Although obviously not designed as a general outdoors use holster, the CQC Tactical Holster has some excellent design characteristics that make it suitable for hunting and/or camping/backpacking activities (where allowed by law). Not only is the holster available for most firearms popular for duty use (1911, Beretta M9, Glock) but the material it’s made from allow it to conform to the shape of your thigh (intead of vice-versa). The hangers are flexible and the “Y” design means less stress on your hip as you walk or climb. With the accessory rails, you can attach pouches for extra magazines, a folding knife, or flashlight. I expect that BlackHawk will expand those accessory options in the future.
Now before I go much further I should say that to the best of my knowledge BlackHawk CQC doesn’t make any carbon fiber holsters for revolvers. I know that a great many outdorrsman prefer revolvers for their big bore design (.44 Magnum and larger in some cases) and their simplicity of operation, but I’m a relatively new school kind of guy and semi-autos work just fine for me. In fact, I’d prefer a Glock 20 10mm hnadgun stoked with sixteen rounds over an S&W Model 686 with six rounds of .357 Magnum. While I’m not into debating “stopping power” between handgun rounds, I think both of those calibers perform well and I’d simply prefer 31 rounds of 10mm (15+1 and a backup magazine) to 12 or 18 rounds of .357Mag (6 and one or two speedloaders). It’s just me, but you have to understand my point of view to understand why I think this holster is such a good idea for outdoorsman.
A quick look at the BlackHawk CQC website shows us that the CQC Tactical SERPA holster is currently available for the following handguns:
- Glock 9mms (17, 19)
- Glock .40S&W (22, 23)
- Glock .357Sig (31, 32)
- Glock .45ACP (21)
- Glock .45GAP (37)
- Glock 10mm (20)
- Beretta 9mm (92 series)
- Beretta .40S&W (96 series)
- Colt 1911 style pistols
- Sig .45ACP (220)
- Sig 9mm (226, 228)
- Sig .40S&W (229)
That’s some list. It only gets better when you consider the fact that the holsters are available in left or right hand versions and are also available in your choice of black, olive drap, foliage green, or coyote tan.
Now, take a look at the comfort level and convenience potential of this holster system / platform. When you’re camping, backpacking, hunting, hiking, fishing, etc. it is often not too comfortable to have a gun riding in a high hip holster. The grips tend to dig into your side, the barrel pushes on your hip, waist support straps on backpacks or hydration systems overlap the gun, etc. Having a holster that rides down on your thigh, below the opening of your hip pocket, is much more comfortable. The placement of the holster is such that when you drop your hand, it falls naturally to the butt of your handgun. With your index finger stretched out, “indexed” where it would be on the frame if the gun were suspended in space, it’s naturally resting on the SERPA retention release.
The holster body is thick and strong and provides plenty of protection for the full length of the slide, sights, trigger and trigger guard. I guess if BlackHawk CQC really wanted to target the recreational market they could design a flap to cover the rest of the weapon, but I honetly believe that such a design feature would be counter-productive to the efficiency of the holster system.
The platform itself is hung from two nylon and elastic hangers, each of which clips at the top to an easily put on / taken off belt hanger. There are also two thigh straps that secure the platform to your leg, and they are easily adjusted. Each of them has a rubber strip lining that prevents a lot of motion when you’re moving around, but isn’t so sticky as to pull your pants around in uncomfortable ways. The platform itself is stiff vertically – providing a nice stable setting for the holster body – but a little softer horizontally so that it conforms to the shape of your thigh. The platform also includes mounting spots for accessory / magazine pouches. You can put them high or low, and I’ve seen magazines, knives, flashlights and multi-tools all held in these spots. As BlackHawk CQC continues to expand their line of accessory pouches, the versatility of this holster system will continue to grow as well.
Now, looking back at the list of weapons this holster system currently supports, I’d feel quite comfortable with several of them as my outdoor companion. As I stated, my preference would probably be for the Glock 20 in 10mm, but I’d certainly feel well equipped with a .45ACP, .357Sig or even a .40S&W weapon (can you tell I’m not a huge .40S&W fan?). I have no experience with the .45GAP cartridge, but if what I hear about it being similar ballistically to the .45ACP is true, then I’d be happy with it too.
When you consider the equipment carrying possibilities of the system, it becomes clear that this holster system would be quite convenient as part of your outdoor kit. You can put on the spare magazine, or a folding knife, or a multi-tool, and save the space in your pockets or pack for equipment you otherwise might have to leave behind. And since you can get it in any one of four colors, you can mix and match or develop specifically what you need for your goals.
I highly recommend this holster system for anyone legally capable of carrying a sidearm while engaging in any outdoor recreational activities!!!
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