’ll keep your holster where you put it and it won’t roll or stretch when you draw.
● Durable – a gun belt will outlast every supermarket belt on the rack. My gun belt has kept my pistol safe and comfortable for over 10 years. At the end of the day it’s only cost me $5 per year.
● Easy to use – older-style gun belts have complicated straps and buckles. But technology has come a long way. The best gun belts are as easy to use as a cheap belt.
● Comfortable – all of these things add up to comfort. Even modern pistols can be heavy, but a rigid gun belt will distribute the load across your hips and will transform CCW from being something you dread, to something you look forward to every day.
Fortunately, a multitude of companies make quality gun belts these days.
Ten years ago, I bought a Völund Gearworks 1.5” Atlas G-Hook. It’s been a great belt and has lasted the test of time. For over 10 years it’s helped me carry in concealment and comfort and been more reliable than many of the firearms I’ve strapped to it over the years.
The Atlas G-Hook is sturdy, low profile, and easy to use — in comparison to many other gun belts on the market today. It’s a little more cumbersome than the traditional belt buckle, but with a little practice, it’s very easy to use.
Recently, however, I’ve been trying out Kore Essentials [could link here to your product page] tactical gun belt and their black leather dress belt.
The Kore Essentials tactical gun belts are the current pinnacle of concealed carry gun belts. They are the best gun belts on the market today for CCW. They are low-profile, rigid, and simple.
Kore gun belts use a ratcheting system that is even easier to use than a traditional belt buckle. And you can adjust tension on the fly. Just activate the lever behind the buckle and you can let out your belt by a few notches — like a pressure release valve.
Super handy if you’ve just finished Thanksgiving dinner. (Or if you’re switching from OWB to IWB carry.)
The best part is they don’t look like gun belts. Even the Atlas G-Hook, low profile as it is, doesn’t resemble a traditional belt at all. Kore, on the other hand, is sleek and stylish and has options to pair perfectly with range attire or black-tie events.
Don’t waste time in discomfort like I did.
There are more gun owners in America than ever before. Many people who have never owned a gun before in their lives. That couldn’t be better for personal protection.
But when you arm yourself, don’t forget about the foundation of your carry solution. Whether you plan to open carry or concealed carry, at the range, at home, or on your day to day, a good gun belt will make sure you can do it safely and comfortably.
We carry Kore gun belts , so take a look and see if their style works for you.
There are tons of other good belts to choose from, but we know any of those above will work hard for your money. And once you’ve picked up a belt to build the foundation of your pistol rig, grab up a good holster to finish the package.
Comfort and safety are priority one when it comes to carrying a firearm.
Carey Concealment. Armed and Polite.
Best gun belt
Kore essentials tactical gun belt