More SERPA Fail. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Bushflyr
11-13-2011, 20:43
Setting aside the "putting the brake pedal on top of the gas pedal" and the locking system jamming with the tiniest introduction of grit, here's another major failing.

http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?1569-Banning-the-SERPA&p=34864&viewfull=1#post34864

I can't believe people STILL try to defend these POS's. :upeyes:

GlockGuru182
11-13-2011, 20:48
I'll stick with my safariland.

collim1
11-13-2011, 20:50
I know alot of people like them, but I really think its because they are the only holster you can get for most popular guns at academy, dicks, or basspro.

IMO they are garbage. I'll stick to leather with a thumb break.

cowboy1964
11-13-2011, 20:52
I had to try one and while it's ok for the range I don't consider it for serious use. It doesn't conceal well and it's not safe enough for open carry.

I much prefer an inside (thumb) type release like on the Safariland.

M1A Shooter
11-13-2011, 21:33
i have one and have never had problems with it but i also see the shortfalls in it and will be replacing it soon. i got one after being issued one in the army.

dakrat
11-13-2011, 21:34
I know alot of people like them, but I really think its because they are the only holster you can get for most popular guns at academy, dicks, or basspro.

IMO they are garbage. I'll stick to leather with a thumb break.

Bingo. almost every store that sells ammo sells these holsters.

BailRecoveryAgent
11-14-2011, 07:47
I had one when I first started doing recovery work and needed a level 2 holster, IMHO, they are made to about the same quality as Uncle Mikes or Fobus. Junk.

Any holster with the release button on the outside of the holster isn't much of a retention holster. The paddle is by far the flimsiest attachment I've seen, and the belt attachment sticks it out into the next zip code making concealment a no go.

sns3guppy
11-15-2011, 10:30
I saw quite a few of those in use in Iraq. I was always amazed that anyone would trust them, especially in that environment.

Jason D
11-15-2011, 17:34
Just what does one expect with a 30 dollar holster?

Goldendog Redux
11-15-2011, 17:38
I know alot of people like them, but I really think its because they are the only holster you can get for most popular guns at academy, dicks, or basspro.

IMO they are garbage. I'll stick to leather with a thumb break.

There are a number of good plastic holsters although everyone is making some microwave oven formed plastic POS now. The blackhawks are for people who don't know any better-and there are a gazillion of those people

FatPants
11-15-2011, 19:37
Just what does one expect with a 30 dollar holster?

I expect a lot from my $30 safariland holster much nicer than a SERPA.

Bushflyr
11-15-2011, 19:52
Just what does one expect with a 30 dollar holster?

Well, considering that I can get one of these for ~$20 I expect something that works, is safe, and won't fall apart if I look at it cross eyed.

http://static.zoovy.com/img/gunnersalley/-/hume_jit_2

sns3guppy
11-15-2011, 21:01
For a concealment polymer holster, the Galco Matrix series aren't bad. I've no doubt that they could probably be broken apart with enough brute force, but they're not weak like a Fobus or the Serpa. The material is a lot more elastic, too, and not nearly as brittle. They're not retention holsters, and not meant to resist a grab, but under clothing, or while out hiking, or any number of uses when preventing a handgun takeaway isn't an issue, they're decent holsters, especially for the price.

fla2760
11-15-2011, 21:13
For a concealment polymer holster, the Galco Matrix series aren't bad. I've no doubt that they could probably be broken apart with enough brute force, but they're not weak like a Fobus or the Serpa. The material is a lot more elastic, too, and not nearly as brittle. They're not retention holsters, and not meant to resist a grab, but under clothing, or while out hiking, or any number of uses when preventing a handgun takeaway isn't an issue, they're decent holsters, especially for the price.

I use the Galco Matrix for my G22 or G27 when I am at home. When out a leather IWB rig works best for me.

fuzzy03cls
11-16-2011, 14:13
It works well for OC at the range. I have 2. 1 1911, 1 Beretta M9. I have used the M9 for a IDPA shoot once & it worked fine.
But I can see how it would fail. No way I'd carry it in real life.

hamster
11-16-2011, 14:46
I had to try one and while it's ok for the range I don't consider it for serious use. It doesn't conceal well and it's not safe enough for open carry.

