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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

Para Bellum Watch Band and Belt – Now Available from Hawkrigger

The Para Bellum Watch Band and Belt are now available. These items feature a new buckle design that was inspired by older French military dive belts. You can read more about the design in our previous post.

The Para Bellum Watch Band is available for 20 and 22mm lug widths. The user can select their wrist size and elastic webbing color combination at the point of purchase.

Para Bellum Watch Band at Hawkrigger.com

The Para Bellum Belt is available in Black or Coyote Brown. The user specifies their size at the point of purchase. This belt features a single layer of webbing which is more suited toward everyday wear but may be rigid enough to support lighter firearms.

Para Bellum Belt at Hawkrigger.com

Hawkrigger Para Bellum Buckle

Hawkrigger has developed a new buckle based on a historic French military dive belt. The buckle consists of two metal plates – one larger and one smaller. The smaller side is adjustable and can be passed through the larger, locking the belt closed. It is designed to be easy to adjust, easy to don/doff, and with no buckle parts that can wear out.

The Para Bellum buckle is already available in very limited numbers on both the Para Bellum Watch Band and Para Bellum Belt via direct message on Instagram. These will be available for regular purchase soon at Hawkrigger.com. Stay tuned for details.

Hawkrigger Watch Strap Tease

Some companies tease with blurred images or videos with the soon to be released item just out of focus, in the dark, obscured by mist… Hawkrigger is a lot more subtle than that.

They recently posted an image (above) and said that they are exploring branding ideas for watch straps, an item that is not in their current catalog. The image just shows some strap cuttings but even just those are enough to get a watch guy like me excited.

Stay tuned for pricing and release details.

Hawkrigger.com

Grapple Gun Belt from Hawkrigger

Hawkrigger has been offering the Grapple Gun belt for more than a year but, unless you were watching closely, you may not have noticed the near constant improvements it has received. The Grapple’s distinctive buckle is actually in its fourth iteration. It recently received new tweaks to improve how it grips the webbing, how comfortably it wears, and some updated looks.

The webbing has also been upgraded. The original 1.5″ Grapple, the 38 Grapple, is now constructed using a double layer of US made scuba webbing. Hawkrigger has also introduced the new 45 Grapple, a 1.75″ version. It is constructed with a double layer of US made Type 13 webbing.

On top of all that, Hawkrigger also offers limited edition versions of the Grapple belts with black PVD coated hardware. These are typically offered in small runs when the hardware is available.

Check out Hawkrigger.com for more details.

Crowdfund This: Hawkrigger Switch System

UK Based belt maker, Hawkrigger, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new Switch System. Hawkrigger’s existing belts already blur the line between tactical/outdoor and casual wear. The Switch System promises to blur that line even further with its interchangeable buckles.

The belt is designed to go from hiking duty, to range duty, to office duty simply by changing the included buckles. Each belt “system” come with the belt itself and 3 buckles. The first buckle is a simple, casual slider style buckle that Hawkrigger calls an Urban Buckle. The second is Hawkrigger’s exclusive lay-flat riggers style buckle called the Smokejumper. Finally, the set includes a 38mm Cobra Buckle. The image below shows ways you might use each of these options.

There are a number of color and buckle finish options available for backers. Check out the Hawkrigger Switch System on Kickstarter.

Hawkrigger Belts

If you are looking for a belt that bridges the gap between tactical/outdoor/EDC to casual, you may want to check out the offerings from Hawkrigger. The UK based belt maker uses custom hardware and high quality materials to create belts that will seem familiar to US based buyers but are unique in the materials they use and the function they offer.

hawkriggers-belts

For instance, many of you will be familiar with instructor or rigger style belts. Hawkrigger offers what they call the SF Rigger Belt with a number of options that sets it apart from most we are used to seeing in the US. They have designed a clever side adjustment buckle that completely does away with the loose tail often found on this style of belt. Their D-ring design even lays flat until it is needed.

The webbing is also different than most similar looking belts targeted toward the CCW market. Hawkrigger’s webbing is more flexible though still stiff enough to support a holster.

The belts are reasonably priced and Hawkrigger tells me they have hustled to ensure that shipping to the USA is affordable. You can check out all their offerings at Hawkrigger.com.

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