Today I am going to cover my Gun Belt Setup. It’s essential that we have a gun belt. Or back pockets. One will hold a tourniquet and other accessories, the other will hold a magazine… and to be honest if you can rock a course or event wearing only Dicky’s while doing tactical reloads and partial mag retention from only your back pockets, you are a better man than me. For the rest of us, we need a gun belt:
A gun belt holds a few essentials. First aid. A pistol. Magazines for said pistol. Magazines for rifle. Slim Jims. Twinkies. Etc. Over the years, I have used a MISHMASH of components to shoot courses and events. Kydex, soft pouches, frequent flyer belts, tec-lok clips, etc. It all works fine, but it doesn’t seem melted together as much as it could. I have a box of mishmash kydex, and I would be happy to send some random kydex goodies to a few readers who comment down below. Not all of it is new, but hey its a free surprise for you because I am feeling good to be back behind the keyboard. So now that I am clearing out the kydex, I want to show you the belt I have worn for the last few months. Without further ado:
HSGI Cobra: Hiss!
The Cobra is the base of my belt setup. It has the high-speed buckle thingy that can pull semi-trailers without unclasping. It is high-speed brown. It exudes “I know what I am doing or at least watch enough YouTube to look the part” sex appeal. Actually… it’s a belt with Velcro on the inside and outside with a fancy buckle. To thread it into pants, you need to remove one side of said buckle and then thread the various components through the belt and
Who’s got time for threading 20 accessories through your belt and pants? I purchased the HSGI Cobra belt with the intent on mounting it to the neoprene liner and/or to attach it to the inner Velcro lined belt that goes through your pant belt loops. So in effect its a two-part system. Belt + Bat Compartments, and either the Neoprene padded liner, or the Velcro belt that holds your pants up.
The system is nice since it no longer requires threading the belt through your pants, and both the neoprene (comfort) and inner Velcro liner (security) do the job well. The neoprene is more comfortable, but it can shift a bit; the other won’t shift at all and allows you to remove the gun belt without having your pants fall down. Schweet. The neoprene is grab and go clip it together, where as the Velcro liner means you have to put on a Velcro belt then your cool belt.
My catalog of gear starts with the Crye Precision GunClip. It’s a neat device, allowing the user to adjust cant, belt width, and it holds a few Glock models with and without weapon light and suppressor. It should hold a Roland special no problem, but I don’t know for sure. I would ask the guys at P&S but their writing is so dry I might die of dehydration. You guys will have to wait until I jump into the fancy pistol game.
As much as I like the product, the GunClip does have a few problems… I found that re-holstering activated my weapon light quite often, so if you need light discipline, this ain’t the holster for you. Also, some gun writers have noted that you simply can’t remove the pistol when the clasp is locked. Not True. With the weapon light removed, you can easily pull the pistol right out.
The video below illustrates what I am talking about, and is basically this article in a shorter, watchable form.
It is far slimmer against the body than several other holster’s I have tried, such as the Safariland Level 2 retention holster. The Safariland gave my stiff HSGI belt a U bend and thus a pressure point. The GunClip fits the belt much better than other products I have tried. I will keep it for now.
After that, we have a TQ held in place with a ranger band. This brand of TQ has a Velcro backing that interfaces with the HSGI Velcro perfectly, creating a minimalist method of securing a TQ that is easy to use and stays put. All for the cost of a cut up inner-tube or your daughter’s hair tie. SOLD. Don’t need no fancy TQ holsters in this house. I can literally walk five feet and look in a corner and find enough black hair bands to secure a lifetime of TQ’s. The joy of daughters!
Next up, a dual M4 pouch. This is a utility pouch. It can hold any one of the following: two M16/M4 magazines. One AR10 magazine. One AK-47 magazine. Range Finder. Monocular. Additional first aid. Candy. Shotgun shells. Hundreds of foam earplugs. Cyalume Lights. An ACOG. A Slingshot. Small plastic water bottle. Dog treats. Multitool. Boonie Hat. Mosquito net. I mean, it’s a utility pouch. I won’t head to the range without it.
Past that is my Condor dump pouch. It’s new and replaces my Maxpedetion rolly polly. It’s new, so not much to say. There are many like it, so we won’t spend much time here.
It’s a Condor dump pouch. It can hold a dead mouse with ease. I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him…
Next up: Magazine Pouches. ITW FastMag (a dear friend of many years) and HSGI Taco‘s round out the setup. I am late to the TACO game. I have lots of kydex magazine holsters and, you know… the taco’s are slimmer, lighter, don’t rattle, and adjust to multiple magazines. As a Hispanic who doesn’t care about mexico (little m). I have no excuse for not jumping into the taco party sooner… but that might be cultural appropriation because I might or might not be a white Hispanic, whatever the hell that is. I plead the fifth. I will continue to culturally appropriate everything around me because America. HSGI Taco’s it is then. Come at me SJW heathen!
The whole setup cost a pretty penny and I have put it together over the last year. I am glad I can clear out some legacy kydex systems and move to a more unified, more comfortable , and more secure setup. I would say I have around $200 to $250 ish into the belt as the belt alone retails around $79 plus the two liners (another $50) plus tacos ($39), GunClip, and the costs added into the legacy gear I already owned.