I much prefer an inside (thumb) type release like on the Safariland.

I tried one and just wasn't happy with how far off the body it pushed the weapon. Fine for range use or around the house, but not for concealment.

cloudbuster
11-16-2011, 16:25
What do you all think of the Bianchi Carrylok? Completely different approach. Well-made leather holsters. Not cheap junk.

I believe it's only classified as level 1 retention, though. I think of it as an alternative to a holster that relies on friction alone, not as an alternative to a thumb break holster.

Sam Spade
11-16-2011, 16:40
What do you all think of the Bianchi Carrylok? Completely different approach. Well-made leather holsters. Not cheap junk.

I believe it's only classified as level 1 retention, though. I think of it as an alternative to a holster that relies on friction alone, not as an alternative to a thumb break holster.

Excellent holster. I've worn one for several years, and been in fights on the street and in the mat room with it. It held securely, and the release doesn't depend on the trigger finger.

ChrisFB
11-17-2011, 15:11
I saw quite a few of those in use in Iraq. I was always amazed that anyone would trust them, especially in that environment.

I've seen a number of posts from exactly that theater where a Serpa failure nearly cost someone his life. First person stories as well as someone replicating the issue dependably. That's more than enough for me.

I do own a Fobus (+ MTAC etc..) so I'm not a holster snob and I do like and use the Fobus on occasion. I will never own a Serpa due to potential mechanism failure locking the pistol in the holster - no way in hell.

rbhale32
11-17-2011, 16:44
I'm going to have to call BS. That holster broke in THREE places from ONE "quick" tug? Just doesn't make sense to me. I'd like to see a pic of the other side and the inside of that holster, to see where the tool marks are that actually caused that.

I defend these holsters because I carry one on duty and have done so for the past three years without one failure. I've had two Safariland holsters crap out on me in two years, and I'm not bashing Safariland There is no reason to go bashing a holster, any holster, because of a few failures. It's totally a numbers game. If you sell a crap load of holsters, something is going to happen to a few of them, NO MATTER HOW GOOD OR BAD THEY MIGHT BE.

That being said, if you do own one, freaking train with it so you won't be "surprised" that you can't just take it out of the holster like you can with your Fobus (which is also prone to "easy breakage" apparently). It's a RETENTION holster, just like the many many many other retention holsters out there. You have to practice with it to learn it. How many people out there that can take a level three snap holster ("gun vault") and just take it out? Same way with the Serpa. If you don't, then its your fault when you pop off a round into your leg (it would be your fault anyway, but i'm trying to make a point).

Sorry, second rant I've had this week about this topic.

larry_minn
11-17-2011, 23:12
Lots of hate. I guess I could say the same about Chevy pickups. :0 :) (is it getting warm in here or is it just me?)

I was told all the negatives with SERPA type holster. I saw one for my Glock on sale when I was in Colorado and bought it. (was given gift cert that had to be used in that chain)
I like the thing for carbine courses. Works very well when transition from rifle/to pistol, wearing body armor, equip vest,etc...
So some guy could break the holster? If that a factor for you great.

Lampshade
11-17-2011, 23:19
Just what does one expect with a 30 dollar holster?

Lol, what's up with all these holster price elitists lately?

I guess the sport combat holster must be really bad seeing as it only costs $12 bucks, eh?

fpgeek
11-17-2011, 23:23
We have a new guy, fresh out of the academy using this holster. Think I'll pass this along to him.

Fiery Red XIII
11-17-2011, 23:23
was this before or after they redesigned the paddle? I know that's not where it broke, but maybe has something to do with it. Also, I am just surprised it didn't break at the plastic seam there...thought a break like that'd give right in the middle.


Red

PlasticGuy
11-18-2011, 16:50
I used to work for an armored transport company that issued Serpa holsters. Not exactly elite combat use, but it was a very large company and we had no problems. Now I work in nuclear security on an even larger force. We also issue the Serpa holsters, and we use and abuse them pretty hard. We haven't had a single problem in the three years we have been using them.

I can't say that using them in the sandbox wouldn't allow some problems to show up that we don't see in normal LE type use. Maybe, or maybe not. I can say that nothing your average LEO or civilian is doing with a Serpa holster is likely to cause a failure. I can also say that any other issues I see listed in this thread are training scars from using other types of holsters. Know your kit, and practice with it.

