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Review: Hawkrigger 38 Grapple Gun Belt

I have been wearing a Hawkrigger 38 Grapple Gun Belt every day since March. In that time I have used in on mountain bike and gravel bike rides, on day hikes, on an overnighter, during kettlebell workouts, on the range, and for general everyday use. Let’s see what I’ve learned.

Overview

The 38 Grapple Gun Belt is sewn from 38mm (1.5″) wide, US-made scuba webbing. The webbing is double layered and has 4 circumferential stitches for stiffness.

The name “Grapple” comes from the G-hook style buckle. It is made from stainless steel and aggressively deburred to remove any sharp edges. The buckle has a slightly curved shape to conform to the wearer.

Observations from Use

I mentioned some of the activities that I have tried while wearing this belt like biking and kettlebell workouts. I did these activities specifically while wearing appendix carry holsters in order to test various aspects of the belt.

I cycled many more than 200 miles on pavement, forest roads, and trails while wearing this belt. I stopped tracking miles after the first few weeks and I’ve worn this belt on all my rides since so the actual mile count is much higher. I figured that this would be a good test of comfort given the forward bent position that cycling requires. The Grapple is stiff in the direction that it needs to be (up and down) but relatively compliant circumferentially which makes it very comfortable while still able to effectively bear weight. I find it to be very comfortable for AIWB carry as well as 3-4 o’clock hip carry.

I wore the Grapple during kettlebell workouts to see if the adjustment would slip. I never had to tighten the belt during a workout and if you know about the mechanics of a kettlebell swing, that should be impressive. It seems like the more tension you put on the buckle, the more it bites and holds. The only instances I have ever had to tighten it have required very little tightening and it usually happens when there is very little tension on the belt.

This belt is easy to wear. It is easy to open, easy to close, easy to thread into belt loops, and easy to adjust. The hooked buckle mates easily with a sewn-in loop in the webbing. The webbing is stiff enough that this loop is always held open when the belt isn’t under tension. You can latch and unlatch with your eyes closed. The open end threads easily in any pants and some pants will even allow the very low profile buckle design to pass through the loops.

The adjustment on this belt is very straight forward. Coarse adjustments are best made when the belt is not threaded in pants. Fine adjustments can be made easily by levering the adjustable side of the buckle forward and then either ratcheting it tighter or allow some webbing to slip in order to loosen. I am not sure to what extent Hawkrigger knew that the adjustment would work out this way, but I like it. It is almost like a ratcheting mechanism without moving parts.

The belt comes with an elastic loop that keeps the excess length under control. The belts are available in multiple standard sizes. When you buy one, you provide your measurement and Hawkrigger provides the correct size based on your measurement. I like that the guesswork is taken out of the process as I often fall between sizes and never feel sure about which size to pick. The belt has a generous amount of adjustment built-in.

The quality of this belt is excellent. It has massive bar tacks where appropriate, 4 full-length circumferential stitches bonding the layers of webbing, cleanly cut and sealed edges, and quality components. Mine still basically looks new. I was concerned about how the buckle hook would wear against the webbing loop over time but that concern has been unfounded due to the lack of anything resembling a sharp edge.

I should also point out that, at just over $50, this belt costs about half of what my previous gun belt cost and I have found that it meets my needs better. I consider this to be an excellent value.

Wrap Up

This is an excellent gun belt. It bears the weight of a gun well and strikes the right balance between rigidity and flexibility. The design is simple, easy to live with, and comfortable to wear. I am wearing it as I type this and I’ll be wearing days later when you read this.

Hawkrigger.com

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