But then again, if your idea of mag retention your back pocket and rock hard glutes, you might be able to get away without a belt. For the rest of us, let’s continue to cover belt systems and web gear. That’s all for this week. Next post will be PROBABLY about building a budget belt/web gear. I am thinking we will build the article around surplus. You don’t need to spend $200 to carry your load-out.
So what do you guys think of the video + article? Am I ramping up the quality? Do videos give you a hard on? SOUND OFF BELOW! Let me know guys and don’t forget about the kydex comments! Only two people will get a kydex package from TNR! It’s USED gear so don’t get picky!
See you next time!
Great article, I’ve been thinking about when the time will come for a gun belt setup for myself… What steered you towards trying the Condor dump pouch coming from the Maxpedition?
The maxpedition was an old skinny pouch and the condor was priced right at around $14 so I figured it was worth a try.
It does look a bit bulky, you really don’t get that Batman feel?
Not really, as its actually very comfortable. As it bends around the waste some of that stuff feels more spread out.
I’m a fan of the set up, it’s pretty light and clean. I’m in the process of building a new belt system myself to replace my existing CR Speed competition belt. I’ve used it and a mishmash of pouches for USPSA and classes for years, but want something more practical and less bulky. Something I can use in competition but also be ready to go at home with. This is great info to consider
Something to check out that is high on my list is Esstac’s pouches. Very much in the vein of looking cool on YouTube, but in all seriousness their cloth pouch plus kydex insert set up screams to me. I’m not a fan of the bungee cords on the taco pouches hanging out and the side mounted plastic bar style of retention.
I’m a fan of the video content, quality and presentation was great! I would say that I love the quality writing here, so maybe video content could go more in-depth or cover the content in a different angle so it doesn’t exactly mirror the article but adds additional depth. Stuff in field, in use at competition or class, before and after of how it ended up here, etc. just food for thought .
I have the Esstac pistol and rifle pouches. Do not like them. When I bent over to recover jettisioned pistol mags I would lose pistol mags mounted at my 10-11 and/or 1-2 o’clock belt position. Bending over, the base of the ESSTAC pouch would push up the Kydex insert. In turn, I would have a pistol mag fall out of the pouch. Of course your mileage may vary.
Recently, I have transitioned to the G-Code soft Scorpion mag pouches. The G-Code pouches use some type of rubbery, friction linings. They grip ones mags, plastic or metal, firmly. Can use the same pistol mag pouch for single or double stack mags. Rifle pouches will take AR-malite or Kalashnikov mags, no problem.
Quit using my ESSTAC pouches some years ago. My HSGI pouches are retained on my older battle belt as a back-up.
Thanks for the input! I am attempting a video with every article that’s why my stuff has been slower to come out recently.
I believe I am on my 4th or 5th iteration of a gun belt/battle belt in 7-8 years. Recently I have created 2 “new” belts. Both with an effort to reduce carried weight. One of the features I have incorporated in both is the G-Code Mule. It is a single strap drop-leg holster mount for their RTI-equipped holsters. The single strap pretty much hugging my crotch. In turn the rig sits high on one’s leg. It is not flopping around. I like it.
Anyhow….there are many ways to set up a gun belt. My multitude of gun belts are testimony to my effort to improve my gear over the years. It hasn’t been cheap.
Just want to thank you for posting your gun belt thoughts and example. Always interesting and informative to see what the “other guy” is doing.
Keep up the good information.
Thank tou for the input! I have not tried a drop leg holster setup, but its on the list of things to try out when I get a chance!
So, my 2 cents – My cool guy belt is a black nylon webbing belt with a plastic buckle inside an HSGI sure grip battle belt, with a mid-ride UBL and QLS plate, plus a thigh strap. I have holsters for my Glock and Tokarev that go on the QLS.
My pouches consist of three pistol tacos, two 5.56 kywis, an HSGI bleeder kit, a Helikon-Tex E&E pouch, a double M4 pouch, and a BFG dump pouch. I’ve hiked about 25 or so miles in all of that with no issues at all.
Your setup seems nice, though I don’t have high hopes for that Condor pouch. Every Condor product I’ve owned has failed on me. Curious to see how yours holds up.
Good article. Your belt concept is similar to mine. The differences are the holster, I use a level 2 retention safari-land, and I run a suspender system. Otherwise about the same.
Alright guys I have you numbered 1 through 6 so keep an eye out for an email from me! No new comments will be entered! – Lothaen
Not too dissimilar from my setup, but mine is more duty/work-oriented. I spend my weekends prospecting and exploring old mines up in the mountains; my belt is based off a USMC-surplus Eagle Industries war belt with a rifle magazine pouch, IFAK, dump pouch, and utility pouch (for tools, lights, monocular, and the like). It tends to have a hard hat and BW gas meters clipped to it as well. I wear that belt and a Camelbak as a “recon” load; my total load including a rifle and water is maybe twenty pounds – perfect for high-altitude work!
I ditched the pistol; after a run-in with a mountain lion in the Catalinas two years ago, I just carry a rifle.