Willard
11-21-2011, 14:39
Well, considering that I can get one of these for ~$20 I expect something that works, is safe, and won't fall apart if I look at it cross eyed.

http://static.zoovy.com/img/gunnersalley/-/hume_jit_2

What holster is that, and where do you get them? I like the looks of that!

MadMonkey
11-21-2011, 15:30
I have a Serpa that came with my M&P40. A couple of days ago I traded the 40 for a 9mm, so I decided to do some draw practice with it in the Serpa just for the heck of it. I've never like the Serpa because it felt so cheap (I use a Safariland 6360) but I thought I might as well know how to use it if need be.

I unloaded everything, put it on, and started practicing. All went well for a little while, fairly quick to draw, blah blah. I was making sure to keep my finger indexed on the frame after hitting the release as well.

Then, I don't know if it was a different angle or what, but as I cleared the holster my finger SNAPPED into the trigger guard and pulled the trigger halfway back before I could recover. It actually surprised me because I had heard of it happening, but didn't think it would since I had played with Serpas before and always made sure to have my finger straight out after hitting the button.

That was under NO stress, just practicing. There's no way in heck I'd even take it to a RANGE after that, much less use it as a CC holster.

Cream Soda Kid
11-21-2011, 16:04
What holster is that, and where do you get them? I like the looks of that!

That is a JIT holster from Don Hume. I have one and use it regularly. It can be used for the compact GLOCKS & the Sub-compact GLOCKS. G19 & 26, G23 & 27, G32 & 33. One holster, several guns. Or, their inexpensive enough to buy a few.

They work pretty well for me. I ordered mine directly from Don Hume, but you can find them other places as well.

RussP
11-21-2011, 16:11
I have a Serpa that came with my M&P40. A couple of days ago I traded the 40 for a 9mm, so I decided to do some draw practice with it in the Serpa just for the heck of it. I've never like the Serpa because it felt so cheap (I use a Safariland 6360) but I thought I might as well know how to use it if need be.

I unloaded everything, put it on, and started practicing. All went well for a little while, fairly quick to draw, blah blah. I was making sure to keep my finger indexed on the frame after hitting the release as well.

Then, I don't know if it was a different angle or what, but as I cleared the holster my finger SNAPPED into the trigger guard and pulled the trigger halfway back before I could recover. It actually surprised me because I had heard of it happening, but didn't think it would since I had played with Serpas before and always made sure to have my finger straight out after hitting the button.

That was under NO stress, just practicing. There's no way in heck I'd even take it to a RANGE after that, much less use it as a CC holster.What do you mean by "a different angle or what"?

How many draws did you make before the "different angle" thing happened?

Did you try more draws after it happened?

Were you drawing full speed or slowly?

larry_minn
11-21-2011, 17:10
So a person has trouble being safe.... Its the holster's fault.
Works for us "low speed/high drag folks. " :)

SCmasterblaster
11-21-2011, 17:44
I'll stick with my Bianchi 4A.

MadMonkey
11-21-2011, 17:56
What do you mean by "a different angle or what"?

I mean that I could have had my hand, arm, holster or anything at a different angle that caused the problem.

How many draws did you make before the "different angle" thing happened?Not many, probably 40-50 or so.

Did you try more draws after it happened? A few, but I had already made the decision to never use it unless I had absolutely no other choice. I just don't like owning something that I haven't practiced with at least a little, so I practiced for a while longer then put everything away.

Were you drawing full speed or slowly?Slowly at first to get used to the mechanics, then gradually speeding up. I was at about 3/4 speed when this happened.

PEC-Memphis
11-21-2011, 18:16
Then, I don't know if it was a different angle or what,


Was the holster at 3:00 - or more like 4:00/4:30? For some people, when the holster is at the 4:00 / 4:30 postion (you know - where you'd normally wear it for CC use). Your hand can be "twisted" (for lack of a better description), so that your finger is more likely to enter the trigger guard. Hand sizes/finger length can effect this as well. I (personally) have no trouble keeping my finger out of the trigger guard with a Sherpa from chest draw, cross-draw or 3:00 position; however, at the 4:00/4:30 position I do have a problem.


