Blackhawk! SERPA Holsters Banned By LAPD

Earlier this month, a memo was distributed among the LAPD.

 

It states that Blackhawk! SERPA holsters and similar holsters are no longer approved for use.

We have seen some instances, by citizens, where the trigger finger activated locking mechanism can not only stop working, in some cases people have shot themselves.

I wonder if they will go with Safariland holsters now?



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Anonymoose

    Or with one of Blackhawk’s newer thumb-activated designs.

  • Gun Fu Guru

    My hope is that the Army will ditch the Serpas when it gets new equipment for the M17.

    • Shaun Connery Oliver II

      Yeah! I don’t know why the U.S. Army did not choose tbe Safariland holsters!

      • Gun Fu Guru

        $.

      • some other joe

        Army did go with Safariland, they are “featured” in the new edition of the pistol FM (TC 3-25.35). Marines adopted Serpa as a replacement for the M12, Army never did.

  • Scott Tx

    good thing I dont work for the LAPD

  • Major Tom

    And this is why we have manual safeties on non-Glock firearms. This doesn’t happen on a manual safety when engaged.

    • CommonSense23

      You are acting like people haven’t been trained to disengage the safety with the initial grip.

      • Major Tom

        Given the amount of “Glock leg” incidents among cops in the past 10 years it’s safe to say training isn’t worth a dime.

        • CommonSense23

          So how many cops have actually glocked legged themselves in the last 10 years on the draw.

          • valorius

            Glock is EXTREMELY protective of those figures. But it’s been enough that they came up with a term for it, “Glock leg.” (TM)

          • CommonSense23

            Which the vast majority came from people purposely pulling the trigger. Or transitioning from double action revolvers where trigger discipline wasn’t a thing yet.

          • valorius

            Early 911 porsche Turbos- which were lightning fast on a race track in their day- all tended to crash backwards into walls because people didn’t know how to drive them properly. Porsche reacted by thoroughly changing the design of the suspension in subsequent models.

            Glock should do the same. It is a flawed design. Kahr took the Glock design, and perfected it with the simple addition of a true DAO trigger.

          • People who can’t remember Rule #3 should be discouraged from carrying a firearm in the first place, not encouraged to get a new one with different features.

          • valorius

            Rule no.1 when dealing with human beings: ALL human beings make mistakes.

          • Don

            Valorius, what are you smoking. Porsche did not change their suspension design, people just learned how to drive the car correctly. Now once they went from air cooled to water cooled after their 993 model lineup they really started messing with their suspension. But that was mostly by installing electronic gadgets on it to make it idiot proof for the modern lazy driver.

            But… the same principle goes for a Glock or any other firearm, you learn how to use it correctly and then you practice and practice again until using it is second nature. And no I’m not a Glock fan boy, I own and use firearms on both sides of the safety/safetyless fence. That’s the same problem with society today, instead of admitting that you made an error everyone wants to place the blame on somewhere or something else.

          • valorius

            That’s incorrect Don. Porsche made numerous design changes to the early 911(930) suspension to include wider tires, and larger sway bars, all designed to increase grip and reduce the tendency to spin. The 1975-77 cars especially were notoriously hard to control in corners. The 1978+ models were not any faster, they were just a little easier to drive to the limit.

            There are cars that are easy to drive fast, and there are cars that are hard to drive fast. The Porsche 911(930)-especially the 1975-1977 is notorious for being extremely easy to spin.

            Guns are the same. Some are forgiving designs (an example would be a S&W semi auto with mag safety and manual safeties). Some are not. See: Glock.

          • FarmerB

            They are still pretty easy to get sideways in an semi-uncontrolled fashion.

