Blackhawk Serpa Holsters - Opinions


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CTGunner
September 19, 2010, 08:31 PM
Is anyone using a Serpa for everyday concealed carry? What are your thoughts on the holster/system?

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FatPants
September 19, 2010, 08:43 PM
I use a Serpa with my Glock 17 for IDPA, but it does not hold the gun close enough to my body to conceal very well.

REAPER4206969
September 19, 2010, 08:56 PM
I have one for the 1911 and it is certainly not a concealment holster. What pistol are you using?

gofastman
September 19, 2010, 09:02 PM
it is certainly not a concealment holster
+1, kind of a disappointment as it says "close quarters concealment" or something like that on the back of it

CTGunner
September 19, 2010, 09:08 PM
It's for a Glock 26. I actually picked one up today and found that it isn't very easy to conceal. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. I think it will work with a winter jacket and maybe a loose vest. I do like the easy of holstering and drawing the gun.

9mmepiphany
September 19, 2010, 10:00 PM
The Glock Sport/Combat is what you want. Don't question it, just get it.
I agree, this is an excellent bare bones holster which is light and functional. I used one for years when I was a poor student...before buying another holster.

kind of a disappointment as it says "close quarters concealment" or something like that on the back of it
I use the CQC Serpa as a teaching holster and have been known to just throw a denim workshirt over it when going to dinner afterwards. It conceals, but it wouldn't be my first choice...not very discreet. The CQC Serpa is very secure and yet fast to draw from...but then I'm not rolling in sand/dirt...I might even use it in IDPA.

I don't recommend the combination of the Glock and Serpa, unless you have good trigger finger discipline

Onmilo
September 19, 2010, 10:22 PM
I use Serpa holsters for Sig 226 and Beretta 92F and Blade-Tech for Glock and 1911 field use holsters.
Both are fine choices for this application.

Blackhawk redesigned the trigger finger release catch on the Glock model holster so there are no issues in that area any longer and their standard holster certainly isn't any less safe with a Glock than a Blade-Tech is.

The Milt Sparks Summer Special IWB leather holster is still best in show for true CCW in my opinion.
I used a couple of these when packing a gun was a simple misdemeanor here.
Now it is a felony so I don't do CCW in public and normally open carry on my own property.

Kydex holsters rub to the point of abrasion when used as inside the waistband holsters and you have to buy pants one or two inches larger in the waist than you normally wear but on the upside, since Kydex holsters don't collapse as many leather holsters will, your pants won't loosen when you have to draw your weapon.
I tried one of these working in a gunshop where CCW is legal and quickly went back to a Summer Special for my Glock 26.

Many newer IWB holster desugns use a steel band to hold the top of the holster open which keeps your pants tight and allow fast one handed reholstering of the weapon.

Since CCW is still illegal here in public and the gun shop owner retired and closed shop, I haven't had a reason to purchase and test one of the newer designs to see how well they really work.

REAPER4206969
September 19, 2010, 10:26 PM
I believe CQC stands for Close Quarters Combat
Normally it does.

http://www.impactguns.com/store/media/blackhawk/bh_holsters_logo.jpg

9mmepiphany
September 19, 2010, 10:36 PM
Normally it does.

OOPS...thanks for the catch

Maybe I should read the packaging before commenting, but I've had it so long I can't find it

Roughneck08
September 20, 2010, 01:34 AM
I do own a serpa for my G17 and it does conceal under a large jacket and it comfortable when it is canted all the way forward. There are much better choices for concealed carry, but for range shooting and walk through a field I love my serpa.

swinokur
September 20, 2010, 08:49 AM
where oh where are "The Serpa is dangerous cuz Ray Suarez said so" folks?

I've got 3 of them. Best? probably not. Affordable good value and do they work?

Absolutely

My .02 which due to inflation is now actually worh nothing.
:uhoh:

Onmilo
September 20, 2010, 09:51 AM
Hey, I stayed away from Serpa holsters for a Looong time because of all the negative hype.
Finally broke down and bought a couple.
They really are decent, reasonably priced field use holsters.
Very good.
I can see why the military issues them now.

possum
September 20, 2010, 10:49 AM
several training companies do not allow them in thier courses. one in particular is one that i have attended myself. I had one and never had an issue how ever i listen when people in the industry talk. however the school that i stated is currently re evaluating thier stance on the serpa holster.

there were a few incidents where students had nd'd and shot them selves during training using the serpa (not at the school i described above but others, and instructors talk and share info). also there have been some issues of the guns not being able to be drawn from the holster when the gun had mud, and or dirt behind the button.

one of the biggest pushers of the anti serpa holster was Paul Gomez, he now works for teh school i described above, and he along with the CEO and staff are re looking the issues with the serpa.

to me it is all a matter of context, most people that have serpa's will never be in a sittuation that causes them to get so much dirt and or mud in thier holster that it will not come out. so if that applies to you then maybe you should look at something else.

swinokur
September 20, 2010, 11:25 AM
there were a few incidents where students had nd'd and shot them selves during training using the serpa (not at the school i described above but others, and instructors talk and share info).

