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Thread: Training Failure: SERPA holster

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    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    Training Failure: SERPA holster

    Another person shoots himself while using a SERPA holster.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYvAx...&feature=feedu

    There's quite a bit of buzz around this video. Many people want to blame either the shooter or the holster. It's more complicated than one factor. It's really several small errors that add up to an ND.


    • Sloppiness in training. It's very, very easy to introduce errors into the draw and other techniques. In this case, his finger went to the trigger before achieving position #3 of the draw.
    • Mental state. Was he tired? Was this draw at the end of the session? Was heat a factor in changing his judgment?
    • Multiple holster systems. I believe this was the major contributing factor. He stated one holster used a thumb mechanism in addition to the SERPA.
    • Lax attitude toward safety. It happens when we become overly familiar with our training. He failed to recognize that retention shooting is dangerous and extra precautions are necessary.
    • Pushing the envelope: was he going for speed?
    • Lack of training partner. A camera is helpful for later review, but another person will catch minor errors immediately. There could have been many poor draws prior to this one.


    I think the single largest factor was the use of multiple holster systems. One uses the index finger to release the gun and others use the thumb. This is why I believe people should standardize on thumb operated retention holsters; they only have to remember one thing. If there is no retention device, the shooter's thumb will miss the part and end up in the proper location for the draw. In short, the SERPA's index finger release makes the brain think too much and violates the habit formed by most other holsters. I believe that last bit, "violating the habit", was the source of this failure.

    I know they are very popular on OCDO. Let's keep the discussion dispassionate and objective.
    Last edited by 230therapy; 07-06-2011 at 02:21 PM.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Looks like his finger was on the trigger when the gun went off. So I'll start the debate. It was the user, not the holster...so it begins...oh wait he blames himself, not the holster. Where's the debate? I think it was just a training/practice problem. It was incredibly stupid and he is lucky there wasn't more damage done.
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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 230therapy View Post
    Another person shoots himself while using a SERPA holster.


    Sloppiness in training. It's very, very easy to introduce errors into the draw and other techniques. In this case, his finger went to the trigger before achieving position #3 of the draw.

    I'm not a Serpa fanboy, infact I hate them.
    I pick the above as the reason!!!!
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    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Looks like his finger was on the trigger when the gun went off. So I'll start the debate. It was the user, not the holster...so it begins...oh wait he blames himself, not the holster. Where's the debate? I think it was just a training/practice problem. It was incredibly stupid and he is lucky there wasn't more damage done.
    thebigsd,

    I agree that 100% of the responsibility is on the shooter.

    Your post is not helpful. It does nothing to analyze the problem. Instead, it is merely an emotional response designed to blame someone or something.

    What I saw was:

    1) Achieve grip, deactivate grip safety, and position support hand on chest or in defensive position.
    2) Release gun from holster
    3) Pull gun out of holster
    4) Release safety
    5) Finger on trigger
    6) Fire
    7) Start achieving position #3....

    The proper sequence is:

    1) Achieve grip, deactivate grip safety, and position support hand on chest or in defensive position.
    2) Release gun from holster
    3) Pull gun out of holster
    4) Raise gun to position #3.
    5) Turn gun to either 45 degrees down to horizontal (depends on the method you use).
    6) Release thumb safety and place finger on trigger
    7) Fire

    When I train this, I have a very formal sequence of practice. This is based upon my experience with a variety of techniques from various training classes.

    1) 10 draws dry. Gun is verified empty and only dry fire.
    2) 10 shots from Position #3. I slowly go through the string of fire step by step. I verify the position of my support hand and body.
    3) 5 slow, live fire draws from the holster. I go step by step with distinct pauses between steps
    4) 5 very slow, 20 second draws with live fire without pauses between steps.
    5) 5 normal speed live fire draws.

    After all that, I'm done with retention shooting. If I want more training time, I'll switch to Airsoft. It's important to do this when the mind and body are fresh.
    Last edited by 230therapy; 07-06-2011 at 02:48 PM.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 230therapy View Post
    thebigsd,

    I agree that 100% of the responsibility is on the shooter.

    Your post is not helpful. It does nothing to analyze the problem. Instead, it is merely an emotional response designed to blame someone or something.

    What I saw was:

    1) Achieve grip, deactivate grip safety, and position support hand on chest or in defensive position.
    2) Release gun from holster
    3) Pull gun out of holster
    4) Release safety
    5) Finger on trigger
    6) Fire
    7) Start achieving position #3....

