Local training class forbids serpa holsters


PDA






hoohaa310
June 6, 2012, 07:19 PM
I work part time at the gun counter of a local shop. I had a guy come in looking for a holster for a Glock 19. I asked him if it was gonna be for OC or CC and he said just OC for at the range and around his property. I brought him over and started going through the pluses and minuses of each ones we had, with my personal recommendation going towards the Blackhawk SERPA holster just because I like how it locks and I like the dual carry option either belt loop or holster.

Well, as soon as I say "serpa" he says he can't buy that holster because he's taking a defensive pistol class and the company hosting it forbids that specific type of holster because "it's unsafe" (his words telling me their policy).


While I completely understand and agree with a trainer or companies right to allow certain practices or products or to not allow them, I was just kind of shocked. I've seen the one instance on YouTube of the gentleman who shot himself in the leg with his pistol while using a serpa holster I wouldn't think this one instance would cause a company or trainer to outright forbid a certain type of holster in a class.


Anyone else heard of this?

If you enjoyed reading about "Local training class forbids serpa holsters" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
JEB
June 6, 2012, 07:22 PM
that is odd. i honestly cant think of any reason why it would be banned.

robMaine
June 6, 2012, 07:27 PM
There have been some complaints about the way you release the retention and that under stress you will continue pushing in, and once the gun exits the holster your finger will drop into the trigger guard, possible causing an ND.

I don't see how it could happen, but apparently it has....

Quat
June 6, 2012, 07:33 PM
Some people also apparently try to push the button while reholstering, miss, and get their finger on the upper lip of the holster and catch the trigger with the finger as they push down.

rcmodel
June 6, 2012, 07:35 PM
I don't see how it could happen, but apparently it has....
Watch this then!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYvAxLX6OzE

rc

SpentCasing
June 6, 2012, 07:55 PM
Here's another good reason not to use one courtesy of Sturmgewehre over at MAC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxpXUN4bMb4&feature=relmfu

robMaine
June 6, 2012, 07:56 PM
Watch this then!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYvAxLX6OzE

rc
I have seen that before, and I feel that a holster design is being scapegoated for poor trigger discipline, I know an accident can happen to anyone, but these holsters don't strike me as more dangerous then any other design.

9mmepiphany
June 6, 2012, 08:06 PM
Some of it is a kneejerk reaction to what is fundamentally a training issue.

However, I'll point out the the grand daddy of training schools...Gunsite in AZ...allows and welcomes students using the Serpa in their classes

guzzi
June 6, 2012, 08:10 PM
There are a whole bunch of folks using the Blackhawk Serpa in IDPA, me included.

MrCleanOK
June 6, 2012, 08:18 PM
I have two serpa holsters, and I agree that the safety issue is largely a training problem. Unfortunately, these training schools and instructors have no control over the level of training of the students who show up for their classes. I have no argument with classes that ban or discourage them.

Another issue with serpa holsters is that debris can lock up the retention mechanism. After realising this, I will be looking for a new holster before my next government-sponsored tour of the world.

Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2

ClickClickD'oh
June 6, 2012, 08:19 PM
FLETC, Front Sight and several other major schools have banned the Serpa. With proper training and technique, the Serpa is perfectly safe. Without it, it can be dangerous. Schools don't want liability.

hoohaa310
June 6, 2012, 08:21 PM
I told the customer (and he knew it was purely my personal opinion) that I wouldn't pay money to a company/ trainer that told me what holster I could and couldn't use, rather than being able to train someone no matter what holster they'd like to use.

Skribs
June 6, 2012, 08:23 PM
The guy shooting his leg was IMO a problem with a break from KISS. He had two completely different holsters for two completely different pistols, and the combination resulted in him using the wrong draw stroke.

toivo
June 6, 2012, 08:35 PM
I know of a local trainer who has also banned them. He claims to have personally witnessed two ADs by Serpa users in his classes, done while drawing, not while re-holstering.

I don't think the holsters are unsafe for people who know how to use them, but I can understand why instructors and schools would have concerns about liability.

hoohaa310
June 6, 2012, 09:18 PM
I know of a local trainer who has also banned them. He claims to have personally witnessed two ADs by Serpa users in his classes, done while drawing, not while re-holstering.

I don't think the holsters are unsafe for people who know how to use them, but I can understand why instructors and schools would have concerns about liability.


