We know a lot of shooters think a gun belt is unnecessary. They have already invested hundreds or even thousands of dollars into their guns, they don’t plan to go to war, and they aren’t working security. Besides, their IWB holster works just fine to carry their pistol. So why do they need a specialized belt?
Holstered guns assure those around you that even if your gun is loaded, it is somewhat safe. If you were to pick-up your gun, unload it, even lock the slide back and then walk around with it in hand at the range, you shouldn’t go 10 seconds before being asked to bag it or set it down. And don’t be surprised if you are asked to leave and never return.
More importantly, however, holsters not only allow you to secure your pistol, but safely access it at any time. When I am training, often times I am not standing static on a firing line with a table in front of me. And Instructors are not going to allow you to participate in most classes without being able to safely carry and access your gun. Any quality instructor should make this perfectly clear before you even sign-up for the class.
If the class does not require it, training with an IWB holster is both dangerous and unnecessary. Soldiers and Cops don’t train with IWB holsters unless the class is focused on concealed carry. But regardless if you employ IWB or a tactical/range belt, holsters are the ONLY standard for controlling your gun beyond a safe or lockbox.
HONEY, WHERE ARE MY KEYS?
You should know where your gun is at all times, without thinking for a second. If not in your control, your pistol is locked-away where innocent people who don’t know how to properly handle it can’t access it.
As a self-defense advocate, I want my pistol and all of the equipment that compliment my defense strategy to be located exactly where I expect it will be in an emergency. This means not only do I need to practice predictability, doing the same thing, the same way, every time I do it, but also adhere to it without exception.
I have a bedside safe that holds a gun and spare mag. Since I rarely get into that safe, and I never use that gun, I know it will be there in an emergency.
My 2nd safe, however, that’s where I store my backup pistols and mags. Years ago, I would employ much of this equipment on the range, and when I returned, sometimes, I didn’t restock my safe for a few days; my spare pistols and mags stuck in a bag in a locked room where I dump all my equipment. Can you imagine someone breaking into your home and needing your equipment only to remember you forgot to put it back in the right place?
We don’t treat a gun or anything required for self-defense like a set of car keys. In an emergency, you don’t have time to ask your wife to recall when she last saw it. This is like placing your hand on a hot stove and then calling-out to your mom across the house if you should remove it. Sounds pretty stupid right?
A lot of people talk about muscle memory as if it is a real thing. It’s not. Muscles do not have memory.
If you shoot at the range without a holster, from where are you accessing your gun during your draw stroke? A table, a bag, someone else handing you the gun? None of these things are repeatable. None of them provides an opportunity to become efficient.
Accessing your pistol from a holster for just a hundred reps will show you all of the little movements that you can tweak to make the process much faster. Even after just a few reps you will start to become proficient at it. Now do it 1,000 times. You think you might become pretty good at it? Hell yes! You may even impress yourself how fast you can become. Most pro shooters have performed their reps tens of thousands of times, it really has little to do with talent and more to do with repetition.
Now apply this same principle to your spare mags for reloads. Or how about in the dark, we don’t go to the junk drawer to find our gun light, it’s right there on your hip. We don’t fumble through the medicine cabinet for a bandage while we are bleeding-out, it’s right there on your hip.
You get the point. Our muscles aren’t exerting memory, they are simply repeating a process that you have trained them to execute quickly and efficiently. Your brain isn’t exerting much memory either. By wearing a tactical belt you have simply eliminated the disaster to remember where your equipment is located in an emergency, and given yourself the best chance at successfully defending yourself in a life or death situation.