by Michael W Loos
What makes a carry belt different than a good, thick, heavy leather belt? A carry belt is made with two pieces of leather – or nylon type synthetics – stitched together to make one rigid belt. Some belts are two pieces plus a steel core reinforcement that adds to the rigidity while extending the life of the belt.
Rigidity is the key. You don't want a belt that can twist, sag or stretch. You want the gun tight to your body and to safely hold its position while you carry. You don't want to constantly tug at your pants, or feel like you have to check to see if your gun is falling out away from your body.
Anyone who has had a belt roll over on them, twisting so the inside is now the outside, will understand the need for rigidity.
The most common reason that people stop carrying or only carry occasionally is comfort. Get a good belt. Be comfortable. Be safe.
Additional Comments on Open carry vs Concealed Carry
I live in Illinois, so it's only concealed carry here unless you're on your own property or have the permission of the property owner to open carry.
If you are in a State that allows both, this is truly a personal decision. There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding between the two forms of carry.
Do you want to give up the anonymity of concealment? There is something to be said for the ease and unobtrusiveness of concealment.
If you open carry, will you be a target for those trying to steal a gun? With open carry, close quarters hand to hand tactics should be practiced to thwart an attempted theft of your weapon. Living in Condition Yellow needs to be sharpened to a fine edge. You will need at least a level II retention holster while a level III is better. These kinds of holsters require several movements to allow your sidearm to come free. This cuts down the odds on the bad guy grabbing your pistol from you.
Not only will the bad guy have a much tougher time snatching your piece, but this type of holster will require you to be well practiced in un-holstering should the need arise in an emergency.
If a bad guy enters, will you be his first target because he can see you have the ability to shoot him? This is a real concern. Many say the very fact they can see the gun, may cause the bad guy to go elsewhere. Others say you may be the first person shot.
Do you want to give up the element of surprise? There are those who feel carrying concealed gives you an edge in a situation that suddenly goes south. You have a gun and the bad guy doesn't know it? Check. Surprise counts.
If you open carry are you prepared for the attention? The ‘man with a gun' calls? Some will say the very act of open carrying should be done to desensitize people to guns. If people see normal citizens walking around heeled, their Hoplophobic brains would retrain themselves. Others say they don't want the attention, the looks, the fear, the cops showing up with guns drawn because someone called in a MWAG – or worse yet, someone swatting you.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about when you make the decision to carry open or concealed. Think it through and do what's best for you and yours.
Stay Safe and Carry Responsibly,
Hipshot – NewGunnerJournal.
My new book – Concealed Carry and the War on the Second Amendment, a collection from the New Gunner Journal – is now available at Lulu.com, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you have any questions about Concealed Carry or are sitting on the fence, this would make a nice Christmas present to learn about the lifestyle and those who live it.
Order now… “Concealed Carry and the War on the Second Amendment”