Wouldn't happen to be Rochester Personal Defense would it? 'cause that's who the customer told me had banned them.

9mmepiphany
June 6, 2012, 09:32 PM
Just for clarification, so that folks reading this thread can make an informed decision.

The holster we are talking about is the Blackhawk CQC {holster, with the} Serpa {lock}. They are currently in their third generation. There is also a difference between their Sport holster and their Tactical/LE holster.

The Serpa is released by applying pressure on a release paddle that levers the retention device out of engagement with the trigger guard. The paddle places the trigger finger about the line of the trigger...if the holster was not there, the finger would be correctly placed on the "safe/index spot" on the frame of the gun.

The problem occurs when users want to "press in" on the release, which causes the retention no lock the gun in the holster...as they have to prematurely lift their finger to withdraw the gun. Rather than reset, release pressure and try again, they try to muscle it out by gripping and pulling harder. This response is what often causes the trigger finger, when the holster does release, to find it's way onto the trigger in a grasping motion.

The Serpa lock helps a user to learn the correct finger placement on the pistol during the drawing motion, by rewarding it with a smooth release. The Gen3 models even have a groove molded into the holster body to guide a correctly placed finger

Owen Sparks
June 6, 2012, 09:35 PM
Nothing can be made idiot proof because idiots are so imgenious. They will find a way to hurt themselves.

Big Bad Bob
June 6, 2012, 09:35 PM
I find all this controversy about the serpa holster to be rather interesting. Ive read the comments and watched the videos. I carried my sidearm in a Serpa in two configurations in Afghanistan, a paddle holster on my hip when on the FOB and strapped to the front of my plate carrier in sector. I climbed over walls, waded through canals etc. in a rather dirty, dusty environment and i never had the issues that these training schools seem to create. I am not doubting that these were actual issues and not fabrications but I personally in theatre never witnessed these types of problems with the holster myself or another soldier. I wasnt the only one to use a Serpa, my entire unit used them in several different options, drop leg, chest mounted, etc. without issue. The Marine Corps uses the Serpa and its widely used throughout the Army. Most guys I know who are issued a sidearm use the Serpa.

Given that the Army is now eliminating the PMAG, if TACOM and PEO Soldier were able to create these issues I am for sure they would have issued a safety memo altering units to stop use of this holster, as would the Marine Corps.

loose noose
June 6, 2012, 09:39 PM
In April of last year, I went and requalified as a certified Range Master, at Front Sight in Pahrump Nevada. During that whole time I used a BlackHawk Serpa holster. Never had a problem with the Range Officers telling me I couldn't use it. Also in that flick he clearly states it had nothing to do with the holster it was blamed solely on himself.:confused: I'm not sure if Front Sight has outlawed them or not, but I would hardly think that they did.

WardenWolf
June 6, 2012, 09:50 PM
Serpas are a bad idea for SO many reasons. Requiring you to use pressure from your trigger finger to release it, in a direction that, if you accidentally follow through, can cause you to hit the trigger, is just plain stupid. It's just dumb from an ergonomics standpoint. You're going to be holding that lever down as you draw the gun. If you get the gun out before you release your finger, BANG!

All of you who use them for actual carry need to think long and hard about what might happen during a high-stress situation where you're not thinking about your draw and instead using gross muscle movements. This CAN happen, and it can happen to YOU. Don't sugarcoat it. These holsters are NOT safe.

As for the instructor, he was simply trying to protect his students and himself from a design that is inherently more prone to inducing accidental discharges. The last thing anyone wants is a round going off in the wrong direction and hitting someone.

9mmepiphany
June 6, 2012, 10:02 PM
...in a direction that, if you accidentally follow through, can cause you to hit the trigger, is just plain stupid.
.. If you get the gun out before you release your finger, BANG!
If you follow through, your finger will end up on the frame above the trigger where it belongs. The direction of the pressure is inward toward the side of the pistol, not downard or back toward the trigger

I never release my finger during the draw as I'm not applying any more pressure than I would with a non-serpa holster. If you are, it sounds like you might be pressing in on the lever...I addressed that 4 post above yours

All of you who use them for actual carry need to think long and hard about what might happen during a high-stress situation where you're not thinking about your draw and instead using gross muscle movements. This CAN happen, and it can happen to YOU. Don't sugarcoat it. These holsters are NOT safe.
I carried mine during admin and escort duties...that didn't require a complete duty belt. The only time I've fumbled the draw was when I first got the holster and thought about having to depress the lever. When I don't think about it and just execute a normal draw from the holster, the Serpa releases smoothly.

