Every gun needs a holster — truth. Does every holster need a belt?

If you grew up on cowboy movies, chances are grand you saw a cowboy with a gun belt. It’s the quintessential accessory that’s survived even unto the 21st century. Thick, skinny, reinforced, two-layer… There’s a number of styles that get tossed around.

But what does a gun belt do?

Theoretically, it’s supposed to support your back and keep your britches level while you’re packing a gun and holster on the hip. That’s the practical application. But it really doesn’t take much to do that. Any belt, properly fastened above the hips and along the navel, will do a decent enough job keeping your holster level. The problem is that we don’t always wear our pants that way. So having a belt made of thicker material can help keep the belt line from flagging due to “gun sag”.

Gun sag is not an entirely invented term. It does describe what happens when someone who has a heavy gun packed on a flimsy belt walks around for more than a minute. Gun sag sets in the moment that belt isn’t ready to support the gun.

So, taking a step back, perhaps not all gun belts were created equal. Maybe we need a thicker, reinforced leather or synthetic fabric belt to keep things steady and straight.

Enter the gun belt market.

Here are some major classifications of gun belts:

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