    The proper sequence is:

    1) Achieve grip, deactivate grip safety, and position support hand on chest or in defensive position.
    2) Release gun from holster
    3) Pull gun out of holster
    4) Raise gun to position #3.
    5) Turn gun to either 45 degrees down to horizontal (depends on the method you use).
    6) Release thumb safety and place finger on trigger
    7) Fire

    When I train this, I have a very formal sequence of practice. This is based upon my experience with a variety of techniques from various training classes.

    1) 10 draws dry. Gun is verified empty and only dry fire.
    2) 10 shots from Position #3. I slowly go through the string of fire step by step. I verify the position of my support hand and body.
    3) 5 slow, live fire draws from the holster. I go step by step with distinct pauses between steps
    4) 5 very slow, 20 second draws with live fire without pauses between steps.
    5) 5 normal speed live fire draws.

    After all that, I'm done with retention shooting. If I want more training time, I'll switch to Airsoft. It's important to do this when the mind and body are fresh.
    I agree with you as well, my post had a bit of excitement in it in response to your request for no passion. I was joking a bit since we all no there are no passionless debates on OCDO. I apologize.

    To return to the discussion you started I will offer the following:

    I like your sequence and think that if properly followed the risk of a negligent discharge would be greatly reduced. He blames the problem on using two different holster systems, what are your thoughts on that?
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    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    No worries thebigsd...in person it would have been obviously a joke

    I like your sequence and think that if properly followed the risk of a negligent discharge would be greatly reduced. He blames the problem on using two different holster systems, what are your thoughts on that?
    My thoughts are that humans have natural tendencies in terms of hand movements as related to holsters. All designs should work with the human hand, not against it. The 1911 thumb safety is situated such that the thumb can sit on it without strain.* Our thumbs will go to the same spot when we go to achieve a grip on the gun.

    Historically, every retention holster I have seen has used a thumb break of some sort. It's very natural to lock the thumb to release the strap as the hand moves downward. The Safariland ALS holster follows this pattern, as do several other holster designs. The ALS requires rearward pressure on a lever while lifting the weapon. The trigger finger has only one job: point downward and drag on either the holster or frame.

    I can see potential problems with Safariland ALS system. The rearward pressure required to release the gun from the holster could easily translate into downward pressure on the 1911 thumb safety. I have yet to evaluate the potential pitfalls of the design as related to a 1911 pistol (I will acquire an ALS holster for my 1911). Again, under normal circumstances, I anticipate this is not a problem. But, stress and fatigue may make deactivating the thumb safety prior to achieving position #3 in the draw a distinct possibility.

    The SERPA deviates from the standard design because a finger must be used to release the holster while lifting the gun. The pressure is inward toward the shooter and the trigger. The natural tendency of the finger is then to land on the trigger. I do not see this as a problem if the shooter is acting in a conscious way since the finger will be directed to touch the frame.** Clearly, the shooter in the video made a mistake with the pressure his finger was exerting on the holster when operating at speed. This is the key: we're not operating entirely at a conscious level when going full speed. We rely upon patterns that have been established over time; watch shooters learning to shoot double taps and you'll see what I mean.

    So, yes, I do agree that using the two different holster systems was a problem. But I do not believe that was the only factor. Many SERPA users successfully deploy their handguns when they train. The real problem is the accumulation of mistakes that culminated in the ND. Furthermore, we do not know what he had been doing prior to that ND. I suspect that given he fired prior to position #3, he had allowed errors to creep into his technique long before the actual event.


    * This is the problem with the SIG "Single Action Only" models; the lever is too high and I actually cracked my thumb knuckle while shooting! I had to shoot the gun "low thumb", which I found to be error prone.


    ** A simple design change in the SERPA that forces the shooter to use the middle or ring finger may solve the safety/pressure problem. DeSantis has a leather holster with plastic retention lever that is operated by the third or fourth finger. It did seem safer than the SERPA system. I didn't like it because I had to make a movement with a finger, rather than move or lock my thumb.
    Last edited by 230therapy; 07-06-2011 at 04:31 PM.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Nothing to do with the Serpa

    Besides obvious complacency, this had to do with changing both holsters and guns. He was using a holster with thumb release and a glock with no safety and went to a holster without thumb release and a pistol with a safety. The Serpa's release mechanism had nothing to do with it at all.

