We have a reputation for making both outstanding waist belts and cartridge belts. All are built to the same high standards as our holsters and, as with those, you have complete control . We offer all widths, styles & tooling. In addition, you may direct the placement of your shells (and spare rifle or pistol cartridges if desired) to suit your needs. Please note that it is absolutely impossible to list every belt we do. Rather than even to attempt that, we use this page to highlight the different TYPES or STYLES of belts that we offer. Please refer to the
How to Measure a Belt Page for that info.
Our work belts are built stout. They are 13-14 ounces (about half again as thick as many commercial belts which run about 8-9 oz!). We can make them heavier if you feel the need to have them extra heavy. .Ours are doubled and stitched and can be had in 1-1'4" to 1-3/4" widths. Just be aware that at 1-3/4", the buckles are very wide and there are limited for choices.
Our dress belts can be had in a light (8-9 oz), medium (10-12 oz ) or heavy (13-15 oz) thicknesses. We do not go heavier on the dress styles. The medium and heavy weights are shaved down slightly on the edges so that they present a dressier profile. They are offered in all the typical belt formats ranging from a narrow 1" to 1- 1/2."
1. Much as we would like, it is a virtual impossibility to even list all the borders, overall geometric stamping and carving patterns that we can put on a belt. We can do almost any floral from the standard western types to roses and oak leaves and in all of our standard colors. Most of our gunbelt patterns can be matched and we are always willing to do something new for our customers. Please ask us if you have a special request.
2. All of our work or dress belts can be had in the "ranger style", "new ranger" styles or taper styles mentioned below.
"New Ranger" Belt
The "New Ranger" is a true ranger style in that it form a continuous band of leather around the entire body. If you look at the photo below, you will see the taper without the New Ranger back. The taper has the necked down portion only. On a New Ranger, this is filled in with an extention that is stitched into the liner. It is a clever way to give s a much sleeker and dressier profile than the standard ranger. The New Ranger also tends to lie flatter and does not snag when pulled through pants loops.
The Taper Belt is a straightcut belt which has been necked down at the front to accomodate a narrower buckle. Many are equipped with fancy buckle, loop and tip sets. The true function of this style belt is to prevent a large buckle from pinching the wearer. In the necked down part, the buckle is generally only as wide as the wide part of the belt.
Cash Belt/ Cash & Carry Belt
Our Cash Belt is a light to medium weight money-carrying belt. Think of the belts as a long, skinny envelope in which money can be secreted and you have the concept. The Cash belt is a lightweight belt, can be had in straight, ranger, new ranger or taper styles in the same widths as our waistbelts. The amount of cash that can be stashed will bdepend on the width and how big around you are.
The Cash & Carry Belt is our hefty weight money-carrying belt. It is built to carry the weight of a holstered 1911 pistol or similar weight firearm without sagging. Order the style you like with the pattern you like.
The money belt was likely the most popular belt on the Frontier and survived well into the 1940's! It is a wide, soft belt. The body is made from a single piece of leather folded on itself and stitched. As a result, it is extremely light in weight and offers greater comfort than any othergun belt for all-day wear.
The manner of construction creates a long tube down the body of the belt. In old times this was used -- as the name implies -- to hold cash or such important documents as the sales slip for your personal mount. Nowadays it is an ideal place to stash cash, a credit card, emergency info or even a spare vehicle key.
While the belt looks identical to the ranger & gunfighter style belts presented below, it differs in the way it buckle together. There is a slot BELOW the buckle through which the tongue or billet goes before being buckled. This is the "lock" to the money compartment and also acts as a keeper loop for the belt.
1. Our standard belt is equipped with 25 cartridge loops. More or less can be had by request.
2. Money belts were traditionally not full-carved. Many were plain or simply borderstamped. If you are trying to match a holster, that is border stamped, we generally recommend the body of the belt be identically stamped with an option of tooling the billets. If the holster is carved with a border, we generally match the border on the belt body or do the border on the body with the carving matched in the billets.There are a good number of examples on the Holster Pages.
3. The standard belt is 3" wide with1-1/2" billets. It can be had from 2" wide to 4" wide with either 1- 1/2" or 1-1/4" billets.
4. Billets come in many styles. This one is the classic found on most period belts. Styles did vary though (see below) or our gun rigs pages.
Fancy Billet Money Belt
This belt is built identical to the money belt pictured above with the exception that it has fancy bulb-shaped billets which have been fully carved.