I believe these are training issues. How many times have we all been told to keep our finger off the trigger until ready to shoot?

Apparently some folks aren't listening.

SOCOM has approved these for use. Think they want soldiers shooting themselves?

We need to stop blaming the gear. The holster does not make anyone put their finger on the trigger. I'm beginning to doubt the competence of instructors who blame equipment instead of students. I don't care how much experience they have.

As always YMMV

JTQ
September 20, 2010, 11:57 AM
My .02 for what it is worth.

I'll assume the Serpa CQC is perfectly safe.

There are certainly better concealment holsters on the market.

Why would you need/want an active retention device on a range holster?

I believe you would be much happier with a kydex range holster from Comp-tac, Blade-tech, Raven Concealment, or Garrett Industries. Additionally, all would most likely conceal better than a Serpa.

swinokur
September 20, 2010, 12:09 PM
I live 1 mile from the MD-VA border. VA is an OC state. I OC frequently in VA. My Serpa gets used for a lot more than just the range. I would not OC without at a minimum a Level II holster for my own safety while OC'ing

Again, my .02

possum
September 20, 2010, 12:18 PM
I believe these are training issues. How many times have we all been told to keep our finger off the trigger until ready to shoot?

Apparently some folks aren't listening.

i don't disagree with you i am simply stating what i have seen and know from members of the training industry.

possum
September 20, 2010, 12:21 PM
for info on this subject go to www.tacticalresponse.com then to FAQ's at the bottom of the page is thier thoughts and experiences with the Serpa holster.

JTQ
September 20, 2010, 12:40 PM
swinokur wrote,
I live 1 mile from the MD-VA border. VA is an OC state. I OC frequently in VA. My Serpa gets used for a lot more than just the range. I would not OC without at a minimum a Level II holster for my own safety while OC'ing

Those are excellent points and a good reason to use a Serpa.

Of course the question was...
Is anyone using a Serpa for everyday concealed carry? What are your thoughts on the holster/system?

DPris
September 20, 2010, 01:01 PM
Aside from those concerns, the primary reason I don't use what I find to be a very handy design is that it's not a good concealment holster. It's too bulky, too thick, and rides too far out from the body.
I've discussed that with Blackhawk & the guy I spoke to there agreed.

As far as using it for a range or other open carry function goes, the release process is so totally different from the normal thumbbreak holster I carry every day that under stress I'd not be able to get the pistol out in a hurry.
Running back & forth between too such distinctly different release types would almost certainly be fatal for me.

I have too many years in my muscle memory with thumbbreaks. In a hurry, I'd automatically revert to "thumbing" the release, not "fingering" it. :)

I stick with one system that works best for me. Like pistols themselves, I don't switch holster types around to match either my mood or the urge to go with something different this week.
Concealed around town or open carry in the wilds, all use a thumbbreak if they have any type of retention device at all beyond just a tight fit, because that type of release is so automatic for me.

Years ago I was testing a Smith & Wesson in a breakfront holster. I was timing myself out of the leather & on target.
I told my hand to remember "push forward, don't pull up" several times, closed my eyes & chanted it, visualized myself doing it.
When my buddy hit the timer button my hand instantly forgot everything I'd just told it & pulled up. Obviously, I had to do a couple retakes. And that was only under the extremely mild "stress" of the timer.

I do like the release on the Serpa (it's actually one of the only plastic holsters I'd even consider using), and if they can ever produce one that's much thinner I'd give it a good whirl for concealed use.
In the meantime- no. Too bulky for daily wear & too risky for occasional wear.

If you're in a position to use nothing but the Serpa, that'd be a different matter.

Denis

possum
September 20, 2010, 01:11 PM
another reason that i stoped carrying the serpa was because it is the only holster that i had that had a retention device/ button/ hood etc. and it was inconsistant with all the other holsters that i was using and still use now.