    1. Disengaged safety when he thought he was releasing pistol. (Muscle memory accident)
    2. Stuck booger hook on trigger too soon. (Complacency)
    3. Shot self in leg. (OUCH!)

    I can't find fault here with the retention release device of either holster; however, you should probably stick with one type to avoid problem number 1.
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    As the author of the YouTube video admits that this had nothing to do with the holster or the gun.

    He very clearly analyzed what he did wrong and it was cascade of small issues that ALL relate to some sketchy training.

    First, he had NOT only switched holsters, but also firearms that day. He had gone from using a Glock in a thumb-activated holster to using a 1911 in a Serpa.

    It is my opinion that if you are going to carry several different firearms, you should use the EXACT same holster for them--so you only have to learn ONE retention mechanism.

    Second he used two VERY different firearm platforms in the same day's training--a Glock and a 1911. The safety mechanisms, the trigger, and the grim geometry on these two handguns are very different, and the sort of handling that is safe on one can be flat-out UNSAFE with the other. Usually I will shoot one or the other when I am on the range--I'll shoot the 1911, but then carry the Glock home (I hate wearing a dirty gun when I'm OCing), or vice-versa.

    Thirdly, his finger discipline with the Serpa was COMPLETELY incorrect. As anyone who has had ANY training with a Serpa knows, you NEVER hook your finger to engage the release on a Serpa. Serpa retention should ALWAYS be disengaged by extending the finger straight, and pressing the button with the fingertip. You NEVER hook your finger to disengage the release on a Serpa, because if you do, you will almost invariably put your finger inside the trigger guard as it clears the holster, which can result in an ND--just like we saw here.

    Fourth, HE admits that he unintentionally disengaged his Kimber's thumb safety, because he was still in the mindset of his other (thumb-activated) holster. Once he realized he was using the wrong retention-release drill with the wrong holster and the WRONG GUN, he should have stopped, made his gun safe, reset his safety and started the drill over from square one.

    Fifth, he should NOT have "corrected" his draw halfway through the process once he "realized" he was using a different holster.

    Sixth, the fact that his trigger finger was hooked AT ALL during the draw of a semi-automatic handgun shows more than a wee bit of sloppy training, safety protocol, and is perhaps indicative that he has not had any sort of "formal" training from a qualified instructor. A hooked "bugger hook" when drawing will almost ALWAYS end up on the "bang switch" while the gun is still NOT on-target and this is ALWAYS a BAD thing...

    I'm not saying this guy is an idiot--he's obviously not--he dressed his wound, maintained his cool enough to take care of everything himself, and he assessed his mistakes well.

    But the fact that he was on the range by himself was a little sketchy. The fact that he was doing high-speed, stressful drills and switching around various guns and holsters is a little sketchy. And the fact that his trigger-finger discipline is less than desirable is sketchy.

    The Serpa is not really a holster that you can learn intuitively. It requires a LOT of training--DRY-FIRE training--to really get the hang of.

    I LOVE my Serpas. I have Serpas for my Para Ordnance S-14.45, and also for my Glock 36. They are pretty much all I use, unless I'm CCing, in which case, they are both carried in the same style of Galco IWB leather unit.

    Different guns, different triggers, different safety mechanisms. SAME holsters. I've already got THREE major operational differences to contend with if I switch guns--I don't need to have to learn a new holster too...
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    Regular Member carry for myself's Avatar
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    wish i could see the video. for some reason my laptop wont play it. but i can only think of a few ways to shoot yourself while using a serpa. and its all but one user error.

    1. keep finger inside trigger housing while holstering. *not just serpa, any holster*

    2. while deactivating serpa safety. applying WAY too much pressure on the lever as you are un-holstering, causing your finger to slip off switch while clearing holster, entering trigger guard and depressing the trigger.