1. The billets can be left plain, stamped to match the body of the belt or carved to match your holsters.
2. There are many styles of billets. please look through our Holster pages or call us for options.
3. All other options are identical to those for our standard money belt.
Tapered Billet Gunfighter Belt
The taper belt is a heavy belt on which the billet and chape (tongue and buckle portions) are necked down so that a narrower, more standard buckle can be utilized for closure. Many find that it is mor comfortable because of the diminshed thickness in front. Put simply, it diminishes buckle bite.
1. We can make these as wide or as narrow as you wish. For gun Belts, that can be as much as 4" to as litte as 1-3/4" with a taper of 1-1/2" or 1- 1/4".
2. Most of the other options that apply to our gunfighter belts apply equally to this style.
3-Piece Taper GunBelt
This belt is a bit of a jigsaw. The liner is cut in one piece and the front pieces are overlaid so that the entire belt is as strong as a standard taper style would be. The benefit is you get fancier stuff up front.
All possible options included in our regular tapered gunfighter belt apply to this style with additional tooling options for the billet and chape.
After the "Recent Unpleasantness", many soldiers went home with their military-style belts. While many were never retrofitted with cartridge loops, some were. Buckles also survived and continued to be proudly worn with cartridge loop-equipped belts.
1. The buckle on this one is the Georgia 2-piece Military style. We have access to many excellent Civil War repro buckles -- both Yankee and Confederate. Please call for specific buckles. We understand family heritages as well as the correct historical portrayals of events of the era these belts would cover.
2. This belt is shown in a nice, rebel brown. It can be had in black as well -- or in any other color we normally stock.
3. This style of belt is available only in sizes that will match the selected buckle. This one is 1- 3/4" which is the norm.
4. Military belts were most often plain, but there were certainly officer's personal purchase belts and post-war belts which were tooled.
5. This belt may be made without cartridge loops.
Coon Hunter or Horse Thief's Belt
We have heard 2 references for this belt. They were delivered by word of mouth as loreso we do not know the hard references that support these. We merely give what we have heard as being interesting.
The Horse Thief name comes to me by way of an Australian gent. He said there was actually a law about getting caught with 2 of these because the suspicion was that if you had 2 plus a loose bit, that you had components enough to put together a rudimentary bridle. It pointed out that maybe your business might be horse thievery rather than just being walkabout.
The Coon Hunter moniker stems from a pal who said that back in the day, guys who ran hounds for hunting often fitted themselves out with such belts because they could be broken down into a collar and lead if need be.
This is an interesting belt which can be decorated however you wish. The only constraints are width. The rectangular rings are the part that dictate what can be made. Generally, we do a Horsethief model (1-1/2" tapering to 1" or 3/4") or a Coon Hunter version (1-1/4" tapering to 3/4"). At wider widths, it is impossible to thread through belt loops. At narrower, it is ineffective for anything but decoration.
The buscadero or "drop loop" belt is what many people believe is the true gunbelt of the west. It is not. According to legend, it was developed by Sam Myress of SD Myres Saddlery fame and Texas Ranger, John Hughes in the 1920's -- long past the classic era of the trail herd and cowboy. Hollywood very rapidly adopted the buscadero rig for its burgeoning B-western movie industry and the rest is history -- or maybe not! Buscadero, incidentally stems from the Spanish word for "searcher" and, in the southwest means a tough gun-toting lawman or gunfighter.
What makes the buscadero belt different from a standard gunfighter style belt is the swell and slot that support the holster. This "drop" allows the holster to be positioned lower on the belt to fascilitate a faster draw. The belt also offers a much larger palette for decoration.
The variations on the theme of the buscadero belt are endless. The belt itself can be cut straight with drops or on a curve with drops. The belt can be a continuous width or can be contoured along its width with dips and curves or an expanded center portion for additional decoration or enhanced stylishness. The billets can be had in straight styles with rounded, squared or arched ends, or can be fancied up with ends in bulb and arrow shapes.It can be had with as many cartridge loops as desired and any combination that is useful or pleasing. There are endless options for decorations with combinations of stamping, carving, spots, conchos and plain or fancy buckles giving each belt a distinctive appearance.
Taper Web Belt
The only difference between this belt and 3-Piece Taper belts shown above is that the body of the belt is made of 2" or 3" wide canvas webbing.
1.The options are more limited on this belt than our others. It is offered in a 3" width or a 2" width only. The billets are of the bulb type and taper for a 1-1/2" or 1-1/4" buckle. The 2" can be had with a 1-1/2" taper or a 1-1/4" taper. We can put cartridge or shotgun shell loops on these. Some cartridges and shells will work only on the 3" width.
The one shown is 2" wide tapering to 1-1/4"
|All Contents Copyrighted 2005 All Photos Courtesy Don "Oso" Contreras|