Army Adopts G-Code, SERPA Models as New Holsters

gcode1The U.S. Army recently awarded contracts worth more than $73 million to equip soldiers with the G-Code XST and Blackhawk SERPA holsters for its Improved Modular Tactial Holster program.

On Dec. 18, the Army awarded a $49 million contract to Military Hardware, LLC for G-Code holsters and $24.3 million contract to ADS Inc. for Serpa holsters.

The SERPA line has seen mixed reviews over the years. The Marine Corps held a similar effort two years ago and adopted the Blackhawk SERPA.

But the SERPA’s retention mechanism is prone to become clogged with dirt, increasing the chances for a  malfunction, sources say.


The G-Code XST features a spring-loaded, hooded retention device that become extremely popular with users.

The Army also tested designs from companies such as Safariland.


About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox has been a defense reporter since 1998 and is an associate editor for He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times from 2002 to 2008, covering infantry units in combat. Matthew was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

41 Comments on "Army Adopts G-Code, SERPA Models as New Holsters"

  1. Cue the horde of people shrieking about SERPAs being unsafe.

  2. Just how many holsters are they buying for $79 million? Buying in quantity and given the fact that Kaydex should be relative inexpensive both material wise and production wise, the Army should have enough holsters to equip just about the entire force.

  3. On another note, is the Army going to buy $79 million worth of holsters that are made to fit a berretta, and in a few years decide they want an entirely different service pistol? Or, are these holsters a one size fits all?

  4. We don't need to rehash the repeated and well documented issues with the Serpa release binding up as a result of dirt, snow, etc., not to mention the questionable location of the release mechanism.

    With that out of the way, I'd really love to know what the G-Code and Serpa lines bring to the table that isn't already executed better by Safariland.

  5. Wow, what I want to know is how is G-Code going to make all of these? lol it takes 4-6 weeks to get mine, imagine how long it takes to get $49 million worth. Thats so awesome for them though. I love their products, glad they are getting big government purchases. They deserve it.

  6. Retail for these is around $50 each, maybe add a few bucks for the drop-leg. Does the Army really need 1.25 million new holsters? How many soldiers carry a pistol anymore?

    Carried my 9 in a Blackhawk holster in OIF-never had a problem. Guess it didn't get dirty enough.

  7. so they can OK new holster but budget cuts might not let new desperately needed camo through….never said anyone running the budget was smart

  8. OK – according to recent budget documents "The active Army will decline to 490,000 by FY 2017". I would be amazed if even half that end strength need to carry a pistol in a field combat configuration – for example MPs will likely carry their weapons in law enforcement configurations on bases. Being very generous that means the Army might need 245,000 holsters. That is a unit cost of over $300…for a holster. I won't go into how much all of this is the Kodak moment for Fobbits and has little utility in the field…that has been written to extensively. Bottom Line – rear echelon, pot-bellied bureaucrats making money-wasting decisions for warriors. Front line troops will continue to rely on Cabela's, etc. for the gear they really carry while most if not all of the Serpa rig remains in a bag in the rear.

  9. the guard and reserve is not being taken into account, + many containers of equipment, by the sharp shooters of this article. they really do need the amount of holsters asked for. next item would be that the military is supposed to be considering a new pistol in a larger cal. than the 9. at least tests are being performed towards that line of thought, so no one knows for sure it the holster will fit a different design. the 9 is a very nice pistol if only in a .45 would be nice although many say they cannot handle the .45 and the magazine doesn't have enough rounds BUT no matter which firearm is selected there will be the usual b/s.

  10. got a quick draw model?

  11. I really do not need to carry a sidearm on my sailboat here in the Caribbean. the only thing I have close to a gun is a spear gun that I have had for 6 years without even cocking it as the h. sling works well. I will warn most traveling to the Caribbean right now "DO NOT GET CAUGHT WITH A FIREARM IN CENTRAL AMERICA" they will even pop you for ammo so hide everything well, don't tell ANYBODY not even your wife or honey, clean it with soap and water really well and lubricate with something that is not gun oil, vacuum pack with a food saver and put all the toys away. if you need it use it throw it over the side and anything connected to the incident with it, be sure to put lots of weight on the target and slit any thing that will hold air. good luck with your holster

  12. For the G-Code the government is getting around $120 for each holster.

  13. AHmazing!!! Give them the money and they will spend it on something. If numbnuts can't keep his/her finger off the trigger until weapon is drawn maybe they aren't qualified to carry said weapon. C'mon, though, 70 plus million $US for new holsters? How did I ever survive without shooting my leg off? Oh, gee, I learned how not to fire until I was clear and on target. If the retention system sticks due to dirt accumulation, maybe some training along the lines of CLEANING said holsters would be in order! Talk about unchecked waste in the military-industrial complex circus! Dwight D.'s warning lives on with us everyday in these $100 hammer stories. Good God!

