It was only a few short years ago that I thought concealed carry belts were mostly a gimmick. However the Hanks Steel Core Concealed Carry Belt has changed my mind! If you recall the review I did for the Versacarry concealed carry belt, it wasn’t very favorable to the idea of a dedicated “gun belt”. However, I have certainly come full circle on the idea.
Concealed Carry belts are one of those things that cause much controversy in the gun owner community. Social media is riddled with opinions about this belt, that belt or the other. Some insist you need a dedicated concealed carry belt, others insist they are over priced gimmicks. After testing the Versacarry concealed carry belt, I wanted to go the opposite direction and test the sturdiest belt I could find at the time.
The Hanks Steel Core Concealed Carry belt is 2 plys of leather than have a “spring” steel sandwiched between. This certainly fits the ticket for sturdy. I purchased the belt in June of 2016. I have literally worn it almost every day as of the time of this posting (18 months).
What I have learned about the idea of a concealed carry belt after testing the Hanks Steel Core Concealed Carry Belt; A good quality concealed carry belt absolutely makes a difference. I’m not one of those who falls in the camp of one size fits all. Infact if you have read any of my other blog posts and/or communicated with me on social media, you’ve probably heard me say, “There are no one size fits all solutions to anything when it comes to firearms and firearm accessories.” The concealed carry belt is no different. It helps! Does that mean you shouldn’t carry without a dedicated gun belt? Absolutely not. Carry on!
With the Hanks Steel Core Concealed Carry Belt I was able to wear my belt a slight bit looser than with previously tested belts. This increased the comfort factor by alot and reduced the chance for pinching when leaning over or bending down, etc… The more comfortable the gun is to wear, the more likely you are to wear it. What’s the best gun for concealed carry? The one you have on you. If you carry backup mags, flashing lights, trauma kits, pepper spray, knives, fish tanks and coffee pots as part of your every day carry, you’ll definitely appreciate a sturdy concealed carry belt.
Due to the thickness of the belt, as well as the firm spring steel within the belt, it does take a little getting used to. This is especially true if you haven’t worn a dedicated concealed carry belt before. You have much less flex in the belt so putting the belt on became different. Not harder, I simply had to adjust the technique which I had used to put on a belt my entire life. Also because of the spring steel, the belt doesn’t quite conform to your body shape like a single ply leather belt might. One day my daughter asked why my pants were sticking out in the small of my back. I also had to change the clips on some of my IWB holsters because of the thickness of the belt, they simply would no longer clip to the belt.
Some tech specs: The belt is…
- 1.5″ high or wide.
- Available in various lengths and you must be sure you are ordering the proper length. You won’t be able to punch additional holes in the belt if you lose weight.
- The belt is .37″ thick, or in other words, nearly 3/8″ thick. Your average belt is about half that.
- The belt comes with a roller buckle which makes putting on the belt easy and my buckle has not worn nor tarnished.
- The buckle is screwed to the belt so it appears you could change buckles if you wanted to.
While after 18 months of wear, the belt does show some wear and tear, it is still perfectly functional. It is important to note, that the wear has been fairly rough as I have worn this belt both through high round count training classes, even to work on construction around my home and elsewhere, and put on as well as taken off a holster not less than once per day nearly every day. Some wear should be expected for any belt.
Over all I think the Hanks Steel Core Concealed Carry Belt ACH104BLK is a well very well made belt. After a short time of wear, it changed my mind on the idea of a dedicated belt, and after over a year of wear has convinced me that Hanks simply makes great belts. While there were some minor challenges getting used to a belt so thick, there are no real problems with the belt. On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being purchase and 1 being don’t purchase, I certainly consider this belt to be a 5 on the scale for concealed carry. If you can afford it, you should consider buying a Hanks Steel Core Concealed Carry Belt.