The author’s custom Mernickle rig which required refitting due to weight loss.

U.S.A.-( One of the biggest names in Western-style holsters is Bob Mernickle. His holsters, belts, and rigs have appeared in movies, Cowboy Action Shooting competitions, Fast Draw competitions, Mounted Shooting competitions and are worn by concealed carriers nationwide.

I first met Bob and his family at a gun show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco nearly two decades ago and became more familiar with him and his work when I moved to my adopted home state of Nevada in 2005. The Mernickle family and their holsters are permanent fixtures on the local gun show circuit in Reno. I had bought a few of his holsters over the years and was impressed with the quality and craftsmanship.

Ten years ago, he sold me one of his custom holster belts complete with a dual set of holsters and it was a perfect fit, until I lost 60 pounds and after keeping it off for a few years, decided to have him refit the belt to fit my somewhat smaller frame.

Surprised that there was no charge for this service, I decided to sit down with him at his home and shop to discuss holster making, the history of Cowboy Fast Draw and a few other things.

In case you did not know, Mernickle was a pioneer of the sport, is the Northern Nevada chapter’s president and has set world speed records that still stand to this day.

Ammoland: So how did you get started with holster making?

Mernickle: Originally, I was making dress belts up in Canada for my family and from time to time would make little purses for my nieces. A friend took me

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