  14. I just tried to post a comment and it was deleted by the administrator! My comment was about Made in the U.S.A.

  15. I like the pistol color in the photo. Will the USAF be getting new, blue M9s to match their pretty blue camo? They'll be able to hide in the sky anywhere.
    What's the big deal about pistol retention? I never had a FLAPPED holster dump a gun, even without the flap fastened down. Will the new doctrine be "engage only at high noon and quick-draw for peace?" The handgun is a secondary weapon. If it becomes your only weapon. you'd better already have it in your hand.

  16. Didn't like the Serpa Blackhawks for nothing. Your gonna shoot yourself. And it doesn't matter whether you've been FBI trained or SEAL trained in your techniques. Definitely gonna mess yourself up with SEAL training. You can trust Fobus any way you want to go.

  17. I’m sorry but what was the issue with the old system I used an old leather holster for my 1911a1 during desert sheild / storm granted it was old/ ugly and had a gewiz factor of zero but you had to respect the fact it survived D-day. But can anyone guess how many times it jammed or caused my 45 to discharge ?

  18. Don’t get me wrong tec is great god knows I’d prob detox if I could’t use my iPhone every day, but the thought of a holster with a retention system that relies on anything more high tec than a snap would cause me nightmares. Having seen how fast these sort of things fail ( and always at the worse possible time) I think I’d resort to 100 mph taping
    my weapon to my leg or keep it in my pocket rather than have it stuck in my holster when I need it most. But maybe I’m just a paranoid old man. @ADH86301 I’m sure most will agree that we should try to keep most if not all military equip made in the greatest country in the world if for no other reason than to make sure we can always get replacements when needed.

  19. Don’t get me wrong tec is great god knows I’d prob detox if I could’t use my iPhone every day, but the thought of a holster with a retention system that relies on anything more high tec than a snap would cause me nightmares. Having seen how fast these sort of things fail ( and always at the worse possible time) I think I’d resort to 100 mph taping
    my weapon to my leg or keep it in my pocket rather than have it stuck in my holster when I need it most. But maybe I’m just a paranoid old man. @ADH86301 sorry to hear bout your comment I just had the same problem.

  20. Don’t get me wrong tec is great god knows I’d prob detox if I could’t use my iPhone every day, but the thought of a holster with a retention system that relies on anything more high tec than a snap would cause me nightmares. Having seen how fast these sort of things fail ( and always at the worse possible time) I think I’d resort to 100 mph taping
    my weapon to my leg or keep it in my pocket rather than have it stuck in my holster when I need it most. But maybe I’m just a paranoid old man.

  21. Lmao sorry the 2nd and 3rd posts I received a message saying that admin wouldn’t post them. I certainly didn’t want all 3 posted.

  22. I used a shoulder holster with my 1911. Never had a problem with it. The rig was USA made and it had a snap on it. Keep the simplicity as this is over kill. If you want to strut around like a peacock I suppose the tec would be your choice. But it felt good under my arm and worked well….bc

  23. WhiskeyPapa89er | January 1, 2014 at 1:55 am | Reply

    We were issued 1911A1 and Model of 1911 holsters till we were issued the Bianchi M66 for patrol or MPI duty. Nice thing about the M66 is that the flap could be removed for plain clothes wear, we could carry cross-draw, the holster could snap onto the web belt, had belt slots and some of us had thumb-snaps made that took the place of the full flap. Never had a retention issue with the older design holster but then we had enough other armament to keep the enemy from getting that close!

