I just returned from the 2018 USCCA Expo, which (I have to confess) was my very first one. I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, with two of my fellow police firearms instructors to teach a class in advanced revolver techniques. All three of us came away extremely impressed with the entire operation. I know firsthand how hard it is to set up an event like this, and I can verify that the staff at the USCCA really had it together.
The amount and quality of vendors present surprised all of us, mainly because, in the scheme of things, the USCCA really has not been around all that long, and the conferences are a relatively new part of our organization. There was also a long list of experienced individuals presenting training courses during all three days, providing literally something for everyone. Next year, the conference will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I hope you will consider attending. It will be well worth your time. In these days of nonstop attacks on our gun rights and nearly everything America has stood for it since its founding, it was great to hang with a large group of fellow citizens who believe in individual liberty. It was also great to work with some of our members one-on-one in my class.
Once we had taught our class, we had a chance to peruse some of the newest products designed for the concealed carry market in the exhibit hall. From handguns to holsters, to compact and not-so-compact long guns, to support gear and apparel, there was plenty for everyone to see. One of the product lines on display that caught my attention was at the Urban Carry booth. I was really interested in their trouser gun belt, primarily because it did not look like a gun belt. The Urban Carry Heavy-Duty Gun Belt is made from English bridle leather right here in the USA. The ¼-inch, single-piece thickness is what drew me to it immediately. Frankly, too many of today’s trouser gun belts are overkill with double layers of leather and sometimes additional stiffening inserts. Some designs seem to have the Smith & Wesson 500 revolver in mind as a carry gun rather than what most CCW holders and off-duty cops actually pack. Urban Carry guarantees that its belt will not buckle or sag under the weight of a handgun.
The Urban Carry Belt is beautifully made and features decorative stitching to give it a slightly dressier look. It is designed to be worn either concealed or out in the open and does not scream, “I’ve got a gun!” Some manufacturers leave the top and bottom of their belts in the natural brown leather color, which does not look great if the primary color is black. The Urban Carry leather is dyed on all sides.
The Urban Carry Heavy-Duty Gun Belt is available in three different colors: brown, cordovan and black. Cordovan is a rich, reddish brown color that goes with either black or brown dress shoes. I selected a sample one in black. Don’t be alarmed; the Urban Carry belt also goes great with Merrell-type boots and shoes just as well as it does with dressier shoes.
The Urban Carry belt combines comfort with strength. It is 1½ inches wide and works with any standard belt and holster loops. Bridle leather is supple and requires no break-in time. I have some older multi-layer gun belts that still creak to this day after years of use. No such issues are present with the Urban Carry Belt; it rides silently.
Urban Carry utilizes a stainless-steel roller buckle for easy operation as well as a sharp appearance. I would like to see them offer a brass roller buckle as an option, because their belt would look great as a uniform trouser belt. However, since Chicago screws are used to hold the buckle in place, the roller buckle can be easily replaced with any type of buckle you wish.
I have been wearing the sample Urban Carry Heavy-Duty Gun Belt for a couple of days now with my Smith & Wesson M&P .38 Bodyguard revolver and my Colt Cobra .38 with OWB holsters. Although these guns are both lightweight, I know the support and fit will be just as fine with heavier handguns. In regard to how well the belts will work with and support various handguns, Urban Carry says the following on its website: “Bulls and Cows (sic) don’t generally fall apart so there’s no need to worry about these breaking down any time soon.” Good point.
What I really found amazing about the Urban Carry belt is its price. MSRP is only $45. The price is reasonable, because it should be cheaper to manufacture a single-ply belt than to stitch and glue multiple layers together.
I highly recommend the Urban Carry Heavy-Duty Gun Belt for the CCW permit holder. I also recommend it for someone who needs a good-looking, durable trouser belt, even if he or she never attaches a holster to it. Urban Carry strongly recommends that you order your belt four sizes above your waist size for a proper fit. I usually hover around a 34-inch waist size. I was given a size 38 to test, and it fits perfectly.
For more information on the Urban Carry Heavy-Duty Gun Belt and other Urban Carry products, check them out at www.urbancarryholsters.com.
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