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  • Problems with Blackhawk Serpa Duty holster

    I bought one on a recomendation from one of my instructors for my Glock 22. I'm only a month into my academy and we're being required to wear our gear begining next month (minus the side arm, empty holster). I have used them before while in the military and like them, but the duty version is causing me some problems.
    First off is how low it hangs. Makes sitting in a chair or couch uncomfortable, I cant imagine sitting in a car like that. I found places that have the mid or high ride attatchment for them and thought about getting one, but then the next issue arose.
    Even as it is, riding low like it does, there seems to be a very long draw for the barrel to clear the holster. Unlike the CQC version that has the 'slit' cut in the top front of the holster. I dont want to cut it because then the holster would loose it's integrity, but it almost feels un-natural.

    Sooooooo, my next thought went something like this. Instructor said the fallback of the CQC version is that the beltloop portion was weak and could be broken off the holster relativly easily in a fight. Would I be able to replace the belt loop with that of the mid ride duty holster to solve both issues? Or would 'Frankinstine'ing the holsters lead to bigger problems?

    My next train of thought is to replace the holster all together with a differant style. The 6360s seem to be very popular, but my instructors refer to these kinds of holsters as the "3 levels of death". They know much more about it than I do so I'm going with what they say and would like to stick to a level 1 or 2. That being said I'm eyeballing the 5.11 Thumb Drive, any input on this holster?

  • #2
    I dont like instructors like the one you have. Just because he likes it, doesn't make it perfect for everyone.

    I personally do not like the blackhawk holsters. I had a level two that i wore a few times and chunked. Just a personal preference.

    I carry on duty a 6365 holster and love it. I feel that this is the best holster for ME. I can draw level one fast with level 3 safety.

    Try different holsters for yourself and see which one is best for YOU.

    And now you know to take what your instructor says with a grain of salt. It sounds like he is one of THOSE guys.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 13MWZ View Post
      The 6360s seem to be very popular, but my instructors refer to these kinds of holsters as the "3 levels of death". They know much more about it than I do so I'm going with what they say and would like to stick to a level 1 or 2. That being said I'm eyeballing the 5.11 Thumb Drive, any input on this holster?
      I have always carried a level 3 holster. In my 11 year career, split between California and Washington, I've had to defend my firearm from a gun grab on three separate occasions. On two of those occasions, the bad guy had defeated two of the three safeties, and the only thing keeping the gun in my holster was my right hand clamped over his.

      I strongly believe that had I been carrying a holster with lesser security features, things would have gone.....poorly. I used to carry the Safariland 070, and have recently transitioned to the Safariland 6360 (as I now have a light on my pistol). I can draw faster from the 6360 than I EVER could from the 070. It is lightning fast, for me.

      The bottom line is training. Train with your holster. Get comfortable with the draw. Be able to do it under pressure, repeatedly, while moving. There is no best holster; only the holster that is best for YOU.

      Comment


      • #4
        In my patrol days I carried a Bianchi Grabber holster. Level 2 that had a pinch for the trigger guard. Made it damn near impossible to pull it out from the front like an assailant would, but very quick to draw. Was in many a fight and foot chase with it and never had any issues. Just my $.02.
        John Wilde
        Wilde Custom Gear
        [email protected]
        "We know that not everyone gets a second chance. We do it right the first time."
        A Law Enforcement owned and operated business
        www.wildecustomgear.com

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        • #5
          Go to a police supply store and hopefully they have a "tryout" section near all the various bits of duty gear. Ask the guy working if it would be ok if you brought your weapon (empty of course) to try out with the different holsters they have. If they are a reputable supplier, they should have no problem with it. IMO you can look at pretty pictures and reviews on the net all day but if I'm gonna be purchasing something that's supposed to contain something that can kill me, I want to get my hands on it first.
          "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

          "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

          Originally posted by JasperST
          I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!

          Comment


          • #6
            I carry a safariland ALS taclight holster that hangs low as well. I ended up going through a bunch of different ones at a store and found another holster that had a belt loop that matched the holes on the safariland, but was shorter. Then I just switched them out. (the belt loop part, not the holster)

            Also, I'd recommend ditching blackhawk. Never had any positive experiences with their gear.
            “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

            "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

            Comment


            • #7
              I noticed how the level III holsters ride lower than a level II. Maybe, It's my eye's deceiving me but, anyway I wear a safariland 6280 (So does my other 90% of my fellow recruits) and I have an added safety feature which locks the hood and I love it!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Nawkternal View Post
                I noticed how the level III holsters ride lower than a level II. Maybe, It's my eye's deceiving me but, anyway I wear a safariland 6280 (So does my other 90% of my fellow recruits) and I have an added safety feature which locks the hood and I love it!
                The plastic panel on the back of the Safariland holster that threads onto your belt is removeable. I swapped a "mid-ride" for a "low-ride" with a one and a half inch drop. All it took was an Allen wrench. It made drawing the gun easier, but the curvature of a bucket seat pushes the holster up when I sit down.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JTShooter View Post
                  I carry a safariland ALS taclight holster that hangs low as well. I ended up going through a bunch of different ones at a store and found another holster that had a belt loop that matched the holes on the safariland, but was shorter. Then I just switched them out. (the belt loop part, not the holster)

                  Also, I'd recommend ditching blackhawk. Never had any positive experiences with their gear.
                  I agree.

