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Old December 27, 2010, 12:28 PM   #1
Sturmgewehre
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Blackhawk SERPA reliability... a little test was in order

I've owned SERPA holsters for years. I have about 5 of them in inventory for various handguns I own. I've used them on the range for much of that time, not so much for concealed carry as I'm not a fan of retention systems for CCW holsters, opting for open tops instead.

But in my years with the SERPA I've never had a failure of the lock. But others post reports of SERPA failures at various shooting events and even on deployment. Since I don't routinely roll around on the ground with my SERPAs, I figured I would take it upon myself to see just how easy/hard it might be to cause the SERPA to fail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htigDRr7tdM

Questions and comments are welcome.
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Old December 27, 2010, 02:05 PM   #2
gimike
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Serpa Review

Thank you for sharing that review. I was surprised that the locking mechanism fouled so easily.
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Old December 27, 2010, 03:18 PM   #3
Sturmgewehre
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I was surprised as well. It's not what I expected at all.
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Old December 27, 2010, 06:22 PM   #4
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Wow. Well, you just proved the naysayers right. I was surprised as well. Great video.
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Old December 27, 2010, 06:39 PM   #5
hoytinak
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Yep, I've said it on here before about how my last military unit don't issue the Serpa anymore (and my current civilian company won't add them to our approved holster list) due to several of them locking up with a little grain of sand/dirt in them. I wasn't surprised at your findings at all, good to see others might see it now.
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Old December 27, 2010, 09:59 PM   #6
Erik
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Thanks for posting that. Some folks have to see it to believe it, and of course won't test it themselves...
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Old January 2, 2011, 04:14 PM   #7
navyman2015
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Great info

Good info for those who can't (or won't) get out to test stuff themselves. This will save me quite a bit of time as I've moved on in my pursuit to find something similiar that is more durable. Thanks!
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Old January 2, 2011, 08:21 PM   #8
X_shooter
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It is an interesting video. I'll reserve my opinion of its objectivity. I own two of these and decided to determine for myself if there was any risk of not getting my firearm out when I needed it. After studying the holster and its supernatural retention system I determined that the odds were very very very low that I could not get the firearm out when I needed it. Everyone has their own opinion and is entitled to it.

I should have recorded all of my observations at the time, but the gist of it was that the lever only had to be depressed a very short stroke to release. It was maybe a third of its entire travel. That meant that something uncompressable would need to be lodged in the mechanism at just the precise location preventing that travel. Compressable material such as snow would be unlikely. Any material coming in would need to be smaller than the tolerances around the lever itself so that limits what can go wrong.

I'm not saying all of your buddies malfunctions didn't happen or that this video was not realistic. I didn't press the lever. Luckily I have been fortunate as not to drop in the snow and slide around on all axis while being stepped on with weapon holstered and without.
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Old January 3, 2011, 11:45 AM   #9
demigod
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I have a few of those junk holsters from Blackhawk. They are strictly for light range use here and there.
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Old January 8, 2011, 09:05 PM   #10
Erik
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"This will save me quite a bit of time as I've moved on in my pursuit to find something similiar that is more durable."

If you have not already down so, I recommend checking out Safariland's ALS line.
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Old January 9, 2011, 09:59 AM   #11
ClydeFrog
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SERPA holster testing...

The video was very informative and offered a lot of practical insight.
I'm left-handed and was looking into a new Blackhawk SERPA unit for a duty Glock 17 9mmNATO to use on a contract deployment to Haiti last year.
I was aware of the locking/jam problems from other web posts but to see it was a real eye-opener.
I know Safariland SFS line is popular with a few SEAL/SWCC units and is in use with a lot of LE spec ops(SWAT, warrant service, hostage rescue, etc).
The other holster systems like Blade-tech, Fobus, etc are not that hot either.

The ALS locking design may be secure but for hard use, PSC(security contract details) or jobs in remote areas, I think the regular SFS style may work best.

That said, I would not rule out the regular kydex Blackhawk rig for low threat range use or limited CC.
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Old January 12, 2011, 09:32 AM   #12
indubio
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Holster Glock

Not long ago I was looking for a holster for my Glock 17.
On the internet I found a company caled: piroholsters.
They make custom holsters for any wapon you want.
I got one for my Glock and it works perfect.
They got a special system called SRS.
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