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Thread: Lost my faith in Serpa CQC

  1. #1
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    Lost my faith in Serpa CQC

    My significant other and I have been working on refining our retention skills. I usually carry my p229 in a Galco Fletch (leather OWB with a retention strap), though in warm weather I often carry a Serpa CQC.

    We decided to test how well each holster aided retention under a variety of standing situations, i.e. a variety of approach angles and simulated levels of SA. Furthermore, we also simulated a grab by a person unfamiliar with the operation of the CQC and by a person familiar with the holster.

    We found that with high SA, regardless of the holster or the approach angle, we were well able to retain the pistol (duh).

    With moderate to low SA, the leather holster was more effective, especially when the grabber "knew" to go right for the release button on the CQC. Our normal response, to clamp down on the gun and the grabbers hand and to turn sharply away, seemed to actually help the gun slide right out of the CQC, while the leather-metal friction of the Fletch aided greatly in retaining the pistol during this maneuver.

    I don't know if it's possible for a couple of amateurs to perform a more qualitative assessment, so YMMV

    At any rate, my rock-solid confidence in the CQC has been greatly reduced. Regardless of the holster-pistol combination, it is extremely important to practice retention and learn the system's strengths and weaknesses.

  2. #2
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    Look into the Safariland ALS holsters if you like the poly holsters. The 6377 is at the same price point as the serpa, they make other models but they cost more.

  3. #3
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    I trust my Serpa and I am pleased with it and I have had no problems with them.
    Last edited by zack991; 01-18-2011 at 07:01 PM.
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  4. #4
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    You need to practice clamping down on the pistol and the grabber's hand, and pushing towards them, not away.

    If you pull away, you are only helping them in their task.


    Also, try this one:
    When the holster is on your hip, grab the muzzle and pull out.
    This should put the grip into your waist/ rib cage. The pistol can't come out of the holster then.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDriver1.8t View Post
    You need to practice clamping down on the pistol and the grabber's hand, and pushing towards them, not away.

    If you pull away, you are only helping them in their task.
    That essentially is the drill we were practicing. It's a little confusing when described with words, would be a little easier with a pic or vid.


    Quote Originally Posted by JDriver1.8t View Post
    Also, try this one:
    When the holster is on your hip, grab the muzzle and pull out.
    This should put the grip into your waist/ rib cage. The pistol can't come out of the holster then.
    Thanks, that is a good one.

  6. #6
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    No holster made is, one its own merits, going to provide total security and be functionally usable.

    Yes situational awareness is a major key and yes you can learn/be taught defensive maneuvers to reduce that concern - some will leave the attacker with broken bones, torn ligaments, or worse.

    The concern about potential gun snatches is IMO greatly exaggerated by some. The primary benefit to to a retention holster in the circumstances in which most of us find ourselves in normal daily life is more likely that of freedom of movement without jostling the handgun loose. If you look for it to do more, you may be expecting too much.
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  7. #7
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Interesting side note:

    The people who DO have their guns grabbed most frequently are LEOs. They are trained, and REQUIRED to insert themselves into dangerous, confrontational situations with desperate criminals, and THAT is when they get their guns grabbed, and when they DO have to use lethal force in such situations, they know that 9 times out of 10 they will not have to face any sort of scrutiny or legal liability for their actions.

    Law Abiding citizens, however, are trained (and in fact REQUIRED BY LAW) to do everything in their power to AVOID such situations. And they know that even when they are in the right and FULLY justified in their actions of self-defense, they will still be subjected to INTENSE legal scrutiny, probable arrest, and almost certain confiscation of their lawfully owned (and used) defensive firearm. (luckily, most BGs don't know this...)

    Is it any wonder that more police in the US in one week have their guns grabbed than ALL law-abiding OCers in the US in the last 2 decades?...

    This isn't rocket science folks...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-18-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Trucker View Post
    Look into the Safariland ALS holsters if you like the poly holsters. The 6377 is at the same price point as the serpa, they make other models but they cost more.
    +1
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    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post

    Is it any wonder that more police in the US in one week have their guns grabbed than ALL law-abiding OCers in the US in the last 2 decades?...

    This isn't rocket science folks...
    Not sure if you have a citation for this, but it sounds accurate to me.

  10. #10
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dreamer

    Is it any wonder that more police in the US in one week have their guns grabbed than ALL law-abiding OCers in the US in the last 2 decades?...
    This isn't rocket science folks...


    Quote Originally Posted by cbpeck View Post
    Not sure if you have a citation for this, but it sounds accurate to me.
    In this case the "evidence" is the total lack of documented cites to the contrary. Those opposed to OC would beat us about the head and shoulders with such if it existed.

    Been sittin' n' waitin' for it to happen though as then I can show why the statistical probability of it reoccurring is about .00001%
    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.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    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

  12. #12
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Interesting side note:

    The people who DO have their guns grabbed most frequently are LEOs. They are trained, and REQUIRED to insert themselves into dangerous, confrontational situations with desperate criminals, and THAT is when they get their guns grabbed, and when they DO have to use lethal force in such situations, they know that 9 times out of 10 they will not have to face any sort of scrutiny or legal liability for their actions.

