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flightlessgreeb

New to CAS, some Qs about Mernickle holsters?

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I finally got the chance to drop by my local clubs minimatch this month and found them to be a very welcoming and friendly group. I've definitely been bitten by the bug, even stopped by a western supply store on the way home and bought myself a hat! 

 

I already own 2x Colt SAA clones (an Uberti and a Pietta). After speaking with a number of the shooters at the match, reading info here and watching videos on youtube, I'm pretty sure I want to start by shooting traditional with a right hand straight draw holster and a cross draw on the left side. Mernickle came highly recommended at the club and browsing his site, his work looks gorgeous. I'm just a little confused about the differences between a few of his rigs.

 

1st theres the Quick Cal shooting system http://www.mernickleholsters.com/qc/qc1r1.html which has a nice feature list and sounds perfect.

2nd theres this http://www.mernickleholsters.com/CABPCR/ca/ca6m6.html which mentions muzzle forward on the strong side holster. I dont know enough yet to know which style I prefer. Are there many other differences between the two?

3rd theres this one http://www.mernickleholsters.com/ca/ca5_6.html where it looks like you can move the crossdraw holsters position on the belt, unlike the Quick Cal? Anything else significant?

 

Then theres a whole bevy of belts with only one holster. Is that for quickdraw? Since I was under the impression you needed two guns for CAS.

 

Would really love some insight in the differences between the three rigs I linked from someone with more experience (which is probably anyone). Oh one last Q, will a 5.5in holster fit a 4.75in gun ok? My two SAAs arent the same barrel length and Im not sure where I want each gun quite yet, so I was thinking of ordering two 5.5in holsters.

 

Thanks for reading all that!

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Muzzle forward means there is forward rake to the holster on the strong side.  It doesn't hang straight down, nor is it a backward rake as in a John Wayne holster. where the muzzle is pointed slightly behind the shooter.  Gun is drawn with a small amount of rearward pull and the muzzle is already pointed slightly downrange without any addition rotation needed as in a JW or straight-hang holster.  

 

The notation about the "t-nuts", sometimes referred to as chicago screws, is to cinch the holster in a position on the belt.  The holster is much more secure than simply having the belt tension holding it position.   This comes in very handy when your pistols are very tight fitting, the upward movement can pull the holster body thru the loop and becomes an additional factor in coping with your gear.   One of my original holsters is quite soft, it's not double lined, and the shape of the holster body is such that it  sometimes has a better grip on my gun than on itself... meaning that when I use that holster I have to use my second hand to hold the holster down while I draw the pistol.  Not conducive to speed.

 

As for single holster on a belt... you could just use two belts, crossed, with a single holster on each.  No rule sez you have to have two holsters on a single belt.    There are many choices to make... from a very wide range of styles and makers, with huge difference in quality and fitness for purpose.  

 

Another couple of my favorite makers are El Paso Saddlery and Kilpatrick.   I used to feel Kilpatrick was less than stellar, (okay, total junk), but they have improved by leaps and bounds since my wife ordered a rig from them in the late 1980s.  Their "Tequila" rig is second to none.  Plus there are rigs made by several cowboy action shooters that rival the "name" makers in quality, historical accuracy (often surpassing 'em in that regard), and selection.  

 

Yes, a 4-¾" gun will fit in 5-½" holster...   Heck, for several years my wife used a 7-½" Colt in a holster made for a 4-¾" gun.

Edited by Griff

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Griff gave some great info.

 

Mernickle are one of my favorite makers.

As he mentioned, shorter guns fit fine in longer holsters.  They is sometimes a limit of how well a longer gun fits in a shorter holster as sometimes the front sight can catch as you draw the gun.

 

A main decision is if you want cross draw or not. Some great shooters use them and it can make reholstering very quick.  But many have also gone away from them as you have to make sure how you stand when you draw the cross-draw to keep the gun from sweeping folks,  It certainly can be done, but it adds one more concern that many do not care to live with.

 

Best idea, go to some local shoots, weather provided, watch and talk with shooters to see what they say and how you feel.  They may let you try theirs.  And they may have local holster makers that are excellent as well.  But Mernicle does set the bar high, so they are good to compare with.

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Thanks for the info Griff and Marauder! I think probably a straight up and down presentation for my strong side holster would suit me best, for now at least. At the moment anyway I'm leaning towards the 3rd link I posted. I think I'll stick with Mernickle for my first set of holsters anyway, thats what the guys at my local shoot swore by and its within my budget for starting out. 

 

As for crossdraw, thanks for pointing out the added training difficulty. I've shot a fair bit of USPSA which obviously doesn't include any kind of crossdraw but does often require facing uprange or other dancing around before you draw, so I think I'll be able to get the hang of it. Plus I'm absolutely in love with the look haha

 

Do either of you see any particular differences between the 3 Mernickle rigs I linked, besides the forward cant and the chicago screws? 

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A little forward cant on the strong side helps with holstering and reholstering as you wrist can be straight.  You will want to wear the strong side just a little forward of your hip for easy working.

