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How to measure correct belt size.


Ginny Hinny

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Well, Sarge and i finally received our Mernickle holsters.  Beautiful work but...neither of the belts fit as measured.  Is this a common issue? We followed the instructions from their website and sent in the order.   It seems we both need to add between 4-6". To the center hole.  Sarges belt fit on the last hole, mine, hmm, not even close.  Any suggestions? Anyone else have to send their belt back? 

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I had the same problem with Kirkpatrick. I gave them the measurement of my current rig that fits me just fine. I told them that. The new rig I got was the same length as the old one but the billet or tongue was flush on the new one and the old one overlapped by at least an inch or more. I sent it back and they sent me the next size bigger which I didn't need. All I needed was for the billet to be moved forward 2" or so. In their defense they did it for free but I had to pay the shipping there and back!! The old one is pictured on the right.

IMG_1046.JPG

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Measure the belt from where the buckle tongue meets the buckle to the hole, accounting for equipment on the belt. Measure your hips where you want to wear the belt, again accounting for holsters and pouches etc. The second measurement is the distance you want from buckle tongue to the center hole. Also remember that leather belts will eventually form to your body. If you call Mernickle they will help you make the proper measurement.

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Sgt. & Ginny:

    Although it doesn't resolve your situation, I too was concerned when I first joined SASS and it came time to get a holster rig.

    I posted a THREAD asking the question: 5a158032c08a4_ProperFitforHolstersTHREADTitle.JPG.543bd18f805e6c054d38f10cf7da4ae4.JPG

 

    I eventually decided to go to Classic Leather Works in Altoona and met up with Halfbreed Don who personally fitted me with the outfit he eventually made for me. Fit me to a "T".

    I went this route as I was unsure at the time of getting the proper fitting holster.

 

NOTE: Click on the THREAD Title above to go to the Topic.

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I bought my rig from Mernickle and Bob measured me personally and it fit perfectly. When I finally won a buckle, it added 4 inches to the belt length and I had to have a shorter one made. Point being, you might want to keep that belt and put a "fancy" buckle on it till you win a buckle at a match. Just an idea.

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This is a common problem for leather makers.  For me, the best way to make sure a gun belt will fit, is to lay a customer's belt that they currently wear and measure from where the crossbar is on a clipped corner buckle to the hole that they are currently using.  I make that their center hole and then give them 3 holes on either side with each hole being an inch apart.  I also use a hole punch that is a longer oval to give even more "wiggle room".

 

In the pictures that Rye has posted, the new belt does appear to have a billet that I think is too short.  It's good to make the "hole" billet long enough that you could add a hole to either end in case the customer gains or loses weight. 

 

I have done belts without measuring them myself, but I'm very hesitant to do this.  Once I repeatedly told the customer how to measure his current belt and I also sent him two emails with instructions.  He gave me what I considered too short of a length because I had shot with him on a number of occasions and had a good idea of his waist size.  He assured me that he had followed my measuring instructions to a tee.  When he came over to pick up his new rig, the belt was four inches too short.  He was very unhappy.  Luckily for me, he had brought his old rig with him.  I laid out his old belt and measured it exactly how I had asked him to.  The measurement was 40".  He had repeatedly told me 36", even after I had questioned him.  He finally admitted that he had never measured his old belt like I had asked.  He had just given me his normal pants size.  

 

Even after his admission, he demanded that I make him a new belt free of charge.  I refused.  I did offer to make a new one for my materials cost, just to try and make him happy.  He eventually did accept the deal on the second belt.  Today there are still ill feelings about the incident and I have turned down a couple of other projects he has asked me to do for him.  I lost money on the deal, but I learned a valuable lesson.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

OP-What did the maker say, when you contacted them?

OLG

They were great.  Send it back and they will make a new belt with the correct measurements.  I measured my waist, with jeans at 33". The widest part of the hip. My waist size is 26, my natural hip is 32. 

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My first one didn't fit either.

It was a wider belt than the one I used to get my length with.

Kirkpatrick replaced it for me. I just hated to wait longer for the delivery.

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I tell customers to measure around where they are going to position the belt!  Do this with a dressmaker's tape or at least a piece of string.  I then allow for the type of buckle they want, and usually go 3-inches looser and 2 tighter, unless they tell me otherwise (like they are planning on losing 20 lbs.  I have had only one problem in thirty-odd years of making rigs professionally, and that was with a fellow who swore up and down that his pants were 36" in the waist. He happened to be in town when he picked up the order.  I measured his pants and in spite of being labeled "36", the jeans had stretched to about 40"!  Thereafter, I always insist on the customer taking an exact measurement.  In fact, if the gun belt is to be worn around the outside of a pants belt, I tell them to measure that way.  If it is to slant to one side, measure that way. I usually leave enough extra on the belt and tongue (whether integral with the body or by sewing a billet to it).  That way, a further adjustment, as long as it isn't much more than that, can be made.

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I've ordered two rigs from Mernickle, measured as they advised, and both fit fine.  Only mention this so people aren't discouraged from ordering from them. Bob's a great guy and will always treat you right. 

