According to a recent article, the BlackHawk! SERPA holster is not worth the money that many purchase for it. More than that, the SERPA holster (in the author’s opinion) is one of the worst that has ever been on the market.
But how could this be?
After four separate incidents involving the holsters, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) began an investigation. The Enforcement team discovered something interesting through their in-depth search.
During the incidences, the user’s trigger finger was very close to the trigger in 25% of draw strokes. In addition, the team concluded 13% of the user’s attempted draw strokes began out of sequence.
Because of this, the FLETC has deemed the Blackhawk! SERPA holster will not be used in any of its training.
According to Bearing Arms:
They [the FETC] are far from alone. The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service have banned SERPAs from use by officers, as have many sheriffs and police departments.
IDPA has banned them from competition.
Gunsite Academy recommends against SERPA use, and if you bring one, they’ll force you to disable the locking mechanism, while I’ve watched them do firsthand. Many other shooting schools, instructors, and ranges also require the locking mechanism to be disabled, including Kyle Defoor.
Larry Vickers bans them outright, as does EAG Tactical (unless you’re military and are forced to use it), John “Shrek” McPhee, Travis Haley, and the late Todd Green, along with many more ranges and instructors.
The vast majority of these agencies and instructors ban the SERPA primarily banned it because of negligent discharge concerns, but that’s not the only significant issue.
There have also been multiple instances of the SERPA’s locking mechanism locking up when it encounters dirt, grit and mud, as we see here in video featuring Craig “Southnarc” Douglas and Paul Gomez. They and a student who steps in to help end up destroying the holster, and were still unable to free the gun from the jammed locking mechanism. For the record, this was a Simunitions training gun; they would have chosen another avenue if it had been a real firearm with real bullets in the gun.
The fact that the the holster can be ripped free of its mount is yet another failure of the design, beyond the failures of a draw stroke that tends to contribute to negligent discharges, and the locking mechanism that can fail from encountering moderate levels of debris, leaving users unable to draw the gun. Put simply, the holsters are dangerous junk.
The officer from this department (below) notes that five of the seven SERPAs issued were shredded during routine retention training.
When push comes to shove, we can not ignore the evidence presented regarding the Blackhawk! SERPA holster. According to the article, these holsters are a threat to society, as well as to the shooters themselves. That’s because these holsters greatly increase the chances of a negligent discharge.
The holster seems to also highly elevate the chances of having the gun malfunction. This malfunction would render the gun locked and inaccessible in a dangerous situation. In addition, all it would take is for the attacker to rip the gun away from the user in order to use it against them.
When it comes right down to it, this holster has been banned by law enforcement, shooting schools, shooting ranges, and top tier instructors. Therefore, it may be the smart decision to do your research before purchasing this holster. This decision alone may just save your life.