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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone heard of possible safety problems with the Serpa holsters?
rumor has it that they are being banned by some training schools.
 
G

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Yes, Serpa holsters have been involved in ND's.
The experts have pretty much decided to avoid Serpa holsters entirely.
Yes, more and more training and competitive activities have banned the use of Serpa holsters.
Since I don't own a Serpa I have no "dog in this fight".
 

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Basically, for those that are unaware, the SERPA utilizes a 'paddle/lever' lock to secure the handgun in the holster. That lock clicks around/near the trigger guard and is designed to be released by pressing the index finger and then drawing the gun. The issue is that the use of the lock places the trigger finger either onto or in the trigger guard when the gun clears the holster.

The SERPA lock system:


Note that the trigger finger is either dangerously close to or covering the trigger guard.

There have been a few documented incidents of serious injuries. (remember Tex Grebner?) Most of the injuries involved the upper thigh, buttocks, or lower leg.
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) has banned the use of the SERPA.
Progressive Force has banned the use of the SERPA
Some IDPA competitions have banned them. "ATTENTION: ALL retention style holsters that require the use of the index finger of the strong hand to release a lock prior to drawing the pistol (similar to, and including the BLACKHAWK SERPA), are BANNED from PMRPC IDPA matches."
Numerous police dept's are removing them from service.
Other places that have banned them: Gunsite, Wilson Tactical Training, Progressive Force, Many IDPA competitions, the USAF OSI, Tactical Response, The USMC ordered 10k of them and then cancelled it because of the concerns, Larry Vickers, Kyle Defoor......

…The list continues to grow.
 

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MDTS training too
 

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AWESOME!!! I Have a preban holster!!! HAHAHA!!!

When I pull my M&P, my finger is on the frame. I don't see a problem. YMMV.

.
 

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AWESOME!!! I Have a preban holster!!! HAHAHA!!!

When I pull my M&P, my finger is on the frame. I don't see a problem. YMMV.

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I used one for years with a Glock without issues.
Then I switched to a 1911 platform, and didn't like the way
it felt as it positioned my finger directly on the trigger and not the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is what I've emailed to Blackhawk.
I'll post when/if I get a response.


with the Serpa holsters being banned from numerous training courses due to safety, are you considering doing anything for the people that own them but can't use them?
Perhaps an exchange program?
I bought a CF finish one for my Glock and now I'm stuck
thank you.
 

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This is what I've emailed to Blackhawk.
I'll post when/if I get a response.

with the Serpa holsters being banned from numerous training courses due to safety, are you considering doing anything for the people that own them but can't use them?
Perhaps an exchange program?
I bought a CF finish one for my Glock and now I'm stuck
thank you.
So, you believe the manufacturer owes you something because of *YOUR* choice on where to shoot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
no, I think a good faith manufacturer would offer a pacifier to people who can't use the product because of serious safety issues and being banned at
professional training facilities. A little tokenism could go a long way toward building customer loyality.
It's not an issue of where I shoot, it's a hazard to use anywhere
 

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it's a hazard to use anywhere
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the manufacturers will not agree with you on this point. Smoking is bad for you yet millions choose to do it anyway.

A little tokenism
Is that like Communism?
 

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no, I think a good faith manufacturer would offer a pacifier to people who can't use the product because of serious safety issues and being banned at
professional training facilities. A little tokenism could go a long way toward building customer loyality.
It's not an issue of where I shoot, it's a hazard to use anywhere
They are going to tell you that their holster is safe, is the issue holster of many law enforcement departments and that the accident is a lack of safety rather than the design of their holster.

Voila... blow you off without costing them any money.
 

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You think it's bad for customers, think about the retails stores with big displays of them...

Think BH will offer to buy those back... I will tell you they will in fact not and they think the holster is 100% safe.

It sucks all around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is that like Communism?

more like customer service....
if you bought a car with a safety defect, would you attempt to get it fixed?
 

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In addition to the concerns of a ND, there are instances of environmental factors that lock the gun in the holster. If rocks, debris, etc gets behind the locking mechanism, it can prevent that mechanism from being manipulated, thus locking the gun in the holster.

Similar idea happened to an agency teating the holster on cold weather.... Slush/water/ice got on the holster. It then froze and gun was again locked in.
 

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I own two holsters with this type of retention system. I used them to holster my M9 while I was over seas. One is a holster that will attach to webbing, and the other is a paddle hip holster.

I think that the model of gun your using, and the amount of practice you have with it will have the largest impact on how safe you are with that holster. For instance, the Beretta I was using has a slide mounted saftey that is not likely to be disengaged during the drawstroke. With practice, you learn how to release the retention switch and draw into a position that places your finger naturally along the slide/frame. However, model of firearm, and practice. Because of the practice I have with my Serpa(s) I would feel comfortable using them. I do feel comfortable using them. I carried an M9 in a Serpa on my chest for a year as a gunner during more conoys than i can remember. When downgraded into just ACUs I used my paddle Serpa.

I understand why its being banned from so many training institutes though. You cant trust every person who comes in with a Serpa to have enough practice with it, and you cant expect them to have a firearm with as inconvient a saftey as the Beretta. It takes twice the deliberate motion tosqipe off the Beretta's saftey than it does a 1911. The other major factor here, is that Tex Grebner changed his holsters. Practice makes permenent. Changing holsters doesnt fix muscle memory. Stick with what you practice.

Intelligence is something you expct from a gunowner. Especially someone who wants to attend a training class. BUT, we have to face the fact that some people are just not bright. Trainers have to take that into account when they look at those who attend their classes. Ergo, if you assume everyone is smart enough, practiced enough, and has a pistol that the Serpa works well for... your bound to be wrong somewhere. And that could lead you to an expensive (if not deadly) problem as a trainer.
 

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No Serpas welcome at Pathfinder Ops training since last summer.

During one of our advanced carbine programs at the end of last year we had a student whose Serpa paddle lock release failed to release the gun after several evolutions of ground drills. Seems there was a fair Amound of "stuff" caught up in it and during a transition drill the shooter struggled to draw his hand gun.

It was easily remdied in an admin mode, but it was a wake up call for the shooter and confirmation for me that the holster was problematic as I had heard previously.

So we followed suit. And frankly we know of students who have opted to train elsewhere because of this position by us because that's their only or preferred holster.
 
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