I've used in in IDPA competition and I give more thought to insuring a get a grip that depresses the grip safety than to contacting the Serpa lever

zoom6zoom
June 6, 2012, 10:08 PM
If you follow through, your finger will end up on the frame above the trigger where it belongs.
This. In addition, you should be using the ball of your finger, not the tip, so your finger stays parallel to the slide and doesn't curve or move inward.

I too have a local instructor who didn't allow Serpas in his classes. He's since changed his mind.

WardenWolf
June 6, 2012, 10:23 PM
"Should be" is the key here. When scrambling to draw your gun in an emergency, things happen.

crossrhodes
June 6, 2012, 10:44 PM
Plus 1 for Big Bad Bob. I think it's a training issue. This reminds me of when a certain federal agency had a lot of ND's and blamed it on the Glock.

FIVETWOSEVEN
June 6, 2012, 10:45 PM
Serpas are a bad idea for SO many reasons. Requiring you to use pressure from your trigger finger to release it, in a direction that, if you accidentally follow through, can cause you to hit the trigger, is just plain stupid. It's just dumb from an ergonomics standpoint. You're going to be holding that lever down as you draw the gun. If you get the gun out before you release your finger, BANG!

I can press as hard with my finger as I want and all it does is end up on the frame, keep it flat like how it supposed to be as both design of the holster and the way you keep your finger off the trigger.


All of you who use them for actual carry need to think long and hard about what might happen during a high-stress situation where you're not thinking about your draw and instead using gross muscle movements. This CAN happen, and it can happen to YOU. Don't sugarcoat it. These holsters are NOT safe.

One word for you, training.

That's like saying you'll forget to take the safety off of a 1911 and such. Do you think that the cowboys of old forgot to thumbcock their revolvers? How is that different to those that use Serpas? Train like you fight, fight like you train.

toivo
June 6, 2012, 11:10 PM
Wouldn't happen to be Rochester Personal Defense would it? 'cause that's who the customer told me had banned them.
No, but it's another trainer in that same vicinity.

WoofersInc
June 7, 2012, 03:07 AM
Found this on the Serpas. Others are talking about them.

http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?99676-SERPA-Issue-Compilation

wickedsprint
June 7, 2012, 04:25 AM
A local LEO showed me a potential retention weakness his previous Army unit discovered.

It was found that the holster could easily be ripped from the mounting bracket (rips screws right out of the plastic).

Not sure what generation serpa they discovered this on.

EddieNFL
June 7, 2012, 07:51 AM
1. How many think the Serpa is unsafe?

2. How many think a condition one SA is unsafe?

I'm thinking most that answer affirmative to one will respond likewise for the other.

No matter the product we want the manufacturer to protect us from ourselves. We now have a car that can park itself. Maybe someone could design a firearm that fires without human interaction...for the safety of children.

psyopspec
June 7, 2012, 08:07 AM
All of you who use them for actual carry need to think long and hard about what might happen during a high-stress situation where you're not thinking about your draw and instead using gross muscle movements.

Like Bob, I used a SERPA for 2 tours in Afghanistan. No issues through mud, snow, rain, hitting the deck, crawling, etc. I've never been a cop, but I'm relatively confident that those 2 tours covered harsher environmental conditions than most police will be exposed to in the course of an average career. That holster never failed.

As for what happened during draws under stress, see my sig line. YMMV.

Further, the only "proof" that the holsters are bad is a relatively small list of places that don't welcome them, and a Youtube video where a man shoots himself and admits that it was his fault, though a SERPA is present.

Owen
June 7, 2012, 08:37 AM
I told the customer (and he knew it was purely my personal opinion) that I wouldn't pay money to a company/ trainer that told me what holster I could and couldn't use, rather than being able to train someone no matter what holster they'd like to use

Then you won't be going to many schools. I have yet to go to a school that allows shoulder holdters or SOB.

