The SERPA holster has gotten more attention than any other holster design in recent memory. The idea behind the SERPA is that it is an intuitive retention device. Rob Pincus examines the main issue with the SERPA: is it dangerous to have a retention release device that is actuated by the trigger finger? Rob demonstrates different possibilities involving right and wrong ways to present a firearm from a SERPA. The bottom line is that retention is a training issue, not a gear issue.
I use the level 3 leg holster when I do security work and it works just fine. I never snag using the trigger finger on the trigger whilst withdrawing untill I actually became aware that it could led to an accidental discharge. In fact, the fact that the level three holser also have the top button release, leads to naturally unholstering the gun with the muzzle down untill the pistol is completely unholstered. I was very fortunate to purchase my kit (brand new!) for only $40!
It’s refreshing to see an expert firearm trainer apply sound logic to the “SERPA” negligent discharge phenomena. I have been wearing one for 5 years safely. I chose the SERPA level 2 over other holster types for its retention feature and small size. I contend that if you can’t keep your finger straight when depressing the retention latch and drawing the weapon you have difficulty keeping your finger straight when handling weapons period. I feel it’s a training issue requiring ones muscle memory of the hand and finger. As for foreign material jamming the retention latch, it’s a non problem for most of us who don’t crawl thru dirt and snow for a living. I found a link that describes the history behind the SERPA.
Two observations: Serpas can jam up in environments where sand, dirt, snow or other fine debris can get in the holster. I’ve seen it more than once. Locks the gun in the holster – not good. Also, why use a holster that can cause a ND if the user does it wrong? It’s happened enough, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
I’ve seen a lot of training classes and ranges that ban the Serpa holster, but never really understood what the problem with it is. Thank you for describing what all the fuss is about! You describe it clearly and completely and give us the information to make up our own mind about whether to get one or not.
Rob, are you planning to do a safety video addressing self defense & handgun use issues in regards to the growing problem concerning the ‘Knock-out’ game young street punks are now playing in the major cities?
It is moving into the suburbs & smaller towns. A number of people have been killed. The Knock-out game is where they walk up and suddenly sucker punch men, women & children of all ages… trying to knock them out with only one punch. Just for fun.
I live in Oklahoma where Open Carry is legal. I open carry a Glock 23 .40 cal every day in a BlackHawk Serpa II holster, secured to my belt with the optional belt loop attachment.
It is very easy to switch between the paddle and the belt loop attachments by removing 3 screws. Just remember, if you switch between your paddle & the belt loop attachment very often then use a little mild to medium thread lock so that your screws don’t loosen-up with holster use and general holster movement / stresses during the day. Or else check them for tightness at least every week or two.
The holsters come from the company with a small amount of thread lock already applied to the screw’s threads that will wear-off with repeated removal. I decided to buy 2 holsters, 1 with a paddle attachment and 1 with the belt loop so I wouldn’t have to be changing back & forth. I had once found that my screws had loosened over time without my notice, so now all my screws are held in with medium thread lock.
The Holster’s cant is adjustable to several angles… with both the paddle and the belt loops. which can compensate for most anyone’s preferred draw angle.
I’m not long & lean in my torso / trunk area like Rob. I have a ‘stocky’ build with a traditional beer belly. I am short in my trunk length from the shoulders to my waistband. Thus the cut out in the front of the holster compensates extremely well for a person built like me with a shorter up & out draw stroke.
I use the straight up and out draw like Rob. In all the time I’ve used the Serpa II holster and practiced countless draws at various speeds, I’ve never once had my finger accidentally ‘slip’ onto the trigger,. My finger goes onto the trigger when I intend for it to do so.
And even with the 5 pound trigger pull of a factory Glock…I feel safe open carrying in crowds with a Serpa II holster. I’m certainly not worried about someone [like a dumb teenager or a drunk] behind me in a checkout line suddenly grabbing for my handgun and being able to get it out the holster before I can react. The release is recessed and very difficult to manipulate from behind or from in front– even if using both hands.
Good Serpa review and I agree.