Written by Greg Ellifritz
If you’ve spent any real time carrying a concealed handgun, you will understand the importance of mating your holster with a high quality belt made to carry a gun. In general, the double thickness leather gun belts or the ultra-stiff nylon belts make it both easier and more comfortable to carry a full-sized concealed pistol.
For the last ten years, I’ve carried my off-duty/CCW pistols in the appendix position. I’ve come to realize that for optimal comfort and concealment in the appendix position, the super stiff gun belts are less desirable.
When carrying appendix, I’ve found that having an infinitely adjustable belt is a better option than having a leather belt with holes at a set interval. Being able to tighten or loosen the belt to any degree really helps with both concealment and comfort. I used the Ares Gear belts for this purpose with some success for several years.
The problem with belts like the Ares Gear is that their super stiff construction are a detriment to concealment when carrying appendix. A really stiff belt is a true asset when carrying on the sides of the body. When carrying at the three o’clock position, the stiff belt helps carry the weight of the gun and makes for better concealment. In the appendix position, however, the super stiff belts aren’t as useful. A more flexible belt contours around the pistol better and aids in concealment.
For appendix carry, a strong belt is useful. But the belt does not have to be quite as stiff as needed for carrying heavy pistols and magazine pouches on the side of the body.
Several of my friends recommended the Mastermind Tactics Specialist Pro for appendix carry. I decided to pick a couple of them up and give them a try.
According to the manufacturer, their Specialist Belt has the following features:
“The Specialist Pro is the result of continual innovation and refinement. Building on our previous low-profile tactical belt designs, the Specialist Pro is the most functional low-profile tactical belt in existence. Years of real world use has allowed us to perfect the design of the Specialist Pro, making it the ideal tactical belt for all low profile, AIWB and IWB carry needs.
Designed to be the optimal belt for concealed carry the Specialist Pro is the ideal tactical belt for all low-profile, AIWB and IWB carry needs. The Specialist Pro provides the ideal blend of strength and comfort, being rigid enough to support all your gear but flexible enough for all day comfort. The low-profile polymer buckle outperforms any metallic alternatives and gives you the most available space for all your carry gear.”
The Specialist belt buckle is extremely low profile. It allows for infinite tension adjustment. The belt is stiff, but more flexible than the Ares Gear belt. I’ve had mine for a couple months now and love it. The Specialist is ideal for appendix carry and just stiff enough to be useful for side or behind the hip carry as well.
When I was still working my cop job, I ended up buying a second Specialist belt to wear on duty as well. Its slim profile makes for an ideal pants belt for wearing underneath a police duty gun belt. The company now make an underbelt specifically for this purpose.
I’ve worn mine daily now for more than two years and think it’s the best gun belt I’ve ever owned. Give it a try. I think you’ll be surprised how comfortable the belt feels and how well it helps you conceal your weapon.
The Specialist Pro Belt is available on the Mastermind Tactics website. It is about half the price of many of its competitors.
FTC Disclosure: I purchased both of my belts with my own money and am not affiliated with Mastermind Tactics. I am not being compensated in any way from them for writing this product review. I do not have any financial ties to the company. I do not receive any advertising commissions if you purchase the belt through the link provided.