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Old January 14, 2010, 03:54 PM   #1
DOUGHBOY RACING
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Trainer in MI. forbids Serpa Holsters in his class

Anyone ever hear of this, he says they have to many AD's due to finger coming off the holster next to the trigger, I practice drawing all the time and my finger ends up along the guard and never on the trigger. He said alot of trainers are banning their use.
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Old January 14, 2010, 05:23 PM   #2
pacerdude
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I rather enjoy my holster for the ability to draw my gun and as you stated, end with my finger on the trigger guard. I guess with the trainer it was an issue of liability.
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Old January 14, 2010, 05:58 PM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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The original SERPA holster did have some design issues that Paul Gomez brought to their attention. I believe those have been fixed for several years now and are no longer an issue though.
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Old January 14, 2010, 06:06 PM   #4
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I hear this all the time. It's a load of garbage. I'd submit to you that a guy that will negligently discharge his pistol with a Serpa holster will do it with any holster.

Don't put your bugger hook on the go button.

DOL

I also own a Serpa holster for my Glock and I rather enjoy it also.
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Old January 14, 2010, 06:26 PM   #5
DOUGHBOY RACING
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Well I wonder if these holsters can be used in shooting events like IDPA?
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Old January 14, 2010, 06:34 PM   #6
FM12
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Like I've said before, if you're not smart enough to operate this holster you have no right to even have a handgun in your possession!! ( you need to be smarter than the equipment you operate!)

I'd also bet the pistols that AD are those with the "safe action" triggers.
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Old January 14, 2010, 06:41 PM   #7
DOUGHBOY RACING
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See this trainer as well as myself shoot M&P pistols but still its like you said they only go boom after you pull the trigger but so can alot of guns with many holsters
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Old January 14, 2010, 06:48 PM   #8
Nnobby45
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Quote:
I'd submit to you that a guy that will negligently discharge his pistol with a Serpa holster will do it with any holster.
I see your point, but it's the Serpa, not "any holster" that seems to be the common denominator with re: to AD's. Ok, ND's.

That's not the only reason. Farnum won't allow them in his class and, if I'm not mistaken, Gabe won't either.
The reason Farnum gave is that he's had too many reports of holster jamming up so they wouldn't release. A report, I believe from Iraq, had a very small twig jam up a holster--- preventing the weapon from being drawn.
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Old January 14, 2010, 06:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
too many reports of holster jamming up so they wouldn't release.
The company I work for won't allow the Serpa for this reason. Plus I've seen firsthand a Serpa lock up due to a little dirt preventing the pistol from being drawn in a timely manner.
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Old January 14, 2010, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Well I wonder if these holsters can be used in shooting events like IDPA?
Seems to be what Todd Jarret is wearing. So unless you think he is crazy...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...2856867071363#
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Old January 14, 2010, 07:05 PM   #11
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If the holster is inherently unsafe due to a design flaw (i.e. it causes discharges) is one thing. Safety is obviously the foundation to any training program. I haven't heard of the Serpa causing weapons to go off, so I don't prohibit their use.

But if somone brings his equipment of choice (weapons, mags, and associated kit) and something fails during class...that's a good thing. At least the failure was discovered during a non-threat situation. I'd want to know if my holster won't work after it gets a little dusty.

Additionally, how often do we change the layout of our gunbelts, holsters, mag pouches, dump bags, etc? I do it all the time in search of the perfect setup. "Discovery Learning" certainly isn't the most academically rigorous approach, but it's pretty darn effective.

I certainly respect anyone's decision to run their business and/or classes in the manner they see fit, so please don't take this as an indictment. As I said earlier, this opinion of the Serpa is fairly common, and my view may be the minority.

DOL
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Old January 15, 2010, 11:02 AM   #12
Glenn E. Meyer
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Quite a few trainers are not allowing Serpas. It is quite easy to say that here is a rule and if it is followed then you won't have trouble.

But that is the law and order mentality of the gun world for some and flies against the reality of human factors research. A holster might be prone to screw ups do to operator failure to follow the rule. Rant that they should, sensei master - but that doesn't always happen. Stress, undertraining, etc. - do lead to accidents and a trainer doesn't need to stop a class or stop a match to watch the Life-flight heliocopter arrive.