SuperNaut
September 20, 2010, 01:12 PM
Had two, sold 'em. Under stress the extra step was one step too many.

possum
September 20, 2010, 01:19 PM
Had two, sold 'em. Under stress the extra step was one step too many.
i agree, and another reason why i do not care for manual safeties on handguns.

wrs840
September 20, 2010, 01:26 PM
I own two Serpas, rarely use one, and never use the other because the 5904/5906 (that the package says it is supposedly made for) rattles around inside it no matter how much you tighten the "Passive Retention" part of it. I currently use a Crossbreed Supertuck for CC of anything bigger than a pocket gun.

Les

9mmepiphany
September 20, 2010, 02:57 PM
Had two, sold 'em. Under stress the extra step was one step too many.

That is a good reason as "simple is usually better".

I haven't personally found it to be an extra step as that is where my finger is during my normal draw stroke anyway and I don't push in on the lever, because I don't do that during my normal draw either. The only time I've encountered a stall with the release is when I've overthought it and made an effort to push in on the release...and that issue was releasing the the lever before the gun cleared the lock.

DPris
September 20, 2010, 04:12 PM
The transition between the simple question "What do you think of this holster?" and "...when he was doing PMC work in Iraq" missed me somewhere. :)

Denis

9mmepiphany
September 20, 2010, 04:14 PM
Good point...I'll make amends

Onmilo
September 20, 2010, 04:50 PM
Like I said.
I use Serpa holsters for Beretta and Sig pistols and Blade-Tech for Glock and 1911s.

The Serpa works well with double action first shot pistols, but I agree this holster design may cause a fumble fingered shooter to trigger a round into his own extremeties under stress when used with a lighter trigger pull weapon.

The Serpa would likely do well with a 1911 type pistol since you wipe the safety after you come into a shooting stance but I had Blade-Tech holsters for these guns long before the Serpa came on the market and have stuck with them.

DPris
September 20, 2010, 05:02 PM
9,
Next time you're in town, pizza's on me.
Denis

Just One Shot
September 20, 2010, 07:01 PM
I have 2 and they are good for cold weather CC or open carry, not so much in warmer weather for CCing.

I don't know what extra step you guys are talking about unless you are referring to the level 3 retention. I can unholster my handgun from my Serpa as fast as I can one without a retention device.

When I draw from mine my finger falls right in place and releases the retention in one smooth motion and my finger falls in place along the slide where it should be until I'm ready to fire.

possum
September 20, 2010, 10:19 PM
i think it is funny that on a forum which is suposed to be writting back and forth between folks, ask questions, state opinions, etc. A mod makes a comment about a school, and i have a serious question as to why they feel the way they do and then the posts are deleated. So what? it got a littel off topic, maybe if the Mod would have explained himself about his "past experiences" with the school; the op, and or other readers could have seen that they have absolutly nothing to do with the use and or issues that have been had with the serpa design. However how can a reader and or pottential customer make those choices without knowing the context?...... Additioinally way too few people attend training, and by saying something negative without explaining why pottentially makes somone turn away from training somewhere that could save thier life one day. one reason i am spending less and less time on this forum.......

People like to say big and bold things, but then when they are asked to articulate why they think and or feel a certain way, they are not able to or threads are closed..........

This is my rule of thumb If I didn't Train somwhere, shoot an actual gun, or ammo type, if i haven't BTDT If i don't have actual "FIRST HAND KNOWLEDE" i keep my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut.

LawofThirds
September 20, 2010, 10:33 PM
I've had one for a 1911 and it was pretty unconcealable. Add in the fact that you can completely jam the gun in the holster with a small rock (about 6mm round) to the point where you'll have to punch the pivot pin out of the holster and nearly destroy it in the process, and it offers nothing I desire in a holster.

DPris
September 20, 2010, 11:30 PM
Possum,
The thread started to deteriorate very rapidly from opinions of the holster to arguing for & against a particular shooting school/person.

I'd think if you posted a thread asking for opinions about a particular instructor that diverted to arguments for & against a specific holster (in other words, marked thread drift that was no longer addressing the original issue), you'd probably want to see your thread return to the reason you had for posting it.

I think 9 did just fine.
The issue was not what anybody thinks about a shooting school, it was what do people think about a holster.

Denis

TexasRifleman
September 20, 2010, 11:36 PM
How did we get from "Is anyone using a Serpa for everyday concealed carry?" to this?

