How Good is the 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt

A couple of months ago, the folks at 1791 Gunleather asked if I would be interested in doing a product review for them. I’ve seen a lot of their ads, so I was interested in seeing if what got delivered was what I saw in those ads. After looking through their product line, an item jumped out at me, the Gun Belt 01. So that’s what I decided to test.

Disclosure: 1791 did provide the belt to me at no cost. But that will not affect my evaluation of it.

Why The Belt?

Honestly, I have gotten away from leather belts for much of my day-to-day life. When I transitioned to appendix carry, I started using the Nexbelt and have a couple of those. The ability to adjust the size one click at a time is a real plus. Still, most of my life had been wearing leather belts and when I was wearing my shirt tucked in, I wanted leather. The problem is that I had been on a streak of disappointing leather belts. They were either partially leather and partially laminate or the dye was inferior. I wanted to see if the 1791 Gunleather offering would solve some of these issues.

View the Gun Belt 01 Here

Steerhide vs Cowhide

This belt is made of steerhide. While that may not sound all that different from cowhide, there is a difference that matters. Steerhide is typically more consistent in texture and thickness compared to cowhide. This is especially important with things like a belt. Steerhide is also more durable and less stretchy than cowhide. Lastly, steerhide has a finer, tighter grain, giving it a smoother and more consistent look.

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Initial Impressions

When I pulled the Gun Belt out, I was immediately impressed with 2 things: the thickness and the finish. It doesn’t scream “tactical”. It looks perfectly at home in both casual and semi-casual environments.  

Finish: The belt is made of a single piece of American Steerhide. No layers of stuff or artificial materials. No reversible colors or finishes. Just good, thick American leather. Initial inspection found that the black finish was consistent and even throughout the entire strap. It looks like the dye goes in nice and deep. The 1791 logo is embossed near the end of the belt. Right out of the gate, this belt just said “I can take it”. It was clearly designed to be worn daily and be functional, not just pretty.

Thickness: As I said, the belt is thick. This isn’t some skinny, lightweight fashion accessory. It’s a worker. I took a picture or two trying to use a ruler to show the thickness, but then I remembered something. Some time back I bought a digital caliper. My wife said I’d never use it. Well, honey, I used it…  As you can see, the leather was a full quarter inch thick. I took measurements at various points and the thickness was consistent. This is sturdy stuff folks. It will support the weight of a holstered pistol. The width of the strap is 1.25 inches.

Hardware: The hardware matched the leather. The buckle is a simple, but sturdy one. Instead of flimsy snaps, the buckle is held on with screws. Don’t overlook details like this when you are looking at a belt to hold a firearm. There is zero chance of this coming undone by accident.

Wearing the 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt

As I mentioned earlier, I normally appendix carry (AIWB). I’m also left-handed. This means my gun is in the 11 o’clock position and that can be a problem with belts since that is where the tip of the belt ends up. What this means in practical terms is that I have twice the belt thickness to deal with. And with a belt this substantial, that’s too much for a normal holster clip to deal with. That meant I was going to have to carry outside the waistband (OWB) to test this put.

I decided to carry my Sig P320 XCompact for this. This gun has an Eotech EFLX red dot mounted on it. I put the belt loops back on my Safariland 5198 holster and put it on the gun belt. Normally I use the Pitbull Tactical Universal Magazine Carrier (UMC) for my spare magazines, but the 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt strained the limits of the clip on the UMC. So I had to use a Safariland 074 magazine carrier instead.

The takeaway here is to be aware that the thickness of the belt may make adjustments to your gear necessary.

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The Gun Belt 01 holds these items very well. No sagging was seen. Granted, it has only been a few weeks, but I can see this belt holding up for a long, long time. The strap didn’t show any signs of the finish wearing off where the holster and mag carrier rubbed on it.

As an added plus, the thickness of the belt made the holster and mag carrier much more stable. They didn’t move as much as they do on my thinner Nexbelt.

As An Inner Belt

During the test period, I took another class at the Sig Academy (this time it was the Bullets and Vehicles class). So I decided to use my 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt as my inner belt under my outer gun belt. The day consisted of shooting from inside and around vehicles. Lots of movement, including bending and twisting, was part of the day. I beat it up and this belt performed like a champ. If you wear a bigger outer gun belt, this is a great choice for your base belt.

Overall Impression

If I had to sum up the 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt 01 in one word, that word would be: Sturdy. This is not a flimsy piece of scrap leather or faux hide. It is a working belt, made to support the weight of a gun and magazine day in and day out.

At $62.00 the Gun Belt is priced competitively with other high-quality leather belts and synthetic EDC belts. Although I have worn out a Nexbelt in 12-18 months, I can’t see that happening to this belt. I can easily see this belt lasting for years without needing anything done to it.

Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to recommend the 1791 Gunleather Gun Belt 01. Take a look at them here.

Have you tried this belt? What did you think?

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