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How Stiff is Stiff Enough for a CCW Belt?

I received an email this week from a reader who purchased a belt that I have mentioned on this blog. He had not actually worn the belt yet when he sent the email. He was concerned when he actually put hands on it, that it wasn’t stiff enough (that’s what she said). It was a good reminder of an article that I have been meaning to pen.

Just how stiff does a CCW belt really need to be?

ares belt stiffness

The Superior Stiffness

If you could only choose that your belt be stiff one way, you should choose that it be stiff from top to bottom as shown by the red arrows in the photo above. It must be stiff in this direction to support the weight of the firearm which is key for comfortably wearing full size firearms all day.

Typically, if a belt is stiff from top to bottom, it will also be relatively stiff around the circumference (as shown by the green arrow) too but this is less important for how the belt handles weight. Remember too, that wearing the belt tightly will effectively “stiffen” it. That doesn’t mean that a sloppy belt should be made to work by wearing it tightly, just that there is not always that big of a difference between belts that possess varying degrees of acceptable stiffness.

How Do You Know If A Belt is Stiff Enough?

If you can handle the belt before you buy, put your forefinger on one edge of the belt, your thumb on another (like the red arrows show) and squeeze. If it collapses/buckles fairly easily, it likely isn’t stiff enough. It should resist crushing. In fact, I can not crush or collapse the webbing in the Ares Gear belt shown above… not even a little.

If you can’t handle the belt look for materials like double layers of thick webbing (especially scuba webbing), thick biothane, multiple layers of thick layer, or leather belts stiffened with HDPE or even spring steel. These will all typically exhibit acceptable stiffness.

You can also look for belts that are stiffened via rows of tight stitching joining two layers of belt material. Both vertical and circumferential stitching will very effectively stiffen a webbing belt. Snake Eater Tactical uses some very cool stitch patterns to adorn and stiffen their belts. Their belts are a good example of how belts can be stiff the right way, without being overly stiff around the circumference which makes them very comfortable.

A lot of the voices online will tell you that you need a “good” gun belt or a “stiff” gun belt but it isn’t always apparent what they mean. The above has been my experience and I hope it help you more closely hone in on how stiff a gun belt must be… or rather how a gun belt must be stiff.


Mission First Tactical EPG16V2 Grip for AR-15

Mission First Tactical’s new EPG16V2 Grip is their first AR-15 grip to feature a more vertical, 15 degree grip angle. It has MFT’s typical light stipple-like texture and fills in the gap under the trigger guard.

Check out the EPG16V2 Grip at Mission First Tactical.



Smoke Composites Carbon Fiber Buttstocks

Smoke Composites makes some truly lightweight buttstocks for AR-15s. Their Carbon Fiber Buttstocks weigh between 94 and 128 grams (3.3 – 4.5 ounces) depending on the model. Those weights include the stock with integral buffer tube. They are available in two standard lengths and with an open or closed “shoulder plate”. They can also provide a custom length for a fee. These stocks use carbine buffers and springs.

Check out Smoke Composites’ line of Carbon Fiber Buttstocks.

smoke composite carbon fiber stock


UW Gear Adds All-Terrain Tiger Stripe for Limited Time

UW Gear will be offering their selection of gear in All-Terrain Tiger Stripe for a limited time. This pattern is essentially tiger stripe elements in a very Multicam-ish color palette and according the UW Gear’s testing, it performs very well.

You won’t find this option on their website. Order the rig you want and mention that you want All-Terrain Tiger in the order notes or email UW Gear directly so they can send you an invoice.


TIHK EvadeClip Update

The TIHK EvadeClip has apparently run afoul of indiegogo’s terms of service due to its inclusion of lock picks. If you aren’t familiar with the EvadeClip, you can learn more about it in our previous post. Rather than water down the tool, TIHK has chosen to take efforts to crowdfund it into their own hands by offering pre-orders on their own site.

You can now help make the EvadeClip a reality by pre-ordering directly from TIHK.

tihk evadeclip


Falcon 37 Inc. HABU Mod 1 for 5.56mm/.223 Charging Handle

Comb risers and AR-15s typically don’t get along unless the design of the comb riser accounts for the movement of the charging handle. Ambidextrous operation of a charging handle usually requires a lever on each side of the charging handle which may be prone to snagging. The new HABU Mod 1 for 5.56mm/.223 from Falcon 37 Inc. thumbs its nose at those notions.

HABU Mod 1

You can think of the HABU Mod 1 for 5.56mm/.223 as a charging handle with a built-in cheek rest. Rather than a “T” shaped structure, the Habu Mod 1 terminates with a pad that rides over your stock. The pad is both a cheek rest and a large, easily operated handle for charging the host weapon. It is accessible by either hand and thus completely ambidextrous. The pad rides over the stock and can’t interfere with a comb riser because it is the comb riser.

Its an interesting concept that you can learn more about at Falcon37.com.

HABU Mod 1 for 5.56mm_.223 installed


RE Factor Tactical IQ Target Pistol Drill Ideas

RE Factor Tactical’s IQ Target is versatile enough to be used a number of different ways. You’ll probably have no trouble coming up with drills to use it with but if want some ideas… Check out RE Factor Tactical’s list of potential drill options.



BCM AR-15 OEM RECCE Mid-Length Lightweight 16″ Rifle

Brownells is now offering the BCM AR-15 OEM RECCE Mid-Length Lightweight 16″ Rifle. This is an IEM rifle and “OEM” is becoming a marketing term for a carbine that comes complete and assembled but without a stock or hand guard. This allows the purchaser to configure these items as they see fit.

If you want a BCM AR-15 that is ready to be customized, this is it.



Dark Timber Custom Knives Caveman Ring Fighter Bowie

Ring fighters are classic fighting knife patterns that incorporate a ring for the user’s index or middle finger. The ring serves as a retention aid and a guard. Typically, this ring amounts to little more than a steel loop but Dark Timber Custom Knives’ Caveman Ring Fighter Bowie has more than just a steel loop… It has a freakin’ knuck growing out of it!

Look at it!

dark timber ring bowie

The Caveman Ring Fighter Bowie is hand forged from 1/4″ thick San Mai steel. It’s 9″ blade has a distinctive clip point befitting it’s “bowie” moniker. The full tang is clad with desert ironwood handle slabs.

You can check out this knife and the rest of Dark Timber Custom Knives’ work at their website.

dark timber ring bowie handle detail


Aero Precision AR-15 Quantum Free Float Handguards

Aero Precision’s new AR-15 Quantum Free Float Handguards are now available. These handguards are similar to their existing AR-15 Enhanced Handguards except the Quantum Handguards have a modular top rail so the end user can place rails only where necessary or remove them completely.

Like the AR-15 Enhanced Handguards, the new Quantum Handguards are compatible with Aero Precision’s M4E1 upper receivers or can be used on any receiver with the addition of the BAR barrel nut. They are available with KeyMod or M-LOK attachment systems.

Check out the new AR-15 Quantum Free Float Handguards at Aero Precision.

ar15-quantum-mlok-handguards-black ar15-quantum-keymod-handguards-black

aero quantum installed


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