Ah, the SERPA holster.
Is there any piece of equipment that rustles more jimmies?
Here’s a fun video, from Craig “Southnarc” Douglas and the late Paul Gomez. (h/t Seth Anderson Bailey)
In case the video disappears, here’s a rundown.
- Southnarc is running evolutions (I believe ECQC class).
- They are in Arizona, so lots of dirt, sand.
- Student is running a SERPA.
- Student is unable to activate the release mechanism and cannot draw his gun.
- Paul Gomez is holding onto the SERPA while the student pulls – despite 2 strong men pulling, the gun does not come out of the holster.
- Paul then tries again, using both hands to try to depress the button and hold the holster, another person comes in to play tug-o-war to try to draw the gun.
- The result of the tug-o-war is the SERPA breaks off at the belt screws.
- As the video ends, the gun is still in the holster.
And all this, because a little bit of dirt got into the release mechanism.
Of course, there’s going to be the countless defenders of the SERPA. Just a couple days ago, Active Self Protection posted about (against) the SERPA. And the comments were typical:
“Never had a problem”
“the holster instills good habits from the start”
“videos like this are an example of operator error”
“don’t be stupid”
“it’s not the holster’s fault you can’t control your finger”
and the list goes on.
Here’s the thing.
What Southnarc and Gomez encountered? The only “user error” here is choosing to use the SERPA in the first place. Having the release mechanism totally seize up and become inoperable, the fact the holster can so easily detach from the belt and you completely lose control of your gun – these are design problems.
And there are countless individuals, either well-trained or not, that have experienced undesired discharges through the use of this holster.
Here’s the rub.
There are thousands of holsters on the market. Never have there been so many choices available to you. Yes, there are a wide range from the crappy (e.g. Alien Gear, Uncle Mike’s) to the excellent (e.g. Keepers Concealment, JM Custom Kydex, Raven Concealment, Dale Fricke, PHLSter). And because of that, because there are so many good holsters available and they just do not have the problems SERPA does – why use a SERPA?
Ever buy a shitty product that generally worked OK but when you needed it the most, when you were really counting on it, it failed you? Holsters are life-safety equipment. Don’t bet your life on inferior products, when there are countless better products available to you.