          • Don

            Wrong, those were just tweeks to the existing type/style of suspension. The car is notorious for accidents due to the fact it is a rear engine car that handles completely different than most cars on the road and so many people try to drive it like your common front engined car. If you throttle it wrong you’ll be seeing your ass pass right by you. The biggest change they made to the suspension was when they added the fourwheel drive models. Now on the new models they have made it idiot proof by getting rid of the manual shifter in their performance models and adding all the electronic enhancements. They have added active suspension management, active aerodynamics, dynamic chassis control, front axle lift and rear wheel steering. Thus it makes it ALMOST impossible for an idiot to wreck it due to the cars suspension design, now if they wreck it it is because they just suck at driving.

          • valorius

            That’s not wrong. The stiffer/fatter sway bars were a direct response to how loose the car got in curves when -any- change in throttle setting or any attempt at braking was made at all.

            Driven correctly, the early 930 was absolutely lightning fast, but because of it’s design, if you made even the slightest of mistakes in a corner, it would literally kill you.

            A similar example is the F4U corsair. A tremendously fast and effective WWII carrier based fighter plane, but ake ANY mistake while trying to land that, and you were a dead man- hence the nickname “The ensign eliminator.”

          • john huscio

            Kahr….lol

          • valorius

            Kahr’s are fantastic firearms- it’s essentially a glock with a DAO trigger. The magazines are another story.

          • valorius

            And a lot of them aren’t from that. Stories of 2 year olds discharging glocks, drawstrings causing NDs, fingers still on triggers when holstering causing NDs (which will not happend with a traditional DAO), and etc, etc.

            The glock is simply an unforgiving design. Like an early Porsche 911.

          • n0truscotsman

            Those are violations of the 4 rules of gun safety. Blaming glock when the rules were clearly violated is foolish.

            What commonsense said is absolutely true. Departments were teaching bad habits or not breaking the bad habits officers acquired when they used revolvers.

            Teach the 4 rules and Glocks are just as safe as a firearm with an external safety.

          • valorius

            A drawstring blowing into your holster causing a true AD is a violation of the safety rules?

            We know one thing for sure about people: They are excellent at breaking, or ignoring rules. And we further know that even good intentioned people make mistakes every single day.

            Any machine made to do anything should take these simple facts into account. Good ones do.

          • The_Champ

            Why, and more importantly how, would Glock collect figures on ND’s that occurred with their guns while used with a Blackhawk holster?

          • Kinetics

            He’s not saying that Glock is collecting data on Glock + Serpa ND’s, but rather the rate of ND’s with Glocks alone (with the aggravating factor being Glock’s lack of an external safety).

          • valorius

            I mean Glock ND’s in general.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Obama is a kenyan” is a common expression too, but that does’t make it remotely true

          • valorius

            “The most beautiful sound in the world is the muslim morning call to prayer.”
            -Obama

            One thing i know for a fact, and that i am very happy about, is that Obama is an EX president.

          • Very few, especially considering the number of Glocks in the market!

        • Question: how many “Glock Leg” incidents with cops can you definitively reference from reputable media or police reporting? I know there have been some incidents, but most I find are civilian, and overall the numbers are relatively low considering the number of Glocks in the market. I was wondering if you have seen a specific report highlighting a particular spike in incidents to your 10 year reference.

          • Law enforcement agencies in general are, for some strange reason, reluctant to issue accurate statistics on how often their officers shoot themselves.

          • Grey Beard

            I know of one claim during my misspent youth. He claimed it was upon holstering that a piece of mesquite bush got caught in the trigger guard and as he slid the gun inside the holster the Clock went boom and caused a nice little wound to his right butt cheek.

          • Major Tom

            I know of at least 4. One of them was in a demonstration of “gun safety”.

          • The_Champ

            And ND’s happen with many other models of pistol as well.

            Just because you keep saying Glocks have a higher ND rate, it’s a popular meme on gun forums, and some people seemingly WANT it to be true, doesn’t make it true.

            As it stands right now, I’m willing to admit it might be true, but no one has brought forward any date to prove it.

          • valorius

            I know (or rather knew) the cop that was in charge of the Philly PD glock selection and transition program. He loved them but he admitted that they had a huge amount of ND’s transitioning from .357 magnum DA revolvers.

