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Old March 13, 2009, 10:03 PM   #26
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Ive used lvl 2 and lvl 3 serpas, both tactical and CQC for 1911, M9 and M&P. The two with exposed hammers seem to have a lot less potential for misfires because they have thumb safeties.

For M&P and glock, the potential's higher since the safeties are trigger-based. If you get careless and that trigger hangs up somewhere, it can put just enough pressure on the safety to disengage it, and then your in trouble.
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Old March 15, 2009, 01:29 PM   #27
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I picked up a Serpa on sale yesterday to try with my Glock 19. First impressions, it doesn't keep the gun tight enough to the body to work with just a long shirt hanging over it. It will have to have a coat over it or something like that, at least with me. I'm going to wear it today with a hoodie on. I've got it canted forward one notch. I started by wearing it around the house with the belt attachment. I pulled my Wilderness belt snug, but I found that the weight of the gun pushed the bottom of the belt bracket into me, creating an uncomfortable pressure point. So, I switched to the paddle. Now, this feels really comfortable and removes any feeling of weight of the gun. I'll be wearing it this way today. I thought this could be okay, a quick way to slap a gun on and off. However, the paddle is a pain in the ass to get on and off because it squeezes so tight and the hooks catch on my pants. I pretty much have to unbutton/unzip my pants so I can get a hand on the inside of the pants to pry this sucker off.

Regarding reports of accidental discharges with this holster, I just don't see how that's possible unless you're being careless and that would be a problem with any holster. I shoot competitively and it's ingrained in me to keep my trigger finger straight when drawing and my finger doesn't enter the trigger until the muzzle is on my target. I've seen the release mechanism referred to as a button. I highly encourage everyone to get the button idea out of their heads. It's not a button that you should be pressing, it's more the end of a lever that is engaged by gentle pressure of a straight trigger finger sweeping the holster as you draw. Any tendency to push on this or any holster with a curved trigger finger as you draw needs to be trained out of your mind.

So, initial impression summary:

Concealability: not the greatest, fine with jacket.
Comfort: great with paddle, not that great with belt bracket.
Retention: great
Ease of draw: great
Adjustment of cant: good
Ease of on/off with paddle: terrible
Paddle retension: great, it ain't moving off your pants without considerable effort.
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Old March 19, 2009, 01:17 PM   #28
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I use a SERPA holster all the time for my FN five Seven. It works perfectly for this gun as your finger upon release is then on the safety. makes for an easy safety off as you put your finger on the trigger. for me and my gun it works great. it isnt easy to conceal, but over all works great for my uses.
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Old March 19, 2009, 02:59 PM   #29
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Just got a Level II today and am getting used to it. Not all pistols are represented in their design line so you have to ask around for such models like what works for the 10xx series Smiths....using it with my G23 for the moment and it's pretty damn slick. 2 thumbs up.
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Old March 19, 2009, 05:02 PM   #30
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I had one for a while, trying it out in IDPA and at the range. I found the retention button was too much of a pain, especially when Iw as in a hurry. I tended to miss it or, a couple times, I put too much pressure in and ended up with my finger in the trigger guard when the gun came out.... not good. How pressing on a small button on the side of a holster seemed like a good idea, I'll never know.

Later, I found out a number of tactical training places don't allow them in their classes.

I ebayed it and went back to a leather holster. I've never gone wrong with a thumb break.

Last edited by PoorSoulInJersey; March 19, 2009 at 05:53 PM.
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Old March 19, 2009, 05:34 PM   #31
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Paddle retention is a good point. I agree, it's very secure, but it can actually be a pain in the butt to get the thing off the pants. I use mine for USPSA shooting in a non-carry state, so I generally take it off when I'm done, and often that means undoing the pants completely.
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Old August 23, 2009, 05:39 PM   #32
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Old thread, new thought. Get a grip FIRST!

Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
From using my Serpa, I don't see how it makes anyone more likely to put a finger inside a trigger guard. The lock requires that your finger be straight; if you curl it in after releasing the lock and move it down to the trigger, I don't see how that can be caused by the holster.
As the complaint was described
Originally Posted by ActivShootr
(edited for clarity)
...under stress, shooters tend to push the button with the tip of their index finger. After all, this is the manner in which most people have the most repetitions pushing buttons such as keys on a keypad or phone or ringing doorbells. When the finger pushes in on the release button and the user initiates the upward motion of the draw stroke, the finger tends to stay in motion and as the trigger guard clears the holster, the finger enters the trigger guard and contacts the trigger, with possibly tragic results.

According to the Blackhawk website, ”The release is made using your normal drawing motion, with the trigger finger beside the holster body. … As your trigger finger naturally comes to rest on the SERPA lock’s release mechanism, simply push the mechanism as you draw the weapon and it releases the gun for a smooth, fast draw.”
With all respect for ActivShootr, the release button on the Serpa Blackhawk is not a doorbell. In my opinion, the release is pushed ONLY after you have established a shooting grip (sans trigger finger) on the gun. Only at that point do you press the release. If you are pressing the release with the tip of a finger, you are doing it wrong or have an extremely long trigger finger; and if you are hitting the release button before establishing a grip, you risk fumbling the rest of the draw.

For those unable to find the button 100% of the time, I suggest you are not establishing a proper grip on the gun before pressing the release. Set up a video camera and tape your presentation close-up, then view your misses in slow motion.

I note this is an old thread, but I just stumbled across it and thought the subject bore this update.

