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Thread: Serpa causes finger to slip into trigger guard too soon?

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    Regular Member independence's Avatar
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    Serpa causes finger to slip into trigger guard too soon?

    I read a couple of posts on forums a few months back about problems with Serpa holsters. I don't remember which forums, but they were claiming that ND's had a occurred due to the shooter depressing the index finger button with too much pressure and it negligently slipping into the trigger guard.

    Is this complete nonsense, or do you think it is a problem? I don't have an opinion because I have only ever tried a Serpa once. What's your opinion?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    A little bit of both.

    IF you have long fingers and are trying to "Press" the release you risk the finger going towards the trigger from the pressure being put on it. There is an older generation of SERPA with a fence at the top of the release lever that made it much more likely someone would try to "Press" the release.

    Additionally, if one attempts to draw the pistol before the release is activated, the SERPA mechanism will jam. Some will try to "Press" harder on the release when the best course of action is to jam the pistol back in the holster which releases pressure on the mechanism.

    The best way to operate the SERPA release (at least in my opinion and we all know what that's worth) is to keep the finger straight and give the lower arm the slightest of rotations outboard which naturally presses the forefinger against the release.


    Even though you didn't ask, for the same approximate price the Safariland 6377 or 6378 is a much more advanced holster that can't be jammed like the SERPA. (Most dealers stock so many Blackhawk stuff because they get a huge bargain with it, not because it's the best out there. )
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 10-21-2013 at 11:31 PM.

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    Regular Member BrianB's Avatar
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    Don't know about other schools, but Front Sight has prohibited use of the Serpa at their facilities for that reason.

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    Regular Member kinggabby's Avatar
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    Been using a Serpa holster for almost a year ( two different carry weapons ) have not had any problem with mine either getting hung up or my finger going towards my trigger when I draw.

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    I have never had this problem with mine. I think you would only encounter this problem if you can call it that, if you don't take the time to practice drawing your firearm from the holster. Practice makes perfect as they say.

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    Last edited by kinko; 10-22-2013 at 06:28 AM.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    It has happened to people who are experienced. Most notably Tex Grebner, because he made public the video of him shooting himself with his 1911 while using his.

    Most well known and well respected shooting instructors either suggest against or completely prohibit their use in classes. They are not doing this for brand loyalty, they do it because they are dangerous. Different duns with different features and lengths of trigger pull make it possible to varying extents, but it is still an inherently dangerous design.

    There is also the issue that debris can jam the locking mechanism. It's not the most likely thing, but why voluntarily leave such things to chance?

    Safariland holsters, their entire line up, have nothing with any flaws like Serpas. I suggest them instead.
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    Regular Member moonie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    It has happened to people who are experienced. Most notably Tex Grebner, because he made public the video of him shooting himself with his 1911 while using his.

    Most well known and well respected shooting instructors either suggest against or completely prohibit their use in classes. They are not doing this for brand loyalty, they do it because they are dangerous. Different duns with different features and lengths of trigger pull make it possible to varying extents, but it is still an inherently dangerous design.

    There is also the issue that debris can jam the locking mechanism. It's not the most likely thing, but why voluntarily leave such things to chance?

    Safariland holsters, their entire line up, have nothing with any flaws like Serpas. I suggest them instead.
    Tex Brebner ALSO explained that HE was the failure NOT his holster, nice of you to leave that out... Kinda kills your entire line of reasoning, AND kills your credibility...

    If you keep your booger hook of the bang switch it won't happen, the issue isn't the holster, it is user error. Easy to blame something else for your mistake however.
    We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.

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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    I think it is more the person and their finger than the holster. I have been using one for 5-6 years and haven't ever had a problem.

    One could say red sports cars are defective since they increase your chance of getting a speeding ticket but again it isn't the car it is the driver. Blaming the holster for idiots not using it properly is like blaming a gun for shooting someone.

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    I have carried my OCW in a SERPA for about five years and not had a problem.

    Is the effect of a low universal draw rate on the already low problem rate being considered, they multiply to produce extremely low numbers of problems?

    What is the value of the cost to reduce an already low rate? If it can't be thought dispassionately about guns, then how about reducing the cancer rate and its cost/value.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 10-22-2013 at 09:56 AM.
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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    I have carried my OCW in a SERPA for about five years and not had a problem.

    Is the effect of a low universal draw rate on the already low problem rate being considered, they multiply to produce extremely low numbers of problems?

    What is the value of the cost to reduce an already low rate? If it can't be thought dispassionately about guns, then how about reducing the cancer rate and its cost/value.
    Your the person that wrote the instructions on how to program your VCR I bet......lol

    (for those of you that don't know what a VCR is due to your youth it is a low tech DVD player).....lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocWalker View Post
    Your the person that wrote the instructions on how to program your VCR I bet.
    So, it's a safe bet that "doc" doesn't refer to MD or PhD.

