Updated: Blackhawk CQC Serpa Review

Discussion in 'Holsters / Method of Carry' started by M249, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. M249

    M249 New Member

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    Update: After 14 months, the paddle broke while I was jogging from my truck to my house. My reservations about Blackhawk are confirmed in my mind, as I did not abuse this holster at all, yet the paddle broke and left my sidearm "flappin' in the wind." To be fair, Blackhawk replaced the paddle under warranty, but I wasn't impressed with the tone of the customer service representative.

    If you look at the picture of the paddle by itself, the paddle broke just below the point where "horseshoe" portion attaches to the top supporting bar.

    I do not believe that I would recommend this holster for folks doing "real work." If you're in the sandbox, or think you'll be wrestling bad guys to the ground, I'd recommend you investigate other brands as I don't consider the CQC paddle to be dependable. Pics will follow as soon as I find my stupid camera.

    Caveat Emptor.

    Original Post
    -------------------------
    Some background.

    In my quest for a quality OC holster for my USP, I looked at products from Bianchi, Blackhawk, Comp-Tac, and Safariland. My requirements were:

    1. Some form of active retention. I wanted an OC holster, and I'm not going to pretend that my SA is 100%. The retention system had to be instinctive. I didn't want do have to do any "tricks" to draw my weapon.
    3. It had to look good to me. 8) Leather was preferred, but not required.
    4. It needed to give me a warm fuzzy that my firearm was relatively secure from Billy Badguy.

    I chose the CQC with the Serpa retention system because it's damn easy to use, is a flexible platform, and the audible "click" when I holster my sidearm makes me get all tingly inside. I chose the carbon fiber version because it looks damn good, and some day I may want to get a matching Honda Civic with a carbon fiber hood and massive spoiler.

    Due to a very busy schedule, I bought it online from OpticsPlanet.com. I've purchased from them before, and they've always given me great service and prices.

    Fast forward three days, and I get my new toy. As a favor to our 56Kers, I've kept the images small. Click on the thumbnail for a larger picture.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    1. Simply a photo of the package it came in so you can recognize it in the store :)
    2. This is the the outside of the CQC showing the release and the snazzy carbon fiber. Just to the right of the release, you can see the tensioning screw. Adjust to your liking.
    3. This is the CQC belt attachment. You can loosen the screws to adjust the cant to your preferred configuration. The loops are a little large, which I assume are made to fit some of the thicker LEO and .mil duty belts.
    4. I tried to take a photo of the interior of the CQC to show you the Serpa locking mechanism. The Serpa is a little fuzzy, but you can make it out. The audible click let's you know your sidearm is secure and one of my favorite things about this holster.
    5. If you prefer a paddle, the CQC includes it. Just like the belt attachment, you can adjust the cant to make it more comfortable for you.
    6. Here's my USPc in the CQC. As you can see, it's a medium-high-ride holster. This can be a problem for those of us who balk at spending $70 for a gun belt. My el-cheapo belt works, but you'll want a quality gun belt if you're going to use the belt attachment instead of the paddle.
    7. Same photo, but with flash to highlight the carbon fiber inlay.

    The Serpa retention system is easily learned, and with a bit of practice, you should be able to draw nearly as quickly as a non-retention holster. While innovative and easy to use, the Serpa system but is not without some potential drawbacks. If you're a super trooper, or a HSLD .mil type, there is the potential for dirt, rocks, and other junk to get in and bind the release mechanism. I have no intention getting into a wrasslin' match with a potential bad guy, but it's something of which the potential buyer should be aware, and moreso for those who work in harsh environments or wrestle with bad guys in gravel parking lots.

    Another potential drawback is the very thing that makes the Serpa so easy to use. While drawing, the user puts his/her trigger finger on the release mechanism to draw the firearm. If the user continues to apply pressure while drawing, when the firearm clears the CQC, the user's trigger find could slip inside the trigger guard and actuate the trigger, thus permanently increasing the users' 40 yard dash times. Those with short booger hooks and "safe action" firearms are the users most likely to experience this. If you use a mechanical safety, have fingers longer than an Oompa Loompa, or you have a H&K USP SA/DA with a four million pound trigger, this is probably not going to be a problem for you. If you carry a Glock, M&P, or XD, it's something to take into consideration.

    Like all BlackHawk products, I don't recommend it for those who plan on taking extended trips to dry places courtesy of Uncle Sam.

    For us mere mortals, the CQC is a great choice for an OC holster with active retention... provided your fingers are longer than an Oompa Loompas or you use a mechanical safety.
     
  2. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Looks good. Thanks for the useful review.
     