That was under NO stress, just practicing. There's no way in heck I'd even take it to a RANGE after that, much less use it as a CC holster.

Some people on GT would say that if you can't use a Sherpa and keep your finger out of the trigger guard you don't need to be carrying a pistol. (It has been said many times). Other would say that you are just too stupid to carry a pistol if you can't keep your finger out of the trigger guard using a Sherpa. (It has been said many times). Me - I'd say you are SMART - you tried it and evaluated it for yourself - you've seen for yourself what can happen. The same thing has happened to some very good shooters - in some cases with a loaded firearm. Some discharged the pistol near them (I've personally seen it happen) and a couple have shot themselves.

Personally, I believe the Safariland and Bianchi retention devices are much better for several reasons.

MadMonkey
11-21-2011, 18:27
Was the holster at 3:00 - or more like 4:00/4:30? For some people, when the holster is at the 4:00 / 4:30 postion (you know - where you'd normally wear it for CC use). Your hand can be "twisted" (for lack of a better description), so that your finger is more likely to enter the trigger guard. Hand sizes/finger length can effect this as well. I (personally) have no trouble keeping my finger out of the trigger guard with a Sherpa from chest draw, cross-draw or 3:00 position; however, at the 4:00/4:30 position I do have a problem.

Some people on GT would say that if you can't use a Sherpa and keep your finger out of the trigger guard you don't need to be carrying a pistol. (It has been said many times). Other would say that you are just too stupid to carry a pistol if you can't keep your finger out of the trigger guard using a Sherpa. (It has been said many times). Me - I'd say you are SMART - you tried it and evaluated it for yourself - you've seen for yourself what can happen. The same thing has happened to some very good shooters - in some cases with a loaded firearm. Some discharged the pistol near them (I've personally seen it happen) and a couple have shot themselves.

Personally, I believe the Safariland and Bianchi retention devices are much better for several reasons.

I had the Serpa at 3:00. My regular CC holsters I generally wear at 4:00-4:30 but I don't really consider the Serpa a good choice for CC as it doesn't "tuck" well (at least the paddle version I have). I was wearing it like I'd wear my duty holster.

To be 100% honest, I would have almost agreed with the people who would make those statements... until it happened while I was CONCENTRATING on NOT doing that. And as I said before... I was in my bedroom with an unloaded gun at the time. That shows me that even with training and thousands of draws, under stress it would be FAR more likely to have an ND with a Serpa than with a holster that wasn't manipulated by the trigger finger.

So for me, not necessarily anyone else, but for me, there's no way I'll use one in the real world unless as stated before I have no choice. I'll continue to pull it out every now and then and practice with it, but it's staying in the closet otherwise.

I'll stick with my Safariland; hundreds of draws and no issues... yet :whistling:

rbhale32
11-22-2011, 18:03
I still believe that its purely a training problem with people not being able to use this holster. MadMonkey, you're saying that you were going 3/4 speed, and you still had so much pressure on the release button with your finger that it snapped into the trigger guard and almost pressed the trigger? If this is true, then thats not how you should be doing it (training problem). The finger should be straight and should ride along the holster during the draw, pressing inward but not with that much force (training). If you are using that much force with your trigger finger on the outside of the holster, then this "problem" should be happening with every holster you use, and you should stop doing it because it will happen again, and not with the Serpa, and not when you want it to.

I do believe that Blackhawk maybe should back up with the selling of the sport holsters everywhere humanly possible. Not because they are not decent holsters, but because the majority of people that buy them don't train with them and won't be able to use them properly if and when they need them. That and they don't conceal very well.

I have had the Safariland and Bianchi holsters crap out on me, ON DUTY. Nothing is perfect, especially with "retention" holsters. Evey one of them has moving parts and will eventually fail (ie lock up, break, wear out). And without using them CORRECTLY, then none of them will work as designed and will cause problems. If someone doesn't want to learn how to use the retention device that is on a given holster, then don't use itand use a friction or passive retention holster.

Sorry, this is really a sore spot for me.

K1500
11-22-2011, 18:19
Serpa or Serpa sportster? There is a difference.