    Is the effect of a low universal draw rate on the already low problem rate being considered, they multiply to produce extremely low numbers of problems?

    What is the value of the cost to reduce an already low rate? If it can't be thought dispassionately about guns, then how about reducing the cancer rate and its cost/value.
    This is simple and fundamental epidemiology.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

  12. #12
    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    So, it's a safe bet that "doc" doesn't refer to MD or PhD.

    This is simple and fundamental epidemiology.
    Actually the term "doc" was what I was called the last 10-12 years of my military service. As an Independent Duty Medical Technician (IDMT) I was the only medical provider on a site of 2-200 personnel. I was called "doc" by everyone from the lowest ranking person all the way to the Commander. My medical tent could provide full Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and could provide some lab, x-ray, ultrasound, and other medical treatments to include mental health. IDMT's also did water testing and treatment (Bioenvironmental) as well as heath inspections (Public Heath) and immunizations. I worked in Washington State as a Paramedic in the civilian world and now work with fellow veterans within the VA system. The closest civilian equivalent would be a Physician Assistant (PA).
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Serpa - operator error - training issue

    The problem is not with the Serpa holster - it is solely with the operator.

    Never, never use the point of your trigger finger to release the lock on a Serpa. Extend your finger, lay it over the release with the finger arched (tip will be slightly up) and slide the finger over the release as you present the gun. Your finger will then naturally end up extended along the slide or under the cylinder on a revolver - it will not be inside the trigger guard.

    This method is excellent training/conditioning no matter what other holsters you might use.

    If you do not train with a straight trigger finger, but allow your finger to curl, it won't make any difference what holster you use. I have seen people who use a Safariland holster who either curled their booger hook or in attempting to acquire their "master grip" created the same problem.

    Simple: Do not put your finer on the bang switch until the muzzle is on the target.

    There are a variety of schools - pick one that will further your level of expertise on the equipment you use and carry regularly.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    You also hear a lot of people to include the highly trained cops having a unintended discharge of their weapon while carrying a Glock. I don't carry a Glock due to I don't like them, but people that do to include a lot of PD's need to be aware of the safety features and how to use them. If there seems to be more discharges from a Glock should we blame the Glock or the people not handling it properly?

    It isn't the Serpa but the person that wears it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocWalker View Post
    Actually the term "doc" was what I was called the last 10-12 years of my military service. As an Independent Duty Medical Technician (IDMT) I was the only medical provider on a site of 2-200 personnel. I was called "doc" by everyone from the lowest ranking person all the way to the Commander. My medical tent could provide full Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and could provide some lab, x-ray, ultrasound, and other medical treatments to include mental health. IDMT's also did water testing and treatment (Bioenvironmental) as well as heath inspections (Public Heath) and immunizations. I worked in Washington State as a Paramedic in the civilian world and now work with fellow veterans within the VA system. The closest civilian equivalent would be a Physician Assistant (PA).
    Looks like you cut and pasted that out of your EPR

    Were you ever in Ali Al Salem or Al Dhafra?

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    LOL In the USN that's "Quack" (said with all fondness remembering HMC Bodily).

    Quote Originally Posted by DocWalker View Post
    Actually the term "doc" was what I was called the last 10-12 years of my military service. As an Independent Duty Medical Technician (IDMT) I was the only medical provider on a site of 2-200 personnel. I was called "doc" by everyone from the lowest ranking person all the way to the Commander. My medical tent could provide full Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and could provide some lab, x-ray, ultrasound, and other medical treatments to include mental health. IDMT's also did water testing and treatment (Bioenvironmental) as well as heath inspections (Public Heath) and immunizations. I worked in Washington State as a Paramedic in the civilian world and now work with fellow veterans within the VA system. The closest civilian equivalent would be a Physician Assistant (PA).
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    LOL In the USN that's "Quack" (said with all fondness remembering HMC Bodily).
    Actually the term in the USN is "IDC" or Independent Duty Corpsman. The IDC and IDMT schools are combined now; the Army doesn’t have anything equivalent to this.

    I worked with the 2nd rangers and the US Army for 6 years overseas. The Navy, Army and Air Force had their basic medics and corpsman but there was more to being an IDC or IDMT.

    The thing I miss most is the camaraderie and Espree-de-Corps that we had in the service and how you could count on everyone in your unit to have your back.

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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernymac View Post
    Looks like you cut and pasted that out of your EPR

    Were you ever in Ali Al Salem or Al Dhafra?
    Nope, spent time in a lot of other exotic places though....lol

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocWalker View Post
    Actually the term in the USN is "IDC" or Independent Duty Corpsman. The IDC and IDMT schools are combined now; the Army doesn’t have anything equivalent to this.

    I worked with the 2nd rangers and the US Army for 6 years overseas. The Navy, Army and Air Force had their basic medics and corpsman but there was more to being an IDC or IDMT.

