Updated: Jul 18, 2019
Is the Blackhawk T-series level 2 holster all its advertised to be? This was the question I started off with a month ago after scrolling through Instagram and coming across the holster. There were claims that it was designed on the Master Grip Principle, that it had sound dampening polymers to quiet the draw, and that it would “perform no matter the elements and situation”. Furthermore, on their website they offer a 30-day risk free trial. These are lofty claims but there are additional criteria that I look for that fall within that “no matter the elements and situation” area.
Criteria such as: does it clear body armor, is the retention mechanism robust enough to withstand Force on Force, is the holster body itself robust enough to withstand Force on Force, is the access to the weapon impeded by the retention mechanism and to what degree and finally is the retention mechanism visible and accessible to an attacker? So with that in mind I contacted Blackhawk and they were gracious enough to send me a holster to review.
If you’re one of those guys who really care about “unboxing” than you’re probably not part of my target audience. The holster came to me in a box that said Blackhawk and had all the components necessary to mount the holster. Ok… it was a nice box.
Fit and Finish:
The holster assembled easily and was mounted on my 3” duty belt in minutes. I have found in the past that the mounting system for the holster can be a point of failure. Several other brands, whom I will not mention, had issues in this area. In some cases I actually had to mount a leg strap to prevent the holster from canting to a point where my draw was impeded. I was quite pleased and surprised that I did not have to do this with the Blackhawk. The holster sat perfectly where I wanted it to and did not require a leg strap.
The shell of the holster was something else I was concerned about. We will get into this in greater depth later but suffice it to say that the shell was of polymer construction and actually was quite smooth and quiet on the draw. The design I ordered was for a non-light bearing Glock 19. It fit perfectly everything from our blue guns, to our airsoft Force on Force guns all the way to the Glock 19 and 17 model pistols. The trigger guard of the Polymer 80 frames did require a slight narrowing to fit the holster but this is mainly due to the fact that it is slightly larger than the standard Glock frames.
Meeting Blackhawks Criteria:
Blackhawk claims that this holster operates on the Master Grip Principle. This was of particular interest to me because quite honestly before I had even read their claim it was actually one of the first things I noticed. If you’ve ever taken a class with me you know that we start every combatives pistol class with kinesthetic alignment and master grip. Because these two things are at the root of proper pistol fighting and marksmanship. The claim that the holster utilizes the Master Grip Principle is absolutely true. Not only that but I also found that it not only utilizes it, but encourages it as well. This was a bonus for me since I often loan out my gear to students to try things out before they buy and some of these students have not yet acquired the habit of attaining a consistent Master Grip from the holster prior to their draw.
Another claim that Blackhawk made was with respect to the quietness of the draw due to the polymers used. To be honest, this was something that I had not really considered. From my perspective in combatives the quietness of the draw falls more into the realm of pre-fight tactics than it does an active engagement however, it being a stated claim I gave it its due attention and determined that that in fact compared to some of the other retention type holsters we have in our arsenal it was definitely the quietest.
My Personal Criteria: