Thursday, July 7, 2011


I totally understand the misgivings of the Serpa button on their retention holsters.  When under stress, in a hurry, when fine motor functions are out the window, I worry my finger would migrate to the trigger too easily. 

I LIKE the Serpa holsters and own a couple, but I am still concerned. 

5.11 is coming out with a thumb release retention holster.  It's not up for anything but Glocks when I checked the site (though I hear there are others already out there, just haven't found them online), but 1911 and SIG P229 varieties can't be far away from release.  I will get one to try when they do.  Maybe the 5.11 types will be more resistant to getting jammed up with gravel, too.

But that didn't stop THIS ND, either.  His issue was with a thumb release and then his thumb migrating to the safety, releasing it.  His finger was already near the SA trigger, and a bad result happened.

So that's food for thought for ANY retention holster.

A Serpa would be a similar problem if the safety was disengage inadvertently while still in the holster.

Retention holsters address a valid issue.  They make it harder to be surprised and disarmed in an Open Carry situation.  Does that outweigh there two things going against retention holsters, relative ease of getting the finger close to the trigger, and the fiddly bits getting munged up making it impossible to draw at all?  And this applies to ALL the retention holsters, not just Serpa and 5.11.  I dunno.  I dunno.

I think I'll stick to using the Serpa (and probably should switch to thumb-release 5.11) just with the Sig P229 right now, because of the DAK trigger.  I have 1911 Serpas that I feel more hinky about as time goes by.  I think I prefer, in an Inside the Waistband or a Paddle holster than my 1911s ride in leather with a snap retention.  For IWB with the Sig, the Milt Sparks works just fine. 

A thumb release in leather for 1911s, AND a thumb release 5.11 Paddle for the Sig has the advantage of similar release methods for commonality of training.

My ideal future is getting good enough, to my satisfaction, with 1911s that I don't even consider the desire to carry the Sig.


Ben C said...

After a fella I know tagged himself in the leg a couple years back pretty much exactly the same way as the fella in that link did, a couple things came to mind:

Get some first aid gear and the instruction to use it.

Don't buy serpa crap.

Safariland ALS holsters fit lots of guns, are thumb release; they work very well. Some models fit guns with lights mounted even.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Tam's right tho. I need to sacrifice some trauma bandages so I know where all the tab A slot B stuff is intuitively if I need to use it. Hate to put it on upside down when there is blood everywhere.

West, By God said...

For what its worth... I've been in Baghdad for the last year and a half, and one of the most popular holsters over here is the Serpa (for the M9, of course.)

Given the tens of thousands of soldiers carrying M9s in Serpas, I've yet to hear of a holster-caused ND since I've been here. Nor have I heard of a Serpa holster malfunctioning in any other way for that matter, and the ones out here get beat to hell.

Marty said...

I have two Serpa holsters and they are my favorite way to carry my Glocks. They hold the gun very securely. Mine never jam. To disengage them they leave my trigger finger in the perfect spot. I can wear it all day long in comfort.

They are big though. Winter coat concealable.

They are the best for drawing fast with me. Lots of dry fire practice.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Having watched the video, the man didn't blame the holster, but himself. But I have a funny feeling that the modern emphasis on Speed may be over riding Safety, especially with light Single Action Triggers.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the guys above. For us lames that carry M9s and SIGs where the badguys are a bit more a reality than Zombies, the SERPA works well. First aid is always a handy skill though, no matter where the blame for the injury lies.

Tam said...

Bubblehead Les,

"But I have a funny feeling that the modern emphasis on Speed..."

Yeah, I like those modern guys like Ed McGivern, Jelly Bryce, and Bill Jordan a bit too much. ;)