    3. for some hugely un-likely scenario, where the locking device itself, somehow actuates the trigger during the process of un-holstering, or holstering causing the weapon to go off.

    any holster made of LEATHER can easily cause a weapon to discharge, after the leather gets worn it can easily move inside the trigger guard or housing and actuate the trigger.

    now kydex, injection molded or serpa type holsters are very difficult to achieve this accident with due to the fact that they are manufactured with strict measurements and tolerances for each said weapon. so it being a holster issue itself alone is 99.9% un-likely


    now whether it was user error or a combination of a non-familiar holster and user error is the question.

    could also be the serpa holster in question was not made for the specific weapon. i know for a fact that an XD serpa will fit a glock, and vice versa. however the question of what the different spaced trigger locks will do to the trigger are unknown because i frankly do not want to test the theory ;-) however i can say i have seen a 1911 shoved into a S&W M&P holster , and NOT COME OUT. serpa had to be cutt with a saw to remove the weapon.

    either way it teaches us all a very valuable lesson. DO NOT USE A HOLSTER that you are un-familiar with. DO NOT PUT A LOADED WEAPON. into a holster you are not familiar with or that is not intended for that weapon and most of all. if your going to use multiple holsters. train a lot and learn the different mechanical functions of each holster.

    i have serpas, both level 2 and three. i have 4 lock design duty holsters , twist holsters, LEO cover plates. i train untill my appendages hurt with each. if you dont know how it works, and have not dry trained at least 50 draws each. do not try it loaded :-)
    Last edited by carry for myself; 07-06-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Okay, so I know I can't necessarily replicate the exact situation but I tried anyway. The gentleman in the video claims he pushed too hard on the release which caused his finger to hook the trigger. I took my Serpa holster, inserted my 1911 loaded with a snap cap. I took the safety off like the video. Then I pushed as hard as I could on the release while simultaneously drawing from the holster. I did it about thirty times and came up with the same results. 1. My finger typically came to rest on the frame of the gun. 2. If my finger slid down a little, it still caught on the side of the trigger guard. At no time did it find its way to the trigger simply from me placing pressure on the release as I drew. This reinforces my belief that he was a step or two ahead of himself.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    This would be far, far less likely to happen even with sloppier technique with any Safariland model I've ever used. I used to think Serpa's were sub par but serviceable, but about a year or so ago, after testing them fairly extensively on several types of guns, I came to the conclusion they are dangerous in addition to being low quality. This video shows one reason. Another is that even the newer ones can still be jammed by debris. The last purely safety complaint I have about them is that the retention button is quite obvious.

    Better options exist for not too much more money.
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Another is that even the newer ones can still be jammed by debris. The last purely safety complaint I have about them is that the retention button is quite obvious.

    Every active-duty military person I've talked too (mostly Marines and Army) seem to like the Serpa, and consider it to be rugged, reliable, and fast. I've carried Serpas for nearly 3 years, and never had a single issue with mine.

    Unless you spend a lot of time rolling around in piles of aquarium gravel and wood chips, I don't see much chance of a Serpa getting jammed in "normal" use.

    And until we start hearing reports from the DOD that the Serpa is unreliable in combat (which we haven't--either through official channels, or anecdotal stories from troops), I will carry mine.

    If the Serpa were such an unreliable piece of crap as some people would have us believe, I think Blackhawk would be looking at a boatload of lawsuits--but they are not. There are a lot of people with an axe to grind with regards to the Serpa (for some weird reason), and it seems that some folks seem to take great joy in posting all sorts of slander and negativity about them on the forums, and on YouTube. That is their right. But it has been my experience (and the experience of millions of other gun owners, and tens of thousands of LEOs and military personnel) that the Serpa is reliable, rugged, and fast to deploy.

    I have had exactly ZERO issues with my Serpa's (which is more than I can say for just about every other holster I've ever owned, including Galco, Bianchi, Fobus, Tagua, and Safariland). And I personally know a whole bunch of people (several of whom are on OCDO) who feel the same. But for some reason, we don't feel the need to make endless YouTube vids singing the praises of Serpa's. Perhaps if only 25% of the people who trust and love their Serpa's made YouTube vids, it would drown out those few "squeaky wheels" that seem to go to great lengths to stage their "Serpa Failure" videos, and these silly rumors would go away.

    Keep your gear clean, and it will generally work...
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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    One thing I forgot to point out earlier was the loving care with which the subject of the video placed his 1911 on the ground even after just shooting himself with it.

