What is a Serpa Holster?

A Comprehensive Guide

A holster is a carrying device used to hold a handgun in place, whether on your hip or under your arm. Handguns have been used as self-defense weapons by nearly everyone, from military personnel to civilians.The first step is to know what is a Serpa holster?

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These modern-day holsters are designed to keep the firearm stable and secure until you need it and pull it out quickly. They come in various styles and materials, which we will cover later in the article.

What is a Serpa Holster?

A Serpa holster is a type of gun holster designed by Blackhawk. which features an automatic locking system. A patented internal release button on the side of the holster instantly locks and releases the firearm inside. This design helps users maintain better weapon retention while at the same time not sacrificing speed since it only takes one hand to draw your gun. It’s perfect for police officers or other first responders who may need to act fast without having to fumble around with their belt buckle or other metal objects. A Serpa holster offers several benefits over other types of holsters, including: Quick draw ability (only requires one hand) prevents others from unholstering your firearm if you fall or are knocked down retention capabilities (usually requires two hands to remove the weapon).


There are many different types of Serpa holsters, including belt loops, paddle holsters, tactical thigh rigs, drop leg platforms, shoulder harnesses, ankle straps; however, some people find these holsters more uncomfortable than traditional ones. The Serpa holster has become very popular among law enforcement officers, military personnel, and civilians looking for a reliable way to carry their firearms around. Today many different brands offer Serpa holsters, including G-Code USA, CompTac, Level 3 Tactical, Blackhawk. Industries; however, you can find several types of high-quality Serpa holsters.

Types of Serpa Holsters

Serpa S.T.R.I.K.E Combo Kit

This is a combo kit designed for military, law enforcement, and security personnel who want the benefits of two holsters in one. It includes both a Blackhawk. SERPA concealment paddle holster and a tactical leg drop platform made from the same high-quality nylon as police duty belts.

The Serpa CQC Concealment Holster

This holster fits pistols equipped with laser sights, tac lights, or under-barrel shotgun attachments. It has special sight protection with retaining walls. You can find this holster at several retailers, including Blackhawk and Amazon.

The Serpa CQC Concealment Holster

Serpa L2 Duty Holster

This holster features a stainless-steel belt-mounted clip, patented Auto-Lock release, adjustable retention for different weapon sizes, and a removable hood guard. The locking mechanism is designed so you can access your firearm quickly when responding to an emergency call or engaging in other high-stress situations where you need to draw your gun fast.

Serpa L3 Duty Holster

This Serpa holster allows you to move from carrying a handgun on the left side of your body to the right without removing any components. This is ideal for police officers who often switch from driving with their seat belts, requiring them to draw their guns from the opposite side.

$81.79 $107.99 1 used from $49.58 27 new from $52.19
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BlackHawk Level 3 SERPA Auto Lock Duty Holster 44H1 Available...

Tactical Level 3 Serpa Holster

This is a level 3 SERPA holster designed for tactical use that features high-strength polymer material on the outside of the retention plate to help provide additional strength and security while drawing your weapon. The internal design uses an automatic locking system with extra security features like multi-directional laser grooves, retention detent adjustment screws, and multiple retention levels on the SERPA Auto Lock release. Hence, it provides more than enough strength during daily use or in emergencies.

Standard Features of Serpa Holsters

According to the different types of Serpa holsters on the market, there are several features that most Serpa holsters have in common. These standard features include:


(1) Quick-release multi-directional laser grooves for added protection detent adjustment screw to keep the weapon secured easily accessible with high-quality polymer material one hand.


(2) Lockdown mechanisms are designed to ensure that they can be accessed quickly in emergencies when you must draw your gun fast. This has become particularly important in police, military, and security work, where firearms are carried around daily.


(3) The outer material is a durable polymer that can withstand rough use and heavy-duty equipment like lights or lasers without breaking down over time.


(4) All Serpa holsters allow you to move from your left side to your right side quickly and easily. This is good for soldiers, security personnel, and anyone else who needs a quick way to move their holster from one position to another.


(5) The locking mechanism is designed to provide three different retention levels on the holster so that you can choose whether or not your weapon will be secure in certain situations. It also includes a special hood guard to make it easy to remove your pistol quickly if needed.

Tips to Remember When Using Serpa Holsters

When using a Serpa holster, always replace the hood on your gun after it is removed to ensure you can still protect yourself.


(1) Don’t use the belt when drawing your weapon from this holster. This will cause it to jam and prevent you from accessing your gun in an emergency.


(2) Always draw fast when using Serpa holsters because they provide quick-release capabilities that allow you to move quickly between different positions and scenarios or when responding to emergencies.


(3) Be careful when placing your hand anywhere near the trigger when drawing your weapon. This could cause you to accidentally fire, which is why it’s essential to be careful when using Serpa holsters or any other holster that has a locking mechanism that may interfere with safety.


(4) Remember to test the draw on this holster several times before putting it in an actual emergency.


(5) To be sure you are using the holster safely, remove it by pushing up on the hood release to avoid accidentally having your finger slip off the handle of your gun and onto the trigger.

Serpa Holsters Using Tips

Common Types of Holsters

There are three main types of holsters: outside-the-waistband (OWB), inside-the-waistband (IWB), and thigh. Depending on your preference, you may find one more comfortable than another for your particular needs.

Outside-The-Waistband (OWB) Holster

These types of holsters lay flat against your hip and attach directly onto your belt via loops or clips. They typically have an open-top design so that drawing and reholstering are more accessible than with other types of holsters. Some outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters extend below the beltline, which can snag on your draw.

Inside-The-Waistband (IWB) Holster

These types of holsters are designed with concealment in mind and typically attach to belts or waistbands. They have a protective “shroud” that covers the trigger guard and lower portion of the firearm. To keep them from sagging, they have clips or other mechanisms attached to your belt loops via metal clips. You can achieve partial concealment or total concealment depending on how high the holster is placed above your hip. 

Thigh Holster

Thigh holster style attaches to leg straps and places the gun higher up, so it’s easier to reach for those with average arm length but harder for those with shorter arms.


Not without some discomfort. They are better suited for use on the upper thigh or in a jacket pocket.

All Blackhawk products are designed and engineered in the USA and manufactured overseas.

They are excellent for right-handed shooters who have grown accustomed to drawing from their left.


There you have it everything to know about Blackhawk Serpa holster. You should now be able to determine whether this type of holster is right for you and how to use it safely. Always remember that these holsters can be dangerous if misused, so please practice with your firearm in the holster before relying on it during an actual emergency. Now you should have a general idea of what a Serpa holster is and how it works. The best thing to do is read the manual that came with your particular holster and practice using it before putting your firearm into actual use.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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