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Thread: Serpa Level II problem

  1. #1
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Serpa Level II problem

    Simply put... one of the screws fell out. The other 3 were loose. The holster is at a 45 deg angle (cross draw) 'n the upper screw disappeared. When I noticed it... (while putting on the gunbelt) I found that the mag release on my 1911 had been hit as well... and the mag was disengaged. Something tripped the release button. I can't have that happen. The pistol went back into the old Bianchi UM-84 (open top) with the thumb break. I like the Serpa, but I won't trust it again. Not with a 1911 anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    Simply put... one of the screws fell out. The other 3 were loose. The holster is at a 45 deg angle (cross draw) 'n the upper screw disappeared. When I noticed it... (while putting on the gunbelt) I found that the mag release on my 1911 had been hit as well... and the mag was disengaged. Something tripped the release button. I can't have that happen. The pistol went back into the old Bianchi UM-84 (open top) with the thumb break. I like the Serpa, but I won't trust it again. Not with a 1911 anyway.
    Blackhawk sent me free replacement screws. I put them in with blue threadlocker, and have not had issues since.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
    Blackhawk sent me free replacement screws. I put them in with blue threadlocker, and have not had issues since.
    +1 on Blackhawk's FANTASTIC customer support. Call them, and they will send you a new set of screws for free...

    1-800-694-5263 x3450

    And +2 on the blue Loc-Tite. I have that on BOTH my Serpa CQC's, and they never come loose...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  4. #4
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    I just called tha number... 'n they're sending a packet of screws/ I'll use that Lok-Tite. 'Still doesn't explain how my mag release was depressed.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    I have used the serpa II for some time now, and it is by far my favorite holster for my G23. I put lock tite on all screws upon taking it out of the package, and to date I have not had any problem

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    Serpa II

    Have the Glock 21 in a Serpa no problems what so ever. I have had the screws out a few times and they had
    a thread locker from the start.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
    Blackhawk sent me free replacement screws. I put them in with blue threadlocker, and have not had issues since.
    Yep, thread locker is important on ALL of the screws, including the retention screw below and behind the release button.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    I just called tha number... 'n they're sending a packet of screws/ I'll use that Lok-Tite. 'Still doesn't explain how my mag release was depressed.
    Your mag release is not protected by the Serpa (I don't think), it's actually exposed to the inside of your body and if you aren't 100% sure that the mag is seated it most certainly can be an issue.

    Something I've noted with my Glock 34 is that the extended mag releases can be where a problem will lie in that they extend toward the body enough that with the right type and amount of twising you can hit the button with your body and not realize it...not much, but just enough to be a problem.

    The other issue is that the edge of the kydex can be really close to the mag release button, depending on the firearm. Extended mag releases are a bad thing in this situation as well as a firearm that doesn't seem to seat in the Serpa properly or shifts slightly in it.

    Unload completely and verify that status. With your Serpa off your belt and in your hands, seat the 1911 and lock it in place. Then observe where everything is in relation to your particular issue. Now you can twist, move, and shift the firearm in small amounts (don't us a lot of force, that may break your holster) to see if you can replicate the problem.

    I had a friend complain about this with his XD and I discovered he had an extended ambi-release for his mags and his seatbelt hit the release button. Something to think about.

  9. #9
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    serpa Retention test

    Hi all,

    A few weeks ago I unintentionally tested the retention ability of my Blackhawk Serpa Holster.

    I was open carrying my Kimber Compact Stainless 1911 in my Blackhawk Serpa Holster while riding my motorcycle.
    I hit and killed a 3 point Mule Deer in Central Utah while traveling about 70 mph. The deer was killed outright on impact. My 800 pound motorcycle and I both went tumbling down the road about another 100-150 feet per my son who witnessed the incident from his motorcycle.

    After tumbling to a stop as I lay waiting for the ambulance I asked my son if my sidearm was still in place strong side.... IT WAS. Only damage was some cosmetic abrasions to the lowermost portion of the holster. Firearm was secure and holster was secure to my waistband/belt!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Hi all,

    A few weeks ago I unintentionally tested the retention ability of my Blackhawk Serpa Holster.

