Any number of companies make inexpensive black “plastic” holsters that work just fine. Retention of the gun is by tension on the trigger guard, or sometimes an old fashioned thumb break. Blackhawk has raised the bar for such holsters by creating a high quality, easy to use, Level 2 retention holster for concealed carry utilizing their patented Serpa Auto Lock Technology.
If you could have Level 2 retention in a concealment holster that is fast and natural to unlock, why wouldn’t you want it?
The Serpa CQC concealment holster securely locks your carry gun into the holster automatically, every time you holster. You get an audible “click” as the gun seats, with no further action required. The lock engages on the trigger guard, and is very secure. When you are ready to draw, the lock is disengaged with your trigger finger on the outboard side of the holster body. The beauty of the design is that disengagement is nearly automatic if you place your extended trigger finger along the side of the holster the way most of us have already been trained to do.
I have now practiced hundreds of draws from this holster, many during actual live fire drills. For the first thirty draws or so, I would have an occasional hang-up because I didn’t get my finger in the right place before starting to lift the gun. Once I got accustomed to the draw stroke, the motion became automatic and I didn’t have to consciously think about disengaging the lock. On the other hand, the lock is very difficult to disengage by anyone attempting a gun grab.
The question you may be asking is: Do I need a Level 2 retention holster for concealed carry? Maybe not. Many popular concealed carry holsters have nothing more than passive retention devices. The idea is that a private citizen with a concealed firearm is unlikely to get into a struggle for possession of the weapon. While that may statistically be true, I would also suggest that the consequences of having your gun taken are very severe. If you could have Level 2 retention in a concealment holster that is fast and natural to unlock, why wouldn’t you want it?
Even beyond the innovative Serpa lock, the CQC is an excellent holster that utilizes the highest quality materials. While most black “plastic” holsters are made from 1960s polymer technology like Kydex, Blackhawk uses a proprietary blend of high density polymer and carbon fiber for an optimum strength-to-weight ratio. All other parts of the holster are made from brass or stainless steel, so durability and longevity should not be a problem.
The holster shape is well designed, permitting a full firing grip while holstered. I also like the low front “speed cut,” which makes for a quick draw, but also aids in reholstering. The gun can be reholstered by dragging it back through the speed cut until it stops, then pushing the gun straight down. This makes holstering much easier than hunting for the top of a level opening, and aids holstering without having to look at the holster. As a bonus, Blackhawk includes both a belt loop attachment and a paddle attachment with each holster for maximum versatility.
The Serpa is also an official-issue item to many units and government agencies in the U.S. and overseas.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of Serpa holsters in service with law enforcement and elite military personnel all over the globe. The Serpa is also an official-issue item to many units and government agencies in the U.S. and overseas. They have earned an outstanding reputation and are backed by a one-year warranty, though I have heard that Blackhawk will often go beyond the terms of their stated warranty to stand behind these holsters—and their customers who use them.
The Serpa CQC concealment holster is available for most popular compact and full-size semi-autos, and a few revolvers. The matte black CQC is available for under $50 (as of June ‘09). There is also a carbon-fiber appliqué finish option that is about ten dollars more. If you are really on a budget, the Serpa technology is also available in a budget holster called the Serpa CQC Sportster, without the carbon-fiber blend material and without the belt loop attachment, for around $33 (as of June ‘09). In my opinion, spend the extra few dollars and get the top of the line model.
You can view and order the whole family of Serpa holsters at www.blackhawk.com.