There are three issues with the SERPA :  1) bad design contributing to NDs; 2) Durability; and 3) Snow, dirt or debris locking up the mechanism.

Dr. Glen Meyer, a Professor who is also a shooter gives a good explanation  why the SERPA is a poor design from a Human factors standpoint:

 

"Given the human factors of finger usage that the problem is that people don't do the smooth flat release and tend to hook the finger to press the lever. This is a natural occurrence given the way we use fingers to press buttons and also continues the natural motion to get the finger to the trigger. Gun design is such that the finger seeks the trigger. This is called an affordance (see Donald Norman - Design of Everyday Things) and leads to errors. They are terribly hard to train out of. Sliding the finger in a controlled environment as a TV shoot might make it easy. Under stress, you press with the finger tip and that tip heads right for the trigger. It is hard enough to keep fingers off the trigger with regular holsters or other retention systems. Putting the finger into a tension filled motion seems pragmatic. Even with lots of reps, we know that folks can circumvent muscle memory. Muscle memory must be correctly recalled (not consciously though) to be used. It's retrieval can be over ridden in stress.

Thus, to repeat myself, the discussion of 4 rules is really irrelevant to the problem. Pilots learn that they should not stall but they do and crash when the stress, systems and evaluation get out of sync.

PS - in the video, you can see the flat finger start to curl in as I said was the tendency. In fact, I might argue that using the finger to apply pressure might enhance this motion as compared to a regular draw where you don't get your finger in motion until you are on target."

just to add one more stick to the fire. It wasn't an ND but it was as close as possible. I recently attended a carbine class. I just happened to be standing in a perfect angle to see a student(reserve officer) transition during a VTAC 9-hole drill.  I could *clearly* see his finger curled and mashing around several times for the release button. Once it released his finger remained curled and went directly into the trigger guard. I hunched my shoulders and started thinking about the safety briefing details ... luckily no drama.  He did it again later while prone. I was way wide not wanting to get shot but I could see his finger perform the same curled-stabbing motion trying to hit the button.

I approached him very respectfully and stated, "there is a lot of information regarding Serpa's that you should research since you use one."  He just shrugged and said, "I know about all that."

He will shoot himself or someone else. How he didn't this time is beyond me.

Edit to add: yes his rifle was a jam-o-matic. It must have jammed every 2-3 mags.

 

viking_overlord posted:

just to add one more stick to the fire. It wasn't an ND but it was as close as possible. I recently attended a carbine class. I just happened to be standing in a perfect angle to see a student(reserve officer) transition during a VTAC 9-hole drill.  I could *clearly* see his finger curled and mashing around several times for the release button. Once it released his finger remained curled and went directly into the trigger guard. I hunched my shoulders and started thinking about the safety briefing details ... luckily no drama.  He did it again later while prone. I was way wide not wanting to get shot but I could see his finger perform the same curled-stabbing motion trying to hit the button.

I approached him very respectfully and stated, "there is a lot of information regarding Serpa's that you should research since you use one."  He just shrugged and said, "I know about all that."

He will shoot himself or someone else. How he didn't this time is beyond me.

Edit to add: yes his rifle was a jam-o-matic. It must have jammed every 2-3 mags.

 

Seriously, how the FUCK are people not getting the message on the serpa's at this point?   What you should have done was ask him if he knew how easy it was to rip a serpa off the mounting bracket and immediately demonstrated it and supplemented that with a swift kick to the nuts.  

Out of curiosity, who was teaching this course and why did they allow its use?

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

^^^ Because some people just honestly don't care.  I had a younger dude who did the minimum time in patrol and grabbed a cushy liason gig.  I saw him in uniform carrying only his pistol (no spare mag, cuffs, etc) in a Serpa.  I pulled him aside and schooled him.  When I got to the part about the release button jamming during ground fighting, his response was (literally) a gasp and "I pray to God I never have to experience that."  I stared at him for a second before I informed him to never respond on any of my calls.

This individual seemed to already know the message and doesn't think it applies to him.

"Out of curiosity, who was teaching this course and why did they allow its use?"

I don't feel comfortable naming names. I don't know why they are allowed. I got the sense the instructor (SWAT) knew the reserve officer.

I think the simple answer is the instructors Parent Training Company (well known) should pass an edict to ban these dangerous holsters. Then the instructor is not faced with dressing down a "buddy" or "superior" and can just state its "policy".

 

 

 

FWIW I don't believe the quoted phrase is using the term affordance right. The button affords being pushed, but the action of pushing in a particular manner is the method of activation. There's no good word for that; I'd use one if it existed as that's what my (well known in the field) research is on. 