    I was open carrying my Kimber Compact Stainless 1911 in my Blackhawk Serpa Holster while riding my motorcycle.
    I hit and killed a 3 point Mule Deer in Central Utah while traveling about 70 mph. The deer was killed outright on impact. My 800 pound motorcycle and I both went tumbling down the road about another 100-150 feet per my son who witnessed the incident from his motorcycle.

    After tumbling to a stop as I lay waiting for the ambulance I asked my son if my sidearm was still in place strong side.... IT WAS. Only damage was some cosmetic abrasions to the lowermost portion of the holster. Firearm was secure and holster was secure to my waistband/belt!
    Is the gun okay?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
    Is the gun okay?

    Gun has not been fired since but cosmetically it is intact!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Gun has not been fired since but cosmetically it is intact!
    Joe,

    Glad to hear that you are alright. Hell of a way to test a holster!

    Steve
    Steve


    "Life is hard, its even harder when you are stupid!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Hi all,

    A few weeks ago I unintentionally tested the retention ability of my Blackhawk Serpa Holster.
    That the carbon-fiber one or the cheaper model?

  14. #14
    Regular Member BigfootJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC View Post
    That the carbon-fiber one or the cheaper model?
    Funny... wish he responded because I just purchased the carbon fiber. Would be nice to know

  15. #15
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigfootJohnson View Post
    Funny... wish he responded because I just purchased the carbon fiber. Would be nice to know
    I routinely utilize a Serpa and am extremely pleased with one exception - the faux carbon fiber has a very low tolerance for abrasion - the black rubs off on the edges through normal use, exposing the white backing - most noticeable on the mag cases.

    That fault however is going to make an interesting project. I intend to remove the soft material and adhesive backing and have nicely grained leather inserts made for both the holster and the mag carriers.

    BTW - do NOT buy their double mag carrier - poor design. I returned mine and they have never replied to my correspondence. The problem stems from internal ridges inside that will cause the mags to ride very high above the top edge and NOT at the same height. I only tried this with .45ACP so don't know if other calibers are similarly effected. The problem does not exist on the single mag carriers.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 03-23-2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: added
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC View Post
    That the carbon-fiber one or the cheaper model?
    For some reason I just saw this update to the thread....

    It was the CHEAPER model!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    Simply put... one of the screws fell out. The other 3 were loose. The holster is at a 45 deg angle (cross draw) 'n the upper screw disappeared. When I noticed it... (while putting on the gunbelt) I found that the mag release on my 1911 had been hit as well... and the mag was disengaged. Something tripped the release button. I can't have that happen. The pistol went back into the old Bianchi UM-84 (open top) with the thumb break. I like the Serpa, but I won't trust it again. Not with a 1911 anyway.
    Maybe the screws weren't very tight initially? I wore my Serpa holster the whole time i was in the desert, never had a single problem with it. I love the Blackhawk gear, very reliable and good quality. I own a Serpa holster for M&P 9MM as well. No problems with that either.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmiller08 View Post
    Maybe the screws weren't very tight initially? I wore my Serpa holster the whole time i was in the desert, never had a single problem with it. I love the Blackhawk gear, very reliable and good quality. I own a Serpa holster for M&P 9MM as well. No problems with that either.
    Put a drop of finger nail polish on the screw threads - works like Loc-Tite.
    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.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Put a drop of finger nail polish on the screw threads - works like Loc-Tite.
    Wow i've never heard of that. Thanks for the tip Grapeshot i'll have to try it.

  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    I'm trying to visualize Grapeshot going to the women's counter asking for some fingernail polish, then mentioning to the clerk that it is just to keep his holster screws tight.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I use Blue LocTite on all the screws on my Serpa's, and they have NEVER gotten loose, with nearly 2 years o daily carry. And I'm not easy on them...

    As for the Serpa mag carriers, I LOVE mine. I have 3--2 tan and one black. I use them for daily carry AND for USPSA, and I've never had a single issue with them. I carry Glock 36 mags in the black one, and Para Ordnance P14.45 mags in the tan ones, and never had any problems. The mags stay put, and the carriers are VERY secure on my belt.