 

I would recommend call Mernickle and discussing what you want with him.  He is very knowledgeable and helpful.

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I figured I'd give him a call on Monday during business hours. Hopefully I can get a break from work long enough to take care of that!

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You had better plan on a LONG break.  His alias is  "Talks A lot Bob".  I good friend of mine. :P:lol::lol:  

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7 minutes ago, Happy Jack, SASS #20451 said:

You had better plan on a LONG break.  His alias is  "Talks A lot Bob".  I good friend of mine. :P:lol::lol:  

YUP-Be best if you call in 'sick'. :lol:

OLG

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Where are you located?  Mernickle has a tent at Winter Range (Phoenix, AZ) and I believe End of Trail ( Albuquerque, NM).  

If you're not out west, check the "Events" schedule for large matches in your area.  There are usually leather vendors at the larger matches.

And I'll give a big thumbs up for Mernickle holsters.  My better half and I have 4 sets.

 

BS

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I bought their HP1Ref1, High performance rig. I also had a third, cross draw holster made so I can swap holsters if I decide to go back to double strong side.  I think this rig is awful nice, and Bob Mernickle is a great guy. I highly recommend (as others already suggested) call him and discuss. He customized my rig beyond the stock version, so that's always an option. Lead time is a couple months as I recall. 

 

Don't forget to get the shotgun belt, too! 

 

Edited by Ripsaw

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The Cowboy Fast draw holsters are all strong side (left & right).  Also there is a wax bullet deflector below the bottom opening one CFD holsters.

Mernickle Holsters.pdf

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2 hours ago, Barry Sloe said:

Where are you located?  Mernickle has a tent at Winter Range (Phoenix, AZ) and I believe End of Trail ( Albuquerque, NM).  

If you're not out west, check the "Events" schedule for large matches in your area.  There are usually leather vendors at the larger matches.

And I'll give a big thumbs up for Mernickle holsters.  My better half and I have 4 sets.

 

BS

They also have a sale bin at his tents, I got both my belts that way. 

Rafe

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Call Bob and he'll answer any questions you may have.  I still have a rig he made for me when he was in Canada.

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4 hours ago, Happy Jack, SASS #20451 said:

You had better plan on a LONG break.  His alias is  "Talks A lot Bob".  I good friend of mine. :P:lol::lol:  

 

A man who talks alot about his work is passionate about his work.  I’m sure “Talks a lot Bob” appreciates your endorsement. I have some of his leather, and I’m very happy. 

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I think his daughter is answering the phone and taking orders now.  My cowboy rig and wild bunch rig are both Mernickle. My wife’s rig is a Mernickle as well. I am changing to break top revolvers and will be buying new leather soon. No question it will be a Mernickle rig. 

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Thanks for all the info! I'll let him know he has a lot of fans online haha - I am out west but in the Bay Area of California, so not particularly close to NM etc. I look forward to getting the chance to talk to him when he has the time, guess I shouldn't be surprised about the lead time although it is a bit disappointing to hear I probably won't be able to shoot the match next month. I'll probably still show up just in case anyone has a spare belt that miraculously fits! 

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Call the listed contact for the club. Lots of shooters have spare leather and the listed contact may have a good idea who to contact to set you up with some loaner leather. 

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1 hour ago, Flanigan Flats said:

Call the listed contact for the club. Lots of shooters have spare leather and the listed contact may have a good idea who to contact to set you up with some loaner leather. 

THIS ↑↑↑↑↑

 

8 hours ago, flightlessgreeb said:

As for crossdraw, thanks for pointing out the added training difficulty. I've shot a fair bit of USPSA which obviously doesn't include any kind of crossdraw but does often require facing uprange or other dancing around before you draw, so I think I'll be able to get the hang of it. Plus I'm absolutely in love with the look haha

 

Do either of you see any particular differences between the 3 Mernickle rigs I linked, besides the forward cant and the chicago screws? 

I wear a crossdraw when I stoop low enough to shoot my suppository guns... and stand in a modified Weaver stance.  My crossdraw then is "almost" in the 170º from the get-go... I only have to twist my hips a few degrees and the muzzle is probably 45º to dead downrange as it sits in the holster.   The x-draw holster sits in front of my left hip (right handed), the strongside holster is very near a straight hang, and I wear it slightly behind my hip... (habit from wearing a sidearm while mounted), but even in my modified weaver stance, the gun is drawn and is well within the 170º arc allowable.    My advice to 1st time competitors to cowboy action, go slowly on actions regarding drawing and re-holstering your sidearms... develop good "low-speed" movement as habits and they will remain with you as your speed increases. 

 

For your 2nd question... yes, I did, different colors. :P Other'n that, there was a different buckle used on one of the rigs.  But, since I prefer a Ranger belt buckle and billet I don't pay any real close attention to tapered billets.

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Bob Mernickle is a great guy and I'm sure will answer any and all questions you may have. He asks YOU the right questions to make sure you're getting what you want and need. If you can go see him, he may even give ya some personal coaching. He did for my daughter... PRICELESS! Can't go wrong with them.