(Also, Norman now uses the term signifier (and I was 15 feet away when he first announced his new word), but I know no one who agrees with him, not least because he didn't invent the term but now claims that he did so... there's that.) 

But the principle is right. People grasp with pads, but push with tips (more or less). If the designer of the Serpa didn't see this coming (using the trigger finger with force /towards/ the trigger?), prototype 1 should have revealed the issue and it should have been scrapped immediately. I'll refrain for a change from bitching about how stupid people are about equipment choices. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Go onto ANY cop forum. Say SERPA and you will get the "I've used it for years and never had an issu" and others take it as Gospel.

 

At the range: I would have told the Officer, Reserve or not, to unfuck himself. Shooting me because you're a dooshbag is Unsat.

Getting ANY backsass when you bring up safety needs an ass kicking.

Fuck SERPA.

Guys, Guys, Guys, you got it all wrong. This is a GREAT holster and you're all a bunch of untrained pansies. The internet told me so! Get some training with someone who knows what the fuck they are talking about, after all, your trigger finger is your best safety. Yeah, they said that.   

Seriously, on the book of stupid, Chuck Haggard and myself have been "taken to task" by some self proclaimed 'spurt for pointing out (for the googilionth time) the flaws in his holy grail of holsters. You cannot fix stupid. Fortunately, I am the HMFIC at my job and I banned these pieces of shit.   

Location: North Carolina

As far as people who never listen, and are cheap, be aware that we cannot just ban the Serpa: there are knockoffs of the principle as well. I have actually seen people with these, and cannot get them to stop using them. 

Love how the illustration for one of the Zahals even shows you trying to shoot yourself. Requires tip-of-finger use:

Luckily, they don't draw pistols around me, nor do I rely on them for my safety. But  

 

 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

As far as people who never listen, and are cheap, be aware that we cannot just ban the Serpa: there are knockoffs of the principle as well. I have actually seen people with these, and cannot get them to stop using them. 

Love how the illustration for one of the Zahals even shows you trying to shoot yourself. Requires tip-of-finger use:

Luckily, they don't draw pistols around me, nor do I rely on them for my safety. But  

 

 

I banned them too 

 

Location: North Carolina

CAMedic posted:

Go onto ANY cop forum. Say SERPA and you will get the "I've used it for years and never had an issu" and others take it as Gospel.

Fuck SERPA.

There are still a bunch of guys at my dept. who use them.

Luckily, I was able to get my good friend to stop using it. One look at the video where it locked up tight...FROM SNOW...was enough for him.

The others just ignore the facts. 

____________________"Requiring the police to do and be everything for everyone at any time doesn’t make sense. If you expect cops to be able to stop bleeding; start hearts; change tires; calm the irrational; comfort the heartbroken; control schizophrenics when doctors can’t; straighten out unruly students when five teachers can’t; make life-and-death decisions in split seconds; learn city, state and federal case laws and be able to understand, remember and execute the intricacies of over 2,000 general orders in the blink of an eye while engaged in bizarrely chaotic and dangerous situations in the middle of the night …We may, as a society, be nuts." - Jim Glennon

Bones357 posted:
CAMedic posted:

Go onto ANY cop forum. Say SERPA and you will get the "I've used it for years and never had an issu" and others take it as Gospel.

Fuck SERPA.

There are still a bunch of guys at my dept. who use them.

Luckily, I was able to get my good friend to stop using it. One look at the video where it locked up tight...FROM SNOW...was enough for him.

The others just ignore the facts. 

That's exactly what happened to me. I was in a foot pursuit and fell in the snow. SWAT rolled like a boss and got up running. Caught up to the BG and found my SERPA locked up with snow packed behind the release. I started beating on it and finally got it freed up.

Luckily I wasn't alone as my asshole pucker factor was pegged at "11".

-----------------------------------

What is left when honor is lost?

TheTick posted:
Bones357 posted:
CAMedic posted:

Go onto ANY cop forum. Say SERPA and you will get the "I've used it for years and never had an issu" and others take it as Gospel.

Fuck SERPA.

There are still a bunch of guys at my dept. who use them.

Luckily, I was able to get my good friend to stop using it. One look at the video where it locked up tight...FROM SNOW...was enough for him.

The others just ignore the facts. 

That's exactly what happened to me. I was in a foot pursuit and fell in the snow. SWAT rolled like a boss and got up running. Caught up to the BG and found my SERPA locked up with snow packed behind the release. I started beating on it and finally got it freed up.

Luckily I wasn't alone as my asshole pucker factor was pegged at "11".

Totally unsat, Brother. 

