The potential exists for a concealed handgun carried on the waist to shift out of position. This is a serious problem because an out-of-position weapon shows more readily, is harder to draw, and increases the risk of an accidental discharge.
In this post, I’m going to explain why the belt keeper isn’t the right tool to solve this problem, then tell you what you should do about it.
What does a belt keeper do?
The most important thing to understand is that the belt keeper is a piece of equipment that exists to solve a very specific problem.
The problem the belt keeper solves is a duty belt worn outside the pants can shift around the waist if it’s not secured. You see, the duty belt is made to hold equipment. As a consequence, it’s about 2” wide. Unless you have ridiculously large belt loops, a duty belt is not attached to your pants.
To keep the duty belt from shifting, the belt keeper wraps around the duty belt and your pants belt. It uses the pants belt, the belt loops, and the equipment on your duty belt to anchor everything in place and keep the equipment from shifting. It also creates anchoring pressure by wrapping tightly around the two belts.
The belt keepers I sell do this job very, very well.
Why don’t CCW carriers need belt keepers?
But the belt keepers I sell aren’t made to solve the problems that exist in concealed carry systems. This is because when you’re packing hidden heat, you typically aren’t wearing two belts.
To visualize the problem, imagine looping a belt keeper on either side of your holster. What happens when the holster tries to shift? The keeper gets pushed out of the way.
It doesn’t do anybody any good because the keeper isn’t anchoring off of equipment or a belt loop. It isn’t generating pressure by wrapping around two belts. It’s just getting out of the way.
Now, if your holster and keeper are sliding, they might catch a belt loop. But pants belt loops aren’t made to resist the force you need to apply to break leather. They’re made to hold one small share of the weight of a normal dress belt. To bet your life on the stitching holding a single belt loop is to needlessly insert a weak link into an important chain.
Worse yet, if your holster is sliding on your belt, a belt loop and keeper might stop the top or bottom of the holster, but not the other side. Then, you’ll tilt the holster. This could dramatically impair your draw, retention, or both.
So, unequivocally, without any hesitation, I say (even as a seller of belt keepers) that the belt keeper is not the tool to keep a concealed holster from shifting.
So what is the solution?
Since keepers won’t help you if your concealed carry holster is shifting, what should you do?
When it comes to safely carrying a firearm, there is no hack. There is no fix, no trick, no jerry-rig, no modification, no tried-but-true improvisation. There is only getting the right tools for the job and maintaining them well.
If your concealed carry holster is shifting, you need a new belt, a new holster, or both. Find a belt (preferably one made for concealed carry), and make sure your holster doesn’t shift on the belt. Maintain your belt and your holster, and practice drawing from the system the way you wear it on a regular basis.
Don’t conceal your opinion
Do you have a concealed carry belt you recommend? Leave a comment to let us know.