    The thing I miss most is the camaraderie and Espree-de-Corps that we had in the service and how you could count on everyone in your unit to have your back.
    Wish that were always the case here. Some (a very small few) will pull a Pat Garrett on you.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Wish that were always the case here. Some (a very small few) will pull a Pat Garrett on you.
    LOL I know what you mean.

    Since I got out of the military "someone having your back" has a whole new meaning...lol

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    ND's happen because some numpty pulls the trigger. Almost nobody admits they screwed up when they have a ND, most try to find something or somebody else to blame. "The holster did it" is the biggest joke in the firearms community.

    Besides the fact that the button is on the same lines as the slide. The finger done properly is along the slide, it is not the holsters fault that some people are idiots. And I would not consider Tex "I just bleeping shot myself" an expert.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 10-22-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran Running Wolf's Avatar
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    I use a Serpa retention holster for OC. I avoid the issue in the OP by . . .






























    Thinking about baseball!!!

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonie View Post
    Tex Brebner ALSO explained that HE was the failure NOT his holster, nice of you to leave that out... Kinda kills your entire line of reasoning, AND kills your credibility...

    If you keep your booger hook of the bang switch it won't happen, the issue isn't the holster, it is user error. Easy to blame something else for your mistake however.
    I can relate to Tex, because I had a similar incident, however mine was exclusively equipment failure related (trigger never pulled, gun not drop safe). There is a tendency to want to take responsibility, despite what some would think. I know I blamed myself, and still do, even though it was a defective commie gun. I would further add that I suggest drawing your own conclusions based on the best information available, not worrying about what others think, even if they got shot and/or are well known.

    In the case of the Serpa line up, this is the best video break down I know of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDpxVG9XFJc

    Those of you who think you are above and beyond ******* up, I wish you luck. Fortunately for the rest of us, you're only endangering yourselves.
    Last edited by Michigander; 10-22-2013 at 02:16 PM.
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  24. #24
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocWalker View Post
    If there seems to be more discharges from a Glock should we blame the Glock or the people not handling it properly? .
    That really isn't a fair comparison. Glocks are among the simplest, and most reliable firearms ever made. And they work exactly as designed. They don't lend themselves towards negligent discharges when the magazine release is actuated, or anything like that.

    Glock's do however have no manual safety (a good thing in my opinion) and a light, fairly short, constant action trigger pull, which necessitates a good, reliable holster and competent technique for carrying.

    There is an added element of danger for those who haphazardly finger bang their guns, because in order to dry fire them, you have to rack the action every time. The action is so smooth that you can't really hear the difference between a dry racking and a round being chambered, which is particularly dangerous if someone is stupid enough to play with hot mags while not intending to actually fire.

    There is nothing about the proper use of a Glock, including under severe stress from fighting, which lends itself to ND's or AD's. The same cannot be said of Serpas.
    Last edited by Michigander; 10-22-2013 at 02:26 PM.
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  25. #25
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    I can relate to Tex, because I had a similar incident, however mine was exclusively equipment failure related (trigger never pulled, gun not drop safe). There is a tendency to want to take responsibility, despite what some would think. I know I blamed myself, and still do, even though it was a defective commie gun. I would further add that I suggest drawing your own conclusions based on the best information available, not worrying about what others think, even if they got shot and/or are well known.

    In the case of the Serpa line up, this is the best video break down I know of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDpxVG9XFJc

    Those of you who think you are above and beyond ******* up, I wish you luck. Fortunately for the rest of us, you're only endangering yourselves.
    Well it is certainly a video with an agenda. He even maligns the Serpa paddle attachment as having an awkward angle to allow depressing the release correctly, but ignores the fact that the holster can be adjusted to several different positions/cants. I wear my Serpa straight up and down for just that reason.

    The rest of the video is devoted to demonstrating the improper way to use/activate a Serpa - such incorrect procedure is not the fault of the holster design - it is operator error.

    The "problem" of not being able to draw/depress the switch if you pull up on the gun too soon - I see this as a safety feature to make gun snatches more difficult. If your gun does not clear the holster for this problem, keep your finger straight (don't move it), push down on the gun and immediately draw it. Walla - no muss, no fuss...........and no operator error.

    Now to be quite candid, there is a small problem with a Serpa and no it is not the mythical pebble - redesign fixed that years ago. My best student was an eight year old boy - son who grew up to be the Senior Use of Force Instructor at a state academy.

    His testing proved that a Serpa could be ripped off from the side with a violent two handed grip, giving the aggressor a holster with a gun - effectively disarming you. The screw heads (diameter) vs shank size are not large enough. THAT got my attention.

    Serpa could likely fix that with a metal insert at that point or maybe a metal surface plate w/longer screws. Do I consider that a valid, realistic reason to cease use of my Serpa's - not really.

    Truth is I really like the Safariland level 3, especially with the quick mount platform - been looking for an excuse to buy one. Now I have it + allows me further ingress into the "by his student, he was taught" category. Thanks Jami-san.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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