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Old 02-22-2021, 11:36 AM
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Default Sam Browne question

To those who use or did use one, did it work as advertised by taking some weight of the hip? Or are they a literal pain in the neck?
I’m thinking about trying one when I’ll be carrying a 629/knife/and water for a full day in the woods.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:40 PM
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Depends how much gear you have on it. It's been a long time since I've worn one as a security guard, but mine wasn't as loaded down as you see police officers carrying nowadays. It supported my gear, but it did not take the weight off my hips. Plenty of stories around of LEOs who retired with back and/or hip issues after a career of wearing a Sam Browne rig. I've seen officers using suspenders or load-bearing vests to spread out some of the weight.

Personally, if you want to take the weight off your hips, your best bet would be to add suspenders to whatever belt you're using. I like Perry Suspenders because they attach to the belt and do a good job taking some of the weight off the hips.

Just my opinion.

Edit: Now that I think about it, I think Safariland came out with a Sam Browne rig some years ago that was supposed to take some of the weight off the hips. I think it was called the Levitation System, or something like that. I never tried it so I can't say if it actually worked, and I don't know if they even still offer that or something similar.

Last edited by ContinentalOp; 02-22-2021 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:52 PM
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I don’t know if it helped with the load, but it did keep their tie from whacking ‘em in the face.

You’d have to be crazy to mess with this guy!

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Old 02-22-2021, 02:18 PM
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I used a Sam Browne rig when I worked for DOC many years ago. On duty, I'd have a M65, radio (if outside) and can of mace, and it wasn't too heavy. I also used it when competing on the pistol team, shooting service revolver class. I'd have the revolver and two speed loaders in a pouch. Not too bad. The biggest difference between then and now is that I wore a 28" belt back then, it's a 36" now, so a little more leather.
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:23 PM
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We only used the support (suicide - more later) strap when wearing our dress blouse uniform. The blouse itself had hooks built into the sides slightly above the waist that actually supported the weight of the gun belt. Without those hooks, the weight of the fully loaded gun belt hanging from the support (suicide) strap would get uncomfortable in short order. I'm not sure what our fully loaded gun belt weighed as the equipment that we carried changed so often, but I would guess 12 - 20 lbs. From talking to officers from other agencies that permitted the use of suspenders, it was pretty evenly split among those who liked them and those who didn't. While it won't be an issue for you, most of us that worked the road and had to lay hands on people hated the suicide (support) strap, because more than once an arrestee was able to get hold of it and then the fight would be on in very close quarters.
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hair Trigger View Post
On duty, I'd have a M65, radio (if outside) and can of mace, and it wasn't too heavy.
Funny thing is that I actually had more gear on my belt when I did unarmed security than when I worked armed. As an unarmed guard I typically had a radio, pepper spray, Handler 12 (lower profile alternative to the baton...don't know how many people were familar with them) with case that had an integral handcuff pouch, flashlight, a monocular (came in handy when "observing and reporting" from a distance was safer), and a pager when I was a supervisor. As an armed guard I usually had my issued revolver in a holster, two speedloader pouches, a flashlight, and a radio. Of course, a lot of that had to do with what the company and/or the client would allow.

Also, this was back in the 90s.

*shrug*
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:04 PM
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So it seems like the consensus is that it doesn’t help all that much.
The only thing that might grab mine if I use one might be a branch or limb.
BTW, this would be used on a separate gun belt worn outside of everything so I don’t know about suspenders.
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:18 PM
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BTW, this would be used on a separate gun belt worn outside of everything so I don’t know about suspenders.
Perry Suspenders might still work. They attach by plastic J-hooks to the bottom of the belt. You'd just attach them to the gun belt.

FWIW, I believe they have a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you try them and don't like them you can return them for a refund.

And I'm not affiliated with them. I just like their product. I don't really need them, but they do make carrying a gun more comfortable. I wear them concealed, over my undershirt and under my overshirt.
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:21 PM
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Default REENACTMENT UNIFORMS

In CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT UNIFORMS , cavalry wears strap over right shoulder to support Sword on left side. A 2nd Dragoon .44 on the right in flap holster is actually heavier than saber but Sam Browne does help with sword.
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:57 PM
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ContinentalOp, thanks for the tip. They’re cheap enough that if it doesn’t work I’m not out much, but it seems like they may come in handy. Roll them up and stuff in a pocket until needed.
A camo set is on the way.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:05 PM
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The simplest solution is the best.

Try some good old fashioned suspenders.

I use these: Perry Suspenders. Made in USA, cheap, works great with any belt and any body.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
Perry Suspenders might still work. They attach by plastic J-hooks to the bottom of the belt. You'd just attach them to the gun belt.

FWIW, I believe they have a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you try them and don't like them you can return them for a refund.

And I'm not affiliated with them. I just like their product. I don't really need them, but they do make carrying a gun more comfortable. I wear them concealed, over my undershirt and under my overshirt.
I've been using these in the same manner for years. the best part is, I am no longer hiking up my sagging pants. Gun or no gun . . . (I suffer from goneass disease).
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:37 PM
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In the WWI and early WWII period, Sam Browne rigs in the U.S. Army were simply a way to quickly distinguish commissioned officers from the enlisted ranks. They were part of an officer's uniform. Their utility otherwise was pretty nil.

I wore one as a cadet officer in Jr. ROTC in high school - I'm sure they were holdovers from the WWI period. They looked snazzy, but I considered this rig to be a pretty useless appendage to the uniform. We used them to support another useless badge of rank - the formal 1902 U.S. Army officers' saber. This piece of nonsense clinked and clanked a lot - and we abandoned their use in 1957.

I have a collection of U.S. military edged weapons, and this one was actually made in 1902 - the first year that sword was issued.



