Blackhawk! SERPA USP Holster
Blackhawk! USP SERPA Holster review by Booligan
Discuss this review HERE
If you're going to carry a pistol, you're going to need a holster. There are countless options out there as far as holsters go, but one that has seen a lot of use by military and law enforcement personnel is the SERPA design. Blackhawk! makes several different SERPA holsters for most modern pistols, and due to the nature of airsoft pistols, most of them are compatible for our use. The model that I am reviewing today is the USP holster, which comes complete with a paddle and belt mount, giving you several options as far as carrying your sidearm.
I obtained this holster from Airsplat, who recently started carrying these holsters. They are currently carrying models designed for the USP, 1911, M9, and Glock handguns, all priced at $24.99 at the time of this review. You can find the USP holster being reviewed today HERE. The holster was shipped out the day after it was ordered, and I received it via UPS ground a few days later.
The holster comes packaged in a plastic pouch with a zippered bottom, which gives you a convenient place to store the various pieces when not in use. The packaging has contact information for Blackhawk, as well as some basic info on the company's core values.
From this point on, click all thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.
The idea behind the current SERPA design is basically a polymer holster with an automatic locking system to keep the pistol from falling out. The lock is released by a push button release lever located on the right side of the holster. This lever is designed so that you can activate it with your trigger finger as you draw the gun from the holster. This leads to a smooth and easy draw, with extremely solid retention to prevent the pistol from falling out of the holster.
Holster, right side
Holster, left side (paddle mount installed)
The holster is attached to your choice of mount by three screws, and can be adjusted to five different angles of cant. The basic kit includes the paddle and belt mounts, and MOLLE, drop leg, or other mount designs can be purchased online.
For my testing, I will predominantly be using the paddle mount, as it offers the best blend of comfort, interchangeability, and easy removal in my opinion. The paddle mount slips over your pants, with or without a belt, and locks in using the seams of your clothing. It is more secure with a belt as opposed to without one, but the option to use it without a belt is there. The belt mount has two adjustment points for using it with different sized belts, up to about 2.25".
Now, how does this thing hold the pistol in place? It uses a molded outer housing that is roughly in the same shape as the gun to keep it from moving around too much. Because it has an open muzzle end, it can be used with both the standard and compact USPs, as the grip and trigger guard are the same. The locking system is spring loaded, and as you push the pistol into the holster, it locks onto the trigger guard, keeping the gun from falling out. In order to remove it, just grab the grip, and use your trigger finger to push the button release the trigger guard catch. While pushing the button, pull the pistol up and out of the holster.
Shot inside of the holster
Trigger guard lock
So, how well does it hold a gun? Pretty damn well actually. I am using a TSD/HFC USP-Compact, and it fits inside the holster perfectly. There is about 5-6mm of front and back freeplay with the gun in the holster, but it stays locked in extremely well. The body of the holster covers the trigger to prevent accidental discharge, but you can still access the safety lever with the gun secured. Sliding it into the holster takes a tiny bit of force, but it goes in with a solid and comforting click. The body of the holster also covers most of the magazine release, to prevent it from accidentally being activated, which is a problem I've had with other holster designs.
Pistol in holster
Shown from behind
Yes, this holster is made almost entirely out of polymers, but it seems to be quite strong. It is flexible where it needs to be, but solid where it matters. Blackhawk! products come with a warranty as well, so if for some reason it breaks, you're covered. I honestly think that this thing wouldn't break if I tried, aside from melting it or hitting it with a sledgehammer.
Very affordable - $25
Quick and clean draw
Optional mounts available
Can't use with mounted accessories (lights, lasers, etc)
If the gun or holster is dirty, it could be difficult to use
Holsters are basically a necessity if you plan on using a pistol with any regularity, and the Blackhawk! SERPA models work pretty dang well, especially for the price. I haven't had any major hiccups with it in my use thus far, and I suspect it will stay that way!
Many thanks again to Airsplat, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!