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14 hours ago, flightlessgreeb said:

Thanks for all the info! I'll let him know he has a lot of fans online haha - I am out west but in the Bay Area of California, so not particularly close to NM etc. I look forward to getting the chance to talk to him when he has the time, guess I shouldn't be surprised about the lead time although it is a bit disappointing to hear I probably won't be able to shoot the match next month. I'll probably still show up just in case anyone has a spare belt that miraculously fits! 

Big box retailers sell tool belts for ~$10 that are very adjustable and rigid.  One would make a functional gun belt while while you shop for your gun leather.

 

 

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Called this morning and spoke to a nice woman who picked up the phone who was able to explain the difference between all the different rigs to me. My questioning did lead, unsurprisingly, to another quandry. I'm debating whether I want a slide of shotgun shells on my pistol belt or whether I want a whole other belt for shotgun shells. Custom rig + shotgun belt gets pretty close to breaking my budget but I can scrape under with just a slide. 

 

The woman I spoke to mentioned wearing the belt with the buckle on the back and the slide in the front between the two holsters, which would mean the draw is generally slower since the holsters are so far apart. One thing I wondered after I hung up - does anyone wear shotgun shells over on their left hip with the cross draw holster more in the middle of the belt? I'm used to grabbing spare mags off my left hip from USPSA and I feel like grabbing a pair of shotgun shells from the same area might use some of the same muscle memory. Is this just not done for some reason? I figure with the crossdraw in front and the straight draw on the right hip I won't be in violation of the two fists rule, unless I misunderstand it. 

 

Also just got my SASS registration email. I'm officially Kate McCannon!

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KM, the hand movement from the front of one's body to a shotgun chamber is shorter than the movement from the side on one's body to the same location.  This results in shorter stage times.  I have no trouble remembering my shotgun shells on CAS are in front of my body  and my mags in Wild Bunch are on the side.  I use a slide are described in your post. ( I am on my second one as I wore the first one out.)  The rig described to you on the phone is close to that worn by Dixie Bell, a SASS Hall of Fame member. 

 

 

diixiebell.jpg

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That does make a ton of sense for someone who draws their left handed gun with their left hand, which is something I might want to eventually do, but for now I'd like to stick to cross draw and drawing them both with my right hand. I don't have a ton of muscle memory built up for grabbing reloads from the front of my belt since I was a production shooter and thats only allowed in Open Division in USPSA. 

 

Definitely an option though and that belt setup looks great if maybe a little high up for my own personal physical geometry

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Bandoleer is always an option. Maybe look for videos of Quickly Down Under, Dutch Dalton or Dr. Dust. My wife and a girl I work with are using are using buckle in the back rigs with the shotgun shells up front. Both like there rigs. I suggest asking some questions on the Ladies of Cowboy Action Shooting (LOCAS I believe) Facebook page. Dixie Bell (mentioned  above) may be on there.  Where are you shooting? Fernley NV and the Battle Born Rangers  are not that far away. We shoot the first two Sundays of the month and if you call a head I'm sure Mr.. Mernickle would be home to show you around after the match. 

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My home range is in Richmond and I'm seeing about joining the Richmond Roughriders since they're local to me. Unfortunately I don't have a ton of time to travel for competitions with work and other personal committments etc, altho I thank you for the info! I'll check out the FB page too!

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1 hour ago, flightlessgreeb said:

That does make a ton of sense for someone who draws their left handed gun with their left hand, which is something I might want to eventually do, but for now I'd like to stick to cross draw and drawing them both with my right hand. I don't have a ton of muscle memory built up for grabbing reloads from the front of my belt since I was a production shooter and thats only allowed in Open Division in USPSA. 

 

Definitely an option though and that belt setup looks great if maybe a little high up for my own personal physical geometry

I recommend you visit Bob in person and discuss you particular needs.  He travels to major matches and since his home base is Fernley, NV he will probably vend at Cal State in April.  He can fit you and adjust you custom holsters to your physical geometry.

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Newbie here as well that was in your exact shoes. So I feel as I may be able to provide some input. After shooting a few matches with a muzzle forward canted gunfighter rig. I decided to make the cross over to a crossdraw rig...pun intended. I went with the Quick Cal Ultra rig. I run two shotgun slides on my belt. One in the center between my holsters and another on my left side. I run my pistol/rifle ammo on another slide on my right side. Absolutely love this setup. 

5C21C313-C2B5-4DC5-BDB3-F25201F7866B.jpeg

8D519A12-D59F-44FC-B0E8-1CD44EC424F3.jpeg

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Raindrop Renegade also runs a crossdraw (Lady HP2 Ref1 in Gunfighter brown) with shotgun slide (8 rds) between the holsters and a cartridge slide (6 rds) behind her strong side holster. Buckle in the back (her WR buckle), holsters locked down, advised by Bob himself and loves it!

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Thanks for all the ideas, esp. the pics! I think I have a good idea of what I want to order. Very thankful some of the Mernickle systems are so modular!

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