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Old 02-22-2021, 09:22 PM
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The Sam Browne rigs really were repackaged Civil War era sword hanger belts. They were mostly for show but did shift the weight a bit. As noted, they have a bad reputation as being against officers and also have a bit of National Socialist vibe.

If out bushwhacking, I like what Uncle Sam generously provided to us wear - Load Bearing Suspenders. They were ALICE gear in my day, but suspenders made a 15lb combat load tolerable while hiking, climbing, crawling, etc. A little padding is more comfortable for weight, but I wore single thickness nylon suspenders under external body armor for comfort.

If looking for something useable, suggest the GGG suspenders. They use modern materials/techniques to transfer weight off the hips. The use of cool G Hooks mean they will work with many belts and pants. Slicker than snot.
UGF 3 Point Suspenders – Grey Ghost Gear(R)

There is also a law enforcement flavor version for big duty belts.
LE Suspenders – Grey Ghost Gear(R)
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:50 PM
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I carry alot of **** in my pockets. Add in the weight of a gun, much less water, and the suspenders come out. Makes a big difference after walking all day. When I hunt, I carry a camelback pack so my water is on my shoulders already. Also, I can get a drink without reaching behind me for a water bottle and then trying to reholster said bottle. So I've got my pockets full of ****, a pack on my back and a slung rifle. I carry a handgun crossdraw on a belt. Even with all that weight already riding my not so impressive shoulders, I go with suspenders. Less tired and not pissed about having to pull my pants up all the time.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:03 PM
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I carry alot of **** in my pockets.
Me, too. I often joke that I'm prepared for anything except escaping by swimming, in which case I'd probably sink and drown.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:04 AM
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Default Sam Brown Belt

We used to have to wear the strap with out dress uniform jacket. Back in those days ( 1970's ) we didn't carry as much equipment, no flashlight, mace, no portable radio, but we did carry blackjacks. In those days I was a lot younger and lighter in weight. I was happy wher we discontinued wearing the dress coat, because it was much faster to get dressed and hit the street in an emergency. The dress coats did look nice though.

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Old 02-23-2021, 12:42 AM
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Like all other belts, there are a lot of differences between different makers and construction. Some are simply one layer of leather. Some are two layers, usually with multiple rows of stitching that helps to prevent stretching of the leather. Some are made with a second layer of leather only in the area where the sidearm is to be carries, only one layer around the rest of the waist. Some are made specifically to use with the snap-loops on a leather motorcycle jacket, basically mounting to the waist end of the jacket, usually with secondary clips to hold the jacket tail to the trouser belt and prevent everything from shifting around on the body.

The heavier construction tends to hold up better for extended use, but the purchase price will always be considerably higher than a one-layer belt (less leather, less time assembling, stitching, etc). A good two-layer Sam Browne belt will provide good service for many years, but a lighter one-layer belt may become worn and limp after only a year or two of daily use.

Some use the clip-buckle combination (buckle remains in a fixed position and engages clips mounted in the end of the belt), which is easier to put on and take off and holds its adjustment nicely. Some use an actual buckle, and those tend to wear and become sloppy at the tongue area engaged by the buckle.

Industry standard has always been 2.25" width. A few makers offered belts that were a bit narrower or a bit wider. The major concern is making sure that your holster fits snugly on the belt to prevent it from shifting positions. Keeping everything firmly in position means more (to me) than the weight of the equipment carried.

Over the years I have modified quite a few Sam Browne duty belts and holsters using screw-posts (Chicago screws) to lock the holster and other accessories on the belt at the desired positions.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:52 AM
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Used a Velcro pants belt with a Safariland Sam Brown Velcro with 4 keepers which aided the placement of gun, double mag pouch, glove pouch, cuff case, pepper spray and radio. Only 10 of 30 years in uniform but the weight of all the equipment resulted in back issues and one (so far) hip replacement... I know lots of guys that carried that stuff much longer and all had issues.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:54 AM
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I wore a Sam Browne for most of 40 years. While not a perfect solution, it does beat carrying all of your gear just on your trousers belt. Some folks like suspenders, others don't.

My last 2 years in uniform as a po-leese officer, I wore a leather Safariland SB belt with a 3" M625 .45 ACP, four full moonclips, a pair of cuffs, a radio, a Gerber tool and a baton ring. It weighed right at 12 lbs. Some officers carried as many as four 15-17 round magazines and a collapsible baton.

I'm currently putting together a tan basketweave leather SB belt and gear to wear at the range and woods walking. I still have my black BW rig, but just like the tan.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:22 AM
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The Sam Browne belt was developed by General Sir Sam Browne of the British Indian Army to compensate for the loss of his left arm in the Sepoy Rebellion. It was meant to hold his sword in place. Later it become part of the British officer's uniform, then Uncle Sam's between the wars. Don't think it was ever intended for load bearing.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:47 AM
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Reading Ken158's post made me realize that I had forgotten about the pepper spray. I only remember using it once.

I also wore the Velcro Safariland belt system, but skipped the keepers.

Speaking of backache, miss a belt loop with your trouser belt and then wear the old Sam Browne belt with keepers. Guaranteed to make your back hurt within hours.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:47 PM
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Black basketweave duty belt over a 5.11 Double Duty belt with Perry Suspenders, pepper spray, handcuffs, Taser, collapsible baton, TDI knife, 2 dual speedloader pouches, black basketweave cruiser holster with a 4 inch S&W Model 65-1/Model 686-6 with a S&W Model 37/Model 642-2/Model 12-2 in a pocket holster in my offside cargo pocket. Over that and under my uniform shirt, Armor Express Level 3 body armor with composite trauma plates.

Now, retired with spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease, I still wear the Perry Suspenders and 5.11 double duty with TDI knife even if I'm just carrying my S&W SD9 and/or EC9s in CYA holsters.

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