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How NOT to shoot yourself with a SERPA holster:

22 Responses to “News you can use”

  1. hsoi Says:

    How about “don’t use one in the first place”.

  2. aughtsix Says:

    You’ll notice at the end, he’s touching the paddle with the tip of his finger… right after saying how that’s bad, mmkay?

    There’s probably a situation where the retention (and speed compared to a thumbreak) might be worth the extra required training to not screw it up… but the tradeoff surely doesn’t break that way for me.

    I played with one a while back, and the paddle, even when properly operated with the side of my finger, put my finger on the curved portion of the frame (of a 1911), much lower (and closer to the trigger guard) that it would usually go. I did *not* have warm fuzzies about it.

  3. S.A. Says:

    It seems like a bad idea to have to “train around” your gear. That means it is time to change your gear.

  4. MAJ Mike Says:

    What S.A. said.

    The Galco holsters I have are all safe and functional. Bottom line, be absolutely familiar with the weapon and associated gear. If something doesn’t work right, change to something that does.

  5. Sebastian Noblog Says:

    It’s no different than training yourself not to put your finger on the trigger until it’s time to shoot, or to not put your muzzle on things you’re not comfortable shooting.

    Duh.

  6. Freiheit Says:

    I’m not totally sure I agree with his conclusions, but I tip my hat and raise a glass to his attitude! “Don’t end up on the news and screw the rest of us”. I like that.

  7. Sebastian Noblog Says:

    It’s like anything else related to firearms–the people who end up in the news are usually people who didn’t train and who compounded that with bad techniques and doing things you should do.

    I dunno if it’s different with the 1911, but with my G22 the intuitive natural way to use the SERPA is just as he demonstrates there, and index finger naturally aligns with the rail and not the trigger guard.

    It’s not a huge adjustment to use it properly.

    The demonization of this product is just fodder for irresponsible yakking on the net.

  8. Sebastian Noblog Says:

    shouldn’t. ooops

  9. Adam Says:

    If you’re going to “preach” about gear, make sure you have some.

    Video dude’s belt from Old American AeroGap & Fitch is too weak for his heavy auto blaster. You can see it sagging, even after being ratcheted up a few notches.

  10. Sebastian Noblog Says:

    Looks like the heavy leather one I got from Wally World…that works great if it’s tight enough. Probably a function of not enough pushups and too many bacon burgers.

  11. Jerry Says:

    That belt is so gay. I’ll bet his shoes aren’t even a match.

  12. jay Says:

    so, in summary, the way to draw is exactly the way you’d draw with a normal holster? no wonder folks have a hard time with it.

  13. Adam Says:

    @ Sebastian – you’re probably right. I’m just used to my Beltman leather gun belt, which does not sag. At all.

    @ Jerry – I LOLed.

  14. SPQR Says:

    I noticed too, how he has trouble following his own advice in his video. It is indeed a bad idea to have to train around the flaws in a holster. The holster remains a failed idea to my POV.

  15. Sebastian Noblog Says:

    Still struggling to see, as jay notes, how not putting your finger on the trigger as you draw is a flaw with the holster.

  16. Heather from AK Says:

    Maybe it’s because the serpa was the first holster I ever used, and so I never got lazy about my trigger finger while drawing, but I don’t see a huge problem with it when used properly. Just like I don’t see a huge problem with guns when used properly. Or knives. Etc.

  17. Norm Says:

    This, like all other things in the weapons and gear world is going to be a source of MAJOR debate till the end of time. Let me make this clear, I HAVE a SERPA and I do carry a Beretta M9 in it. I do NOT use it in a LEO or .mil capacity.

    I have never had any issues in using it, but I can see both sides here. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up shooting yourself in the leg/foot or shooting someone else. On the other hand, I also use a leather slide holster and have seen that cause issues and enable a weapon to go off while it was in the holster and the users hands were not even near it.

    It all boils down to what are you comfortable with and what training are you getting for the equipment you’re using. Don’t train ‘around’ your gear, get the right training ‘for’ the gear and train ‘with’ the gear you’re going to use. Also, be comfortable and aware of your gear as well as weapon and each of their capabilities.

    What we’re seeing a lot anymore is some poor schlub buying all this tacticool gear or departments picking up the latest and greatest gear to try and stay on top of things. This is where a lot of people get into trouble. They get the gear but never train with it or don’t understand it.

    Most importantly, don’t blame a mistake on your gear unless it is beyond a shadow of a doubt the mistake of the gear (as in a failure), not poor use or misunderstanding.

  18. Jim JOnes Says:

    Geez sausage legs…maybe that money for the Serpa could’ve been better spent for a pair of jeans that actually fit you.

  19. Will Says:

    What some of you (and the designer of the retention system) have overlooked is the way your hand works under stress and speed. You are gripping the gun to yank it out with as much velocity as you can generate and control. All the fingers want to curl at the same time, especially if the grip is firm. It is unnatural for your index finger to stay straight under these conditions. Yes, you may override this 99 out of 100 times while training, but throw in a little more stress (cameras? competition? BG’s?) and you may not get that perfect control.

    There is also the second problem with this design. That is the occasional failure to release the gun, usually due to debris getting into the mechanism, although parts failure has been alleged in some cases. This situation entails removing the holster, and the application of tools to defeat the retention system. In some cases this has required saws to cut the holster off the gun!

    So, the end result of this design is it encourages the user to shoot themselves, or can leave the user unarmed when the gun is most needed.

    Personally, I think there are enough hazards out there, that I don’t need to be deliberately adding more.

    This is not the first, or last, time a bad design has made it into production. Sometimes all that is needed is a bit of tweaking of the design to fix it, but in this case I don’t think it’s practical.

  20. Laughingdog Says:

    I find it amusing seeing people who have probably never had to draw a handgun from a SERPA in a high stress situation have a “well, just don’t be stupid when you draw” attitude about the holster.

    Nevermind that a holster design that requires you to apply pressure with your trigger finger to draw that gun is inherently more dangerous than one that requires use of anything other than that finger.

    I think ToddG sums up why it’s a bad design best here:
    http://pistol-training.com/archives/4935

  21. Charlie Says:

    IMHO. For open carry the Serpa holster is very good. It has features that prevent your gun easily being snatched by someone else. For concealed carry there are better options as it is a little bulky.

  22. RC Says:

    I never knew there was a perceived problem with the Serpa holsters until recently because I’ve always trained that whenever I draw the gun my index finger is straight out to align and ultimately rest along the frame and does not enter the trigger guard until sights are on target. I draw the same way, regardless of holster I’m using at the time. As the saying goes, you perform the way you train. The few times I’ve been under stress and drew, my index finger was straight and since it was also grasping for a good grip on the gun it pushed the lever down so the draw was just fine and the index finger ended up pressing along the frame of the gun.