    Law Abiding citizens, however, are trained (and in fact REQUIRED BY LAW) to do everything in their power to AVOID such situations. And they know that even when they are in the right and FULLY justified in their actions of self-defense, they will still be subjected to INTENSE legal scrutiny, probable arrest, and almost certain confiscation of their lawfully owned (and used) defensive firearm. (luckily, most BGs don't know this...)

    Is it any wonder that more police in the US in one week have their guns grabbed than ALL law-abiding OCers in the US in the last 2 decades?...

    This isn't rocket science folks...
    Supports the contention that LEOs are subjected to such attempts, but still leaves the claim from others that the citizen OCing is equally exposing him/herself to high risk.
    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.

  13. #13
    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Supports the contention that LEOs are subjected to such attempts, but still leaves the claim from others that the citizen OCing is equally exposing him/herself to high risk.
    The major difference being that OCers are going about their "normal" daily lives and not playing cops by confronting people who are breaking the law.

    By the role that LEOs play, they are confrontational. The problem that the OCer has is the confrontational LEO that has no intention of playing nice.
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  14. #14
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    Petrophase,

    I tend to agree with you regarding the Serpa, I bought one several years ago just to see what to hoppla was about. Carried it for one day and tossed it into the holster storage drawer.

    I personally don't think much of them.

    Steve
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  15. #15
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    Unhappy J-Frame Serpa problems

    I recently bought a Serpa CQC for my J-frame S&W 36 based on reading high praises on several forums. I was hoping for an improvement over my Fobus

    1. The Serpa fit to gun is sloppy loose.

    2. It sits way too far out to conceal under anything less than a winter coat.

    3. The paddle is difficult to attach to the pants and impossible to remove without dropping trou.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6-shooter View Post
    I recently bought a Serpa CQC for my J-frame S&W 36 based on reading high praises on several forums. I was hoping for an improvement over my Fobus

    1. The Serpa fit to gun is sloppy loose.

    2. It sits way too far out to conceal under anything less than a winter coat.

    3. The paddle is difficult to attach to the pants and impossible to remove without dropping trou.
    1. This can be adjusted a little bit with the retention screw. Though, some minimal rocking ability is normal.
    2. True, that is why it is normally only spoken of as an OC holster.
    3. I slides easily onto pants, and can be taken off in a mater of seconds, as long as you have the proper technique which may require some practice.

  17. #17
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    Open to suggestions

    And the technique to remove the paddle from the pants is...?

  18. #18
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6-shooter View Post
    And the technique to remove the paddle from the pants is...?
    I have found, as a die-hard paddle-holster proponent, that the Serpa Paddle, when properly adjusted, is very difficult to remove from one's belt with brute force...

    The way I remove mine is to rock/rotate it backwards until the top of the holster is at about 10:00 while pulling outward on the holster. This disengages the hook on the outside of the paddle. Then I lift up and forward, rotating it a little more, and this allows it to come clear of my pants and belt smoothly.

    This process is difficult to describe with words. Maybe I need to do a series of photos with explanations, or a YouTube video with voice-overs to explain it better...

    Since I am required to disarm frequently in my daily business (due to the bizarre restrictions we have here in NC), I find that paddle holster--even one with tricky and tenacious belt retention like the Serpa, makes it a LOT easier and quicker (and less conspicuous) to disarm in my vehicle when I have to go somewhere that carry is not allowed...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-19-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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  19. #19
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    My method for removing the serpa paddle:
    grab face of holster and pull out to disengage outer belt hooks with right hand.
    use pointer finger of left hand to disengage inner pant seam hook
    pull upward with a slight rotation.

    Again, like Dreamer, it may take pictures or video to understand, or you can just try it out and see if you can figure out a method that is similar that works for you.

  20. #20
    mattwestm
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    I pretty much have to loosen my belt and pants to remove my serpa.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Chap's Avatar
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    We were taught weapon retention

    Be aware of your surroundings, if at all possible keep your back to walls or at least out of aisle when sitting. Keep weapon bladed away from others you don't know. (fancy law enforcement terminology for turn weapon side away from threat)

    If someone does do a gun grab - clamp both hands on top of theirs, drop down and spin while stepping away. This leans them over and tilts them forward at the same time. If your aware of which hand they are using spin toward their thumb. Its the weakest part of the grip. You will spin right out the thumb side.

    That being said practice, practice and make it muscle memory, clamp down-drop&spin-while steping away. I believe you will have quite a bit of success.

    Chap

    Oh yea retention holsters can be popped by those who know what they are doing like criminals. Street thugs or drunks you might have a chance. Friction holsters anyone has a shot at it.
    Last edited by Chap; 01-19-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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