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Old January 16, 2010, 06:52 PM   #22
smince
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 2,580
Here are some items on the SERPA posted in the "Dangerous Holsters" thread:
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Also, Farnum banned the Serpa from his courses when it was learned that a small twig, or sand, could (actually did) jam the release and make drawing the weapon nearly impossible.
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Suarez International doesn't allow Serpa's in class. I've read Tactical Response and Paul Gomez doesn't either.
This came from a posting by Paul Gomez on Gabe Suarez' site:
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In October 2005, while assisting with a class in Casa Grande, AZ, additional concerns surfaced. During a force-on-force evolution, when a student attempted to draw an NLTA-modified Glock 17 from his Blackhawk Serpa holster, he was unable to free the gun from the holster.

In fact, the gun was so tightly held in the holster that, with one person applying both hands to the release button and another person applying two hands to the pistol, the gun could not be freed. Upon inspection, a small piece of gravel, approximately the size of the head of a pin, had managed to work itself into the Serpa release button and wedge the lock in place.

While trying to effect a release of the pistol from the holster, the entire holster popped off of the belt. The three screws that attach the holster body to the belt plate simply slipped through the tracks in the belt plate without apparent damage. Of what use is a retention holster that does not keep the gun on the belt?

In my opinion, the Blackhawk Serpa Active Retention holster is a severely flawed design. It offers the theoretical advantage of security while, in reality, offering none. It does not hold up to the rigors of realistic training. It accentuates the possibility of an unintentional discharge. It is unsafe.
Another posting on the SERPA from the WarriorTalk site:
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Simply put...the Serpa is a poorly designed but brilliantly marketed holster that causes a user to press in with the finger tip as they draw their pistol. In many cases it ends up with the trigger finger right on the trigger (and pressing inward) prematurely. In other words...long before it would be safe to do so.

I am aware of five situations where this has caused an AD on the range. Twice where it led so a self-inflicted gunshot. And these guys were either highly experienced shooters of seasoned operators. Twice I have personally seen in it force on force.

If I allow a holster like that in class, having seen the problems and knowing the problems, and a student shoots themselves...it really would be my fault. As I understand it Yeager at Tactical Response disallows them too.
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Incidentally, we had one student....a gun school junkie by anyone's definition. He had a Serpa at a Weapon Retention/Disarm class I was at. I told him the holster offered a false sense of security and I could rip it right off his belt. He said he didn't think I could, but asked me to try since he wanted to know. A couple of seconds later I handed him his pistol with the Serpa still wrapped around it, but no longer attached to his belt.
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