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major problem with blackhawk level 3 holster


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  • major problem with blackhawk level 3 holster

    I bought the nw blackhawk level III holster for duty carry with my S&W MP .40 this morning. Seems like a great holster.....Except it doesn't fit!! I thought the box may have been labeled wrong. But it is even written into the back of the actual holster that it fits my gun specifically! The gun doesn't go down far enough into it to lock the serpa mechanism or close the pivot hood. Anybody else had that problem???
    Should have been a hose dragger

  • #2
    Thats funny because a guy i works with cant get a holster to fit right with his M&P .45. His gun always hangs out. The last one (070) wouldn't fit at all and he had to cut out the holster just to make it fit. It was a huge officer safety problem.

    It may be the gun. I dunno but they dont like to fit safariland either.


    • #3
      It fits in my safariland just fine
      Should have been a hose dragger


      • #4
        Have the light bearing one for my G22, fits great. Would def return it. If you bought it locally go to the shop. If it is a design flaw, look for another holster.


        • #5
          I came across this on the website for a tactical school. They do not allow any students to use the Blackhawk Serpa holster in their school.

          Why no Serpa holsters?
          An answer from our friend Paul Gomez: Begin Quote “Over the last year, I have developed some serious concerns with the Blackhawk Serpa Active Retention holster design. Various persons have brought these concerns to the attention of Blackhawk on several occasions and Blackhawk has chosen to ignore these very real issues.

          The ‘Serpa Active Retention’ design consists of a plastic L-shaped component which functions as the release button [from the outside of the holster] and as the lock [which engages inside the trigger guard]. The short leg of the L-shaped lever pivots inward [toward the pistol], while the locking tab pivots outward to release the pistol from the holster.

          According to the Blackhawk website, ”The release is made using your normal drawing motion, with the trigger finger beside the holster body. … As your trigger finger naturally comes to rest on the SERPA lock’s release mechanism, simply push the mechanism as you draw the weapon and it releases the gun for a smooth, fast draw.”

          While Blackhawk may intend for the end-user to apply inboard pressure with the flat of the index finger, under stress, shooters tend to push the button with the tip of their index finger. After all, this is the manner in which most people have the most repetitions pushing buttons such as keys on a keypad or phone or ringing doorbells. When the finger pushes in on the release button and the user initiates the upward motion of the draw stroke, the finger tends to stay in motion and as the trigger guard clears the holster, the finger enters the trigger guard and contacts the trigger, with possibly tragic results.

          I am aware of two instances where trained personnel have shot themselves using this holster in conjunction with Glock pistols. In August of 2004, a situation occurred with a live weapon that resulted in the shooter losing a 10cm piece of her femur. The other occurred with nonlethal training ammunitions in a force-on-force event in April of 2005. The impact of the NLTA was in the same area as the actual gunshot wound previously mentioned.

          Following each of these events, Blackhawk was contacted and advised of the problems observed and concerns raised. In the first instance, they claimed that they were unaware of any previous issues with the design and insisted that the design had been ‘thoroughly tested by law enforcement and military personnel’.

          After the second event, they were contacted by at least two people. Again, they stated that they were unaware of any concerns and had heard nothing similar from any sources.” End Quote


          • #6

            Why doesn't the gun do down far enough? Is it getting hung up on the outside of the holster? If not, I can think of two reasons this may be happening that have an easy fix.

            1) The tension screw may be too tight. Sometimes the holsters come from the factory with the tension screw pretty much in all of the way. This happened with mine and I first thought I needed a crowbar to get the pistol out. Easy fix, loosen the screw and see if the pistol goes in.

            2) Some holsters are designed for both firearms with and without a tac rail. These holsters come with a black piece of plastic loosely attached to the holster where the tac light would be. If this is the case with your holster, try removing that piece (I can't remember, but I think the manual has instructions for this) and see if the firearm goes in then.

            If none of these options work, there is a major problem with your holster and you either want to contact the store you got the holster from or Blackhawk directly to see if you can get the holster replaced.

            I hope this helps.


            • #7
              Thanks. I tried the tension screw and it didn't help. As far as the rail piece it never caused a prob for my lvl 2 bh. Who knows.
              Should have been a hose dragger


              • #8
                Could simply be a defective unit. When my agency recently was T&Eing new holsters, our first sample of the Blackhawk L3 wouldn't release the gun no matter what. It took two guys - one holding the holster and one holding the grip - to get the gun out. They sent us a new one and it worked fine.
                The above comments reflect the personal, off-the-record, unofficial opinions of the individual posting them only, and in no way, shape, or form should be taken to indicate any particular opinion, policy, or belief by the poster's or any other agency, governmental entity, organization, or corporation. Thank you and have a nice day.


                • #9
                  I've been carrying the Serpa CQC (Level 2) for a couple of years.

                  I guess that under heavy stress (like some scrote shooting at you) a person may inadvertantly let his finger slide into the trigger guard on drawing.

                  (Heck, under that type of stress, all bets are off.)

                  I have participated in stress inducing training with my Serpa, and been to the range numerous times, and never had a problem with it. It's fast, secure (as much as a level 2 can be) and comfortable. (I carry a Para-Ord .45 in it, BTW.)

                  In fact, several other deputies after seeing mine, went out and got their own, some level 2 and some level 3. Haven't heard any complaints from any of them.

                  Just my .02.

                  "Yes sir, I know you have rights."
                  "In fact, I know your rights better than you do!"


                  • #10
                    I had the same problem with my M&P 9 and this holster. I kept drawing and holstering it and it starting working fine. I did have to loosen up the retention scew.

                    Send it back and demand a new one!!


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