A Battle Belt for Home Defense
June 09, 2016
Realistically, when most of us investigate a bump in the night or answer an unexpected knock on the door, we do so with a home defense pistol and not a long gun. The reasons vary but are mostly due to the convenience and concealability a pistol provides. Shooing away the local Girl Scouts with a rifle in-hand is a sure way to get a visit from the boys in blue.
For about a year, I've been using a High Speed Gear Inc. (HSGI) Slim-Grip padded pistol belt for my home defense needs. There are many different brands and styles of belts available, but this one is unique. The inner portion, or padding, of the belt is constructed of a soft, textured neoprene that provides a gel-like level of comfort. The belt is comfortable next to skin, over a T-shirt and boxers or over full flannel pajamas.
The neoprene adds a level of grip that is unlike any other low-profile belt on the market and keeps the belt in place, even when bending or stooping. Most padded pistol belts are constructed solely of high denier Cordura fabric, which is abrasive to skin and does a poor job staying put, often requiring some sort of anchor, such as suspenders or a leg strap attached to a holster. This is unneeded with the HSGI Slim-Grip belt.
Why a Home Defense Belt?
Put simply, you can easily snap a home defense belt on over whatever you're wearing (or not wearing) to bed and have everything you need to investigate a potential problem in and around your home.
If a strange knock at the door interrupts a late night TV show, the belt is easily donned and a bathrobe can be used to conceal it, leaving both hands free, while keeping your firearm instantly accessible. If the sound of glass breaking in your basement awakens you, snap on the belt and away you go with the tools you need.
Here is how I have my home defense belt set up.
I opted for the Wolf Grey color belt and TACOs due to their neutral appearance, which is more likely to blend in with my evening attire and blue bathrobe. The slotted belt model allows the inner belt to be woven inside or outside the PALS webbing for use with both MOLLE or belt pouches. This also makes mounting a holster to the belt simple and aftermarket adapters unnecessary.The optional inner rigger belt features a COBRA buckle that is quick to attach and detach. The inner belt itself is constructed of two layers of 1¾-inch Type 13 nylon webbing and is sewn together with five rows of bonded 138-nylon thread.
To add rigidity, the layers are laminated with an industrial strength adhesive before sewing. Loop Velcro is then sewn to the outside of the belt to provide additional stability and firmly adheres the belt to the inside of the Slim-Grip padded belt, which is lined with hook Velcro. To say this combination is well thought out and will last you a lifetime of service is an understatement.
I use two HSGI "Pistol TACO LT" pouches, one to secure a reload for my home defense pistol and the second to store a SureFire Fury handheld flashlight, bezel down. The beauty of the TACO pouches is they will adapt to hold virtually any magazine, flashlight, knife or multi-tool, with the level of retention being completely user adjustable.
The LT designation stands for "light," and in this case indicates the pouch is 30 percent lighter than a standard pistol TACO pouch, thanks to an improved Cordura laminate and new injection molded polymer brackets.
Behind the two pistol pouches, I mount a TACO LT designed for a rifle magazine. This pouch will also fit an iPhone or any other smartphone with its protective case installed. Before I go to bed at night, I place my phone in the magazine pouch of my home defense belt and plug in the charger. This way I always have communications available to me, should I need to call the police for assistance or to update/give further instructions to my wife.
Holsters are pretty subjective, but I have the utmost confidence in Safariland's ALS line of holsters. Because I carry a pistol with a red dot sight, I have chosen the model 6354DO, which accommodates 9mm/.40 S&W/.357 SIG Glock pistols with or without a SureFire X300 white light attached. The holster is available in a variety of earth tones, and it fits the following Glock models: 19/23/32, 17/22/31 and 34/35/KKM comped 19/23/32. Slight trimming with a razor blade or rotary tool just beneath the hood was necessary to fit a Trijicon RMR red dot sight.
When my pistol is not carried on my person, I keep it secured in the Safariland 6354DO. I've mounted a quick-detach Safariland QLS fork to the holster and the receiver plate on the polymer belt loop attached to the HSGI belt itself. Because the 6354DO holster is a Level 2 retention model, it adds additional security for my home defense pistol. When I call it a night, the pistol/holster can be placed on a nightstand, easily accessed if rapidly needed. If there is enough time, I can drop it into the receiver plate on my HSGI belt.
The only medical device I carry on my belt is a CAT tourniquet, which I place along my centerline, so it is accessible with both hands. I tie two loops of shock cord from my local fabric store to the belt and slip the tourniquet beneath them. I recommend pre-staging the tourniquet to fit over your foot and the largest footwear you could be wearing. Other medical supplies are kept within the home.
I've been very satisfied with this home defense set up and feel it fully meets my needs. Due to its robust design, the package can also be used at the range or for duty. Other pouches can be added to fulfill personal requirements, such as a handcuff pouch, medical pouch or general-purpose pouch. The HSGI Slim-Grip Slotted belt and TACOs will do it all and are fully backed by HSGI's lifetime guarantee.