    If it was his Glock he would have just tossed it.
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    i myself tested this theory for the past three days. even used blanks to simulate a huge bang. over 85 attempts to get this same outcome. failed. every single one. it was not the holster.

    he was clearly going for speed. i've since my last post watched the video. he actuated the release lever, cleared 1/2 way, was going for speed, removed the safety, wrapped around the trigger and pulled before he cleared. he was attempting to double tap wayyy to fast. and ended up shooting himself.

    how do i know this? the only times i could replicate this ND. was when i did exactly what i just mentioned above. tried to fire from 2" above the holster and next to the hip with my kimber pro carry.

    sad it happened. but i bet he won try that again lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent19 View Post
    I'm not a Serpa fanboy, infact I hate them.
    I pick the above as the reason!!!!
    You cant blame the tool for sloppy training habits, its like be putting a big engine in my vehicle and I fail to understand W.T.H. i was doing and I total my vehicle. I then blame the over powered vehicle for my own stupidity.
    Last edited by zack991; 07-09-2011 at 12:56 PM.
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    Won't be changing holsters

    I came across this video while searching for a retention holster for my Kimber UCII. I have been using a crossbreed super tuck for CC and a fobius paddle for OC. I was considering a getting one with a retention system but after seeing and reading I decided to just stay with the same holster type I have been training with all this time. My only reason for considering a new one was for weapon retention in the event someone tried to grab my gun. I tried the Blackhawk at the store and I have to admit it felt REALLY strange using my trigger finger for anything else than pulling the trigger. Luckily for me and me and my wallet they didn't have one specifically for my Kimber UCII (tried the one for the Colt commander) so I passed, otherwise I might have bought it.

    My thoughts are that for me carrying a 1911 style... any holster that uses my trigger finger OR my thumb (saftey) for anything else than those two extremely important and separate jobs is not a holster for me. I prefer to keep those dedicated to one task each.

    I did the unloaded upside down shake test with the Fobius and it took some really hard shaking to get it to come out so I am happy with the friction retention for keeping it holstered during regular activity. As far as someone grabbing my gun, the cant on the fobius makes it difficult to draw from any other angle than from the wearers. I know there are some push to draw systems (PDS). I might consider one of those types.

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    Regular Member MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    Hey all, I just found the board. I just posted a video about this very subject.



    Questions and comments are welcome.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilitaryArms View Post
    Hey all, I just found the board. I just posted a video about this very subject.



    Questions and comments are welcome.
    Welcome to OCDO!!!! Thanks for sharing the video! Stick around here and you will learn a lot.
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    Regular Member MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    Thanks, I do plan on sticking around. It looks like a great site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 230therapy View Post

    The SERPA deviates from the standard design because a finger must be used to release the holster while lifting the gun. The pressure is inward toward the shooter and the trigger. The natural tendency of the finger is then to land on the trigger. I do not see this as a problem if the shooter is acting in a conscious way since the finger will be directed to touch the frame.** Clearly, the shooter in the video made a mistake with the pressure his finger was exerting on the holster when operating at speed. This is the key: we're not operating entirely at a conscious level when going full speed. We rely upon patterns that have been established over time; watch shooters learning to shoot double taps and you'll see what I mean.

    So, yes, I do agree that using the two different holster systems was a problem. But I do not believe that was the only factor. Many SERPA users successfully deploy their handguns when they train. The real problem is the accumulation of mistakes that culminated in the ND. Furthermore, we do not know what he had been doing prior to that ND. I suspect that given he fired prior to position #3, he had allowed errors to creep into his technique long before the actual event.


    * This is the problem with the SIG "Single Action Only" models; the lever is too high and I actually cracked my thumb knuckle while shooting! I had to shoot the gun "low thumb", which I found to be error prone.


    ** A simple design change in the SERPA that forces the shooter to use the middle or ring finger may solve the safety/pressure problem. DeSantis has a leather holster with plastic retention lever that is operated by the third or fourth finger. It did seem safer than the SERPA system. I didn't like it because I had to make a movement with a finger, rather than move or lock my thumb.
    Then that SERPA was not designed properly IMHO. With mine, Blackhawk with XDm 9mm, my trigger finger ends up above the trigger guard below the slide every time, and it takes conscious movement to lower it onto the trigger. Of course, I have big hands, so that may contribute to this factor. Also the release is light enough that I don't have to "press" inward per say to release it, the normal pressure of my finger that I would apply to the gun while aiming is all it takes. I can hold my pistol in the holster that in the same manner as I would aim it with no adjustments required, other than dropping my finger that 1 centimeter to get on the trigger when I want to fire. Middle finger release would not work as that puts your middle finger square over the trigger guard on draw and hampers your trigger finger to shoot.

    I agree with you though, it all comes down to training in the end. Switching back and forth between retention types would not have helped.

