The USMC issued sub-belt is bulky, uncomfortable, and will not fit under a ruck. Yes, it will fill the purpose of moving some gear off your plate carrier, and yes it will support missions not requiring armor but it isn’t comfortable. If you’re already in an uncomfortable situation shouldn’t your gear be comfortable? With this in mind, I delved into the world of “minimalist” belts and settled on the TYR Tactical Gunfighter belt. The rigger style hard point loop comes in handy whether it be to hang your gloves or as a point to hook a safety leash. Along the top and bottom run narrow channels of MOLLE webbing and allows the mounting of any gear you could imagine. The Austri-Pin Cobra Buckle provides a solid locking mechanism to fasten the belt and will withstand quite a bit of weight without the lose end of the belt slipping. This belt is also compatible with a Velcro sub-belt or fits super comfortable with the included mesh pad. This belt is my go-to for both missions and casual range days handling both with ease.
Currently, my belt holds:
The “gunfighter” belt is just rigid enough to not sag with a heavier gear loadout but retains enough flexibility to flex with your body and be worn under a ruck. The belts are made to order from TYR Tactical and are sized to fit you with approximately four inches of play for wear over winter garments.
The comfort of this belt is really the biggest attracting feature. I have done multiple stress shoots involving burpees, pull-ups, and sprints all with ease based on the design and flex the “gunfighter” provides. Originally I was concerned that the MOLLE wasn’t enough to prevent the gear from sliding around, and if you use the MOLLE “sticks” or similar systems, they will have some vertical movements that are easily corrected with some electrical tape. Standard cloth or Hypalon MOLLE works very well and I have noticed no movement or shifting of gear. The hard sewn attachment point is load-bearing and will work in a pinch to rappel with some improvised leg loops. (I may or may not have tried it) the cobra buckle offers a positive locking system that is easy to feel at night, ensuring your belt isn’t partially hooked. As for the cons of this belt; if in a seated position the cobra buckle is wider than the belt so you feel it somewhat on the abdomen, the lead time on an order takes a bit to receive the belt, and that’s it. Overall I feel like a minimalist belt is a go-to solution for any situation that you would encounter, and the Tyr “Gunfighter” has proven to be a durable and worthy purchase.
Author – Tanner Hodges is an Active Duty Marine Infantryman currently serving as a Platoon Sergeant with 3dBn 2d Marines. He holds two infantry MOS’s (0351/0365) and has completed Infantry Small Unit Leader’s Course, and Advanced Infantryman Course. He has trained in Mountain Warfare, Desert Warfare, and Jungle Warfare all around the globe.