Why I Don’t Recommend SERPA Holsters

4-Jul-11 – 11:24 by ToddG

Part of the email I send to students just prior to each class:

All else being equal, I’d prefer students NOT use SERPA holsters. You won’t get kicked out if you’ve got one, but I will take some time to explain why I recommend against them from both a safety and security standpoint.

Tex Grebner recently had an experience that demonstrates my reasoning behind this. To his tremendous credit, he posted the details and even a video of the accident on his YouTube page. The video has some strong language and shows the result of the accident and as such may not be appropriate for young or squeamish viewers:

YouTube Preview Image

Mr. Grebner specifically says that he doesn’t blame the gear, and that is commendable. Nonetheless, the SERPA retention mechanism certainly lends itself to such accidents more than most other holsters. Instead of keeping your trigger finger well clear of the gun during the initial part of the drawstroke, the SERPA and its clones require you to press your trigger finger toward the trigger as you draw.

Best wishes for a speedy and completely recovery go out to Mr. Grebner along with a sincere thank-you for sharing this very serious experience with the world.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

(and thanks to orionz06 for posting the video on pistol-forum)

  1. 114 Responses to “Why I Don’t Recommend SERPA Holsters”

  2. “You know there’s also a belt loop system for holsters right? Not just the paddle.”

    Yep, and had you actually read my post and watched the video I linked to, you would have seen that it is the belt slide attachment that I was refering to and that is also the common failure point shown in the video I linked to.

    If multiple confirmed reports of failures of the SERPA holster on multiple levels from several well respected industry sources elicites the response of: “Meh, it doesn’t matter” from you, then it is pointless in debating this with you. Enjoy your SERPA.

    By Nick on Jul 21, 2011

  3. …and have not shot myself in years.

    I LOL’ed. 😀

    By Tam on Jul 22, 2011

  4. Most people have a hard enough time keeping their finger of the trigger when they grip a gun. Simply due to the fact that it is not a natural human act to grip with only 3 fingers leaving one out. Yes we train specifically to do that, but is counter to our natural grip. The Serpa holster and others like it (which there are now plenty) encourage people to use their trigger finger to do something, in an area closely related to the trigger guard, this in my opinion is what sets people up for failure. The trigger finger should not being used for anything until its called upon to press the trigger. Sure you can say the Serpa when used properly puts your finger high on the slide on the draw. But as has been evidenced numerous times, when the draw doesn’t happen correctly, and people tense up (missed or forgot to press the release properly) they tend to tighten up their grip considerably, jam their finger in the release and yank on the gun. The increased tension grip allows for less refined control of the trigger finger, they are basically making a fist and as the gun comes out of the holster the fist is completed as per instinct and the gun goes bang.
    Someone else has probably explained the above much better. This is just my observation based on what I’ve seen happen at the range.

    By Rob E on Jul 22, 2011

  5. Nick
    I didnt watch your post because you first sounded like an idiot arguing with Jeff. But since you actually just made sense I DID just watch your link. Here’s the deal….This post was originally about NDs, not the durability of the product, SO, if you want to talk about durability, go some where else.

    The other thing is if you read my first post (above your post stating that Tex was under the influence), which Im sure you havent, you would also understand that stupid ass mistakes, including idiot cops that get caught off guard by a criminal trying to rip away his weapon, is completely the operators fault.

    ANY HOLSTER can be damaged. And if you shoot yourself, its your damn fault, not the gear. The locking button is placed where your finger naturally rests on the weapon ABOVE the trigger. I have drawn from my Serpa hundreds of times and NOT ONCE did my finger EVER land on the trigger.

    Enjoy learning how to shoot :)

    By Seriously? on Jul 22, 2011

  6. @Tam,
    ya dumb ass, as in years of handling a weapon. Whats your job, Wal Mart LMAO

    By Seriously? on Jul 22, 2011

  7. Seriously — If you cannot behave like a reasonable adult, your opinions are not wanted here. I was originally logging in to tell you that it’s not your place to tell Nick where he should and shouldn’t post things on my website. Then I saw your reply to Tam and candidly lost all patience with you.

    Effective immediately, I will feel free to delete any objectionable content from you.

    By ToddG on Jul 22, 2011

  8. @Todd
    haha go ahead buddy, I’m through arguing with a bunch of amateur idiots who have nothing better to do than to cry about a piece of gear they have no idea how to use.

    By Seriously? on Jul 22, 2011

  9. “Hundreds” of draws from a SERPA? Wow, You definitely do have it all figured out then brother. What in the hell was I thinking?

    By Nick Drakulich on Jul 22, 2011

  10. Seriously?,

    FWIW, I got my SERPA for free from the guys at ¡Blackhawk! at their North Carolina HQ before riding their awesome rockstar bus down to Blackwater for a training class that they partially sponsored.

    It’s still sitting in the box in my attic three years later. It’s a lousy holster. However, I used the non-SERPA CQC for the class, and still use it as a competition/range holster.

    You shoulda spent your $29.99 on the next Call of Duty game.

    By Tam on Jul 22, 2011

  11. I’ve had my M&P9 right at a week. I’ve had my new to me Shaggy for the M&P about 3 days. I have hundreds of draws with the combination. I don’t begin to consider myself up to speed with the combination. The SERPA fails the basic safety tests. If I were to hand it to our ES&H (environment, safety, and health) guy he’d reject it out of hand (not a gun guy) because it puts the trigger finger in motion toward the trigger on the draw. It sets up failure if something goes wrong. Not some gun guy saying it’s bad, but, a guy who causes much grief because things we do “all the time” without accident are changed because it won’t work if something small happens wrong. WHY stick with something that leaves near zero margin for error when there are multiple holsters available that don’t cut the margin so close.

    By George on Jul 22, 2011

  12. I wanted to thank him for sharing this information and we can learn from others errors. May all be well and safe.

    By BrettMC7 on Jul 22, 2011

  13. I have not read all of the posts but am seeing the same thing that we all see in life. Muscle memory is a human trait and we develop it through repetition, if you change any part of this repetition you must start over and walk through it slowly then progress to faster speeds as you get the changes down. This is not just for weapons but for anything you do it is just more apparent when we do it with a weapon. Bottom line is to train with what you use, and only change it after you retrain. Or don’t change the way you are doing things this is were accidents happen

    By David Salerno on Nov 5, 2011

  14. The serpa draw leaves ones finger on the frame when properly used. This man needs more proper training.

    By brimstone13 on Mar 24, 2012

  15. I agree with brimstone13 and I will also say I love my serpa thigh holster. Being in the military along with being sent to active war zone there have been times when I needed to pull out my weapon. At first I used standard issue bale holsters which I found has always been a pain to release after some time and usage. One day we where training on clearing rooms and I couldn’t get my weapon free. I bought my serpa Blackhawk for the M9 service pistol and have never looked back. I love it, I have never had a problem getting my gun back or having it taken from me; which during training people try to do. I have even used it in the desert (fine sand of Africa/Kuwait), dirt and all else with no jamming. I would trust my life to that holster.
    Side note: I use this holster with my glock and still haven’t shot myself in the leg. Then again I don’t put my finger in the trigger guard till I have my gun down range.

    By Deployed, Man on Apr 7, 2012

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