Blackhawk Serpa Lvl 2 Holster USPc .40 Review
I just recently purchased a Blackhawk Serpa level 2 carbon fiber paddle / belt holster for my new USPc .40 and I wanted to share my experience with you.
First impressions of this holster were good. It has a lot of features that I was looking for in a holster. The package looked like a quality product and online reviews of it semmed generally pretty decent.
The pieces lined up outside from left to right.
Paddle, Holster insert, and Holster with Belt anchor attached.
The insert is just to keep the holster from getting malformed during shipping. The holster itself is made from a blend of carbon fiber and nylon which is very rugged and durable.
First off, the paddle is fairly large but hides nicely for the most part. The back (large) portion of the paddle goes down into your pants and is curved to match your hip. For me, the curve wasn't really enough and made my pants a bit tighter but I'm a 6'0'' small frame man about 165 lbs. The paddle comes out from inside your pants, over your belt and hooks the belt from underneath. These hooks are adjustable for varying thicknesses of belts. Also, on the inside of the paddle there is a tooth that sticks out and into a matching groove on the outside of the holster mount. This is designed to grab a good amount of your pants and make the holster just that much more secure.
I must say, there is absolutely NO WAY anyone will take your holster away from you with this system.
Both the belt attachment and the paddle share the same mounting system. It is a three screw, multi position bracket. You can align the pistol straight up, or at a 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock position depending on what's most comfortable for you. Another nice feature you'll see in this picture is the adjustable belt sliders. These slide and lock via a philips screw on the oposite side depending on the thickness of your belt, or if you just want a really tight fit to your belt to keep it from sliding all around.
Another thing I loved about this holster was that I wanted an active retention system in order to remove the gun from the holster. I didn't just want it to be a "squeeze" on the gun that kept it in place. This holster has both.
Another reason this holster is great is because it helps to reinforce safe drawing practices. The trigger is completely covered on all sides by the holster and the only way to remove the pistol is to have the trigger finger depress a button that aligns with the side of the pistol. This forces the shooter to have a proper safe grip on the handgun while drawing. The weapon will never fall out of the holster from sitting on a bench or in a car, or even during a brisk job or vigorous run! Also, in this picture you will see a small screw to the right of the release button. This screw increases / decreases the tension pressure required to pull the firearm from the holster after depressing the release button.
Here you will see the grip and the extended trigger finger on the side of the weapon while holstered. Depress the button and pull while sliding your finger along the side of the holster to meet the frame of the gun above the trigger.
Here is the proper drawing method displayed simply by following the release technique of the holster.
I hope I've covered everything. Be lenient, this is my first review of this kind on this forum. Any questions? Feel free to comment!
I know this sound stupid, taking your gun in and out of the holster are you getting a lot of marks on your gun" dull scratches". I have a fobus and it fits and holds the gun very securely but i dont like all the marks its making. my gun is not for show but i think you follow me on what im asking.
Yes, it's called "holster wear" and it's fairly normal no matter how strong the finish is on your handgun. After drawing my gun from this particular holster no more than about 20 times it showed some signs of holster wear. Just think that if your firearm deals with the 33,000 PSI (.40 S&W) chamber pressure than I'm sure it'll be fine with a few scratches here or there. That makes me feel better.
Excellent review, and thanks.
I am using a Serpa here for my M9. The only "issue" I have with it is with draw sequence. If you pull up on the gun, then attempt to press the finger release, the gun remains locked in the holster no matter how hard you pull on it.
I realize this is a training issue, since you should press the button then pull on the gun. But I can also see how one could get the draw steps out of sequence when under stress.
Are the newer Serpas any different in this regard?
Last edited by Mike Barham; 02-27-2008 at 09:54 PM.
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That's a good observation. I just tried to remove the gun from the holster before depressing the button and viola, the gun didn't budge. I guess this can be a good or bad thing. The other thing I noticed is that the gun really won't come out of that holster no matter how hard you pull.
Nice spot though! I hope I don't mix up the order should I ever need to draw the weapon in a pinch... Although I live in New Jersey, unless someone tries to attack me or my family at the range, I'm pretty much screwed anyway.
VERY nice review, love all the pictures. Thanks a lot!
I guess I could see why they would do that, but I could definitely see that being an issue in a stressful, life-threatening situation.
Originally Posted by Mike Barham
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