 

 

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If I am to put my nice roller buckle on the belt, the picture below will work IF it is understood which belt was measured. If it is a dress belt then the norm is to add 4" and go for it. 'Course, I put 3 extra holes on each side of the center hole.

If the customer is measuring his ol' belt that fits, then must be known also. 

The misunderstanding of this measurement is a perennial problem with western gun belt makers. When I get an order for a concealed carry belt, life can go easier.  Now, if you ordered a double buckle belt, things get fixed and easy.

 

Belt How-to-measure-your-belt-size.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ripsaw said:

I've ordered two rigs from Mernickle, measured as they advised, and both fit fine.  Only mention this so people aren't discouraged from ordering from them. Bob's a great guy and will always treat you right. 

 

 

 

I agree, the Mernickles are nice folks, and they were accommodating regarding the miscommunication Ginny Hinny and I had with them.   We followed the instructions on their web site to arrive at a proper measurement, taking into account clothing and gear.  Our understanding was that the chosen sizes would extend to the center hole, but somehow the lines got crossed, and both of us received belts with the chosen measurement at the first hole that passes through the buckle. In other words, shorter than we had expected. 

 

We have no doubt at all the Mernickles will take care of us, but we wanted to reach out and see if anyone else had a similar experience with the measurement landing on the first hole and not the middle one.  Our experience was a bit of a let-down, but we are NOT dinging the Mernickles.  I’ll gladly shake their hands if I ever meet them :)

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The double buckle has a bunch of adjusting room. If a customer says he is going to lose some weight, I will supply, free of charge another "belt span" or two and the customer can take up the slack as they lose weight. 

The rig pictured above would work well under those conditions. 

I get about an even number of customers that want the double buckle along with the ranger and tapered belt.  I also get requests for double buckle shotgun belt. Junky, look at Hot Diggity Dawg the next time you are at ONSP.

IMG_0705.JPG

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3 hours ago, Thunder Creek Kid said:

You sure that's not Kay's buckle??

You don't tell no one and I won't.

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3 hours ago, Sgt. Saywut said:

 

I agree, the Mernickles are nice folks, and they were accommodating regarding the miscommunication Ginny Hinny and I had with them.   We followed the instructions on their web site to arrive at a proper measurement, taking into account clothing and gear.  Our understanding was that the chosen sizes would extend to the center hole, but somehow the lines got crossed, and both of us received belts with the chosen measurement at the first hole that passes through the buckle. In other words, shorter than we had expected. 

 

We have no doubt at all the Mernickles will take care of us, but we wanted to reach out and see if anyone else had a similar experience with the measurement landing on the first hole and not the middle one.  Our experience was a bit of a let-down, but we are NOT dinging the Mernickles.  I’ll gladly shake their hands if I ever meet them :)

 

To answer your question, yes I had the same experience with the shotgun belt I ordered from them and I did the same as Seamus and put a match buckle on it and it fits fine.  I also called them and ordered an new belt from them and with the first one it was simple to come up with a precise measurement.  They offered to take the first one back for a refund but I decided to keep it as a back up, or if I feel like showing off the buckle.  I'm just a little nervous with a buckle that is only holding the belt on by that little hook.

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1 hour ago, CodyMaverick said:

.  I'm just a little nervous with a buckle that is only holding the belt on by that little hook.

 

If bullriders and bronc busters dont lose their jeans with them, a little CAS action aint gonna budge 'em.  

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3 hours ago, Ginny Hinny said:

 

If bullriders and bronc busters dont lose their jeans with them, a little CAS action aint gonna budge 'em.  

 

Good point!

 

But....

 

Confidence, or the lack of, in something frequently has no corelation to reality or rationality.

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BUT most Bull Riders belts are only constraining about 170 Pounds Max .:o

 

I have found that adding 4-6 inches to my jean size works for my gun belts.

 

Jabez Cowboy

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update:

 

we received the new belts and mine is perfect!  Beautiful workmanship, straight lines and very nice finish.  Fits perfect. 

 

Now, we seem to have an sizing issue with Sarges, again. Instead of being too small, it is now too big.  :/    So i am using an unfinished belt we purchased, punched holes, fitted him and his gear with this belt, put a tag through the hole that fits center and we are going to send that back, along with the new belt.  If it doesnt fit, he is stuck with whatever they send him because they have been more than congenial about the deal.  I give them an A++ for customer service.

 

pic of mine included.  I wanted to edit out my face as nobody wants to see it but sarge threatened to send the original photo if i did. 

IMG_8806.JPG

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My belt went from barely fitting on the first hole, to barely fitting on the last hole.  In fact, the second belt could be pushed down off my hips while cinched up as tightly as possible.  So hopefully this other belt we plan to send with the Mernickle belt will help them figure out just what size theirs should be.   Otherwise, we may have to have a local leather worker modify the too-big belt to fit.   We’ll get there, eventually.

 

At least Ginny is now ready to take part in local matches!

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