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Blackhawk L3D RDS Holster Review

Blackhawk Preliminary Notes

Model: T-Series L3D (red dot sight)

Initial thoughts:

Fantastic Holster on par with all the other models I have examined. Solid construction. Master grip retention release. Solid lock up. Interchangeability with other T-Series bases and attachments.

Draw and Holstering:

We tried several different model Glock slides with the holster to determine how well the holster accepted modified Glocks. This is important to us as consumers because of the recent craze toward modifying one’s pistol and the growing modularity of the Glock platform.

We used 3 different designs:

Stock Gen3 Glock 17 – No problem holstering or drawing

Shadow Systems EDC Gen3 G19 – No problem holstering or drawing

Shadow Systems Combat Special Gen3 G19 – difficult to both draw and holster even with retention screw backed out all the way.

We determined that there are friction points on the inside of the holster that we are not sure serve a real purpose. They appear to fit into the area where the bevel or radius occurs on the top edges of the slide. The difference in taper or radius appears to be causing the difficulty.

Stock Glock 17 slide

Shadow System G19 EDC slide

Shadow System G19 Combat Special slide

One thing you will immediately notice is the difference in taper from the two Shadow Systems slides. The Combat Special slide has a higher taper which appears to be coming into contact with two raised areas on the interior of the holster.

Blackhawk T-series L3D RDS holster

We removed a portion of the raised material and the holster was able to accept the Shadow Systems Combat Special Slide.


At this point in the review I still feel that this holster is one the best on the market. My field places me in a position to specialize in in-extremis retention and access of the pistol in entangled scenarios and I find that many units are opting for either cumbersome level-3 models that require a greater amount of input from both the user and the aggressor to attain control of the pistol. Or they are opting for level 1 designs that allow for quick access from both ends. Both are inherently dangerous in my experience.

This design offers the best compromise making the pistol inaccessible to aggressors while still maintaining a simple and speedy access from the user. It would take a highly skilled operator with experience in obtaining positional control and dominance within entangled fighting to overcome the retention mechanisms on this holster.

I do think however as previously stated that differences between the slide designs represents a simple problem that can be easily overcome. These raised areas within the holster that prevent the Shadow Systems Combat Special slide from being readily accessible are likely to cause issues with other slide designs as well. If they serve no function in maintaining the retention of the pistol, I suggest their removal from the design to allow for easier adaptability to a myriad of slide designs already on the market.

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