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Howdy. I'm friends with a local saddlemaker who is just getting started in building gunleather. He is interested in guns but doesn't carry concealed. I like to keep my business local so I'm trying to help him with some design ideas. Right now we are working on a proper gun belt for both open and concealed carry. At first we tried a single thickness belt of heavy leather. I wore it daily with my 1911 and .44 Mountain Gun for two months. It was fine for the first few weeks but then it began to soften and stretch and now fails to hold the holstered gun as steady as I think it should. I see that most of the custom makers use double thicknesses of leather in their belts. What weight of leather is used for each layer? Is it wise (or even necessary) to sandwich a piece of stiffening material (plastic, rawhide, etc.) between the layers where the gun will ride? Are the two pieces glued together and then sewn? Most of the people around here carry heavy guns (steel framed 1911s, N-frame Smiths, Redhawks, etc.)openly during hunting season and while hiking so a dual purpose (both concealed and open carry) belt would be nice. Western attire is standard here so the wider 1.5" and 1.75" belts wouldn't look out of place. Thanks in advance for any advice given.

Brian
 

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Brian, It is always necessary to glue the two strips together, and then stitch. It is always better to dye the leather rather than oil it. That may be why the leather became soft. And third, we use 7-8 ounce leather for the strips. It's not necessary to have an insert betweeen the leather, unless you plan on using a very thin leather for the belt.
Lou
 
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