No, You Can’t Use A Dress Belt As a Gun Belt
For the last time – no, you can’t use a dress belt as a gun belt. It just can’t take it, unless you’re carrying a gun that basically doesn’t weigh anything at all. Well, you could pocket carry with a dress belt, but otherwise you will need a an actual gun belt.
And is that so bad? Plenty of gun belts are perfectly capable dress belt AND gun belts. You just have to find the right one.
Dress Belts Are Not Built Like Gun Belts
A dress belt is not build like a good leather gun belt is, at all, which is one of the reasons why you really shouldn’t try carrying a pistol and holster with one. In fact, the typical dress belt isn’t built nearly as strong as a lot of other fashion belts. As a result, you really shouldn’t try tasking with much more than trousers and maybe a wallet.
Why is that? Well, it has to do with dress belts being made for a specific purpose in mind. Just like how a steak knife is not really a suitable carving knife nor makes a very good chef’s knife, a dress belt is built for dressy occasions.
The typical dress belt is made from leather, which can be single-ply or dual-ply; often you’ll see a softer layer on the inside (such as suede in some cases) and a harder outer layer of leather, and of a hopefully decent grain, if you’ve done your shopping right. Some are, just like some of the best gun belts made from English bridle leather, but that isn’t enough.
You’re also not likely to find military-grade stitching and certainly not a reinforcing layer. Why bother? A dress belt is made to hold up pants, and that’s about it.
Dress Belts And Gun Belts Are Different Tools For Different Jobs
Quality gun belts are built with the purpose of holding up a pistol, holster and everything else one carries on the waistline; a dress belt is designed to hold up trousers, look good and not draw attention to itself.
Most dress belt are also very small, as few are going to exceed a width of 1 inch, with small buckles; large buckles draw attention and are really only appropriate for casual wear. Also, a dress belt is never flashy. If your dress belt is ostrich or alligator, you may be doing it wrong; most leather dress belts have a dull gloss or matte appearance, as they should blend in.
In other words, formal wear is designed to look good but in an understated manner – accessories included. Nothing should draw attention to itself.
A leather gun belt, on the other hand, is a whacking great strap of hide. Not necessarily huge, but thicker than the average belt by a decent margin, and for good reason – it has to be up to the task of carrying a few extra pounds of gear that the normal belt would not be entirely up to.
Besides – plenty of leather gun belts are pretty sharp looking when you get down to it. Remember – black goes with just about everything, and you can definitely CCW in a tux.
Once Again, You Need a Gun Belt To Carry
There’s a reason why gun belt exist. It’s because most normal belts just don’t have the capacity to safely and securely carry a gun and holster, dress belts included. If they did, then there wouldn’t be such a thing as gun sag and the need for anyone to make gun belts.
A dress belt just isn’t going to be up for the task, or at least won’t be for long in all likelihood. It will warp, stretch, and not only will your gun, holster and trousers dip and sag where the pistol is belted, you’ll also have ruined an otherwise perfectly good belt.
After all, you’re supposed to use the right tool for the job.
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.