Talk about thread drift.....

i think it is funny that on a forum which is suposed to be writting back and forth between folks, ask questions, state opinions, etc. A mod makes a comment about a school, and i have a serious question as to why they feel the way they do and then the posts are deleated. So what? it got a littel off topic

Well yeah, it got way off topic. The mod in question deleted his own off topic stuff, along with yours.

It's still off topic even now. If you guys want to debate this, and frankly I value both of your opinions, I'd like to see a thread in the right place for it. I suspect others would too.

possum
September 21, 2010, 12:41 AM
TexasRifleman,
You are right, this is off topic, and i am sorry. I have alot respect for you sir, and i will leave this thread be, and push it no farther because of your request.

Steelshooter101
September 22, 2010, 09:41 AM
To compete the draw with weak hand is near impossible.

FastMover
September 22, 2010, 10:20 AM
I use one and haven't experienced any of the issues that others have stated. Although it is a little wide it still conceals easily with just an untucked dress shirt.

jonboynumba1
September 22, 2010, 10:29 AM
I carry a GLOCK 26 everyday...I also tried the serpa many moons back (with whatever GLOCK I was carrying at the time...probably a 19/23 The holster part is fine but the backing/belt plate sticks out too far for a CCW holster...the adjustment in belt slots is a joke to (they may have changed that part) but it never holds...don't care if you loctite red the screws! I've heard it's nominally better with the paddle attachment...but I think it would still stick out too far.

The $15 GLOCK holster is definately worth a try...I've used em off and on over the years...they do the job -and at a great price. What I've come to like is actually the Bianchi 82 Carrylok leather holsters...I have one for about everything I carry...in IWB Crossbreed supertuck is the way to go IMHO...which I use some of the time and LOVE on weekend trips where deeper concealment makes me more comfortable traveling (I have one that actually hides a G21SF in relative comfort!)...9-5 mon-fri I tend to like the 82 carrylock though (and the 26 with a pearce PG-39+2 on the mag)...I can't tell you how many 82 carryloks I've had over the years...the closest I ever came to wearing one out was a 5" 1911 worn EDC for about 2 years...and it was still servicable but it was getting soft and probably due for replacement when I gave it away.

Once you get used to the paddle slap you don't even notice it...and four-wheeling in the woods ect I like knowing it's going to be where I left it -even if I take an unplanned flight over a stump off the ATV ect (it happened-LOL) or whatever else may otherwise jar one's weapon free of it's holster unexpectedly. It's also as fast as an opentop and reholsters like a dream...and being basically a modified pancake holster it rides very comfortably on a good belt.

Black Knight
September 22, 2010, 10:42 AM
I have 2 Serpas, one is their concealed version and the other is their level II duty version. I have had no problems with mine. When I was at FLETC for a firearms instructors program there were several uniformed officers and investigators with them in one form or another.

Steelshooter101
October 26, 2010, 05:39 PM
I have several friends that went to defensive school in Tenn and they said they would not allow serpia holsters to be used because of incidents of the finger ending up on the trigger when drawed.

novaDAK
October 31, 2010, 08:18 PM
I have several friends that went to defensive school in Tenn and they said they would not allow serpia holsters to be used because of incidents of the finger ending up on the trigger when drawed.

Sounds more like a problem with bad habits than gear.

swinokur
October 31, 2010, 08:37 PM
SOCOM has approved the Serpa for use. Good enough for me.

If students have problems with muscle memory drills, they either need more practice or different instructors. The old excuse about instructors banning the Serpa makes about as much sense as banning Glocks because they will fire when you put your finger on the trigger when you don't mean to.

Yup. Sure will.

Ragnar Danneskjold
October 31, 2010, 10:48 PM
If your finger ends up on the trigger when you're drawing, you need to retrain yourself not to do that.

I like Serpa holsters because they offer a good platform for a variety of weapons and for a variety of uses with exactly the same drawing style and feel. I can use the paddle or belt holster for concealed carry for my G19 or P99, I can use a Level 3 duty belt Serpa for work with my G17, and I can use the thigh rig for my M9. Different guns on different platforms, but one unified method of drawing. That's hard to find elsewhere. A thumb break works well for CCW but probably isn't the best for a thigh rig. A Safariland stlye forward-rotating hood might be great for a thigh rig or duty belt, but not for CCW. To me, Serpas offer the most modularity and similarity for all of the holster needs I have so far.

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