RetailNinja
11-22-2011, 19:32
Never had a problem running or crawling around using a Serpa sportster and a steel 1911 w/ 10rd mag. The jail issues Serpa level II holsters to CO's. Is this worth passing along?

carloglock19
11-22-2011, 19:40
Time to stop bashing the SERPA and start bashing the operator :)

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RetailNinja
11-22-2011, 20:30
Just checked w/ roomate who uses a level 2 SERPA duty holster. He was breaking up a bar fight when someone or something hooked his holster during the melee. He said the holster is fine and undamaged, adding that the forces were great enough to pop a belt keeper clean off.

cjklotz436
11-22-2011, 20:42
I have a Serpa Level 3 duty holster with light...... you could pay me to bet my life on something else but it would take alot.

I have been in some **** with this holster and it has served me well.

I have Several 1000's of draws as any officer should from their duty holster and no issues. It is lightning fast and secure. Yes, Like any retention holster it can be defeated.

It is a tool and should be treated like such. If you are giving the badguy a chance to freely twist and pull on your holstered weapon without responding and doing simple trained techniques you should train more...

I also carry a Serpa off duty on limited occasions and have no hesitation doing so.

RetailNinja
11-22-2011, 20:53
I have Several 1000's of draws as any officer should from their duty holster and no issues. It is lightning fast and secure. Yes, Like any retention holster it can be defeated.

It is a tool and should be treated like such.

This. It sounds like the trainers in those threads that are banning SERPAs are trying to get by with maximizing profits while minimizing the work, training and time they have to spend on their students. :dunno:

Warp
11-22-2011, 21:40
I had one when I first started doing recovery work and needed a level 2 holster, IMHO, they are made to about the same quality as Uncle Mikes or Fobus. Junk.

Any holster with the release button on the outside of the holster isn't much of a retention holster. The paddle is by far the flimsiest attachment I've seen, and the belt attachment sticks it out into the next zip code making concealment a no go.

They aren't really even a level 2, though. Or am I missing something?

RussP
11-22-2011, 22:16
For those who say the Serpa is not a concealment holster, well, you are right, especially the paddle.

I don't think their concealment line is designed or meant to be worn under a t-shirt. When I wear the paddle, I'll either open carry or weather permitting wear a jacket.

With belt loops, it pulls closer to the body, so a lighter jacket will conceal it.

If I need it even tighter, I use this.
http://www.blackhawk.com//CatalogImages/18-326-Catalog_Image.jpeg
http://www.blackhawk.com/product/CQC-Multi-Functional-Belt-Loop,326,82.htm
It pulls the holster up real snug.

I've been using Serpas for both Glocks and 1911s for about 6-years. I bang them around pretty hard on car doors and frames, gotten them hung up on anything that protrudes (yeah, those things jump out and deliberately grab my holster) with nothing but some scratches.

PlasticGuy
11-23-2011, 07:48
Time to stop bashing the SERPA and start bashing the operator :)
Bingo.

cowboy1964
11-23-2011, 13:34
They aren't really even a level 2, though. Or am I missing something?

No you're not missing anything. The retention lever provides no security at all basically. It may slow a gun grabber down by a fraction of a second if they know how it works, but that's about it. To say it works like any retention holster is ludicrous.

Warp
11-23-2011, 13:46
No you're not missing anything. The retention lever provides no security at all basically. It may slow a gun grabber down by a fraction of a second if they know how it works, but that's about it. To say it works like any retention holster is ludicrous.

That's what I thought.

Holster manufacturers these days (safariland and blackhawk come to mind specifically) seem to be seriously padding their stats by claiming the silliest of things as a level of retention.

PlasticGuy
11-23-2011, 16:04
No you're not missing anything. The retention lever provides no security at all basically. It may slow a gun grabber down by a fraction of a second if they know how it works, but that's about it. To say it works like any retention holster is ludicrous.

Clearly you have never done weapons retention training with one. We do as an annual qualification every year with our Serpa holsters. Even when the "grabber" is another officer who uses the same holster, it is not easy to get the gun out. This is especially true for grabs from the front.

cjklotz436
11-23-2011, 16:13
I agree they are retention holsters but they are not fool proof.

Do you not think a thumb break is easily defeated with a "chop and grab"?
Those hoods are equally easy to defeat from the front or rear with a little training. And as far as the rock or twist..... do you not think people are rocking or twisting when they have ahold of your gun? We have had inmates show use just how quick they can "defeat" a safariland and many others with red guns in them.