If you follow through, your finger will end up on the frame above the trigger where it belongs. The direction of the pressure is inward toward the side of the pistol, not downard or back toward the trigger


Only if you keep your finger straight. If you have longish fingers, and press the button with your fingertip, (like every other button you push in life) the tendency is for the trigger finger to turn inward somewhat.

I've now investigated 3 incidents with this holster where the shooter shot themselves in the leg, on the draw. These were not untrained individuals by any measure of the word.

Bovice
June 7, 2012, 08:46 AM
The club I shoot IDPA at does not allow SERPA lock holsters. I think it's a good idea.

jem375
June 7, 2012, 09:18 AM
Also some of these trainers don't want you to train with a crossdraw holster which is what I wear most of the time,especially if you are in a vehicle travelling in a bad area. I also have a Serpa holster and that makes me a problem for them also. They are among the most over paid professionals.

hoohaa310
June 7, 2012, 09:45 AM
The club I shoot IDPA at does not allow SERPA lock holsters. I think it's a good idea.


Care to elaborate? Why do you think its a good move?



Then you won't be going to many schools. I have yet to go to a school that allows shoulder holdters or SOB.


I guess not.





They are among the most over paid professionals.



The shooting industry as a whole is too tied up with things like "oh, well Massad Ayoob said THIS so that's why I do that"

or


"the guys at frontsite told me this...."



EVERY person has different hands, they're going to hold a gun differently, draw differently and overall have experiences with every piece of equipment.




Personally, I think situations like this wouldn't happen if people weren't so caught up with shaving off 1/4 second of their draw times like they're in the olympics. Sure you wanna get your gun out as fast as possible, but I've always held the belief that "slow is smooth, smooth is fast." If you start slow with a Black hawk serpa style holster and practice a slow draw 1000 times, graduate up to a slightly faster paced draw 1000 times, and eventually work your way up to full speed I doubt you'd EVER experience a problem like the annecdotal youtube evidence has shown.



If these holsters are so "unsafe" I wonder how much evidence we'll find of Marines and Soldiers experiencing similar problems. Or police officers. I have yet to see one piece of evidence when an actual professional shot himself while using one of these holsters. Classroom =/= real world.

Gtimothy
June 7, 2012, 10:00 AM
Seem to me if you're taking a defensive training course, the instructors should be training their students to use the equipment they, the students, choose to use. If there are inherent flaws with a particular piece of equipment, point them out to the owner and then train around it! Or, if warranted, suggest an alternative. To ban a particular holster without a valid reason, other than the possibility of AD, doesn't make sense.

Training, and keeping your "booger hook" off the trigger, go a LONG way in preventing AD/ND's!

ClickClickD'oh
June 7, 2012, 10:14 AM
They are among the most over paid professionals.

Wait... Firearms instructors are overpaid?

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwhcchZYDv1qdetkro1_500.jpg



If you start slow with a Black hawk serpa style holster and practice a slow draw 1000 times, graduate up to a slightly faster paced draw 1000 times, and eventually work your way up to full speed I doubt you'd EVER experience a problem like the annecdotal youtube evidence has show

If I knew that my students had done 2,000 practice draws with their firearm before coming to class, fine. In reality though, when you start talking draw practice most peoples faces go blank. Of course they can get their gun out of a holster... why should they ever practice that....


If these holsters are so "unsafe" I wonder how much evidence we'll find of Marines and Soldiers experiencing similar problems. Or police officers. I have yet to see one piece of evidence when an actual professional shot himself while using one of these holsters.

As for Soldiers and Marines, they are all carrying the M9, which is almost impossible to ND from a hammer down position.

As for law enforcement, FLETC banned the serpa after LEO personnel ND'd with them.

The bans on the SERPA aren't based on anecdotal evidence, but real ND events.

To ban a particular holster without a valid reason, other than the possibility of AD, doesn't make sense.

There's a very valid reason, it's called: Insurance Premiums.

There are also certain firearms I won't let you train with. As an instructor, I assume a huge amount of liability while you are in my class. It is my obligation to negate as much risk as possible, and that includes prohibiting equipment that posses a potential risk, either though a faulty design or the necessity of high levels of training that I can't verify.

Owen
June 7, 2012, 10:18 AM
The point of training is to make mistakes when it doesn't matter, so you don't make them when it does matter. If you aren't making mistakes in training, then you aren't training, you're practicing.