____________________"Requiring the police to do and be everything for everyone at any time doesn’t make sense. If you expect cops to be able to stop bleeding; start hearts; change tires; calm the irrational; comfort the heartbroken; control schizophrenics when doctors can’t; straighten out unruly students when five teachers can’t; make life-and-death decisions in split seconds; learn city, state and federal case laws and be able to understand, remember and execute the intricacies of over 2,000 general orders in the blink of an eye while engaged in bizarrely chaotic and dangerous situations in the middle of the night …We may, as a society, be nuts." - Jim Glennon

shoobe01 posted:

FWIW I don't believe the quoted phrase is using the term affordance right. The button affords being pushed, but the action of pushing in a particular manner is the method of activation. There's no good word for that; I'd use one if it existed as that's what my (well known in the field) research is on. 

(Also, Norman now uses the term signifier (and I was 15 feet away when he first announced his new word), but I know no one who agrees with him, not least because he didn't invent the term but now claims that he did so... there's that.) 

But the principle is right. People grasp with pads, but push with tips (more or less). If the designer of the Serpa didn't see this coming (using the trigger finger with force /towards/ the trigger?), prototype 1 should have revealed the issue and it should have been scrapped immediately. I'll refrain for a change from bitching about how stupid people are about equipment choices. 

I am no Phd. but my understanding Dr. Meyer was using affordance in reference to the pistol being designed for the finger to be placed on the trigger, facilitating firing, not in reference to the SERPA button.

I've been told  the engineer who designed the SERPA mechanism for BLACKHAWK was not a shooter and had never even fired a handgun. I'd love to know if anyone could confirm ?

 

HCM posted:

I am no Phd. but my understanding Dr. Meyer was using affordance in reference to the pistol being designed for the finger to be placed on the trigger, facilitating firing, not in reference to the SERPA button.

I see that. Makes sense now. I could quibble, but close enough. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

My DA Police agency just purchased about 60 of these POSs. As the lead Firearms Instructor, I tried for a year to provide all of the information out there to the Powers That Be to not purchase these under contract.

They decided to utilize a "SME" to order badly needed new duty gear. He has a personal SERPA and cannot wake up to the facts about his shitty personal choice because it doesn't coincide with what he wants to hear. We now have a 60 each SERPAs and brand new Uncle Mikes Duty Belts and Radio holders. Everyone gets to be just as retarded as him and upper management. Can't wait to transfer out of here...

Soup

Update,

Said SME just complained that his feelings were hurt because I told folks who were receiving said equipment they need to be observant of the reported deficiencies. This political correctness and sissy bullshit is going to get people hurt or worse.

What is worse than hurt? Butthurt...

Soup

Spc. Campbell posted:

Update part 2

One of the night shit dudes put his new serpa holster on his belt prior to shift. Upon working his gun in and out several times to get a feel for the retention devices, the retention screw and release paddle fell apart. It was his 4th draw stroke. 4.

Nahhh, he was doing it wrong. Have him report to you tube for remedial training. 

Location: North Carolina

One of my favorite things is to blacklist items because "our experience is that the MTBF in real world use is less than 10 minutes."  

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Spc. Campbell posted:

Update part 2

One of the night shit dudes put his new serpa holster on his belt prior to shift. Upon working his gun in and out several times to get a feel for the retention devices, the retention screw and release paddle fell apart. It was his 4th draw stroke. 4.

Classic. 

____________________"Requiring the police to do and be everything for everyone at any time doesn’t make sense. If you expect cops to be able to stop bleeding; start hearts; change tires; calm the irrational; comfort the heartbroken; control schizophrenics when doctors can’t; straighten out unruly students when five teachers can’t; make life-and-death decisions in split seconds; learn city, state and federal case laws and be able to understand, remember and execute the intricacies of over 2,000 general orders in the blink of an eye while engaged in bizarrely chaotic and dangerous situations in the middle of the night …We may, as a society, be nuts." - Jim Glennon

Update,

This morning, prepping shift, a guys holster fell apart while he was sitting in a chair. We heard something lightweight drop on the floor, and he looked down at his holster and the release paddle disintegrated and a fell out of the holster onto the floor. So far 4 are down in 2 weeks. He was literally just sitting in a chair giving us our pass down before roll call. Never seen that with a Safariland...

Soup

My brother bought a pistol at a gun shop and they gave him a free serpa holster. when he showed me his "good" deal I put a snap cap in and showed him how easy it was for his finger to hit the trigger. He gave it to a friend who plays airsoft. how is this holster still allowed for sale. Too dangerous

I stand for the flag and kneel for the cross.

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