Blackhawk Products Rigger’s Belt with Cobra Buckle, by Pat Cascio

If you’re looking for one of the best of the best belts for concealed/duty carry, look no further than the Blackhawk Products Rigger’s belt that is under review today.

Tip-offs For Someone Carrying a Weapon

Having worked as a police officer in the past, as well as doing private security contractor work, I trained myself to be observant, always looking for someone carrying a weapon, and in particular, a concealed handgun. One of the first tip-offs that would catch my eye would be a poorly designed holster that didn’t really conceal a handgun very well. Secondly, the tip-off would be a poor trouser belt that didn’t keep the concealed handgun nice and tight to the body.

A Little Story

Let me tell you a little story. Not too long ago, while in our local small box store, I couldn’t help but notice a fellow with a jacket that was too short in the body to properly cover his “concealed” handgun. Plus, his belt wasn’t thick enough to hold the gun/holster combination. The holstered gun was literally hanging upside down on his waist. No, I’m not making this up. His belt was loose to start with, and however this fellow managed it, the gun and holster were flipped upside on his side. Luckily, the holster had a safety strap. Otherwise, his gun would have fallen out of the holster. How on earth he didn’t notice this is beyond me.

Importance of a Good Holster and Real Gun Belt

I confess, when I was much younger (and dumber), I didn’t understand the importance of a good holster and a real gun belt, not a Sunday going to church dress belt but a belt designed for carrying a weapon and other gear. I spent a lot of money in search of a “thick” belt that would keep a handgun high and tight to my side, only to have those thick belts fail in short order. It wasn’t until some time in the 1980s that I discovered real gun belts– belts designed to actually hold a holstered gun high and tight to my side. Yep, and those belts costs a lot of money, even back then. I still have several of those belts. The only reason I’m not wearing them today is because my waist has grown…LOL.

A Real Gun Belt

Now, a real gun belt doesn’t have to be double-thickness leather. That brings us to the Blackhawk Products Rigger’s Belt, which is made out of heavy duty ballistic nylon. But that’s only the beginning of the story. This belt is designed for the toughest conditions, as in military combat. No, it isn’t a double thickness of nylon. Instead, it is the construction of the belt itself and the buckle. The Rigger’s Belt with the new Cobra buckle is made to PIA-H-7195 specs. Look it up; it is demanding specs, ordered by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for certain products that can be sold to the military.

Velcro Belt Buckle

In the past, Blackhawk used velcro to close the belt on your waist, and it worked quite well. Well, the Velcro really worked. However, it is more than a little loud when you “unbuckled” the belt. Everyone knows the sound of velcro when you break the bond. There might be times when you need to take your belt off without giving away your position, and velcro didn’t allow this advantage.

The Cobra Buckle

The Cobra buckle isn’t some cheap piece of plastic or junk metal. Blackhawk came up with the Cobra buckle. Yes, the belt is still “adjusted” to your waist size, using the velcro. However, this is a one-time adjustment. Once you have the belt adjusted to your waist size, you run the velcro through the Cobra buckle. Now all you have to do is unsnap the buckle each and every time you want to undo the belt. It’s silent, as it should be. It is manufactured out of tough aluminum, so it won’t rust either.

Specs on The Rigger’s Belt

The Rigger’s belt is 1.75 inches wide, and it has a tensile strength of 7,000 lbs, in the black color. In the multi-cam, it is only 5,000 lbs. There is also a hook that you can attach a carabiner to, although I’m not sure I’d care to rappel down a mountain with it on a regular basis. The “bad” news is that this belt won’t fit the belt loops on most types of pants, not even jeans or some cargo-type pants. It is designed for military and law enforcement uniform pants.

Gun Belt Width

There is good news. This is that you can purchase the Blackhawk Instructor’s Gun Belt, which has all the same features as the Rigger’s belt, but it comes in a 1.5-inch width. The Instructor’s Gun Belt fits most jeans, cargo pants, and other similar sized belt loops pants. I own the Instructor’s Gun Belt as well in multi-cam.

If I were back in the military, I would sure pick the Rigger’s belt for my uniform for every day use. Hands down, it would be my first choice. Now, while this isn’t a double-thick leather belt, it easily holds the largest handguns I own, tight and close to my body, without the gun and holster flopping over. Just try that with the old BDU canvas belt. The only thing it is good for is holding up your pants, period!

Can’t Afford To Buy Junk

These days, I can’t afford to buy junk, when it comes to anything. You will replace junk over and over again, compared to quality made products. Yes, quality never comes cheap, so if you have to, save up your money until you can afford to purchase exactly what you want. You’ll never be disappointed, when you buy the best you can find.

Like the Rigger’s Belt For Several Reasons

I like the Rigger’s belt for several reasons. First of all, it is lightweight. Secondly, it will handle all the gear you care to place on it– several magazines in pouches, the largest handgun you care to carry, and if you want to add handcuffs, pepper spray or whatever you feel you need to carry, this belt will handle it with ease.