Using a piece of equipment that punishes you with a GSW when you make a mistake, and, in fact, sets up the conditions for that mistake is just a bad idea.

hoohaa310
June 7, 2012, 10:18 AM
There are also certain firearms I won't let you train with.


Maybe the reason you find this to be true


Quote:
Originally Posted by jem375
They are among the most over paid professionals.


Wait... Firearms instructors are overpaid?

Drail
June 7, 2012, 10:41 AM
Overpaid, opinionated and fully convinced that the latest trend is the best. On the "gross motor skills" nonsense, people who have problems with "losing" fine motor skills need serious training and probably shouldn't be allowed to operate motor vehicles or weed eaters or chain saws until they pull their head out of the sand.

Skribs
June 7, 2012, 11:35 AM
I've never been a firearms instructer, but I have been a mentor in other places, both at work and in the online gaming community. I can tell you that I've learned the difference between "what the user wants" and "what does and doesn't work". I can't speak specifically on the SERPA, but I can say that it is the instructor's perogative to decide what falls into which category. It is the client's choice whether to go with that instructor or choose a different one.

Typically, at least if the instructor isn't an egotistical maniac, if you ask "why can't I use ____", you can get an answer.

mljdeckard
June 7, 2012, 11:47 AM
I agree entirely with the above sentiments in that, for every foolproof system, there is a fool out there trying to make a name for himself. The people who blow their toes off with Serpas are likely to be the same guys who would find a way to do it no matter what holster they are using.

I also used one on deployment, and right now the vest I use when I ride ATVs has one on the front for my 1911.

drsfmd
June 7, 2012, 11:59 AM
Seem to me if you're taking a defensive training course, the instructors should be training their students to use the equipment they, the students, choose to use. If there are inherent flaws with a particular piece of equipment, point them out to the owner and then train around it!

Gotta disagree. Many people choose bad holsters because they see it on TV or they think it looks cool. If I were instructing professionally, *I'M* not going to be a party to someone injuring themselves or having an ND because of their poor equipment choices.

tarakian
June 7, 2012, 12:57 PM
I just took a CCW class from Rochester Personal Defense and they do not allow serpa holsters. Here is their reasoning (http://www.safeinrochester.com/serpa.php). I have no problem with them deciding what is allowed in their classes. There were enough people in the class who seemed completely stumped with how to handle a firearm that adding any more potential danger would be a bad idea. I have no experience with serpa holsters and to each there own. But in a group environment where it might be someone else that has to pay the price for lack of training, stupidity,...; it is up to the instructor/training school to do as much as they can to eliminate potential hazards. They also don't allow race guns/holsters, cross draw, or shoulder holsters.

crossrhodes
June 7, 2012, 01:55 PM
Marines and FLETC mentioned in the same sentence....don't even compare please. Been involved in both and will stick with the serpa. Hammer cocked or hammer down it don't matter...train train and then train some more.:what:

Destructo6
June 7, 2012, 02:52 PM
What FLETC are you talking about? The US Border Patrol Academy, at FLETC in Artesia, issues the SERPA holster for the P2000. They are certainly not prohibited.

I've been using a SERPA for 4 or more years, have qualified thousands of people using the same holster, and have not seen any such issue. Some of those people could barely (sometimes not) qualify, but had no trouble getting out of and back in the holster safely.

The issues I've seen are:1) the first SERPAs issued were made for the P30, not the P2000
2) the 3 shank screw sockets can be pulled from the holster if over tightened on holsters made before 2009 or so
3) you can loose the shank screws if you replace them without applying loctite and never check them.
4) the pivot guard release lever spring can lose temper and go flat.

fastbolt
June 7, 2012, 03:02 PM
I think if a particular training class/venue want's to restrict the use of certain equipment for their classes, it's up to them. Prospective students that have the luxury of choice in spending their money can choose whether or not to attend.

While I don't care for the lock-equipped model of that holster, neither do I care what other instructors/students care to use. Ultimately, while it's an equipment issue (being equipment), it's a training issue (regarding proper use of the equipment).

If someone wants to practice the proper use of that holster a few thousand times to build unconscious proficiency with it (versus just conscious proficiency), that's their concern. The same thing is required when considering other carry method retention devices, after all, whether it's a thumb strap or a Level 3 duty holster, right?

