Endeavor Gear Cobra Gun Belt Review
1) I paid full retail price for this belt
2) I have no association with Endeavor Gear.
3) I am not a soldier or a police officer. I am a recreational shooter with a fairly high round count, and a job that requires me to wear a lot of fall protection gear.
4) I found Endeavor gear by typing “Cobra Gun Belt” into google. The first hit was a thread on the forum “zombie squad” in which the owner of Endeavor Gear was advertising his belts. I had been thinking about a good gun belt and decided to ask some questions. When I liked the answers I was getting, I decided to order a belt.
5) Endeavor Gear does not appear to have a website, or if they do, I haven’t seen it. I did notice, however, that they do sell their belts on eBay under then name “offpistekw”. My dealings with them were conducted first through Zombie Squad forums, then through email with owner Kary Welch. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.orgSubsequent images potentially NSFW (not safe for wife)
This is a review of the 1.75” Cobra Gun Belt from Endeavor Gear. I got mine in Coyote Brown with a Foliage Green buckle. The buckle is really more of a medium grey with a slight green tint to it, which Kary Welch, the owner of Endeavor Gear, advised me of before I ordered, so I got exactly what I wanted. Overall I found Mr. Welch to be excellent to deal with and very helpful. He is a career firefighter and EMT and has extensive climbing experience, so his advice on this sort of gear is worth listening to in my opinion. One thing that struck me immediately about Mr. Welch was his recommendation NOT to rappel or climb with his belts. There is no reason his belts are less sturdy than any other rigger-type belt; the point is that, as Mr. Welch noted, there is no government agency in the world which would sanction a simple belt as an acceptable climbing harness. Could it be used as such in an emergency? I wouldn’t hesitate to trust my life to an Endeavour belt…but Endeavour does not bill itself as building climbing gear, because belts alone are just not enough for safe climbing. Fortunately for me, I climb for a living, so all my expensive climbing gear is paid for!
I ordered his standard 1.75” Cobra Gun Belt with one modification: Loop Velcro on the inside. I also got a double layered 1.5” inner belt with Hook Velcro on the outside, so that I could run the inner through the belt loops of my pants and leave my holster and mag holders on the outer belt if I wanted. Since I mainly plan to use this belt for training and IPSC shooting, this is a good approach for me. I can also run the outer belt as an every day wear item, and it’s tempting because the belt is really nice. If I could carry concealed up here in Canada I would certainly use it for that purpose, but that’s illegal here, so it’s more of a training/competition rig.
The Cobra buckle is well known in some circles but not others; I will briefly explain it here for the benefit of those who are not already familiar with it. It is a heavy load bearing quick-release buckle from AustriAlpin, an Austrian manufacturer of mountaineering, safety, rescue and military hardware. The buckle will not release under load and has its load ratings etched into the buckle itself (9 kilonewtons in this case – 1 newton being the force required to accelerate one kilogram to a velocity of one meter per second, every second. Rough shorthand conversion – this buckle will hold up a weight of about 1 ton). The buckles are made from 7075 Aluminum with solid brass internal release parts, according to the manufacturer. They are ridiculous overkill for a belt buckle, but then I shoot ridiculously overpressure 10mm handloads as my primary handgun ammo…overkill is what I do.
Now on to the belt itself: the webbing is double-layered mil-spec 4088 resin-coated parachute harness webbing which I am told has a load rating of 6000 pounds, not that I intend to get much fatter. Seams appear to be double-stitched throughout and the stitching is clean and straight, whether on the edge seam or simply attaching the hook and loop. All stitching appears to be with #138 thread, which is 24-pound test and, I am told, difficult to work with but the ultimate in strength. There is a V-ring attached an inch or two left of the female side of the Cobra buckle, as is popular with riggers’ belts, although as mentioned earlier, this V-ring does not mean you should go jumping out of a helicopter secured only by your belt. Although I bet your bet would hold up just fine, you are really placing a lot of faith in your pants to not castrate you at that point… The V-ring is held down by a section of ½” webbing which is kept secured by a Velcro tab.
The double layered webbing makes for a very rigid belt, perfect for supporting the weight of a holstered gun, and making for a much cleaner draw. When laid down overtop the velcro’d inner belt, this thing is like a steel band around your waist, only more comfortable. But there is no flex. If you are looking for a belt to load down with duty gear, I can’t see doing it better than this. The webbing is stepped down to a single layer to fit through the male end of the Cobra buckle, and the loose end is folded back and retained by yet more Velcro, resulting in a nice, clean look and no loose anything to tuck in to belt loops. It’s surprising how nice this belt looks…it’s a bit mil-emerg-serv looking but somehow kind of classy.
Even the inner belt is a sturdy piece of engineering…it has about a six inch overlapping hook-loop closure which alone seems to have a tensile closure strength of around 200 pounds – just out of curiosity I was putting one foot in the belt and pulling up on it to see how easily the Velcro let go and I think my back might go first. It’s double-layered webbing as well, although I ordered the inner in 1.5” just to make it easier to slip in to jeans. Still, it’s fairly rigid in its own right, although not to the ridiculous degree of the outer belt. I’d say it’s maybe twice as rigid as the single-layer TDU belt that came free with my 5.11 pants, or about as stiff as a leather work belt, say.
In some ways, the best part of the Endeavor Gear belt is the price, though. They are the best deal I know of in the Cobra belt game, and the price is even more competitive from the perspective of Canadians, who have to deal with international shipping.
The standard price as of this writing was $50 for the Cobra Gun Belt. I paid $55 for mine including the Velcro lining, plus another $15 for the Velcro lined inner belt. For Canadians, consider that shipping was a measly TWELVE BUCKS to get it to my door. Some companies, probably on account of the shipper they use, quoted me around four times that amount and as any Canadian knows, surprise shipping costs can be a killer. But there were NO extra costs…the belt was shipped trouble-free via USPS.
The price tag is even better when you stop to think that a Cobra buckle ALONE goes for about $30.
Finally, there is less of a backlog for one of Endeavor’s belts than any other custom maker I have recently seen. From the time I first discussed the belt with Mr. Welch to the time it arrived was about 5 weeks, and from the time I paid until the time I received was a little under 4. Considering I think I am on the Canada Customs “hassle and delay list” for my constant ordering of gun parts, I’d say that’s pretty good. I believe the belt was finished and shipped within a week of payment.
So if you are considering a Cobra gun belt, I would have a good hard look at Endeavor gear. I don’t know how a belt could be built much better than this and I can’t see how you could pay this little for anything remotely equivalent.