Mernickle Custom Single Action Concealment Holster
by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

August 26th, 2002

 

 

 

With the amazing popularity of single action revolvers, it stands to reason that there would be a great selection of holsters available in which to carry them. The selection of holsters for single action revolvers is almost endless...unless you want a good concealment holster. There are a few good holsters on the market that will work as a concealment holster for a big single action sixgun, if you can wear heavy clothing to cover the rig.  Most single action holster makers cater to the cowboy style crowd, but offer nothing for the man who chooses to carry a Colt Peacemaker or Ruger Blackhawk as a concealed weapon. There are also a few good designs available of what is known as a working holster. This is basically a good strong belt holster, but they are usually not designed with concealment in mind.

Maybe we should consider why a person would want to carry a single action revolver for a personal defense weapon in the first place. After all, this is the age of the multi-shot, thermo-plastic, point-and-keep-shootiní, laser-sighted, semi-auto titanium death ray. Modern semi-auto pistols are a great choice for a defensive weapon. As a class, they are light, compact, and reasonably powerful. So why would a sane person choose to carry a relatively heavy and bulky single action sixgun? There are a few good reasons.

One obvious reason is power. While a semi-auto can carry a bigger payload, round for round, the single action sixgun packs a bigger punch. A good defense round such as the .45 Colt or .357 Magnum carries nicely in a single action sixgun, and while it wonít hold fifteen of them, six powerful cartridges will handle just about any situation for which a handgun is suited. While there are good double action revolvers chambered for powerful cartridges, they are generally not as compact as a single action, when both have barrels of equal length.

Another good reason for packin' a single action sixgun is reliability. The things are about as simple as a revolver can be, with fewer and larger internal parts than in other designs. Given the slightest amount of care, the single action will fire each time, as long as there is ammo in the gun.

A final reason to prefer the single action is shootability.  For the first shot out of the holster, there is no better design than the old thumb buster.  A good single action, properly stocked , points like the finger of God. Many shooters agree that there has been no improvement in the grip of a handgun since the 1851 Colt, which is the basic grip found on the Single Action Army and Rugerís early Blackhawks. Personally, I find the grip on Flattop Blackhawks and Colt single actions to be near perfect for pointability. They just seem to shoot where I look.

The major drawback in carrying a single action sixgun concealed has been the lack of a holster that will carry the gun high and tight against the body, so that it could be easily concealed by a loose fitting shirt or light jacket. This problem has been solved by Bob Mernickle of Mernickle Custom Holsters in Mission, British Columbia. It took the work of a Canadian to design a proper concealment holster to carry the most American of handguns; the single action revolver.

I recently received from Bob Mernickle a pair of his PS6-SA concealment holsters.  The first impression of these holsters was that of quality. The material and workmanship is first class on these holsters.  The tooling and stitching are flawless. The finish is gorgeous.  The design allows the sixgun to be retained without the need of a strap or thumb break. The two holsters received were made to fit the Ruger Bearcat and the Ruger Blackhawk. Both fit their respective holster snugly, but cleared leather quickly when needed.  The PS6-SA has three belt slots to allow a variety of carry positions. The gun can be carried with a forward cant, slight rearward cant, and also as a cross-draw. I prefer for concealment to carry the gun on my strong side slightly to the rear. There the PS6-SA carries the gun high and pulled in tight so that the butt of the gun doesnít show through the clothing. A great feature of the PS6-SA is the low-cut front that allows the gun to ride high and still clear leather quickly. The Mernickle design allows for a quick, full grip on the handgun for a fast draw, yet the holster retains the gun solidly until needed. The leather is formed to fit the gun, and is stiff, as a good holster should be.

While a good holster goes a long way in the comfortable concealment of a big sixgun, it is only as good as the belt that supports it. If the holster does not properly and snugly fit the belt, the gun will flop around, be uncomfortable, and show through the outer clothing. Also, if the belt is too thin and flexible, the gun will flop around, be uncomfortable, and show through the outer clothing. The holster and belt are a system. The belt from Mernickle is the finest concealment gun belt that I have ever seen. It fits the slots on the holster to perfection, but more important, it does not roll over from the weight of the gun. Throughout most of the belt it is over one-quarter of an inch thick, with only the tongue area made thinner to assist in buckling.

As can be seen in the photos, the PS6-SA carries the gun high and out of the way. Even while seated in a vehicle, the guns rides comfortably without poking the ribs with the grip frame. A Blackhawk or Colt conceals easily under a loose shirt or jacket, allowing a person to have at his disposal a compact, reliable, yet powerful sixgun while going about his daily life. If the gun is needed, itís right at hand. The PS6-SA allows a person to pack the same gun that he would grab if at home, instead of a less powerful compromise.

Mernickle Custom Holsters makes many different quality designs for any type of handgun. Check them out online at:   www.mernickleholsters.com

The PS6-SA holster is the best that I have found for carrying a single action sixgun concealed, or just to keep a powerful gun at hand but out of the way while working, hunting, or fishing. It is also the sweetest little holster that Iíve ever seen for a Ruger Bearcat. It is a great design built with quality materials and top notch craftsmanship. I highly recommend it.

Jeff Quinn


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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

Mernickle Custom Holsters in Mission, British Columbia makes some of the best SA sixgun concealment rigs that the Author has ever seen.

 

 

Author tested Mernickle's PS6-SA holsters for the Ruger Bearcat (left) and Ruger Blackhawk (right).

 

 

Mernickle's PS6-SA is a quality high-ride concealment rig. The front of the holster is cut low to allow a faster draw without compromising security. The holster is very well-fit and holds the gun snugly in position without need for a strap or thumb break.

 

 

Jeff's Dave Clements custom .44 Special Blackhawk rides beautifully in the Mernickle rig, high and tight, out of the way and easy to conceal.

 

 

The high position of the Mernickle PS6-SA allows for comfortable carry when seated in a vehicle.

 

 

Mernickle's PS6-SA holster features an extra slot for optional cross-draw carry.

 

 

Author demonstrates the optional cross-draw carry. The PS6-SA doubles as a very comfortable and effective cross-draw rig.

 

 

The Mernickle PS6-SA exhibits excellent workmanship, with quality materials, good fit & finish, and well-executed tooling and stitching.

 

 

Mernickle's gun belt is well-made and comfortable. The leather used for the belt is a full 1/4" thick, providing a sturdy foundation for the holster.