Mernickle Custom Holsters FD-9 Fast Draw / Cowboy Action Rig
by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

February 25th, 2003 did a review of a great concealment holster from Mernickle Custom Leather back in August of 2003. Since that time, I have received many positive email messages from satisfied customers of Bob Mernickle, and have continued to use the PS6-SA to carry a Blackhawk .45 concealed.  The more that I use that holster, the better I like it.

A couple of months ago, Bob and I were talking about holsters in general, and Fast Draw and Cowboy Action holsters in particular; discussing their characteristics and similarities, along with the needs of the participants in each sport. After a little discussion, I learned that Bob makes a Fast Draw rig that is legal for Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS). With CAS being one of the fastest growing shooting sports, and Bob being an expert Fast Draw artist, I managed to persuade him to send me one of his rigs for test and evaluation. Within about 4 weeks, the big brown truck of happiness delivered the anxiously anticipated package containing the FD-9 Fast Draw rig.

The example sent to me is cut to fit the Ruger Vaquero revolver, and has twenty-four .44 to .45 caliber cartridge loops sewn onto the beautiful hand-carved belt. The carving was done by Bob’s Master Carver, Bonnie Lynn, and runs the entire length of the belt, including the billets, and the steel-lined holster is carved to match. The rig is finished in black, and wears a beautiful engraved silver buckle. The belt is almost one-quarter of an inch thick, and measures a little over two and one-half inches wide. The leather holster is fully lined and secured to the belt to insure against movement, and has a leg belt to keep the gun in position during the draw.

The holster also has Mernickle’s SAFELEG bullet deflector to protect the shooter’s leg in the event of a premature discharge. As stated earlier, the holster is fully steel lined, and provides a rigid pocket for the gun that doesn’t hinder the draw. For retention, the FD-9 has a hammer thong retention strap to securely hold the sixgun until needed.  The holster angle on the CAS version of the FD-9 is not as radical as the angle on a holster built only for pure Fast Draw competition, but still allows for an extremely fast gun presentation. I am no World Class Fast Draw competitor, but I was able to draw my Vaquero from the FD-9 faster than with any rig that I have ever tried. The build of the holster positions the grip well away from the body to place the gun in an excellent position for the draw, and with the built-in rigidity of the rig, the grip is right where it should be, every time.

The quality of the FD-9 is the best that I have ever seen in a Fast Draw or Cowboy Action rig of any type, and is built for professionals by professionals.  Many of the World’s top Fast Draw shooters use Bob Mernickle holsters, and several World’s records were set using these holsters. These are truly one-at-a-time custom rigs that are built for speed, safety, durability, and beauty.  I have never seen better, at any price.

Check out the extensive line of Mernickle holsters and belts for any purpose online at:

Jeff Quinn

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The Mernickle FD-9 Fast-Draw rig is the finest fast-draw holster Jeff has ever seen.



The design of the FD-9 holster positions the gun well away from the body for faster access, and the rigidity of the system assures that the gun will be positioned exactly the same every time. When thousandths of a second count, this rig will get you there!



Mernickle's SAFELEG bullet deflector is effective protection for the shooter's leg against premature discharges.



.44-.45 cartridge loops are sewn onto the belt.



Gun is retained until needed by a simple but effective hammer thong.