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Blackhawk Serpa lock

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by Belgiboy, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. Belgiboy

    Belgiboy Member

    Apr 23, 2007
    Eden Prairie, MN
    I'm taking my CCW class in April and I was looking at the Blackhawk Serpa Lock holsters. Natchez has them on sale for $35.99. That would leave me some time to do some holster drills... okay, pretend shooting klingons in front of the mirror:eek:. My gun of choice is a full size Kimber 1911. Does anybody have any experience or (semi-)knowledgable opinion on them. You can choose between a paddle or a belt attachment. The Autolock makes sense to me (though I never tried it), they are adjustable for cant and that carbon fiber finish looks really cool.
  2. jwalt01

    jwalt01 Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Evansville, In.
    i got mine last week for my sig 229
    and it came with belt and a paddle in one
    so far it has been my fav.:)
  3. DAdams

    DAdams Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    East Tennessee

    I was thinking about one for my J Frame. Anyone used one with that form factor?
  4. Erik

    Erik Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    They are offset quite a bit from the belt, have been known to jamb and break, and have contributed to several shooters finding their trigger fingers engaged in pulling the trigger prior to intending to.
  5. possum

    possum Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    Concord, N.C.
    i have one that i use to use with my xd service model and sc model, at the range. i prefer the paddle attachment as it pulls it closer to the body but it is still out a little more than i like for ccw, though i have used it before for that. now i have a blade tech for my service model and a iwb kydex for my sc, so the serpa isn't really being used that much anymore. i have never had any issues with the serpa and it has been a nice holster, you can adjust it to be as smooth as you need it to be.
  6. Trempel

    Trempel Member

    Jul 3, 2003
    I have two. One for regular OWB carry in Level II retention that came with a paddle and belt loop attachments. Paddle does keep the holster closer to the body, but is very difficult to put on or take off, since the paddle is pretty stiff. Even with the paddle, it's not something that is easily concealed without a heavy outer garment. For classes and open carry, it would be great. The other holster is for duty carry that is a level III by the virtue of an added rotating, spring-loaded hood that's deactivated by your thumb when gripping the pistol. I like both holsters and the security they provide. You can re-holster with one hand and when you hear the "click", the pistol can't be simply pulled out, without dealing with a retention device. So far, they haven't failed me once.
    Anything documented? I've tried to break one of the ones that I have (level 2 for Glock) and couldn't. It was in response to a video of a Fobus paddle holster being snapped right off the belt, that a co-worker showed me. Fobus = molded plastic. Blackhawk Serpa is made from a material that is very, very strong. One thing that I did hear was that the lock mechanism can jam if mud makes it into the holster. I don't really deal with much mud, so it wasn't a great concern for me.
    If you can stick your finger into the trigger guard when it's in a Serpa holster, then you must have some incredibly skinny fingers. Until the gun is drawn, the trigger is off limits to all foreign objects.
  7. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Kentucky Backwoods
    I have a BLACKHAWK SERPA for my GLOCK G19. I prefer the belt platform over the paddle configuration. I usually am NOT fond of inexpensive, non-leather holsters...the SERPA is a pleasant exception.

    Erik, I read your "...been known to jam & break" comments, I would very much like some details please. As for "pulling the trigger prior to intending to", I'm unclear how that can be blamed on the holster. When my G19 is released & drawn from my SERPA, my trigger finger is immediately resting on the line between the slide & frame. It doesn't fall inside the trigger guard. (I just checked to make sure). Is your experience different?
  8. LegalAlien

    LegalAlien Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Trigger finger ending up on the trigger is a shooter problem and not a holster problem.
    I also have the Serpa CQC level2. If you look at the design of the holster, you will notice that the release clip is DEFINITELY not positioned in line with the trigger guard at all - it is higher up.
    I have found that by keeping your trigger finger extended after the release, it ends up naturally on the frame, just below the slide and above the trigger guard.
    The retention is phenomenal!! . . and it is adjustable. When I first received the one for my Beretta 92FS, I did not realise or notice that the retention screw was tightened pretty hard. I shoved my 92FS in the holster . .and it was STUCK!!!! . . . .. . I tried most everything apart from shoving a screwdriver into the holster to try and get it released . . I thought that I was going to have to go to the local gunsmith and look like a dummy asking him to helpme get my gun out of the holster. Up to this point I was focussing all my attention on the secondary retention clip. Finally I noticed the retention screw and after loosening it a turn or so, the gun came out.
    Felt a total DE.. DE..DE
  9. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Member

    Mar 2, 2004
    Location, Location!
    1) generally, per instructors i've run across, the serpa is not recommended for guns like loaded Glocks. location of the release is right next to the trigger.