The true badasses out there know how the common holsters work and many practice defeating them....

Train yourself and don't rely on your holster no matter which one it is.

Warp
11-23-2011, 16:41
Those hoods are equally easy to defeat from the front or rear with a little training.
A Safariland with, say, a hood, hood guard and ALS is going to be more difficult to defeat than a serpa

cjklotz436
11-23-2011, 17:10
A Safariland with, say, a hood, hood guard and ALS is going to be more difficult to defeat than a serpa

That is possible, however, I do know that my SERPA LEVEL III (with hood) is very difficult to defeat when to owner is awake. I have never had my gun taking from me in training or otherwise.

I am also confident that someone with your setup will never beat my draw speed with my setup. Both holsters have strong followings and many people who will argue until they are blue in the face about them. They are a tool and just that.

I have seen videos of SERPAs jamming but never heard of a real life incident. I am also aware that I can not reholster weak handed or my gun my be stuck. Also if badguy is pulling on the gun and attempts to then activate the mechanism it will not work. Like any holster things have to go just right for the draw or takeaway.

For me the SERPA (duty level III) works and works well. I for one have a very hard time getting used to the "intuitive" safariland.

I think everyone needs to evaluate their own needs and priorities and make a decision. Not just based on youtube videos

Just my .02

BailRecoveryAgent
11-23-2011, 17:16
They aren't really even a level 2, though. Or am I missing something?

Since there is no real standard as to what determines level of retention, companies can just call it whatever.

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kdm2
11-23-2011, 17:17
The only ND I have ever witnessed was out of a Serpa holster. And from a shooter I would consider competent.

Just sayin'.

BailRecoveryAgent
11-23-2011, 17:23
I have to do a yearly FOF training class per state requirements for my recovery license, which involves protecting your weapon from a gun grab from all positions, and my Desantis Facilitator with a thumb release similar in location and operation to the safariland 6377 is much harder for the grabber to bypass than the serpa.

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banger
11-23-2011, 17:28
It's funny....

I have personally been using SERPA holster for over 10 years and several different models of pistols.

I have used them in Police work, competition, off-duty, concealed carry, and UC work.

I was also the Principal firearms instructor for my agency prior to my retirement.

All this and I have NEVER! had or witnessed even the slightest problem.

I guess it comes down to the idea that "if you don't like it, don't buy it".

Personally, I swear by them.

But...heck what do I know, I never READ the article about rolling around in a "gravel pit".

cjklotz436
11-23-2011, 17:40
All this and I have NEVER! had or witnessed even the slightest problem.

I guess it comes down to the idea that "if you don't like it, don't buy it".

Personally, I swear by them.

But...heck what do I know, I never READ the article about rolling around in a "gravel pit".


:tongueout::tongueout::tongueout: Hooray!!!!:tongueout::tongueout::tongueout:

swinokur
11-23-2011, 18:13
If you install an optional Sentry on your SLS, a chop and grab is literally impossible/ It locks the SLS so you can't push it down

You cannot readily see it either.10 bucks at Optics Pllanet

http://www.safariland.com/DutyGear/product.aspx?pid=6001

Trent
11-23-2011, 18:35
Ok, this being Glocktalk I have to post this:
Was the weapon factory loaded and stock or “reloaded” and non-factory which the manual forbids?
Are you sure the person wasn’t “limpwristing”?
I’m sure the factory will make this right.
LEOs and military use this holster everywhere so it must be the best.
Did you see the test where they threw it out of a plane and it still worked?
Can’t be the holster, the operator must have made an error.
That holster has one of the simplest designs using the toughest materials out there, but occasionally a lemon gets out.
Holster perfection.

Did I miss one?
:supergrin:

MadMonkey
11-23-2011, 19:48
Given enough time and training, you could become an expert at drawing from an improbable holster that requires a 10-digit password, voice recognition and a mechanical release that will automatically discharge a round into your leg if you don't do everything perfectly. And if someone new to the holster makes a mistake and DOES have a round fired into their leg... well, you could call that operator error, but I'd also call it a lousy design.

For me, the Serpa doesn't work... and in my opinion, it's a bad design. Might work for others though.