Blackhawk SERPA holsters...any good?


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Manedwolf
January 29, 2006, 02:45 PM
No, no, not for reasons of "tacticool", but because open-carry is legal in this state, to have as a SHTF "it's a good idea to wear openly right now" holster. :D

Here's their claim:

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BlackHawk! CQC Holster with SERPA TECHNOLOGY This unique holster design allows you to forget old-fashioned thumb breaks that slow your draw and complicate re-holstering. The patented SERPA lock engages the trigger guard as you holster the pistol and won’t let go until you release it. The release is made using your normal drawing motion, with the trigger finger beside the holster body. As your trigger finger naturally comes to rest on the SERPA lock’s release mechanism, simply push the mechanism as you draw the weapon and it releases the gun for a smooth, fast draw.
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Any good or bad experience with these? I take all marketing claims with a grain of salt.

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autospike
January 29, 2006, 03:02 PM
I'd get something else.

Clicky Here (http://www.totalprotectioninteractive.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1454&highlight=damning)

You may have to register to read the report. But it's worth it before you spend money on it.

Rob1035
January 29, 2006, 03:14 PM
I really like mine for range duty. It sticks out a bit too far to comfortably conceal, but the locking mechanism is both fast and secure for me, so I like it. I've seen people who think that pressing on the release button will inevitably cause a ND, but I havent seen that happen yet (I bet thats whats in the link posted above)....YMMV

PressCheck
January 29, 2006, 05:12 PM
I carry my Glock 21 in the Serpa holster everyday. With a very short learning curve, I'm just as fast as I am with my SideArmor Kydex OTWB, and I'm pretty fast.

autospike
January 29, 2006, 05:28 PM
Two problems reported in that link.

One has to do with an ND.

The other is that some debris got lodged in the release mechanism and the gun could not be drawn.

45R
January 29, 2006, 05:54 PM
I have this holster for my Glock. The same report of the ND and debris sticking in the holster have been posted on 5-6 different forums. (Sigforum, AR-15.com, THR, etc.)

"Over the last year, I have developed some serious concerns with the Blackhawk Serpa Active Retention holster design. Various persons have brought these concerns to the attention of Blackhawk on several occasions and Blackhawk has chosen to ignore these very real issues.

The ‘Serpa Active Retention’ design consists of a plastic L-shaped component which functions as the release button [from the outside of the holster] and as the lock [which engages inside the trigger guard]. The short leg of the L-shaped lever pivots inward [toward the pistol], while the locking tab pivots outward to release the pistol from the holster.

According to the Blackhawk website, ”The release is made using your normal drawing motion, with the trigger finger beside the holster body. … As your trigger finger naturally comes to rest on the SERPA lock’s release mechanism, simply push the mechanism as you draw the weapon and it releases the gun for a smooth, fast draw.”

While Blackhawk may intend for the end-user to apply inboard pressure with the flat of the index finger, under stress, shooters tend to push the button with the tip of their index finger. After all, this is the manner in which most people have the most repetitions pushing buttons such as keys on a keypaor phone or ringing doorbells. When the finger pushes in on the release button and the user initiates the upward motion of the drawstroke, the finger tends to stay in motion and as the trigger guard clears the holster, the finger enters the trigger guard and contacts the trigger, with possibly tragic results. When the finger pushes in on the release button and the user initiates the upward motion of the drawstroke, the finger tends to stay in motion and as the trigger guard clears the holster, the finger enters the trigger guard and contacts the trigger, with possibly tragic results.


I am aware of two instances where trained personnel have shot themselves using this holster in conjunction with Glock pistols. In August of 2004, a situation occurred with a live weapon that resulted in the shooter losing a 10cm piece of her femur. The other occurred with nonlethal training ammunitions in a force-on-force event in April of 2005. The impact of the NLTA was in the same area as the actual gunshot wound previously mentioned.

Following each of these events, Blackhawk was contacted and advised of the problems observed and concerns raised. In the first instance, they claimed that they were unaware of any previous issues with the design and insisted that the design had been ‘thoroughly tested by law enforcement and military personnel’.

After the second event, they were contacted by at least two people. Again, they stated that they were unaware of any concerns and had heard nothing similar from any sources.
If this were not disturbing enough, in October 2005, while assisting with a class in Casa Grande, AZ, additional concerns surfaced. During a force-on-force evolution, when a student attempted to draw an NLTA-modified Glock 17 from his Blackhawk Serpa holster, he was unable to free the gun from the holster.

In fact, the gun was so tightly held in the holster that, with one person applying both hands to the release button and another person applying two hands to the pistol, the gun could not be freed. Upon inspection, a small piece of gravel, approximately the size of the head of a pin, had managed to work itself into the Serpa release button and wedge the lock in place.

While trying to effect a release of the pistol from the holster, the entire holster popped off of the belt. The three screws that attach the holster body to the belt plate simply slipped through the tracks in the belt plate without apparent damage. Of what use is a retention holster that does not keep the gun on the belt?

In my opinion, the Blackhawk Serpa Active Retention holster is a severely flawed design. It offers the theoretical advantage of security while, in reality, offering none. It does not hold up to the rigors of realistic training. It accentuates the possibility of an unintentional discharge. It is unsafe.

If you, or anyone known to you, are currently using one of these holsters, please reconsider."

Sincerely,

Paul Gomez

Before I start I want to say that I respectfully disagree with Mr. Gomez on the ND issue and I would go as far as to say that it was probably caused by USER error. Holstering and unholster a weapon using the Serpa is the same as any holster, you leave your finger OFF the trigger and index on the side of the frame until you are ready to shoot. Was Mr. Gomez present during these ND's or was this hear-say from another individual. I've used this holster for range and competition classes and I would have to say that the concerns of debris locking up the holster are valid.

BsChoy
January 29, 2006, 06:02 PM
Good holsters but, you need to buy the attachment they make for a closer fit to the body...I got rid of mine too quickly cuz it stuck out to far before I found that attachment...

fastbolt
January 29, 2006, 06:18 PM
I bought one for range duties, but it was the 'plain' one, without the locking device.

After having examined one with the locking device bought by another of our guys, I just didn't care for the index finger operated button. (Of course, I never cared for the clamshell revolver holsters, either.)

I thought it was interesting that the dealer selling it to me casually mentioned that they'd heard of the backplate breaking from some customers, but had heard that when their customers called the company they'd sent them a new, 'improved' backplate ... and that I might just want to call and ask for one right away.

Rob1035
January 29, 2006, 06:38 PM
I'm with 45R, the ND thing is user error (hence negligent versus accidental), and the dirt/debris problem, well, I haven't experienced it in my range use, *shrug*

MHO of course

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