    Even with all the running, jumping, and crawling around on the ground of USPSA, these mag carriers have been excellent performers. Secure, and quick to draw mags from.

    Granted, these are single mag carriers (not the double mag units that Grape is speaking of), but even with my super heavy, all-steel, double-stack Para P14 mags, the Serpa mag carriers are secure and stable as all-get-out.

    No complaints at all from me on ANY Blackhawk/Serpa gear. I think that you must have gotten a "lemon" with your mag carrier, Grape. Keep on them--give them a call. It's been my experience that Blackhawk has fantastic, friendly, and speedy customer service.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  22. #22
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    I'm trying to visualize Grapeshot going to the women's counter asking for some fingernail polish, then mentioning to the clerk that it is just to keep his holster screws tight.
    You don't have some in you gun kit? It is cheap, keeps well in the bottle - I always buy the clear. Also have Q-tips, emery boards and hand cream from the same counter.

    Works well as an emergency glue also, but you have to keep in mind that it has acetone in it - can be a solvent to some plastics.
    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.

  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I use Blue LocTite on all the screws on my Serpa's, and they have NEVER gotten loose, with nearly 2 years o daily carry. And I'm not easy on them...

    As for the Serpa mag carriers, I LOVE mine. I have 3--2 tan and one black. I use them for daily carry AND for USPSA, and I've never had a single issue with them. I carry Glock 36 mags in the black one, and Para Ordnance P14.45 mags in the tan ones, and never had any problems. The mags stay put, and the carriers are VERY secure on my belt.

    Even with all the running, jumping, and crawling around on the ground of USPSA, these mag carriers have been excellent performers. Secure, and quick to draw mags from.

    Granted, these are single mag carriers (not the double mag units that Grape is speaking of), but even with my super heavy, all-steel, double-stack Para P14 mags, the Serpa mag carriers are secure and stable as all-get-out.

    No complaints at all from me on ANY Blackhawk/Serpa gear. I think that you must have gotten a "lemon" with your mag carrier, Grape. Keep on them--give them a call. It's been my experience that Blackhawk has fantastic, friendly, and speedy customer service.
    I have 4 single style Serpa mag carriers (2 blk, 2 tan) and agree they are great.

    The double, for single stack .45 ACP, is a total, absolute joke. The mags themselves will be left exposed nearly twice as high as with the single/individual carrier and at opposite angles (not straight up and down) due to the previously mentioned internal ridges. The shop from whom I purchased it could not believe the extent of the problem and said they would order no more until the condition was resolved - that has been over a year now.

    Oh and one more major flaw - the universal design belt clip will NOT accept a standard gun belt. The clip will NOT close over a belt and lay flat a smooth against your body - it tilts the top of the mags against your back. The fault is that the clip is like an inverted V rather that an inverted L - there is zero space at the top of it for a belt thicker than a piece of paper. Further the belt slots are too narrow to accept but the flimsiest of belts - a web instructor style belt CANNOT be pulled through with a pair of pliers. Note it is NOT the same design as the single carrier clip.

    If you can find one in a shop, try it and you will see what I mean.

    Maybe I'll renew my efforts with Blackhawk to their benefit as well as mine, but I finally quit in disgust after months of trying to get it resolved.
    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.

  24. #24
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    double mag holder

    I recently purchased the previously mentioned blackhawk, 2x single stack magazine holder. I wear a 3/16th inch thick leather belt, about an inch and a quarter wide and the only problem is my belt is a bit too meaty to fit through without some pulling, but it sits in place for me when I get it positioned. I'm using 2 Wilson Combat mags pointed to the rear and they seem to work fine, however they do ride a bit high. The magazines did fit in there a bit tight at first, but they sit in there just fine now. As for the clip, it has almost a shallow J shape to it. Maybe they did a little massaging to the design, IDK.

    As for the SERPA holster, I can say it's pretty strong. I was walking around the house one day empty holstered, caught the outside of the holster on the door frame, and just about tore the doorknob striker thing out of the frame. I had to go back and retighten the striker after though, but the holster came through unscathed.
    3. Move thumb safety down taking gun off safety. Caution: The gun is now ready to fire. Be prepared for noise and recoil when pistol fires.

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