        • The_Champ

          As already pointed out by other commenters, you don’t seem to have any actual figures on this. I doubt the data actually exists.

          Have more people ND’d with SERPA holsters and/or Glocks than other models of holster and gun? I’d wager no one actually has the data to answer that question.

          But people heard the term “Glock leg” on a lot of internet forums so it must be true, and SERPAs are therefore crap.

      • valorius

        I’ve always trained to swipe the safety off as the pistol has cleared leather. Yes, i said it- leather. 😉

        • Ken

          Neanderthal!! 🙂

    • M-dasher

      manual safeties…..also great for people who wear depends and need training wheels…….

      learn not to pull the trigger and you wont have a ND

      • Gun Fu Guru

        That’s not a fair criticism. It can happen to well trained individuals. Remember the Serpa advertisement on Guns and Ammo TV?
        That happened after extolling the product’s safety.
        https://www . youtube . com/watch?v=LJ2Qg4xwHgg

      • Gary Kirk

        You’ve never owned a Taurus

        • John

          HEY! Don’t dis’ the Taurus’ “Shake Trigger”! It took years of R&D to get that thing to go off when you look at it sideways.

          TAURUS! When you absolutely, positively want to shoot someone by “accident”!

          • John

            JK JK JK

      • David B

        Teach the strings on your jacket/twigs/bunched clothes/ect to stay out of your trigger guard and you won’t have a ND. Wait, the cords on your jacket don’t listen? Hmmm…

      • Ebby123

        Ah, the ol’ “I’m such a badass I can use this poorly designed product. Anyone who would rather use a well designed product is obviously less of a man than I am.”

        Poor training + a poor product = A perpetual Safety hazard.

        Good training + a poor product = Sometimes a Safety hazard. (that’s where you say we should be).

        Good training + a good product = No safety hazard. (that’s where we really should be).

    • All the manual safeties in the world ain’t worth a soakin’ wet powder horn if they’re on a pistol being carried by a moron. As the saying goes, “all your failed relationships negligent discharges have one thing in common”, after all.

      • Gun Fu Guru

        Most failed relationships have to do with premature discharges.

        • Klaus Von Schmitto

          Or getting out of your lane and hitting someone else’s target.

    • No one

      Not all of us are completely inept to the point we actually need a manual safety. Sorry to break it to you.

      Also, a vast majority of striker fired guns don’t have safeties, not just Glocks.

  • Safariland ALS, all the speed of a SERPA without the negatives like the mechanism locking up during a missed draw.

    And the non-duty models are competitively priced against the SERPA.

    • Very good holsters, even though I use and like the Serpa.

    • CavScout

      Non-issue. The Army has seen any of that with a ton of usage. Cops just shoot themselves in the legs and the floors of ranges when they use them.

  • Dave D

    What took so long. My department banned them so long ago that I can’t even remember what year.

  • Kinetics

    Some will claim that training can/will negate the risk of an ND with a Serpa. Leaving the efficacy of that aside, it really doesn’t matter.

    Equipment should facilitate the safest weapons handling possible, especially when the user is under duress. Safariland holsters, and many others do that, the Serpa does not. For that reason alone it isn’t a suitable duty holster.

    • m-dasher

      its only a bad design if youre a moron who doesnt learn how to use it.

      literally spend like 5 minutes reading the instructions…..and maybe 30 minutes of drawing practice and you wont even have to think about it.

      • SPQR9

        False. The design causes people to use their trigger finger to manipulate the lock in a direction that can continue the trigger finger into the trigger guard during the draw. Designs that lead people into unsafe actions are bad designs.

        • m-dasher

          false……you are supposed to index your finger on the holster ( like youre supposed to do anyways) and that will depress the release……you dont press it like a button.

          when you draw, your finger should be straight……and your finger will end up in the proper position.

          just because you dont know how to use something doesnt make it unsafe.

          • Kinetics

            Indexing your finger does not change the fact that Serpas require the use of the trigger finger to release the firearm in the first place, nor that they put the trigger finger, indexed or not, right in line of the trigger guard.

