If you have a strap with a broken buckle, how do you figure out what it is so you can get a new one? The first step is to figure out the width of your webbing. Standard sizes are 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/2″ and 2″ and as you can see from the photos below, these are the nominal widths of the webbing:
Once you have figured out the width, the next step is to find the manufacturer of your buckle. The good news is that most buckles have the brand/manufacturer molded in to the back side of the female half of the buckle:
The final step is to find which model buckle you have. I sell American Cord & Webbing’s products and they make at least two different side release buckles for each web width. The bad news is the parts are NOT interchangable.
Above are two ACW buckles, the top one is the BSR style which is a bit more rectangular, the bottom is the newer CSR style which is more “contoured”, hence the ‘C’ in the product name. You can also see that the bottom buckle has the mart number molded in to the right hand side making it a bit easier to identify. In many of the other pictures you will notice that the part number has been molded in, we all have issues keeping things straight.
Is there anything we have missed, of course. Buckles can be made from different materials. Most of what I sell are Acetal which is a good all around product. Nylon is also used, some buckles are made to resist higher temperatures (fireman’s gear) and others are designed to break at a specific load (pet collars). Most of the inquiries I get are to replace a buckle on a back pack, stroller or piece of luggage where the standard Acetal material will work just fine.
We stock three types of 1 inch side release buckles. As you can see they are all a bit different which means the parts will not interchange. These are all manufactured by American Cord and Webbing and are made out of acetyl plastic.
Buckle “A” is the original side release buckle. It is the most common version if you are trying to match something already in use. Note that everything is rather straight, and the corners are angular.
Buckle “B” is the newer “contoured side release” version. It is what we use on our standard straps and it is much more curved than the original model. Due to volume it is also a bit less expensive than the original.
Buckle “C” is designated as a Type V buckle which was designed for use on United States Coast Guard approved life jackets. It is larger than the other two and a bit stronger. Like the original, the Type V has straight sides and angular corners.
The photo above shows the three buckles unsnapped so you can see what the male portion looks like. It is easy to understand that the parts are not interchangeable.
Buckles from different manufacturers also can vary so you need to physically try to see what will work. We have found that the buckles used on Rigg’s motorcycle bags will work with our original pattern.
Should you need only half of a buckle, we can fill your order. Just give Rollie a call at (253) 627-6000 – they are not listed on our web site. If you want to place an order check out our complete selection of buckles and hardware Sizes from 1/2″ to 2″ are shown in both plastic and metal.