    2) serpa's have gotten a reputation for jamming up when debris finds its way into the locking mechanism.

    having said that, if you carry a 1911 cocked and locked and don't envision getting your cqc serpa dirty, it's not a bad holster. i have several.

    also take a look at bladetechs for comparison (for non-retention options).
  10. bakert

    bakert Member

    May 1, 2005
    I got one of the cheaper Blackhawk holsters instead of the Serpa mainly because I was leery of the lock but after talking to a couple of people I may go ahead and buy one. This one works fairly well for concealed carry and although the screw tension secures the gun fairly well I think the Serpa might be much better. The belt loop attachment seem to hold the gun better than the paddle, as least to me and it conceals best under a heavier jacket.


    WOODROW Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    I have use the SERPA for my 1911's, Glocks, and I have had no problems at all with any of them. At first I had a concern about the Glock with the locking mech. being right there on the trigger but I have carried both a model 21 and 22 on and off without any type of problem for about a year. The SERPA does tend to stand out from the hip further from the hip than say a Galco combat master pancake style holster but the Galco has no retention other than being hidden. As for the SERPA "jamming" because it gets dirty, mine has never had any type of hiccup or snort. If your worried about it then just clean it every so often. PROBLEM SOLVED. SEMPER FI
  12. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    I believe you are describing the "duty" model that would more likely be worn by a LEO rather than a civilian. The offset you speak of gets the handgun out and away from the body, waist length cut heavy jacket, etc. and also lowers the holster to allow it to extend more below the belt and the bullet proof vest. A friend of mine has one of these and for what it is worth, the offset portion can be removed.

    I have two Blackhawk Serpa holsters and like the active retention. One for my XDs, the other for my Series 70. Neither have exhibited the problems, "jam and break", that you speak of, albeit I am just one data point. I would appreciate seeing the stats, web pages, reports, etc. you are referring to where this is becoming a problem.

    As for "pulling the trigger prior to intending to".....as someone else mentioned, that is a shooter problem. My XD's trigger is completely covered by the Serpa. If someone is shooting at their foot while presenting, then they need to learn the basics of running a handgun, IMO, before given the chance to shoot at themselves again. ;)

    It is not a great CCW holster although I've carried with mine a number of times using a loose fitting wool shirt. I prefer an OWB leather Galco which is a bit better for me.
  13. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Austin, TX
    From CombatshootingandTactics.com Oct 04 news letter regarding the Sherpa:

    I have witnessed and been informed of several problems with this holster. First, it is
    carbon fiber holster with a trigger finger push button unlocking device. Two
    officers in my last Tactical Pistol Instructor course could not make the times from
    the draw with this holster. The push-button mechanism was difficult to index/find
    under stress and even after six days, they still had problems.
    Another problem brought to my attention from a recent student was tactical training
    problem. During a scenario, he exerted excessive pressure from his trigger finger to
    the unlock button and when drawing the weapon, drug the finger along the holster
    and into the trigger guard, discharging the airsoft weapon prematurely into his leg
    during his draw sequence.
    Trigger fingers are just that, for the trigger. I think it should remain straight and
    have one function, to index the trigger. The current thumb break snap or hood is the
    way to go.

    I've got a lot of respect for Paul, he's a very good instructor and I place a lot of weight on his opinion when he says it's a no go.

  14. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    North Port, FL
    I purchased the non-Serpa model and use it for IDPA. I like it.

  15. lax

    lax Member

    Aug 12, 2007
    If you decide you don't like the locking retention, the lock is easily bypassed by rolling up a little bit of duct tape and putting it under the lock button. Easy to disable. Easy to re-enable.
  16. Shadow1198

    Shadow1198 Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I put up a review of the Serpa holsters on my friend's website: Link

    Basically, IMO I personally don't prefer these for CCW. I find that they seem to have a slight outward cant when worn, and it really makes it tough trying to conceal unless you are wearing a jacket or very loose, over-sized clothing. For CCW, I would honestly recommend something IWB like a CompTac holster or Blade Tech holster. Each of those companies also makes some great OWB holsters. That being said, for all most other uses I find the Serpa holsters to be excellent holsters, and the Serpa button provides rock solid retention, but with better speed then a conventional thumb strap design IMO.
  17. dschwartz69

    dschwartz69 Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    I have the Serpa model for my Beretta 92FS and use it for USPSA at the local club. My trigger finger indexes perfectly in line just above the trigger guard as I have trained to do with other holsters. Completely natural draw. And yes, even though shooting USPSA I use a Level II rentention holster AND the safety on - part of my draw is deactivating safety as I acquire target.
    Its all about training and familiarity with the product - for those that got their fingers on the trigger accidently on draw, it would have happened eventually with any holster - as others have said, "that problem is with the shooter"
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