          • n0truscotsman

            theoretically, your finger *should* be straight, but often times, Ive seen people eventually start to ‘hook’.

            Thats what happened to tex grebner.

          • Blood2839

            No, Grebner took his 1911 off safe before the muzzle cleared his body line. Operator malfunction, not holster malfunction.

          • Ebby123

            Dasher,
            Not really. Sorry bud, just because YOU can use it safely/easily 100% of the time doesn’t mean its a good design.

        • K.J. Pierson

          False, stupid users who don’t know to get their nose picker off the bang switch are the problem. You’re supposed to slide over the release, not smash it like you’re ramming it up your nose trying to get to your brain.

      • valorius

        Said Tex Grebner.

      • Ebby123

        But in today’s world people don’t read the instructions – hence products have to be designed with that as the expectation. That’s consumer product design 101.

        You cannot put the burden of responsibility on the end user – because sooner or later one of them will be in too much of a hurry to carry it, and then people get hurt with your product.

        You always design to the lowest common denominator – not the “reasonable man” test. Right or wrong, if the can do it, sooner or later they WILL, and then they WILL own your ass in court.

        Sincerely,
        – A design engineer of consumer products resentfully acknowledging that this is the state of today’s world.

        • Blood2839

          So you want to continue propogating stupidity by disavowing a useful product? That’s as bad or worse as the carnival of stupid that started this discussion to begin with.

          Sincerely
          – A common sense human being who refuses to surrender to moronic behavior because some feel it is the state of the world today.

    • Gary Kirk

      Umm, all users, with any holster need to worry about not shooting themselves..

      • Kinetics

        True, I wasn’t trying to imply that there is no risk of an ND with any other holster. Rather, i was pointing out that there is an outsized risk of an ND with Serpas due to their release mechanism design.

        • Gary Kirk

          Yes, and no.. Disclaimer: I am not a Serpa user.. When used properly, the Serpa holster brings your trigger finger out along the frame where it’s supposed to be.. Now, idiots can and will always exist, people that use the release as a “button” and push in with their finger.. Training has failed..

          • valorius

            Spring mechanisms fail too. having your weapon locked into your holster and having no way to remove it while under fire is also no fun.

          • Gary Kirk

            Anything mechanical can (and will at the most inopportune moments) fail.. Hence remediation drills..

          • Gary Kirk

            Also, if the spring fails on a Serpa.. The gun is most likely free.. So it probably just wouldn’t be there when you need it.. What’s that saying about a certain creek and no paddle??

          • Mountain Rock Hauler

            Thank you for your description. I have used a Serpa for years and never had my finger hit the trigger before and could not understand how it was even possible for someone to do. Hooked my finger on the release after reading your comment and immediately my finger hit the trigger. Will never do so again.

    • Ark

      Yup. You shouldn’t have to learn to draw safely IN SPITE OF the design of the holster.

      I suspect Blackhawk has a paid rep or at least an out of control fanboy in this comments section.

      • Don

        Ark, what are you smoking… come on now. That is the most assinine statement anyone has ever made. The number one rule in firearm use is always “Safety”. And like everything you purchase or use, if you don’t read the direction and use it per the manufactures direction Darwin will soon have another soldier in his army. Let me guess, your lawyer is number one on your speed dial… Wow…

        • Marc

          The most asinine statement ever made?
          Did you just receive Internet service?

          • Don

            Okay Marc, will make it the most asinine on this site reguarding firearm safety. Better? 😁

        • valorius

          I agree with Ark. The Serpa design is ill conceived and actually increases the chance that a user error will result in an ND.

          • Ebby123

            Bingo.
            Well designed gear doesn’t require additional training to use safely.
            Well designed gear makes hurting oneself – even through misuse – nearly impossible to achieve.

          • K.J. Pierson

            No matter the design, the more idiot proof it is, the more evolution will create better idiots. Best to let them kill themselves as soon as possible and hope they don’t take anyone else with them.