  24. @bcinu2 and light as well though I wasn’t a big fan of the lanyard but that was ez enough to discard. Weapon retention wasn’t ever an issue, but we didn’t have to be peace keepers or let anyone get within 100m of us. We had it a lot better back in 91 than the men and woman deployed these days do. I must say I have a tun of respect, and am truly proud of all our service members currently serving. Thank you all for everything you do, and their families that support them and keep the home fires burning. Having seen both sides of it, I would much rather be there than stuck at home with my son in harms way. Be safe guys and come home soon.

  25. Waste of OUR money!

  26. The Serpa, what a waste. Simple and old thought! If it aint broken, don't fix it!

  27. What most of ya'll don't see is that they have to buy them for the reserves, guard and DHS. Also it must be in various colors Tan, Green, Sage Green, Black, Multicam since the military a fashion issue. Then we also give them to allies when we re-equip their ragtag armies. Oh and we have to have something to sell at Gov't auctions for next to nothing later. Something does seem hinky about this deal though. Hopefully this will be made in the USA.

  28. All that money for holsters. Most likely the first couple 100 will go to O6 and above. Just as well as the DOD does not have the funds to retain E5 and below. Don't even get me going about DOD retirement benefits. Ya, I'm one of the guys who carried a old 45 in a leather holster during Desert Storm too.

  29. Never wore the Army's issue holster. I used a Blackhawk or a leather Tanker holster that my brother made for me (still have that one). Went through two different styles of CIF issue within 4 years (tan and ACU flight gear). ACUs never matched the environment either. DOD finally learned that after our complaints for about a decade. Guess we needed to waste more money.


  31. @old guy lol but you forgot not just O6 and up. the first few thousand will end up being issued to the remfs cuz god knows the J2 and his platoon of map readers, drivers, boot shiners, and bum warmers none of whom will ever have to fire a single round out side of the qualification range all need to look cool. Then the high ranking in the line units will need them so they look at least as cool as the remfs. The upside is that the solders that do the fighting won’t be forced to use them till the last production run, and then they will throw them in their rucks and find the old one they just happened to misplace just b4 they were told to turn them in and draw the “new and improved holster”

  32. The army is wasting money on these holsters by buying so many. Infantry soldiers don’t get issued sidearms so it’s all the pog’s that will be getting them.

  33. Now please tell me why in the hell would the DOD adopt the most dangerous holstet in the world. This holster is not allowed on many ranges, and I will not allow this holster on any firing line I am running or serving as an RSO. ONCE AGAIN, the military has screwed up….FUBAR!

  34. I'm still using a WW2 shoulder holster I used when I was in the army back in 1968-1977 that works just fine for my 45 or my 9mm CZ so I don't see the need to spend $79 million especially when you consider these new holsters will be used mostly by non combat troops anyway.

  35. Nothing wrong with the M-12/Bianchi UM-84/92. Will fit the M-9 and the M1911-A1 as well as other NATO pistols.

  36. What another great idea. Must be quite quiet pulling out of plastic holster. Please don't pull gun out on ambush patrol. Kiss your ass goodbye. Who's first ?

  37. Hey guys, it will be great if you can talk about footwear, and what’s the impact on your knees, back, and ankle….

  38. Typical government BS. Dont want to give our military raises but gotta waste money on new high techn holsters, hell if the guys cant handle the weapon they are given give em a rifle. The military needs a raise of more than 1% before they need a new holster. All that is going on is some damn politician is getting his pockets lined just like johnson did in vietnam with the m-16 and colt mfg——————-damn crooks

  39. Peter Brazaitis | January 6, 2014 at 1:43 am | Reply

    How times have changed – as a tanker in 3rd Armored Div I carried my .45 in a shoulder holster with the pistol snug and clean under my left armpit for two years. Never got hung up or got me stuck in anything. Never got dirt in it or wet or full of snow. Ah – the old days!

  40. remfs. how correct you are when you made that statement. most spec. ops. use suppressed ruger . 22 and suppressed .380's, some even use suppressed .45's. we had suppressed 9's but used them primarily for shooting cans and other little object. never carried 9 in the field that was suppressed as they make to much noise and throw the empty casing to far away to recover at night. so the holster does not matter but it will look awesome in the movies. the USA, and as pointed out other agency's, have a very big supply of the 9's so it is not going away so JUST GET USED TO IT AND USE WHAT THEY GIVE US.

  41. Amazing…… spending taxpayer money again…… So where was the FUBAR on the first model of holster they spend a sh** load of money on? And they say they can't cut military spending. What a joke!

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