holster and gun belt for ccw

How A Gun Belt and Gun Holster Work Together

You might think that just because you have a pistol, gun holster, belt and so forth that you can just lash everything together and you're good to go. You certainly could and a lot of people do. However, you won't be getting the most out the carry equipment that you have.

Your Gun Belt and Holster, Should Be Comfortable

most comfortable concealed carry gun belt

An uncomfortable gun belt, holster and so on will drastically increase the chance that you aren't going to actually carry all that often. Indeed, the most common reason why people stop carrying or only do so sporadically is discomfort. It's almost always the fault of the equipment that they've chosen to carry with.

It isn't too difficult to imagine why that might be. For instance, a hard plastic tactical holster is great for a duty holster or when worn as an OWB holster. Place it inside the waistband and it's going to be wedged against the wearer, and any sharp edges are going to dig into flesh. Likewise, a leather IWB holster will likely wear very comfortably...until summertime. Then it's going to turn the part of the waist where it's located into a clammy swamp.

Likewise, a belt with serious gun sag won't secure the pistol to the waist, won't sit well and will make carrying less secure and less pleasant in general.

Gun Belts and OWB Holsters

owb holster on a leather gun belt

If using an OWB gun holster, belt use is the simplest and easiest, since OWB holsters are fairly fool-proof when it comes to securing them to the waistband.

OWB holsters generally attach by one of two methods, either by means of a clip of some sort (such as a paddle, giving rise to the term "paddle holster") or via a belt slide. Belt slide holsters either work by means of two slots in the holster or some sort of loop that one slides the belt through; leather or plastic loops of some kind are most common.

For belt slide holsters, you have to remove the belt from the loops, slide the belt through the holster's loop or loops, re-thread the belt through the trouser loops and then fasten the belt. Make sure the holster is located where you want it to be before fastening the belt; a good gun belt may not allow you to once fastened.

Paddle holsters are a little more troublesome. Some can be easily slipped over the belt and/or the waistband; simply put it where you want it. However, if the "paddle" is somewhat larger or features a retention lip, it may require the same procedure as a belt slide holster.

IWB Holsters and Gun Belts

inside the waistband carry

IWB holsters, since they are tucked inside the waistband, require that one gets the placement right before the gun belt is fastened, because they can be difficult to adjust once the belt is pulled taught. It's advisable to put the holster on the waistband where one wants it located, fasten one's pants and THEN fasten the belt.

IWB holsters likewise can attach via clips or loops, much like OWB holsters. IWB holsters with two clips, such as those made by Alien Gear, Stealth Gear and others, are very popular, as they distribute the weight of the holster and pistol more evenly than single clip designs. There are also IWB paddle holsters, which work the same way as their OWB counterparts, and are quite popular as appendix carry holsters.

Clips can fit between the waistband and gun belt, or over both. Some clips are sold specially for the former purpose. Often termed "C" or "J" clips, these have lips that sit under a gun belt, or above and below, disguising the clips to a greater degree than standard. However, they don't always accommodate wider gun belts; many are designed for widths no greater than 1 ½ inches.


About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.

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