          • DLLambert

            I think regular SERPAs can be used but they are less safe or practical with some designs. I would not use a striker fired pistol with a trigger safety like a Glock format. Or a SAO type 1911-1911a1 pistol. Grit, dirt, snow, sand, etc can jam up a SERPA. I would not use one in harsh environments. But for urban CCW or limited carry/ranges, they are safe.

      • Ryan StJohn

        So it’s asking “too much” for a *GUN OWNER* to learn how to use ALL of their equipment? If you can’t or aren’t willing to learn how to operate your HOLSTER, of all, things, then you SHOULD NOT BE OPERATING A FIREARM.
        This is beyond ridiculous, it takes, what, two minutes to learn how to operate one of these holsters PROPERLY? If someone really believes that this is asking “too much”, then what does someone with this mindeset think about learning how to properly operate their FIREARM?
        What is more complex – one of these holsters, or the gun going into it?
        What is more DANGEROUS – one of these holsters, or the gun going into it?

        Reading some of these comments from the FIREARMS COMMUNITY – unbelievable. I don’t care if your holster has moving parts or not – if it comes with directions you SHOULD be reading them and you SHOULD be practicing properly drawing from said holster. If that’s just “asking too much” for you, then you shouldn’t be in possession of the firearm that you’re putting in it.

    • Ebby123

      ^^^THIS.
      This is the same reason we install light-curtains and E-stops on dangerous equipment:
      Yes, you can tell an operator “don’t put your hand in the moving machinery”, but statistics dictates sooner or later, someone will.

      This is consumer products are designed to make it impossible to hurt oneself with – even when used incorrectly. Right or wrong, if it can happen, it will. And you can bet your ass that when it does happen there will be a media stink and a lawsuit.

  • valorius

    For once i agree with California. These holsters are fundamentally flawed in design. They also introduce another failure point to a critically important piece of equipment.

    • m-dasher

      theyre only flawed if youre a moron who doesnt know how to handle a gun…..

      one idiot shoots himself, blames the holster, and all of a sudden its a bad product.

      what about all the other people with functioning brain cells that havent shot themselves with one?

      • SPQR9

        Calling people, who are more perceptive than you are, morons fails to impress. Even if your name calling “analysis” were worth a crap, a design that helps “morons” ND is a bad design.

        • m-dasher

          you might want to Israeli carry if the SERPA is too dangerous for you…..because most other holster are probably too dangerous as well.

          • valorius

            Most other holsters have not been banned by the FBI and LAPD.

      • valorius

        Which is of course why so many police departments have banned this really stupid design. Lots of people carried Nambus in WWII and never shot themselves. Does that mean it was a safe design?

  • valorius

    “But my Serpa is safe! Look, when I draw i just…” BOOM!

    • Gun Fu Guru

      Remember when Guns and Ammo TV almost had their incident a year ago?
      https://www . youtube . com/watch?v=LJ2Qg4xwHgg

  • Landru

    I am a tad older these days but found leather holsters to fit my needs long ago
    and do not mind cleaning them up on occasion with Leather oil.

    • M1911

      There are plenty of plastic duty holsters with level III retention that do not have the drawbacks of the Serpa. Safariland makes great duty holsters.

  • AZgunner

    My department still issues the Serpa. Unless you buy your own holster. Anyone who knows anything about guns buys their own.

  • M-dasher

    ooooooor…..LAPD could just learn how to use the equipment properly and not have to deal with NDs in the first place.

    ive been running a Serpa holster for years…..with a glock…….still havent shot myself.

    • SPQR9

      No, it’s a bad design inherently.

      • m-dasher

        SERPA: for those with an functioning IQ over 90

    • valorius

      The problem is that the design of the SERPA increases the chance that a user error will result in an ND.

  • I have worked with (and supervised) some gawd awful morons over the years, and as problematic and questionably useful as the SERPA gimmick is, none of them have ever had any problems with it, which leads me to believe that organizations which have to ban them by name must be hiring straight from the Primate House at the local zoo or something.