                  I used a Blackhawk Level 3 holster in the academy. It was over priced junk. Hard to get out of the holster, hard to re-holster, uncomfortable and awkward,

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another vote for the 6360 series. "3 levels of death"? According to that logic, you should have a zero-retention holster. Not all retention holsters are made the same. Safariland is the standard by which all other holsters are judged. Oh, and "training" is a key point when it comes to equipment.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I did use Blackhawk SERPA holster for my personal firearm, but ending up not liking it. Some of my colleagues love it, some tells me that their SERPA didn't hold up as well.

                      When I went through my firearms portion of the academy, I was the only one using level III 070 holster and everyone else was using level II Safariland. Some of my instructors pretty much laughed at me by saying "more officers got hurt with Level III holsters" and I pretty much ignored their comment and just went on (to their credit, I did have difficulties at the beginning drawing my gun out of the holster). It did take me a bit more of an effort to get it to work, but after practicing for few days, I got comfortable with it. I can get my gun out of my "3 Levels of death" holster and accurately shoot at a target at 1.2 seconds. BTW, I finished my firearms training with distinguished expert title.

                      Whether you are using a Level II or III, you just need to practice and practice and practice. There's no substitution for a practice.

                      I just retired my Safariland 070 and replaced it with Safariland 6365 level III holster and I love this holster very much.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I use a blackhawk level III w/light holster for duty. I had the same issue as you (rides to low) so i got the mid-ride adapter, works great, no issues sitting in car/chair/ect.

                        Not sure what your talking about as far as the "longer draw." Never seen a duty holster with a barrel cutout to facilitate a faster draw. I say goto a store and tryout the other options if you like. Check out the videos on safarilands website showing their differnt holsters and how fast they are. Same goes for blackhawk.

                        I chose the blackhawk because i was familiar with the serpa from using the CQC off duty version. I also use a CQC taser holster on duty. Everytime I draw its the same, on duty/off/taser ect.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As far as longer draw I just mean how the front top part of the holster (surrounding the rear sights when holstered) isnt present on the off duty CQC version, that's the holster I'm more familiar with. So drawing from the Duty Holster feels longer to me, I have to pull the weapon further up to clear the holster as apposed to the CQC version. That's all.

                          I was at GT the other day and played around with some of the Safariland holsters in their mock-up. I hated the one with the middle finger release. The one with the hood rotated by thumb then rock back one was just as goofy feeling. There was a (I think) 6360 that I think was the best out of what they had there. Still seems like it would take quite a bit of getting use to, just wasnt too fond of the price.....especialy after paying for my academy, uniforms, and all the other gear I've already had to get. That and all they had in stock was basket weave and a ugly 'nylon' pattern.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a serpa level III and love it. Never had a problem "clearing" the holster. I went though a one week Krav Maga instructor course with that holster and it held up fine to the abuse. The only issue I have had is re holstering. Sometimes it will stick going in, but I think that is a training issue on my end. Safariland makes great holsters, it is just not as fast of a draw for me as my blackhawk. Im switching guns and have mainly only considered the guns that are available for blackhawk level III, because it just works great for me. Luckily the gun Im really leaning to is a HK p30L which Blackhawk has a holster for. But I may have to go with out a weapon light. It is all a personal preference.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The safariland 6360 is probably the quickest unholstering level 3 I've used. I really like that I only need to use my thumb to deactivate the safeties.

                              We are issued the older 070 model, and while I was pretty quick getting my pistol out of the holster (after a lot a drills), I HATED the effort and time it would take to reholster and secure the firearm. The 6360 allows me to just "drop" my pistol in the holster and it's at level 2 without me doing anything more.

                              My issue with blackhawk is a lot of their stuff feels "cheap". I had one of their CQC holsters on my vest during one of my deployments. Something occurred one day that required me to drop to the ground in a quick manner. When I got up and ran to cover, I realized my pistol and part of the holster was still laying in the street where I dropped. From that point forward, I refuse to buy ANY blackhawk equipment.

                              As far as the "3 levels of death" comments. That's just damned ignorant. If an officer died because he failed to unholster his weapon in time, he was either caught off guard, or failed to train properly. The reason for the different levels of retention is just that. Retention. The second I hear any firearms instructor say that nonsense, I avoid them at all costs....
                              “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                              "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

                              Comment

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