Understanding any required maintenance is probably a good thing (as it is with any equipment).

Frequent inspection to make sure the holster is functioning normally is a good thing.

Using the holster (with a plastic training gun, or maybe a Sim marking gun) in a properly conducted & supervised Force-on-force training venue might reveal any problems on the part of the "user", too.

Striker
June 7, 2012, 03:26 PM
ND presentation considerations aside (I agree that this is primarily a training issue),
and with all due respect to Big Bad Bob and pysopspec observations, I can state from personal experience that a Serpa release can bind and prevent presentation of the pistol. (M9, thigh rig)

My experience mirriors Sturmgewehre's observations in his video, except that it occurerd in a dirt, rock, sand environment and not in snow. Took me a bit of time to clear the obstruction from behind the lever tab so that it would pivot.

For this reason I relegate any holster with Serpa style retention for informal, range use only.

YMMV

Certaindeaf
June 7, 2012, 03:30 PM
Most notable folk are self trained. From Gates to Einstein. It's not really the end of the world would you be denied a certain artifact and or "training".

ClickClickD'oh
June 7, 2012, 03:48 PM
What FLETC are you talking about? The US Border Patrol Academy, at FLETC in Artesia, issues the SERPA holster for the P2000. They are certainly not prohibited.

When did you last check with them? The prohibition was announce January this year.

Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 11:24 AM
Subject: Fw: ADVISORY Blackhawk SERPA Holster



FYI - FLETC and many OIGs have discontinued the use of the Blackhawk SERPA



Subject: FW: Officer Safety Bulletin: Blackhawk SERPA Auto Lock System Holster

A CITP student accidentally discharged his weapon into his thigh at FLETC/Glynco last week. He had purchased a Blackhawk SERPA Auto Lock System holster and was using it for the first time. In October of this year, an agent shot himself in the buttocks during a staff qualification at FLETC Cheltenham using a Blackhawk SERPA. USAF OSI has prohibited their personnel from purchasing or carrying this holster.

The below notice was disseminated last week to all 1811s in HHS OIG, and they have given me permission to share it with the IG community's 1811 population.




SPECIAL BULLETIN
National Training and Emergency Operations Branch
Officer Safety Bulletin



Good Afternoon,

In our efforts to continually stay abreast of issues relating to officer safety, the National Training and Emergency Operations Branch (NTEOB) routinely evaluates the law enforcement equipment issued to or carried by OI personnel.

Recently, one such piece of equipment, the Blackhawk SERPA Auto Lock System holster, has come under scrutiny due to safety concerns involving the design of its retention safety device. There have been several recent documented cases, involving law enforcement and civilian personnel, where unintentional discharges have occurred while weapons were being drawn from this holster. Many of these unintentional discharges have resulted in gunshot injuries to the officers/agents involved.

The SERPA is one of the only holster system designed to use the trigger finger to release the retention safety device. This method of releasing the safety device is contrary to our training methods and techniques, which emphasize attacking the holster from the "top down." In addition, this retention system is completely different from the standard thumb-break holsters currently issued by OI. While it is true that one of the Cardinal Rules of firearms safety was violated by the individual placing his or her finger on the trigger before they were ready to shoot, we believe that the design of the SERPA holster facilitates this action by engaging the trigger finger well before the individual is prepared to shoot.

In light of these events and in accordance with OI policy, specifically Part 2, Section 2, Subsection IV B, NTEOB is suspending all use of the Blackhawk SERPA Auto Lock System holster by OI agents acting in an official, on-duty capacity. NTEOB will thoroughly research and evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this holster system and report on its findings.

In the meantime, those agents who may be affected by this safety bulletin should be directed to utilize their standard agency-issued holster to secure their weapon on their person. As a reminder, new standard issue holsters were previously issued to all OI 1811s. This is the recommended holster system. Should agents wish to purchase a holster, they should be informed that all holsters have to be approved by National Firearms Coordinator/NTEOB, as per policy.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and cooperation.

Thank you.

skt239
June 7, 2012, 04:31 PM
I get it. More to go wrong and more chances of cleaning up some rookies blood. They can't assume everyone who comes through the door regularly trains with their equipment.

bergmen
June 7, 2012, 05:04 PM
I'm with WardenWolf on this one. If it can happen, it will happen.

And it has.