    Edit: Just watched that video above, and it shows that the holster was not designed properly. To the manufacturer there is no issue, it's produced exactly the way they designed it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have an inherent flaw. If you see him he has to bend his finger to release the SERPA-lock, putting his finger right in line with the trigger on draw. Even without purposefully bending his finger he still has to arch a little bit to release... Proper design would put his finger at full extension to release the gun, if you curl your finger you should not be able to reach the release, unless you're E.T. It could be that I have a new model that has addressed these issues, I'll have to research it. I just find it interesting that I have none of these issues expressed in the video....
    Last edited by Baked on Grease; 07-19-2011 at 02:39 PM.
    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

  21. #21
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    Unless you spend a lot of time rolling around in piles of aquarium gravel and wood chips, I don't see much chance of a Serpa getting jammed in "normal" use.
    My SERPA jammed up from doing ground drills at Quantico during FPF Training's handgun course. I didn't do anything I'd consider vigorous; I just lay down on the grass. I shot the drill, got up, reloaded, and lay down again. The holster wouldn't release. I picked the pebble out, freed the gun, and threw the holster in the trash.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

  22. #22
    Regular Member MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 230therapy View Post
    My SERPA jammed up from doing ground drills at Quantico during FPF Training's handgun course. I didn't do anything I'd consider vigorous; I just lay down on the grass. I shot the drill, got up, reloaded, and lay down again. The holster wouldn't release. I picked the pebble out, freed the gun, and threw the holster in the trash.
    This has happened to may people who have found themselves on the ground with a SERPA. It's an OK range holster, but for any type of duty holster there are far better systems available.

    As for CCW carry, the majority of civilians that buy retention holsters like the SERPA have absolutely no need for it. It not only complicates the presentation of the weapon needlessly, but most who own them never seek proper instruction or even bother to practice with it to become proficient with it. They drop their $40 at the gun shop, strap it on, and head out onto the mean streets without any experience using the holster. Sure, some will spend the first few nights after buying it fiddling with it, but soon the interest in the new gadget loses it luster.

    It's my opinion most people in this category would be better served by a good leather concealment holster.
    Last edited by MilitaryArms; 07-19-2011 at 09:16 PM.

  23. #23
    Regular Member MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    Chris Cerino, who I would say is a respected LEO firearms instructor and even appeared on Top Shot (not that this qualifies someone as an expert). He had an AD with the SERPA which resulted in a wound quite similar in nature to the one Tex had.

    Here's what he had to say about it:

    When you engage in dangerous activities sometimes you get hurt. I didn't hurt anyone but myself. It was a learning experience.
    I was using a new holster (serpa) which requires me to use my trigger finger to unlock the retention device.

    When the button didn't work I pushed and pulled harder. Look at what your fingers do when you grip something harder and pull harder.
    The trigger finger slipped into the trigger guard and carried on thru the trigger. I shot myself high in the front of my pelvis and down my leg.
    The picture of his wound:



    So we have a relatively inexperienced shooter having nearly the same experience (flubbing the draw, pushing harder, finger drops to trigger, gun discharges) as a highly trained and respected firearms instructor.

  24. #24
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilitaryArms View Post
    Chris Cerino, who I would say is a respected LEO firearms instructor and even appeared on Top Shot (not that this qualifies someone as an expert). He had an AD with the SERPA which resulted in a wound quite similar in nature to the one Tex had.

    Here's what he had to say about it:



    The picture of his wound:



    So we have a relatively inexperienced shooter having nearly the same experience (flubbing the draw, pushing harder, finger drops to trigger, gun discharges) as a highly trained and respected firearms instructor.
    Great, now there's two dummies that don't know how to properly use a holster.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  25. #25
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    I have a SERPA for almost every pistol I own and haven't had any problem.

    I liked the video militaryarms posted and see his issue with having long fingers.

    I have large hands but "standard" length fingers that reach the button just right. So each time I draw my weapon my finger winds up on the slide not in the trigger guard.

    The only problem I had with the SERPA was moving between guns during a practical pistol match. My Sig P220 drew with no problems. My USP SERPA needed a deeper press of the button to release. It slowed me down a bit but still no AD.

    As to whether us civilian OC-ers really need a retention holster, I decided I needed one early on when I sat in a booth with an over active 8yr old boy behind me in the next booth. He kept coming over the booth, around the booth to the point I had to move further into the booth to stop his access to my holstered firearm. I strongly recommend some form of weapon retention to newcomers.

    If you don't like the SERPA don't use it. There may be valid reasons for you to not use it. It works fine for me.

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