Apparently TTAG wasn’t cool enough to get an invite to Blackhawk’s opening ceremonies for their new factory in Montana. Oh well — we were too busy being awesome doing what we’re doing anyway. But at that event, Blackhawk apparently demo’d a new holster – their GripBrake line – they’re planning on releasing in the coming months that doesn’t use the traditional SERPA trigger finger retention system. Shooting Illustrated has the scoop . . .
According to their guy on the ground:
Unlike the Serpa, the second level of retention is not deactivated with the trigger finger. […] As you begin your draw, your thumb comes along your side to assume a master grip. A paddle (which on the production models is going to be bigger than the ones we used) rests close to your body, slightly above the spot your thumb needs to engage the grip. As you squeeze, the second level of retention is automatically disengaged, and pistol is free for presentation.
Sounds a heck of a lot like Safariland’s ALS holster retention method, which I happen to like. A lot. Unlike Blackhawk’s SERPA design, which I absolutely hate.
Blackhawk was careful not to let it appear that they’re replacing the existing line of holsters, though.
Blackhawk claims it is just expanding the line, not addressing criticism. Let’s face facts, with the 4 millionth Serpa being shipped in the next 4 to 8 weeks, the holster could well be the most popular ever created.
Speaking of which, the author over at SI was very careful not to utter a word of criticism about Blackhawk’s holsters in the article, following the company line about all of the issues being with training instead of even allowing the possibility that there really is an issue with the product:
That trigger finger needs to remain parallel to the slide upon presentation, so I’ve never had a problem or a concern with the holster. Unfortunately, some people don’t feel the same way—most of them pontificating professors who haven’t built in the proper muscle memory, much less a working radio.
Personally I think the SERPA needs to go the way of lawn darts. And seeing a possible replacement for less money than the standard SERPA model gives me hope that’s just what’s happening. With an expected MSRP of about $30 on the injection molded plastic version of the GripBrake, it sounds like this holster may be the “hot” holster for SHOT this year.