Dan

Certaindeaf
June 7, 2012, 05:12 PM
I'm with WardenWolf on this one. If it can happen, it will happen.

And it has.

Dan
And what can't, has nor won't happen?

Any physicist worth his salt will tell you that you can throw a basketball through a mountain. And stuff. Oh, and I ain't no fysisist.

bergmen
June 7, 2012, 05:30 PM
And what can't, has nor won't happen?

Any physicist worth his salt will tell you that you can throw a basketball through a mountain. And stuff. Oh, and I ain't no fysisist.

It requires the action of the release with the trigger finger to be far too close to the trigger in both proximity and actions. All goes well with regards to alignment and your cool.

The required actions of the SERPA release sets you up for a disaster if a slight misalignment or frustrated action takes place.

The trigger finger placed alongside the frame as the draw is accomplished with other holsters is done so with a passive placement of the trigger finger. Actuating the SERPA release requires an active use of the trigger finger and is an action that is not intended to be related to controlled trigger release. This is the key right here and crosses the line as far as I'm concerned.

And as I said, if it can happen, it will.

Dan

Mainsail
June 7, 2012, 05:32 PM
It's not a training issue, it's a practice issue. The only training I've gotten with the Serpa is the directions that came with it. In thousands of draws, loaded or unloaded, fast or slow, my finger ends up extended straight along the frame well clear of the trigger.

During the draw, the pad of the trigger finger, more exactly it's almost the joint, touches the release lever and the gun is free. If someone is too stupid to read the directions, they're too stupid for the holster, and guns in general.

Certaindeaf
June 7, 2012, 05:34 PM
I guess I was being a little too academic.

Big Bad Bob
June 7, 2012, 06:31 PM
Im with Mainsail, if you cant read and follow instructions then go ahead and win a darwin award with your firearm.

The only place I have seen the stated problems with the serpa are on youtube with morons like Tex Grebner and over paid training academy's "simulating" what could go wrong. Interesting that most of these guys are also pushing their own brand or sponsors holster.

I'll reiterate, if these holsters were so unsafe then the Army and Marine Corps would have issued an ALTRACT stating to end use due to safety, and TACOM and PEO Soldier would remove the NSN from the books. Hasnt happened yet, and the Army is ultimate safety nazi's for those who dont know.

As it is, I carried mine for over a year, like PYSOPSPEC, in a pretty harsh and negative climate and condition and never once witnessed all these supposed issues. And yes you can ND with an M9, with or without the hammer down.

People want to blame their equipment instead of themselves for their NDs, again if you follow the instructions and train appropriately then it shouldn't be an issue.

Striker
June 7, 2012, 09:05 PM
As it is, I carried mine for over a year, like PYSOPSPEC, in a pretty harsh and negative climate and condition and never once witnessed all these supposed issues.

Well, I only carried in (sic) mine for 13 days in the proable same harsh and negative climate and conditions, before I got rid of it (destroyed it actually) due to release malf described in my post above (#47) ......the other 550 days or so, I carried my M9 in a different rig.

The only place I have seen the stated problems with the serpa are on youtube with morons like Tex Grebner and over paid training academy's "simulating" what could go wrong.

I'm not a youtube actor and I've never attended any overpaid training academy. But I'm not a moron (nor a FOBBIT either for the record) and I didn't need an ALTRACT from Big Army to "direct" me to take corrective action when needed. My comments about the holster are experience based, in a situation in which rapid conflict resolution at a close interpersonal distance was my highest priority of the moment. Admittidly, my experience is only a statistical sample of one, but it was all that was needed to change Mama Striker's little boy's mind regarding the Serpa system.

Bottom line is that if works for you and you have confidence in it, good on you. It doesn't for me.

Just my opinion and experience, as always YMMV.

WardenWolf
June 7, 2012, 09:57 PM
As has previously been stated, if your fingers are too long, or too short, these things present an extra hazard. Too long, and, your finger will curl inward. Too short, and you will stretch to press it and then your hand will have to readjust on the grip, possibly placing your finger inside the trigger guard as your hand moves backwards; the gun also often turns somewhat to the side doing this, possibly endangering others. They're only safe for people with an average hand size, under ideal conditions. Fact of the matter is, people HAVE shot themselves in the leg using this holster, and it happens far more often than with other holster designs, including the various thumb-release models.

