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Serpa Issues

I’ve heard and mentioned criticism of the Serpa holster in the past. After this video of a guy shooting himself in the leg, Caleb thinks there is something to it.

11 Responses to “Serpa Issues”

  1. Jeff Says:

    I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a lefty, but I broke three Serpas before I went back to traditional leather. I kept on having the screws loosen on me. In accordance with Murphy’s Law, one of the screws popped in a footchase and the gun ended up spinning around like a pinwheel. Bad mojo.

  2. Jim S Says:

    I like SERPA holsters because the friction holsters never held tight in the event of a chase. The thumb press Galco holsters I’ve seen are nice, but the mechanism is a bit more complicated than I’d like. A simple lever mechanism can still be pressed if the springs fail. Either way, watch the boogerhook/bangswitch connections (or get a heavier trigger)!

  3. Weer'd Beard Says:

    Also appears that they’ll lock up tight on you with just a little dirt, grit, sand, or in the linked video snow in them.

    That’s a good way to get yourself killed that doesn’t involve a stress reaction putting a bullet into your femoral artery…

  4. Sid Says:

    I am not a company spokesperson or in anyway financially supported by BlackHawk, but I speak well of the SERPA holsters at every chance. When you need a retention holster, it is a very good choice. My military police unit has state troopers, deputies, police officers, and various narcotic agents etc… and they all used the BlackHawk SERPA during our last deployment. No issues noted at all with the holster.

    If you don’t need a retention holster, then variety abounds.

    I use SERPAs when I can. I just wish there was more selection available. As is, I can only find a Level III for my G21.

    ND are not caused by pressing the button to release the weapon. That is BS dressed up as an excuse hoping to become a reason. Modern handguns only discharge when the trigger is pulled. Pulling the trigger before bringing your weapon onto the target is poor discipline. Period. Dot. The end.

  5. that guy from KR Says:

    There’s never been an epidemic of guns falling out of holsters, thus no urgent need for everyone to start using a retention holster for range practice or for concealed carry. It’s a myth propagated by gun bloggers and gun writers for reasons I don’t understand – free gear? paid ads? blindly copying others? fear of liability for telling people the non-retention holsters we’ve all used for the past 30 years are perfectly safe? You tell me.

    I can’t find a documented case in which an armed citizen carrying concealed had a holstered gun taken away and used against him or her.

    For open carry, there are many other holsters, such as those made by Safariland, that are well proven and in use by thousands and thousands of cops every day.

    There have been dozens of incidents in which SERPA users have shot themselves, all following the same failure mode. Any professional safety engineer or human factors expert would immediately identify that as a problem.

    Go read history – books, newsletters, magazines, emails. Find me any other holster design that’s been associated with any significant number of self-inflicted GSWs in the past 30 years.

    There aren’t any.

    Denying there’s a problem is like saying that the Pinto is a safe car, and all those times that the car blew up when it was rear-ended were all “user error”.

    The ONLY reason the gun community continues to soft-pedal the SERPA problem is that each of us clings to a belief that we are high-speed-low-drag, and those goobers that shot themselves aren’t like us.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    I don’t know why anyone would want a retention holster at the range or CCW. But for OC, I can see them being useful.

  7. M Gallo Says:

    I use an ITAC because the button is along the frame where I naturally index instead of in front of the trigger like on a SERPA. I’m not bashing the SERPA, but it’s always felt unatural to me.

  8. Sendarius Says:

    Whatever the shooter did to cause the gun to fire when he drew it from his SERPA holster (and we all know that he disengaged the safety and pulled the trigger, right?) would have also caused the gun to fire if he had done it after he drew the gun from ANY holster.

    Did the holster make it easier for him to stuff-up? Perhaps, but stuff-up he certainly did.

    I have seen, handled, and (briefly) used a SERPA holster in IPSC. After trialling it, I didn’t see a benefit for it in competition, so it went into my version of the big box of lightly-used gear that every shooter collects.

  9. Will Says:

    it appears you have missed the whole point. No one is saying that the holster release is triggering the gun. They are pointing out that the action used to activate the release, by the trigger finger, makes it very likely that said trigger finger will end up inside the trigger guard once in a while. This is not good.

    The mechanics of the draw should not be encouraging the trigger finger to prematurely enter that area! Yet, this is what the design tends to do. It needs a re-design.

  10. Robin Says:

    In the video the man explains that he had just been using a different retention holster that required him to push with his thumb and for a different pistol. It seems likely to me that when he went to the SERPA, he combined the two motions, thumb press (dropped the thumb safety) with now required finger press. Boom. This seems more a warning that when you introduce change to something like your draw stroke, you need to be very careful. He also tried to draw very fast. Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. I use a 1911 and one element I pay attention to in the draw is keeping my thumb UNDER the safety until after the gun is rotated and pointing at the target.

  11. MHinGA Says:

    What works for me:

    You will fight exactly like you practice. Hence, I will not practice with an OWB holster because I don’t carry OWB. Nor will I “game” a competition by compromising the foregoing principle; I’d rather win the fight than the range contest.

    Were I to carry OWB, I would avoid any holster that does not promote a strong finger-in-register position during the draw. So for me a holster like the SERPA is out.

    They’ve done tests, and shooting oneself during a gunfight is rarely advantageous. (For the same reason, panning one’s weak hand during the draw is a bad habit, as is getting on the trigger before getting on target, no matter how many milliseconds one might gain in doing so).

    If I want to use Kydex, I go with a Comp-Tac IWB. Because I tend to prefer leather, Mitch Rosen’s USD II is my favorite.

    As always, just IMAO, YMMV & etc.