Get a GRIP! .... first, then press the release (not a button) and draw.

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Old August 23, 2009, 11:12 PM   #33
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Bought my first SERPA holster to try with my H&K USP .40 and really liked it. The weapon returns to the holster with a solid feeling and no fumbling with retention straps. With a little practice there is no problem quick drawing. I will try to conceal carry with this holster in the cooler weather when it is time to wear a light jacket. I don't foresee a problem.
I now own a second SERPA holster for my full size 1911. I don't conceal carry this gun but is a good holster for being out in the boonies as it holds the weapon in the holster while running.
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Old October 19, 2009, 10:46 PM   #34
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NORFOLK, VA (October 2009) BLACKHAWK! Products Group™, the world leader in manufacturing tactical gear for the military, law enforcement, industrial security and outdoor markets is proud to announce the selection of the BLACKHAWK! SERPA retention holster system along with select accessory components for the Elite Warriors of the United States Joint Special Operations Community.

In a head to head comparison conducted Q2 '09 the BLACKHAWK! SERPA system was selected by a panel of active duty service personnel representing the various SOF Commands. Key to the SERPA selection was the active weapon retention, system modularity, speed and commonality of training.

The basis of the system is built around the award winning SERPA Auto Retention holster which combines an intuitive drawing motion when presenting the weapon with automatic engagement of the locking mechanism upon re-holstering. The holster body is available in Concealment, Duty,Tactical, Level II, Level III retention models. Mounting platforms include a traditional belt mount, drop leg platform and a MOLLE chest mount. Color selection for all models and accessories include Black, Olive Drab, Foliage Green and Coyote Tan. Critical to all agencies, the training time is reduced due to the commonality of training across all models and retention levels of the SERPA system.

"The active retention of the SERPA Holster combined with BLACKHAWK!'s Quick Disconnect system allows SOF to configure their equipment based on mission or environmental needs," stated Steve Matulewicz Executive Director of Operations for BLACKHAWK! "The versatility of the Quick Disconnect system allows operators to rapidly move their weapon from a thigh or belt mounted platform when on foot patrol to a vest mounted position for easy access when on a vehicle mounted operation."

The SERPA holster system and components are now fully authorized for use within the Joint SOF arena, approved for purchase at the Command/Unit levels and will become an issued item as part of the US Government Load Carriage System (LCS) supplied to all of SOF.

The extensive range of options with the SERPA Holster system allows the operator to choose security level, mounting position, weapon angle and is offered to accommodate the BLACKHAWK! Xiphos™ light.

"The selection of the BLACKHAWK SERPA by the Elite SOF community is a tremendous endorsement for our products and I am honored that we will be supporting their mission," stated Mike Noell President and Chief Executive Officer of BLACKHAWK
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Old October 19, 2009, 10:53 PM   #35
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Used one in Iraq, never had a problem. Not very practical outside of uniformed carry with a tactical rig, but an excellent system. The only way to avoid needing to train at disengaging your sidearm's retention system, is to carry your weapon unsecured (which is as idiotic, and irresponsible as it gets).
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Old October 19, 2009, 11:25 PM   #36
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I have two, one for my M&P and one for my 1911. I love them both. I use them for training and competition. They are a great holster. As others have echoed, not great for concealing the gun, but oh well, I prefer good leather for that.

As for the safety concerns, I can see how it can happen, but I must confess that I have never been even close to actually experiencing that safety issue mentioned.

Is it perfect, no, if anyone finds a perfect holster, let me know.

I give it a great review, and will have more when I get other handguns!!
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Old October 20, 2009, 02:06 PM   #37
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And they now make one for the Glock 29/30.

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Old October 20, 2009, 07:20 PM   #38
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I've got one for my G-21 and my G/F has one for her Sig 220. Neither of us have ever had a problem with them outside of them being hard to conceal as others have pointed out. The paddle can be a pain to take off but, I'm sure it's not going anywhere when I draw unlike some other paddle holsters I've tried.
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Old October 27, 2009, 12:53 AM   #39
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Ive got a bunch and love them. Aside from the concealing part, they are great. In fact, I just got the level three for duty and a tactical one with the Xiphos light. I was a little worried about the function and draw but they are working out fine.
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Old October 27, 2009, 10:52 AM   #40
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If you cant operate this HOLSTER, you have NO business around a loaded HANDGUN!

There have been, however, internet stories about a foreign object becoming lodged behind the release and preventing the handgun from being drawn.

Could happen, after wrestling with a bad guy during an arrest.

Or working in a really dirty environment.

Any doubt,push the button and make sure it still operates.

On the negligent discharges, note they were from GLOCK pistols...not any standard DA/SA design,but from the "safe-action"design trigger. Any NDs from other brands of pistols, ie Sig, HK, Beretta etc that require a full pull of the trigger? You have to be well trsined to keep your fingerout of the trigger guard at all times, except to shoot. You really need to be 1.well trained, 2. disciplined, and 3. Smarter than the equipment you operate.

Last edited by FM12; October 27, 2009 at 11:07 AM. Reason: addtl text
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Old October 27, 2009, 08:02 PM   #41
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I own a SERPA sized for the "J" frame revolver. I find it to be secure, and easy to operate. It's not very concealable though. The newer "J" frames rated for .357 fit a little more snug than the older ones. But all in all it's a good holster.
As far as the A/D's, or N/D's blaming a holster is just an excuse. Sounds like something a lawyer might come up with.
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