So it's ideological position against the real world of human performance. In almost every area where human factors cause mishaps - someone says follow the rules, blah, blah - however if the gadget had an affordance for accidents with less than perfect RULE adherence - you are silly not to pay attention to it.
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Old January 15, 2010, 11:17 AM   #13
Balog
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Safety issues aside, I've heard too many reliable reports of them failing to release when needed for me to trust one. Same reason I won't use paddle holsters: even if failure isn't terribly common, it's still a higher chance than not having one at all.
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Old January 15, 2010, 12:36 PM   #14
Bartholomew Roberts
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My general thinking is that I don't want to spend my training time overcoming some particular peculiarity to a certain piece of gear, I want to spend it working on the basic fundamentals.

You can overcome a lot of gear issues with training; but if you don't have to spend that training time overcoming gear issues, it sure does make it easier to maintain a good level of proficiency.
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Old January 15, 2010, 04:04 PM   #15
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We had some inservice training on them this year. Some of them would fail to release smoothly or easily and people would then really crush down on the button and yank up at the same time, capable of causing a ND when the gun clears the holster and your finger is still pressing in on the button hard. The range staff reproduced the ND with a Simunitions gun and I could see where it could happen.
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Old January 15, 2010, 07:08 PM   #16
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I haven't heard about the overwhelming amount of ND's with the SERPA, but I have read numerous times about how a foreign object can find its way into the mechanism, preventing the firearm to be withdrawn, even under tremendous effort.

We have the SERPA and a Safariland bale holster as available options for service carry.

I didn't experience it for myself, but my line of work involves me potentially getting very dirty, messy, in remote areas with a lot of sand, dirt, etc. and for that reason, I don't want to do a real life field test with the SERPA holster.
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Old January 15, 2010, 07:10 PM   #17
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I carry one on duty on a gunbelt.
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Old January 16, 2010, 12:34 AM   #18
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Our department issues them, paddlestyle, no problems. But then again, we're smarter that what we carry. We carry the Sig 226/40 S&W to be replaced soon by the Sig 229/40 S&W.

Never one problem, and we have several "non-gun, non-shooter types" in our dept.

Train right the first time, also train to keep the trigger finger ouT of the guard til ready to shoot, ansd NO PROBLEMS.
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Old January 16, 2010, 07:36 AM   #19
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Our whole team carried the Blackhawk model last deployment. 22 soldiers and officers, 1 year, no NDs, no failures to release.
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Old January 16, 2010, 04:03 PM   #20
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I always carry my 1911 or HP in a Serpa. +2 Jedburgh. Knee jerk reaction from the Instructor. Who's really culpable in a class for an AD ? Student, Instructor, Classmates? To me it's the guy with his meathooks on the weapon. Too bad the Instructor can't have them "push 'em out" for about 20min.
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Old January 16, 2010, 05:03 PM   #21
Glenn E. Meyer
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From an instructor's point of view, people will put their meathooks on the trigger. YES, its their fault (that's debatable in this argument) but if a gadget is more prone to let stupid people make that mistake - why would an instructor want to deal with that.

It's happened twice around here. So why should the instructor allow an attractive nuisance/ It's really that simple.
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Old January 16, 2010, 06:52 PM   #22
smince
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Here are some items on the SERPA posted in the "Dangerous Holsters" thread:
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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:
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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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Old January 16, 2010, 07:33 PM   #23
Gary L. Griffiths
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So it's ideological position against the real world of human performance. In almost every area where human factors cause mishaps - someone says follow the rules, blah, blah - however if the gadget had an affordance for accidents with less than perfect RULE adherence - you are silly not to pay attention to it.
Exactly why I don't like Glocks and Glock clones. Too many accidental/negligent discharges. Glock may scream that it's the shooter's fault, and that the weapon is safe, but human factors being what they are, Glocks tend to go "Bang!" when they shouldn't a lot more than other designs.
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Old January 16, 2010, 08:05 PM   #24
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Wow! Do a search on youtube. I can't post links with my phone (what I'm using to read this forum). There is a video showing the malfunction that has been described. Tho the guy that made the video made it jam on purpose. It was really easy to see what "could" happen. Tho if I were going to have a gear malfunction. I would want it to happen in a class where qualified instructors could show me what happened and teach what needs to be done to avoid this in the future.
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Old January 16, 2010, 09:58 PM   #25
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Glocks tend to go "Bang!" when they shouldn't a lot more than other designs.
Yeah, but they go "BANG" when they should, too
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