    • m-dasher

      apparently its a lot easier to make police departments child proof than it is to actually train their officers not to shoot themselves.

      • DLLambert

        The problem is far too many US law enforcement agencies & armed units hire staff/sworn personnel who are not “gun people”. They can’t or won’t make the effort to understand firearms or learn the methods-industry. They “fake it till they make it” then think some guy in a bar or a parking lot will explain it to them. I saw a PBS Frontline episode where a new sworn police cadet near the end of her formal training was in formation. She could not draw or display her Glock sidearm & a police academy cadre had to get her pistol out. This was Philadelphia PA police dept. Scary.

        • John

          That’s scary.
          Police are getting modern military equipment and none of the training for it.

    • DaveGinOly

      Some trainers have banned Serpas from their classes, claiming that users under the stress of the class can draw and place their fingers inside the trigger guard. I don’t know a holster made that will keep a user’s finger out of the trigger guard after the weapon is drawn from it!
      I use a Serpa (or a Serpa clone, depending on which gun I’m toting) when I open carry. I train with them and don’t find they present any problems that a little training won’t address. They are different from other holsters, but no more so that other security holsters are from other holsters.

  • Ark

    Good. They’re an awful design and have a well-earned reputation for accidental/negligent discharge. By design, they prohibit the use of a safe grip while drawing.

    • Ted Unlis

      Bull$#!t

    • m-dasher

      literally nothing you stated is true.

      if used properly, they allow for a proper, and safe grip on your firearm.

      and what? one person shot themselves and blamed it on the holster?……and apparently its unsafe for everyone?….Tex Gruber is a moron.

      if you use the holster properly, you index your finger along the holster (like you normally do)…..and that will depress the lever……..you dont press the release like a button.

      • Eric Lawrence

        Brother, you need to stop. Are you a BLACKHAWK! Employee? Have stock in a parent company?

        I’ll give you some truth. The LAPD, FBI, and many reputable training companies run by excellent and safety conscious instructors have banned the SERPA and I personally had a SERPA lock up on me with debris in the action at Ft. Irwin. The only fix was to rip the holster off the MOLLE attachment and use a pry bar to break the halves apart.

        The SERPA is dangerous.

        You know when you get on a bus and try to find the idiot to make sure you don’t sit next to him and you don’t see him. That is because you are the idiot. Right now you are the only one trying to convince the rest of us that the SERPA is safe. Look around. You are the idiot

      • valorius

        The FBI banned SERPA because it’s so great?

  • alex archuleta

    Interesting how an anti gun dept like the LAPD changed their policy because of what they saw happen to the civilian shooters. Had them & the California government had their way and ban everything 2A they would have had no idea about the SERPA issue & I’m sure some if not the majority of the equipment they use is there because of the 2A and lawful citizens.

  • Ken

    It amazes me that any agency, large or small, doesn’t go with the Safariland Level III ALS. Especially the newer 7TS versions. Undoubtedly the most secure-while-being-easy-to-manipulate duty holsters out there. Back in the day, the SSIII was the go-to duty holster but that one actually required a bit of real training to manipulate quickly. Bill (Rogers) morphed his design into the ALS and nothing else comes close, IMHO. I started my 32 year career with a cross-draw (yeeesh!) and ended it by transitioning the department from the SSIII to the Level III ALS.

    • M1911

      Exactly. The ALS works and does not require you to press inwards with your trigger finger in order to release the holster.

      If you screw up with the Serpa holster, your trigger finger ends up inside the trigger guard. That is not true with the ALS.

  • Badwolf

    Imo improper use isn’t the product’s fault. That said… It’s not the best product if it’s not user friendly and idiot proof.

  • Gregory

    All of the arguing does not matter, the holster was banned by the LAPD end of statement.

