Gear Review: Blackhawk Serpa Tac Level 3 Drop Leg Holster

We’ve reviewed plenty of IWB or CCW type holsters for my civilian and off duty readers, but up for review today I have something for my LEO, Mil, or private security folks. The SERPA Level 3 Tactical Holster is a solid drop leg platform for duty or deployment. This one tested it designed for a Glock 9mm, but they make them for virtually every type of duty size firearm. Pictured is the unit with a Glock 19 – as my Glock 17 MOS has a Vortex Venom optic on it, and one of the retention locks won’t clear that. However, that’s about the only caveat I have with this product.

It’s made solid, very adjustable, comfortable, and probably most important – your weapon is safe from falling out or being snatched away with 3 levels of retention.

The flexible thigh rig is fully adjustable with spandex infused straps that stretch but don’t cut off circulation when cinched, and the platform itself molds around your leg. The Y-harness suspension system attached to your battle or duty belt, with velcro tabs that are doubly secured by being folded over, but also have quick release buckles that you can take off by simply depressing.

This is great from a direct action medical point of view, as if you or one of your guys takes a hit in the leg, you can get this rig off quickly so you can apply a tourniquet and save their life.

Now to the retention – the pistol locks into place, and the only way to remove it is by activating two locks – one is a thumb break interior of the pistol, the other is an index lock on the outside of the pistol. I love this platform because the only way to unlock it is to unholster your weapon correctly – IE getting a good purchase high on the grip frame, and indexing your finger outside the trigger guard. When you go to unholster with this platform, you need to hit the thumb break, and also the index finger point to release your weapon. The thumb with unlatch a lock on the top, which slides home behind the slide; and the index finger releases a lock from the trigger guard, allowing you to present your weapon.

It may seem like a lot of locks – but if you are presenting correctly, and I hope my LEO and Mil guys reading this are – you don’t even notice after a couple reps. However, what you do notice is a well made holster with ample retention and security against dropping your sidearm, or worse, a perp taking it from you. As you can see in the picture with the thumb break – this holster will not work with a weapon with a RDS.

Given all those features, this unit still has more. You have accessory mounting points for pouches, knives, etc. The leg straps are rubberized to stop it from sliding around on your cammies, and the passive retention detent screw is 100% adjustable. Also, no awkward middle finger release to slow you down on the draw, or force you to learn one habit that isn’t conducive to every other platform.

If you index your pointer finger correctly outside the trigger guard all the time, this system will allow you to draw all the time.

Also, given the locking points, it urges you to use your basics – like getting a full purchase on the weapon before attempting a draw. It also has a hole for a bungee cord retention system, and even has an audible click when you re-holster so you know it’s locked in. Also, the platform itself is made of stout plastic and very sturdy.

Pros, what we like:

Solid retention on 3 points – 2 active, 1 passive – as well as the ability to adjust for varying body sizes. A flexible platform with rubberized straps that have some elasticity make it comfortable while keeping it in place. Also, the platform has the ability to add more gear to it, including pouches and a retention bungee.

Cons, what we don’t like:

Only thing I can ding it for it not being able to use a RDS on the weapon, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Solid drop leg platform all around.


Alex Castiglione lives in Atlanta, and is an avid outdoorsman and competitive shooter.

Where-abouts include getting after it in his garage gym, practicing martial arts, hitting the trails, or running CrossFit and Strongman competitions for his non-profit, Barbells for Bullies, which holds fundraiser fitness competitions dedicated to aiding Bully breed rescues, dog rescues, or other non-profits with similar missions.


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