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Nick Leghorn is Right About the Blackhawk SERPA Holster


TTAG scribe and proto-hunter Nick Leghorn recently stirred-up a ballistic hornet’s nest—a metaphor I’d like to see in real life, from a distance—with his post SERPA Holsters Should be Discontinued. Nick argued that the popular holster is inherently unsafe. Note: he did not call for a ban. He said it should be discontinued. Personally, I’m down with that. I believe that all self-defense weaponry should be designed for the lowest common denominator. ‘Cause we’re ALL the lowest common denominator when the excrement hits the rotating air circulation device. To use the SERPA holster safely, you need a relatively high level of training AND enough opfam (Operational Familiarity) that you don’t Tex Grebner under pressure. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, there is a better alternative. As demonstrated here. All that said, you pays your money, you takes your chances.


  1. avatar Big John says:

    Ordered a serpa two days ago. Not the first one I’ve owned. Won’t be the last.

    Not because I’m billy badass, not because I’m right and you’re all wrong (and stupid and ugly, etc.), but because the product has and continues to work for me.

    I think the internet savvy among us put it this way: YMMV.

    1. avatar Ryan Finn says:

      Well put Big John and I’m right there with you. I use a level III Serpa as my duty holster and it has served me well through many a draw and lots of training exercises.

    2. avatar Steve says:


      I like my Serpa.

  2. avatar JohnB says:

    OK, this is the first coherent “why a Serpa hip holster is not a good idea” argument I have seen. Since everyone has been banning them, I have started replacing them for civilian carry anyway.

    Note that he still uses a Serpa thigh holster. And I will continue to use my Serpa thigh holsters. The U.S. Army and Marine Corps issue them, which is where I got mine. Also, the Serpa is about the only thing out there for the M-9/92FS.

  3. avatar Chaz says:

    Fortunately I discovered my limitations vis a vis a Serpa belt holster in a training situation. These OFWG fingers and shoulder aren’t so nimble anymore. Several times a made a less than perfect grip for the draw and got hung up on the retention system.

  4. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Note: he did not call for a ban.

    Well, yes, he did, until the title of the post was changed to “discontinued” after taking heat for the original wording.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Tough room.

    2. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      No, I didn’t.

      Check the Twitter feed. It automatically records the original title of every post and hasn’t been altered in forever. It even still has my “Springfield / RIA” title screw-up listed from yesterday. The original title was and always has been “SERPA Holsters Should Be Discontinued.”

      I haven’t edited the post since it was published, and I take offense when people wrongly accuse me of doing so.

      1. avatar JustSomeGuy says:

        As you should. I had wondered about everyone screaming about “banning” when I kept looking at the title and it said “discontinued.” It didn’t make a great deal of sense to me at the time. Still doesn’t.

        Mr. Lion, rejoinder?


    3. avatar Dig Doug says:

      You, kind sir, have just been Internet Bitchslapped.
      Please do rejoin us when the swelling goes down.

  5. avatar reaganmarine84 says:

    Love my Blackhawk Serpa’s. I have 3 of them. Here’s another thing that bunches my panties. Not everyone on the world has the money to buy the Desantis this or Fobus that or whatever. My Serpas’ cost $29.99 from OpticsPlanet. Sure there are bettter,maybe more ‘intelligent’ designs on the market; but at 2 or 3 times the cost. And they may not have one for my chosen brand/model of handguns. Not everyone is a Glock zombie. I prefer Taurus handguns. And that has it’s limits on what kind of retention holsters are available to me right off the bat,since it’s not “popular”. Practice,training and discipline. I’m a simple hourly worker and can get what I can afford.

    1. avatar Max says:

      Well said! I too own Taurus handguns (24/7 GEN2) and finding a reasonable solution lead me to the Serpa. But, I do agree that a certain amount of training and practice must happen. But this is true of any holster system no matter the cost. As an aside, I have owned a couple of Fobus holsters, hated them right away. Sent them back to Amazon the next day.

      1. avatar Jimmy D says:

        Are you implying that you have a serpa 2 for a taurus 24/7 g2??? I cannot find one that fits my 45acp

  6. avatar Sean says:

    I nearly had a heart attack the first time I saw one. For the reason people want them banned (finger curling under stress issue), not the jamming with a pebble issue.

    I refuse to carry one, train anyone, or be on a private range with anyone that is using one.

    I don’t tell other people what to use or not use, but I have told some newbies to be aware of the issue.

  7. avatar Jim says:

    Here is another ND using a Serpa holster. I agree that using your trigger finger at that point increases the risk of an ND.

  8. avatar Fred says:

    Ordered a SafariLand ALS retention holster a couple months ago, as a replacement for Serpa retention, after following up on the recommendation of my defensive pistol instructor to google Serpa NDs. Seems much more intuitive and trouble-free with thumb release.

  9. avatar Manny says:

    I agree with everyone of Nick’s points. The Blackhawk! Serpa may have a higher likelihood of probability for a negligent discharge.

    I do have some questions:
    Is the Blackhawk! Serpa the only holster that has had related negligent discharges? What’s to prevent someone under stress putting their trigger finger in the trigger guard/on the trigger while drawing their pistol using any other holster?

    I maintain that proper, realistic and recurring training and practice is the answer however too many firearm owners have neither.

  10. avatar Jim Kelly says:

    I have to admit I jumped on the bandwagon and I went to a Serpa after our Department allowed us to use them. Our duty weapon is a Glock 21 and I do not recall any accidental discharges with a Glock using the Serpa holster. Now that I have seen the information and video. I see it is possible for potential issues to arise using a Serpa holster
    These problems come about normally due to a lack of practice and repetition with a new piece of equipment. I mean no disrespect towards Tex what so ever in saying this. Again it’s all about training and practice. I myself feel comfortable with a Serpa holster and don’t feel it’s a bad duty carry holster either. Before using the Serpa, I carried my Glock in a Safariland SLS holster. The SLS is a very good holster and I liked it a great deal. Additionally I had 10 years of practice and repetition with the SLS so I had a high level of confidence with it. Finally I know I was faster out of the holster with my SLS.
    Too often we all have a tendency because ”everybody else” is going to the newest and latest to follow suit. Instead of me examining if there was really anything wrong with old tried and true. I was guilty of being seduced by the newest and latest. You would think I would know better by this time. I have done OK in qualification with the Serpa the last couple of years. But this discussion does make me think about dusting off my old SLS and going back to it …Just my two cents…

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