  • trjnsd

    A lot of folks in this blog have gone to great lengths to criticize each other over something that sometimes happens – a design is touted as being the next great leap in (whatever), only to find later it has a flaw, and is surpassed by the next big leap in design. How many of us old LEO’s have a Bianchi “Judge” front breaking holster or two rotting in a box, unused for decades? They were expensive and heavy, but were hailed as a wonderful, SAFE design that would save officers’ lives by preventing someone front taking the officer’s gun from behind. And how many of us ended a pursuit of fight to look down at that “safety” holster to see our revolver, butt down, barrel pointing froward and parallel to the ground, completely exposed! No, like John Bianchi, Blackhawk tired to come up with something great and useful – I have (..had..) three of them for different autos. Now its flaws have come out and it has been surpassed by better holsters…maybe. The holsters I use most often still, are my other Bianchi and Safariland leather, thumb snap styles, some of which are over 40 years old and still quite serviceable – and good looking! And none of them has ever broken or failed.

  • John

    “Waaaa, the Sig P226 has a heavier double action pull that first round!”

    Yes, but that first round doesn’t go into your leg! YAAY!

    • john huscio

      I’m sure a few have given themselves “Sig leg” somewhere…

      • John

        Yes, there ARE people who play Russian Roulette with a semi-auto.

  • trjnsd

    A lot of folks in this blog have gone to great lengths to criticize each other over something that sometimes happens – a design is touted as being the next great leap in (whatever), only to find later it has a flaw, and is surpassed by the next big leap in design. How many of us old LEO’s have a Bianchi “Judge” front breaking holster or two rotting in a box, unused for decades? They were expensive and heavy, but were hailed as a wonderful, SAFE design that would save officers’ lives by preventing someone front taking the officer’s gun from behind. And how many of us ended a pursuit or fight only to look down at that “safety” holster and see our revolver, butt down, barrel pointing forward and parallel to the ground, completely exposed! No, like John Bianchi, Blackhawk tired to come up with something great and useful – I have (..had..) three Serpas for different autos. Now its flaws have come out and it has been surpassed by better holsters…maybe. The holsters I use most often still, are my other Bianchi and Safariland leather, thumb snap styles, some of which are over 40 years old and still quite serviceable – and good looking! And none of them has ever broken or failed.

    • valorius

      Good post.

  • john huscio

    I studiously avoid Blackhawk! everything.

  • USMC03Vet

    Easier to blame a hostler than the person that was trained to handle firearms profiecently these days isn’t it.

  • Nicks87

    Ooooo, a knee jerk reaction from a politically driven (liberal) police dept. Shocking!

    • valorius

      Something that takes years to happen is not knee jerk.

  • Uniform223
    • valorius

      “If you do it wrong, this (the SERPA) could be dangerous.”

      Exactly. The design exacerbates mistakes. That is the HALLMARK of a bad design.

      • Uniform223

        If you use ANYTHING wrong it makes things worse and it can be dangerous.
        Its a training issue, NOT a gear issue.

        • valorius

          As i’ve said repeatedly, some designs MINIMIZE mistakes, whereas other designs EXACERBATE mistakes.

        • valorius

          An example:

          The F6F was a fantastic WWII carrier fighter aircraft that was very easy to fly, and very forgiving of mistakes. The F4U Corsair was a fantastic carrier fighter aircraft that was notoriously hard to land, and KILLED you when you made a mistake.

          Both great aircraft with dominant combat records- but one was a lot more forgiving than the other.

          There are tons of examples one can give of 2 different designs doing the same thing, but one being far more forgiving (or unforgiving) of mistakes than the other. In every field of design. In guns, the glock and SERPA are both examples of designs that are brutally unforgiving of mistakes.

          • Ryan StJohn

            And, just think, with a whopping FIVE MINUTES of familiarization and practice, you can ELIMINATE those mistakes. If you can’t take such a minimal amount of time to do that, you SHOULD NOT be operating a firearm.

          • valorius

            No human being can eliminate mistakes. It is impossible.

