Reducing Your Buckle Bulk

Appendix carry puts a lot of stuff up front on your beltline that wasn’t there before. Suddenly you have a bunch of gear that’s competing for limited space that was normally occupied by your belt buckle.

Some folks go the easy route of just rotating their belt, so the buckle sits off to the 3 or 9 o’clock positions. That never really jived for me, so the search for slimmer options became the goal.

Wilderness Tactical has long been known for their bombproof nylon gear, and they’re currently making half a dozen different belts.

One of the more popular ones is their Low Profile, which is definitely slimmer than their Instructor or Frequent Flyer, but the tri-glide buckle used still creates a bit of a hump that some people find undesirable.

Tom Kelley from Dark Star Gear saw this as an opportunity, and started working on a slimline G-Hook specifically made to replace the factory buckle on the Wilderness Low-Pro belt.

This G-hook has the benefit of being more “set & forget” so you’re not constantly having to re-tension your belt every time you take it off.

Additionally, instead of being manufactured perfectly square, it has a slight 5-degree bow in the front, which helps the belt more naturally follow the contour of the body.

The belt I got for this was honestly smaller than expected, so I’ve been running it as a regular belt when I’m not carrying a pistol.

The biggest advantage on this buckle was the quick-detach, so it holds securely but makes everything a lot easier to don & doff.

This is a big benefit when you’re talking about appendix carry, since belt tension on the wing is one of the most critical aspects of making the pistol conceal effectively.

It makes perfect sense that the guy making one of the best AIWB holsters on the market is now designing supplemental gear for other elements like belts to help his rigs perform to their maximum potential.

These will be a standard item offered on the Dark Star website, and are slated to release later in the year.


Tom Kelley is a friend, and has supplied me with several holsters at no cost over the course of our relationship. The belt & buckle were provided for T&E as well. I have also purchased numerous holsters, mag carriers, and a rash guard from Tom at full price.

The Suited Shootist
Alex Sansone took his first formal pistol class in 2009, and has since accumulated almost 500 total hours of open enrollment training from many of the nation's top instructors including Massad Ayoob, Craig Douglas, Tom Givens, Gabe White, Cecil Burch, Chuck Haggard, Darryl Bolke, and many others. Spending his professional life in the corporate world, Alex quickly realized incongruities between "best practices" in the defensive world, and the practical realities of his professional and social limitations. "I've never carried a gun professionally. I'm just a yuppie suburbanite that happens to live an armed lifestyle. Having worked in the corporate arena for the last decade, I've discovered that a lot of the "requirements" and norms of gun carriers at large aren't necessarily compatible with that professional environment. I also have a pretty diverse social background, having grown up in the Northeast, and there are many people in my life that are either gun-agnostic or uncomfortable with the idea of private gun ownership. This has afforded me not only insights into how we are perceived by different subcultures, but how to manage and interact with people that may not share your point of view without coming across as combative or antisocial. This is why my focus is the overlooked social aspects of the armed lifestyle."