Fist #18 Murnak Paddle -- two thumbs up
I just purchased a new holster for the CZ P-01 9mm pistol. It's a Fist #18 Paddle holster, from a Jim Murnak design.
Two thumbs up! Highly recommended, if Paddle is your thang.
- Workmanship -- Excellent. Fist holsters, in general, are built like a solid craftsman-style house. Well-built, solid, purposeful, without puffery or extras that detract from the purpose. The #18 Paddle is no exception. Fairly clean lines, strong stitching, no evidence of mistakes or issues with cutting or forming the leather.
- Fit -- Excellent. The holster is fairly new, so it's still being broken in, a bit. However, it holds the gun extremely well. It's tight, but for all of that it allows an effective draw from the hip. Just the way it should be.
- Tight to Body -- Paddle holsters, as a category, aren't known for holding a gun extremely tightly to the body. This one, though, is very good as compared to others I have tried. Doesn't quite compare to the average IWB unit, but it's nice. I like it.
- Comfort -- Excellent. Being a paddle, the larger, soft paddle "blade" fits nicely against the curve of the body to spread the load and eliminate "hot" spots (pinch points). It feels very comfortable sitting there, when drawing, when reholstering.
- Usability -- Some would argue that a good IWB is hard to beat. That's true, from the perspective of effectively concealing the gun from view. But, many people think IWB rigs aren't the most comfortable or useful. They are inside the belt, so the mouth can collapse, inhibiting reholstering. A Paddle is, essentially, an OWB unit that doesn't have belt loops. Rather, the paddle slides inside the belt against the body, while the holster hangs outside the belt.
- Cant -- A nice feature of the Fist #18 is the ability to have a ~18-20* forward cant. The range is from straight up, to canted, with anything in between. Once I find the right cant, I will lock it in (by ratcheting down the screws and holding them with LocTite).
- Time to Build -- The #18 is a custom unit, as with the rest. Being a bit more complicated and not being their largest seller, it took a bit longer than prior Fist holsters I've purchased. Normal turnaround time seems to be ~5wks or so, for each prior time I have bought a Fist. This time, it took nearly 3mos.
- Price -- A good holster isn't cheap. Some cost an arm; some, a leg. The nice thing about Fist is that they produce effective and functional designs for a fair price. The #18 Paddle, though, is at the top of their line. It's one of the best examples of their work, so it's priced accordingly. Plus, the design is a bit more involved to produce, so it's priced accordingly. Together, the holster plus single-magazine slide pouch cost $152 + $35, or just under $190 total.
- Value -- Very good. I'm of the opinion that solid, functional holsters that do their job well are relatively hard to find. Particularly at a good price. Now, this one's got a price tag to it, but many holsters these days go north of $200. Fist is notable because of the lack of baubles, gaudy exterior trim work. They build excellence into each holster they do, with simple, effective designs that will last a long time. Just the sort of thing I'm looking for.
- Overall -- Excellent, so far. I'll know more after ~30 days of wearing it. So far, though, it's comfortable, has excellent fit to the gun, has a useful cant, holds fairly close to the body (for a OWB/paddle) and is easy to use. I highly recommend the Fist line. This is the fourth Fist holster I have. Each one is a great match to the use, well-built and fairly priced.