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have one for my Glock and simply love it. I was also looking for leather but tried this and no looking back. If you wear an untucked shirt it conceals ok for the most part. Super quick draw and no one will easily take your firearm. The only thing I did was cut & sand the "hook" on the paddle - just makes it a little easier to remove. There are still hooks on the outer portion that latch under the belt to keep your holster in place when drawing or someone attempting to procure it. But a great holster.
     
  4. triggerman357

    triggerman357 Active Member

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    I have one for my G27 and I love it. It's not a heavy duty holster, but I works well for regular daily carry. An amorer at Ed's pawn showed me that if someone tried to remove your weapon, to apply downward pressure as they are pulling. The button can not be pressed to remove it and it won't come out. It takes some practice, but it might help if you get in a rassln' match.
     
  5. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    Could you explain this a little better... where are they pulling from... where is one pushing down... etc...
     
  6. Thorsen

    Thorsen New Member

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    I have one for my 45, but to be honest I really do not care for it.
     
  7. ArmyCW4

    ArmyCW4 Guest

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    Even though I am new to OCing, I am really satisfied with my Blackhawk for my Glock. I bought mine at Ed's too.
     
  8. Blackadder

    Blackadder Guest

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    +1

    No doubt a quality holster, but it just rode too low on the belt for me. Concealment was out of the question unless I wore a heavy coat.

    Glad it works for somebody else
     
  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Blackhawk CQC Serpa Review

    :puke:
     
  10. glockgirl

    glockgirl Guest

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    I like them too. My BF gave me his old one for a g17 and I use it for my g19 but it is a little long for it. I also think the paddle is kinda HUGE and if you have hips use the belt attachment not the paddle or you won't have ribs.
     
  11. RepeatDefender

    RepeatDefender New Member

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    I just bought one for my M&P. I give a review when I get it. I wanted to be able to OC with my M&P45, but still have positive retention.
     
  12. triggerman357

    triggerman357 Active Member

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    They would be pulling from behind you and you would pulling away. The release button can not be pressed if there is a tug of war going on.
     
  13. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    Re: Blackhawk CQC Serpa Review

    I myself have been looking for a retention holster for OC and purchased this same model holster (sans the carbon fiber trim) for my Glock 23 based on this review. I find the holster's polymer/carbon fiber construction to be light as a feather yet stiff as a board and over all quite unobtrusive to wear. Speaking specifically to the comment in bold, I did not experience similar results. My method of actuating the release during the draw stroke is to lay my trigger finger across the the release. The lever is depressed by the portion of my finger between the two joints. As the weapon clears the holster the finger then lies naturally along the top edge of the frame, ready to be brought into the trigger well.
     
  14. M249

    M249 New Member

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    Re: Blackhawk CQC Serpa Review

    Like you there is no chance of me actuating the trigger when drawing due to my style of draw and the position of my holster. That said, I can see how someone else could have the problem.

    It's like saying, "Yeah, I find my Corvette to be extremely comfortable." The 6'6" guy with the bad back might not agree ;)
     
  15. Brian618

    Brian618 New Member

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    I have one of these for my XD9 Service and it is a great OC holster. I really like the retention features.

    I have not ever had a problem with drawing the weapon and finding my finger inside of the Trigger Guard. Like Aeroshooter remarked, I always find my finger along the frame, indexing.
     
  16. Hawkdriver

    Hawkdriver Member

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    Had one for two tours now in Iraq. First tour as a helicopter guy, I was plenty dirty, plenty of the time. Nothing like a door kicker however.

    Second as a pansy fixed wing guy. Never dirty. Still worked despite the airconditioning. :D

    Never had a problem either time. I did prefer the paddle over belt attachment better.

    My first tour to Afghanistan I used a basic Uncle Mike's kydex with screw retention and it worked pretty good too. I just like the postitive lock of the Blackhawk. Those were the early days and I never saw anyone in any airframe clean.
     
  17. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    I like mine, but I like the Bianchi Carry-Lok better.

    The SERPA retention system is a little easier to use but I like where the Carry-Lok rides. Keep in mind this is with a full-size Sig 226
     
  18. RepeatDefender

    RepeatDefender New Member

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    I tried out my new Blackhawk for my M&P45 yesterday afternoon doing yardwork. I started out with the standard belt attachment, no so great. Swapped over to the paddle with a butt forward cant, awesome. Rides comfortably and draws very easily.

    I was only out weed-whacking for about an hour and this was my first experience OC'ing and with the Blackhawk holster. :roll:
     
  19. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    Thansk for the review. I'm thinking about going with a Kydex holster for my P226, and this is one of the ones that I'm looking at.
     
  20. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    :lol: