Ratcheting Buckle Modification for Competition Belts

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I saw three competitors with modified belts. They used a ratcheting buckle to keep their belts together. You might recognize the ratcheting buckle system as it is commonly used on inline skates and ski boots. In the photo above, the shooter is wearing a Safariland ELS belt.

Most competitors run them so the two prong snap is positioned at the shooter’s back. That way they have uninterrupted real estate for mags and shotgun shells in front. One major drawback to using the Safariland ELS belt is the two prong snap design. It is very difficult to attach the belt on yourself. Too often I see competitors requiring the aid of another shooter to help fasten their belts.

With the ratcheting buckle modification it is much easier to secure the belt yourself as well as adjust it quickly. Readjusting a stock Safariland belt is not quick nor easy to do.

You can get these ratcheting buckles from ratchetingbuckles.com and they are not that expensive. I see they are around $11 for a buckle.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Laserbait

    That’s kinda neat! I wonder who is going to be the first manufacturer to incorporate this design into a stock belt.

    • Matt Taylor

      Pretty sure I saw an article about it just the other day.

  • gusto

    enlarged belts how american…:P

    it is okey I can joke about I am chubby to, I mostly wear suspenders anyway

    • Wyatt Earp

      IPSC/USPSC requires a belt attached to the shooter. Suspenders won’t work, by themselves.

      I prefer velcro to velcro. Still takes two people to get it adjusted right.

      • raz-0

        It’s not the velcro they are fixing, at least not the velcro underbelt/overbelt thing. It’s that ELS stuff is becoming very popular with people who shoot 3-gun so they can reconfigure their belt.

        The down side is ELS compatible belts use two steel nubs to anchor the belt, and if you gain or lose any weight, and you don’t do so in sufficient quantity to move a whole set of holes, your belt is either loose, or turns into a crew served accessory.

        This one takes up WAY less real estate than some of the other versions I have seen.

  • Spencerhut

    Cool idea. Still might require help to get it on since the open real estate of the belt needs to be in front.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I have the same latching system on my tourniquets…. Did forget a belt at the range, and had to use a TQ as a belt, worked pretty well really.

  • Swarf

    Somebody was right proud of themselves when they thought that up.

  • Marvin

    Now this is a neat idea!!

  • JoeF

    Carbon Arms has been selling a kit for a few months now