Home >> Handguns >> Blackhawk Serpa CQC Carbon Fiber Carry Holster [Review]

Blackhawk Serpa CQC Carbon Fiber Carry Holster [Review]

I’ve had my Kimber Custom II Target .45 ACP for awhile now, but hadn’t gotten around to getting a decent holster for it. I am not planning on using it as my carry piece, but might actually take it to the range for IDPA matches.

Blackhawk Serpa Holster for 1911Paddles are not to my liking, so it was going to have to be a belt holster. I also wanted a Serpa retention system so that the firearm only came out of that holster if I wanted it to.

One of my favorite outlets had one at a decent price, so I decided to give it a shot.

The Blackhawk CQC Serpa Belt Holster with a black matte finish to hold my 1911 framed Kimber (image left – all images in this article can be clicked to see larger versions) was purchased.

The holster cost me $30.19 at CheaperThanDirt.com and was delivered in manufacturers packaging in excellent time. The holster also comes with a paddle attachment if you favor that carry position.

Blackhawk Serpa Holster for 1911Unboxed, and without making any adjustments, I slid my unloaded Kimber into the holster. A palpable and audible click were present to let me know the firearm was safely in the holster.  The holster looks good and has a sturdy look to it. The Blackhawk is just long enough to cover the trigger of the pistol so it should carry comfortably should I decide to carry the 5″ 1911 around.

Weapon Retention

Close to a cushioned surface, I turned the holster up-side-down and tried to furiously shake the unloaded weapon out of the holster. No dice. I then tried to wrestle it out of the holster without pressing the finger release and the gun simply wasn’t coming out. Holster safety – 5 of 5 stars.

Putting the holster on a my carry belt was done in typical fashion. Insert the belt through a dual loop system on the back of the holster. The holster holds the belt securely and does not slide, slip or otherwise come out of position. There are adjustments that allow the holster to adapt to belts of different widths.

Draw Tests

Next was the empty gun draw test. I again tried to get the gun out of the holster without depressing the release and could not do it. I next started from an arms down, rest position and went to quickly draw the firearm. The release is exactly where my finger wanted it to be, was an easy press and when the gun came out of the holster, my trigger finger was safely placed off the trigger in a normal safe position.

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There is also a guide bar just above the release that helps guide your trigger finger into the correct position. The release also has a “speed well” or an indentation just aft of the release button that makes it much more natural to press the release during a normal draw. You can see it in the first image at the top of the article.

I holstered and un-holstered the weapon several times. I felt nothing that would lead me to believe that this holster would in any way slow me down. Draw test – aced the test

Blackhawk Holster reviewBlackhawk Holster reviewBlackhawk Holster review


Blackhawk Serpa Holster for 1911The holster has two major adjustments: One for cant or angle and the other for retention tension.

On the back of the belt attachment (see picture left), three screws can be removed to adjust the angle of the holster to the belt. The picture shows the holster as it comes from the manufacturer (neutral). I have since adjusted mine so that the holster is canted slightly forward for easier draw.

Blackhawk Serpa Holster for 1911The second adjustment is the tension with which the gun is held in the holster. This is set by tightening or loosening the screw located next to the finger release lever (image right). Although this holster has a release, the secondary retention adjustment also insures that the gun doesn’t slap around in the holster possibly marring the finish. I have it set just tight enough so that with the holster held up-side-down the gun won’t fall out on it’s own, but does require too much effort to pull out.

There is also a third minor adjustment for belt width that allows the holster to hold tightly to belts of varying widths.

Overall Impression

My initial impression is that this is a quality Serpa holster that holds the weapon safely until the operator desires it to be released. It did not take me more than about 5 or 6 practice draws (empty weapon of course) to be able to reliably place my finger on the release during my normal drawing motion. Another 20-30 and it became second nature. On top of the feel and operation, the holster was reasonably priced.

I didn’t test the paddle attachment that came with it, but in its simplicity, I believe the paddle would have worked if I liked such things. It is nice that Blackhawk chose to include both attachments should I have a change of heart later on.

Blackhawk Serpa Holster for 1911

About Rich

Rich Mitchell is the President and CEO of Anomalous Media and Editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News. Rich is also a competitor in Skeet, sporting clays, 3-gun, Steel Challenge and USPSA.


  1. Hi,

    What model is the holster? Trying to get the same one, but no luck.



  2. I recently acquired one of these holsters for carrying a Glock 21 while engaging in armed security work; however, after reading all the reviews and comments online I wondered if maybe I had jumped on this holster too quickly. This is just one man’s opinion, but after exhaustive research and personal testing I can categorically say that the Blackhawk Serpa is a fine dependable piece of equipment, at least for me. Yes, I’m aware of the detractors who have posted numerous comments re the possibility of an AD because of the position of the release lever, and I’m also sensitive to comments regarding the possibility of dirt/debris fouling the release mechanism, but I’m still going thumbs up with this holster because I think it works beautifully for what it was designed for: comfort in carrying, secure retention, and easy and safe drawing IF basic precautions are followed, to wit, (1) operate the release lever with a straight finger, (2) keep the finger straight on the draw (above the trigger), and (3) don’t place your finger on the trigger until the gun is clear of the holster an on target. Sounds simple, but I’m also aware that for some the Adrenaline factor can be an issue, in which case there are other options available if this is a concern/issue.

    For the record I do know handguns and shooting under stress very well, and I was also a firearms instructor for a large metro PD for a number of years. This holster may not be for everyone (as is indicated by some of the negative reviews posted online), but if the operator knows what he/she is doing, and the operator takes the time to become familiar with the basic functions of the holster, it’s one of the best deals in town. Just my opinion.

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