I've been a TASER instructor for a few years now and I never could figure out why every holster I had seen for the TASERs - the M26 or the X26 - seemed designed specifically to make it difficult to get the TASER out for use. Naturally, one of the first things I did was call BLACKHAWK! and ask when they'd have a SERPA holster available for the X26. "It's in the works," I was told. Well, it's not in the works anymore. I got my test sample a couple weeks ago and it wasn't quite what I expected. It performed exactly as I'd hoped, but looked different. I guess that's why I don't design things.
Shown to the right here, the TASER SERPA is made of only enough material to securely hold the TASER X26 (or X26C). For some reason I was expecting a holster that looked more like a Level III holster - with lots of extra carbon-fiber wrapping around and spring-loaded do-widgets. Again, thank goodness I'm not a designer. BLACKHAWK! did an excellent job of engineering this cross-draw holster with enough material to properly secure the X26 - and not a bit more.
As the holster is specifically designed for cross-draw use, the SERPA locking mechanism had to be flipped over. I won't go into details of operation here since it's a public site (we don't want to help out the bad guys) but operating the release is the same. Proper grip - proper finger placement - a slight push and pull and you're holding your TASER.
The holster comes mounted on a "Quick Disconnect Belt Loop" platform. That's BLACKHAWK!'s official name for it. It's a very secure hinged mount with a strong latch at the bottom. You simply open it, slip it over your gunbelt where you want it to be, and PUSH it back shut. Tension will keep it from EVER accidentally popping open - and in fact, you may have to put quite a bit of effort into removing it when you decide you need to. However, it IS easy enough to do that if you're trading off TASERs at the beginning and end of your shift, you can accomplish this without having to take the TASER out, take the holster off, and then hand both seperately to the guy getting them. You can leave the TASER holstered and make the exchange.
If you want the holster on a different mount, for whatever reason, you simply remove three screws and put it onto any CQC system mounting platform. Just to verify that I could, I took the test holster and put it on a STRIKE mounting platform and put THAT on my entry vest. The one thing to remember is that the holster still has to be operated in a cross-draw fashion, so placing it at certain angles is counter-productive to the smooth draw.
The holster will securely hold your TASER X26 or 26C with OR WITHOUT a cartridge in place. Whether the cartridge is loaded or not doesn't make any difference to the motions for drawing and reholstering the X26/C. The bottom of the holster has an opening - I'm sure to let out water (rain) - but it's not completely open. If the cartridge were to malfunction and fire while the X26/C was holstered, the carbon-fiber would prevent the blast doors from opening, so the probes would be contained or at least severly slowed down.
Having experience with the standard TASER holster and some other brands, I have to say I like this one above them all. My duty holster is a SERPA Level III holster and I'm familiar with the draw stroke of it from many repititions. Having a cross-draw holster for the TASER that functions with essentially the same muscle motions is ideal. The one last thing I'll note - that I think is an excellent feature (especially when it comes to avoiding "accidents") - is the fact that when you holster your TASER X26/C, even if you forgot to put the safety on, it's done automatically. Thanks to the angle of the holster edge, the safety is automatically engaged in the holstering sequence.
The retail price for this holster is $49.99 on the BLACKHAWK! website. However, a quick and easy online search found them for as low as $36.99 - so do your homework.