Not Cheap

Quality never comes cheap, and the Rigger’s belt is made in the USA, which is always a plus, if you ask me. Full retail on this belt is $86.95! It’s not cheap, no matter how you look it. However, a quality gun belt, one made specifically for carrying a concealed handgun, will set you back at least this much, but it is heavier and thicker than the Rigger’s belt, and it won’t afford you some of the same features that the Rigger’s belt does. If you don’t like a black Rigger’s belt, they are available in several other colors, too. What’s not to like here? My Rigger’s belt is already threaded through the belt loops on my USMC digital woodland camo uniform. No, I didn’t enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. I just happen to think it is the most effective camo pattern out there for use in wooded terrain, and it is my first choice to put on, should I have to bug out into the Cascade Mountain range, or any wooded area.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that I was very impressed with the Blackhawk Products Rigger’s belt. Check one out soon.


  1. If you are wearing a Riggers belt, isn’t that a sure give away that you are carrying? If I see a custom belt through the opening of a jacket I automatically assume the wearer is carrying. Wouldn’t a “properly” made and adjusted good leather belt be less obvious?

    1. Here, I have to agree with “eam”. I particularly like the steel-reinforced leather gun belts made by Bigfoot Gun Belts. These look like a traditional casual leather belt, but have a stiffener added to properly support a holster and magazine pouch. They are made in Idaho.

  2. My, how uniform accoutrements have improved. When I was in, you had limited choices for your everyday (BDU) uniform wear, either the canvas belt and slide buckle (which ALWAYS seemed to need blackening with a Sharpie), or the dress uniform belt and buckle.
    Yes, riggers had their belts and buckles, but the everyday pogue or grunt couldn’t get them, and I’m not sure if they were authorized for wear with the uniform back then (20+ years ago) if you weren’t a rigger.

  3. 511 makes a nice dress belt ( or at least they did ) and it was great for plain clothes duty.

    It even came in basket-weave if you were feeling nostalgic.

    Thanks for the review . always enjoy them.

  4. Liberty tree tactical will make you a custom cobra buckle gun belt made to your specs for about $65. Their quality is great and they are a small American business. I am not associated but own several of their belts. They can be found on eBay and they have a website the same as their name. Far superior to the mass produced belts out there. Stealthgear USA also makes a great edc belt without the cobra buckle for about $40 as well as some great holsters.

  5. Knowing what LEOs go through for training, and what they watch for, My wife and I no longer use holsters/belts or even those old fashioned “boxes” strapped to your outside belt looking like an oversized phone case. We simply have the smallest concealed gun with stopping power [.380 with six rounds], and place it smack dab right in the front pocket of our trousers. I even place my wallet/billfold right over it [just a few bank cards and license, etc.]. The other pocket contains the moola!

    That way, no eyes can gaze upon my hip holster, or be exposed in bending over picking up something we’ve dropped, or even be brushed up against in a public place. It still is as quick to draw, whether in a holster on my hip with a shirt tucked over it, as it is in my front pocket with a small billfold covering it.

  6. paddle holsters solved a lot of my problems of keeping the firearm tight against the body since you have enough extending below the belt line to act as leverage to keep even short barreled handguns snug…although I wouldn’t advise it a paddle holster could probably even be secured with a really poor belt or even a rope

  7. ” ‘I like the Rigger’s belt for several reasons. First of all, it is lightweight. Secondly, it will handle all the gear you care to place on it– several magazines in pouches, the largest handgun you care to carry, and if you want to add handcuffs, pepper spray or whatever you feel you need to carry, this belt will handle it with ease.’ ”

    I hope that in addition to”whatever you feel you need to carry” ” is a CAT-T G7!” AND you’ve learned how to apply & use it! I also have learned from (unfortunate experience) that the belt keeper you get with it doesn’t hold up & you’ll need to upgrade to a reliable one, or you’ll end up buying another one!

  8. I appreciated all the points brought up in this article. It’s a, here’s what your belt should do, could do, or can’t do.

    I’ve dealt with the can’t do, prior to getting the can do belt. Mine was custom made by a good friend who worked leather by trade with Harley D. He ordered hides by the hundreds and used the appropriate density and thickness, I’d guess about 3/16 x 1.25. It’s fairly stiff and that helps spread the load out.

    Topped it with a saddle bag buckle. Extremely heavy duty. It’s working well, holes spaced three quarter inch a part. Close enough to find a good fit. A few years ago I used the new style that are ratcheted. I liked it a lot, I could get the perfect snug with it. If I sat I could loosen it slightly if desired. It kept cutting the leather as it had two sharp teeth that clamped on the end attached to the buckle. It would last about a month, then cut thru and I’d shave off a quarter inch or so and go again…… Seems to have loosened the clamp and teeth now. I can’t trust it at all, but again, liked the ratchet feature.

    I carry a Glock 22. I’m 6-5, never tuck my shirt, works for the most part. I do have to be careful bending over.

    My biggest problem is the snugness necessary to wear the belt without it drooping and needing to be lifted back up. That’s my dead giveaway issue. It’s a trade off at times. If I’m concerned I tighten the belt and ignore comfort. But comfort does win some times.
    I liked that ratchet for it’s ability to really fine tune, which I guess the velcro design mentioned could achieve.

    In my opinioin, it’s a reasonable price for a significant piece of gear.

  9. Rigger belts are uniform and color coded to your profiency in hand to hand combat. Allowed for over a decade but still subject to Orders of theDay .(USMC)

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