  • .45

    Come on guys, this is the LAPD. You’d expect them to live in fear of accidentally shooting themselves. ;D

    In all seriousness though, the SERPA was one of the first holsters I ever used, with my first handgun, a 1911, when I was going to a training class. No problems at all, the cop running the class showed me how it worked and let me run the gun. At no point did my finger even look like it was going to get into the trigger guard prematurely. Maybe the proportions are different with the Glock, whatever, but a complete newbie to firearms, me, was given free rein to shoot himself with a SERPA and failed miserably.

  • Tim

    I have an old Galco holster that came with a S&W model 10. It has the leather cut so that you can place your finger on the trigger during the draw and re holstering. At some point in the evolution of holsters and tactics, we learned that this wasn’t good idea, and they dropped this feature from their product line.

    I have owned a Serpa. I see how the design could contribute to an accidental discharge. Extensive training could prevent the problem, but the problem is most folks do not have extensive training.

    The evolution of the tactical holster matches on.

  • 22winmag

    The accidental discharge vs. negligent discharge thing rears it’s ugly head again.

  • DanGoodShot

    Alien Gear just put out one called shape shift. They don’t make it for too many models yet. It has the thumb release like the Safariland. It looks pretty versatile.

  • lowwe carter

    But dont worry guys! VODA Consulting says that SERPA holsters are the gold standard!!!

  • Disarmed in CA

    If there was just a device to keep the trigger finger straight. Here’s a new product idea! The “Safety Finger”! This “comfortable” 3 inch long tube, once installed on your trigger finger, will not allow your finger to flex *at all* so there will be no chance of accidentally ‘glocking’ yourself in the leg, once properly in the ‘safe’ position. Utilizing your second finger as an alternate trigger finger is a violation of the warranty and safety terms.

  • 24Mossberg .

    Short article, but okay…are the Blackhawk mechanisms not working?

  • Travis

    SERPA holsters are fantastic, the lack of adequate training on the department’s part is what increases the likelihood of a negligent discharge.

  • HR Pufnstuf

    And I’ll bet, like EVERYTHING else, are “known to the State of California to cause cancer.”

  • Wm Reich

    One’s trigger finger should be used for a singular purpose around firearms..

    That it took so long for that obvious fact to sink in at least to some. . predictable

  • David Christensen

    Blackhawk! Should go back to producing AR-15 mags….. they were damn good at that, and quit.

  • DLLambert

    I own 02/two Blackhawk SERPA holsters. My MP Shield 9×19 “Sportster” polymer holster does not have the Blackhawk lever security design, just a simple open style. My M&P SERPA rig broke after about 18mo. I used that regular SERPA for my compact .45acp & my full size(ambi safety 9x19mm) M&P. SERPAs are not bad but they aren’t great either. Cops & sworn agents in central FL use Blackhawk SERPAs. 1911s, Glocks, SIG Sauer: etc. I like Safariland’s new TS7 line. They are robust, secure & do not scuff or wear on guns. Safariland also produces new RDS or “red dot sight” duty holsters. They protect the high value RMR or optic with SWAT-SRT-SOF type use. Boltron gear & holsters are now more popular than Kydex or plastic. Alien Gear & HTC/High Threat Concealment produce holsters & products with Boltron material over tradional Kydex or nylon. I would not be surprised if Safariland rolls out a new XM17 or MHS holster for the US military like Bianchi did with the M12 system in the 1980s for the M9 9mmNATO.

  • RPK

    That is what makes America great. We, as individual citizens, are able to purchase and use whatever equipment item we deem appropriate without respect to another persons opinion. If you like and trust the Serpa product line, use it. If you do not, then don’t buy it. Simple math.
    Happy 4th of July, fellow citizens!
    America is the land of opportunity because of our Veterans…

  • dltaylor51

    I have used serpa holsters for years and never had a problem with them,anyone who shoots themselves in the leg and blames the holster is a gizs brain.

  • RJ

    They should look into Blade Tech holsters. Works great for my 1911.

  • CavScout

    How the military has survived the horrifying Serpas is an amazing feat. Surely they should all be dead from locked up holsters by now… Weird the Army doesn’t have trouble with them, but cops shoot themselves in the legs.