Your trigger finger should have ONE use, and ONE use only with regards to firearms, and that's working the trigger. A screwup with any other finger won't result in the gun going off. When you try to do too much with any one appendage, things go wrong, and you lose coordination and / or speed. I myself have seen so many situations where the level of fine control decreases dramatically when you start trying to do too much with one hand, finger, etc. Trigger-finger release is inviting a disaster.

psyopspec
June 8, 2012, 12:28 AM
ND presentation considerations aside (I agree that this is primarily a training issue),
and with all due respect to Big Bad Bob and pysopspec observations, I can state from personal experience that a Serpa release can bind and prevent presentation of the pistol. (M9, thigh rig)

It's all good. As it was, I'd only heard of this occurring 1 time. Had it happened to me or one of my battle buddies, I'd feel the same as you.

Not a big issue at the end of the day. I doubt I'll ever put on a uniform again (c'mon IRR countdown clock...) and these days I do most of my carrying in a Supertuck.

crossrhodes
June 8, 2012, 07:17 AM
If you fart wrong at FLETC they issue a safety memo. Remember the ICE agent who shot himself in the leg when re-holstering. The cause was the draw sting on the FEDERAL AGENT windbreaker got caught in the trigger guard. You still see those wind breakers sold by tupper gore..oops I mean uniform solutions. So anything can happen and anyone can put a bad label on anything.

Superpsy
June 8, 2012, 07:37 AM
I'm not too surprised.

Just came back from Handgun I-III at TDI (southern Ohio) and they make you sign an additional waiver to use a Serpa holster (that, kind of surprised me). The waiver acknowledged the inherent risk in using such a holster, that they are not liable, that they warned you blah blah blah typical lawyerese. TDI allowed you to use the holster but the danger of the design was reinforced several times. (As an aside, TDI was awesome! Best gun related money I have EVER spent).

I don't own a Serpa but I can see how using your trigger finger to release the gun could be dangerous. That just seems like a simple conclusion to me. That's why 5.11's thumb drive holster makes more sense to me.

Longhorn 76
June 8, 2012, 07:49 AM
I would have no problem using one, especially during strenuous action.

However, in 5 years of IDPA, I have only seen one AD, where the guy shot at his leg while drawing, and he had a serpa holster. His pocket knife deflected the bullet away fron his leg, though.

fatcat4620
June 8, 2012, 08:43 AM
Serpas are a bad idea for SO many reasons. Requiring you to use pressure from your trigger finger to release it, in a direction that, if you accidentally follow through, can cause you to hit the trigger, is just plain stupid. It's just dumb from an ergonomics standpoint. You're going to be holding that lever down as you draw the gun. If you get the gun out before you release your finger, BANG!

All of you who use them for actual carry need to think long and hard about what might happen during a high-stress situation where you're not thinking about your draw and instead using gross muscle movements. This CAN happen, and it can happen to YOU. Don't sugarcoat it. These holsters are NOT safe.

As for the instructor, he was simply trying to protect his students and himself from a design that is inherently more prone to inducing accidental discharges. The last thing anyone wants is a round going off in the wrong direction and hitting someone.

Do you have one or ever used one? I have drawn my glock from it's serpa so many times I dont even think about the button. I just grip the gun indexing my finger in the same spot I do in a ready position and the gun comes out. I have tried to replicate the issues people seem to have and found out difficult after properly training myself. I will say that I have probably done over a thousand draws to get it down but would consider that a small number and I am always training.

Destructo6
June 8, 2012, 09:24 AM
When did you last check with them? The prohibition was announce January this year.
Every trainee that has arrived at the station in the last 3+ years has a Blackhawk level 3 Serpa. The academy has been at FLETC Artesia for the last 8 years.

OIG and FLETC personnel aren't exactly "field" agents.
I have drawn my glock from it's serpa so many times I dont even think about the button.
That's the way it should be. If you think of the Serpa lock like a button to be depressed before you can pull, then you are doing it wrong. Just lay your finger along the side of the slide, indexing your trigger finger (as you should), then the lock becomes transparent.

Like I said, we have 700 agents at this station, with 15,000 in the service overall. The vast majority use the SERPA level 3. If there were a safety problem with it, I'd know. There is not.

If you enjoyed reading about "Local training class forbids serpa holsters" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!