Foundations of Shooting-Selecting the appropriate belt.
Up front, I am going to tell you that this is not one of those sexy subjects people like to discuss. Its something that's an afterthought and its often totally overlooked. It's the foundation of all your concealed or external carry options mind you, so maybe we should start considering it a little more seriously?
I'm talking about the belt. --That thing you thread into your pant loops. It's boring, or is it. I kinda geek out on things like tactical belts and I do so because I started off in law enforcement and concealed carry with rather crappy options available to me. I graduated to a duty belt, also known as a battle belt or dual layer belt or inny/outty if you're particularly special. This new phenomenon came about partway through my career and it was a game changer across the board but it wasn't the Blue Alpha belts that I have come to rely on daily.
That belt is pictured below. I purposely left the heavy duty clamps in the picture to give you an idea of how stiff this belt is.
The belt did not fold flat even with these clamps. It is a very stiff but comfortable belt.
If it weren't comfortable no one would wear it including me. One of the biggest differences in this belt compared to the Blue Alpha duty/battle belt is the buckle. It's still the well-known Cobra buckle with insane strength but it's much much smaller and it will thread through your standard belt loops on a pair of jeans or shorts.
As you can see the lower buckle is a little over half the width of your standard Cobra buckle.
As mentioned, in the past I wore leather belts. They were always such a pain in the arse...sometimes literally. Trying to manage a leather belt full of gear when you're trying to get down to business after a big lunch...not the funnest time lemme tell ya. I bet out there is someone or someones who didn't make it. Maybe its even one of you???
Fun aside, your belt is critical gear. It should be purchased before you buy that pistol or that knife. Heck, it should've been considered before you bought pants.
The belt is what carries, supports, aligns, and provides the proper platform during your weapons draw whether its a gun or a knife. Without the proper foundational support you are gonna fail like a drunk in a quickie mart liquor section.
This was even obvious in the pathetically low training standards of law enforcement departments across the world. Take a look at third world countries's departments that are still running leather belts and leather holsters if you don't know what I'm talking about.
The best holster in the world is not going to set you up for a proper grip and alignment on the back strap of the pistol if your holster is moving around on you.
The belt must provide that support and the Blue Alpha EDC/IWB belt with Cobra buckle does just that. A sub one second draw from concealment and accurate first rounds on target are possible with this belt, with proper instruction, and proper training.
Combine it with the Techna magazine carrier from Amend2 Mags and you have a lightning fast ergonomic set up as shown above and below.
I combine the tension of this Amend2/Techna Clip elastic sleeve with my front belt loop on my support side. Later, I may add a second one on my dominant side as well as mag dumps happen in a heart beat and places I need to travel occasionally are turning into crime ridden shite holes.
The other option for a mag carrier I will suggest, also comes from Amend 2/Techna Clip but it is a far cry from the belt mounted one. It has its place though, in your pocket! Never use it on your belt as it is possible to have the mag slide out the bottom. Proper place, proper time and it is good to go. (shown below)
This is also a great setup so long as your pants are pushing down as you are digging for the mag in your pocket. You probably see what I'm saying by now. The Blue Alpha EDC/IWB belt is key to it all.
It's also important that you pick the correct holster and do a full gamut of dry fire practice with that holster and the belt because this belt is thick and not all holsters will work correctly with it.
I found this out through practice with a leather holster that I occasionally use with my Sig P-365. For the record, I don't recommend 100% leather holsters. Leather can have it's place but it does not provide safety and support.
As shown below, you can see your "grandpa's holster" showing a great degree of wear in only a few years. This holster is dangerous and only around for demonstration purposes. There is more than one example of this holster design causing a negligent discharge.
(The unsafe holster mentioned is on the bottom right; the holster that is non-functional with the belt is shown at top left)
Beyond the obvious lack of safety from using such a holster, is the lack of precision that such a piece of cow scrotum provides. At least, with my index holster I can adjust my grip against the holster/belt if my hand doesn't get on to the weapon perfectly. The belt is again a key part of the system because it supports and retains the holster in proper alignment.
Knives are also a big part of my carry system. Preferably, my Spartan Mode designed knife made by Tops Knives in Idaho Falls. This knife is a precision piece of kit that really drives the point home in a bad situation. If you don't understand my subtle pun there you need to get to Adam Boyce's training seminar and learn what real defensive knife training is about. And yes, you absolutely should have a knife at a gun fight just in case. A knife can also be carried in a lot of locations that a gun cannot legally be carried. (Don't be the 'hero' trying to carry illegally; your family needs you at home, not in jail)
The knife also needs the support of a Blue Alpha belt to draw correctly.
There's no work around for the right belt. It's either correct or its not. I wear this belt to church every Sunday with my white shirt and tie. No one has ever mentioned it looking out of place.
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