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Best BlackHawk Holsters Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Oct 30, 2019

Whether you’re a gun enthusiast or a hobbyist, you’ve most likely heard of Blackhawk. As an industry leader of innovative outdoor products, you can count on high-quality items that will satisfy your sporting needs. They work with prestigious and well-regarded brands in order to provide you with gear that won’t let you down. We know you want to get the best and the safest performance out of your favorite outdoor activities, including hunting and target shooting, and Blackhawk holsters can provide it. Although each model is different and comes with its own benefits, they are all made with the type of craftsmanship you come to expect from them. We’ve reviewed the best-rated holsters they have to offer in an effort to provide you with the best choices on the market!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research

icon
Serpa CQC
98.8/100 our score
Ease of Use
99
Safety Hazards
99.3
Durability
98
Fit
99
Serpa CQC
Why is it better?

Especially comfortable

Excellent retention

Works as both a paddle or belt insert holster

Easily concealed

Lasts for years

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Serpa CQC
Test Winner: Serpa CQC
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
20
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
47
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
18
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
62
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By :

When it comes to this update, we have brought in two new Blackhawk Holsters, the Leather Inside-The-Pants and the SERPA Level 2 Duty Holster two products created to bring you the very best carrying product. Not only do they both work exceptionally well, but they come prepared to be the only holster you need. Furthermore, we have added to our tip selection so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

Sorting Options
Ease of Use Safety Hazards Durability Fit By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Ease of Use
99 %
Safety Hazards
99.3 %
Durability
98 %
Fit
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$30.26
Cabelas
$44.99
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
Ease of Use
98.3 %
Safety Hazards
97.1 %
Durability
97 %
Fit
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$25.73
Cabelas
$29.99
See Deal
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
Ease of Use
96 %
Safety Hazards
97.4 %
Durability
96 %
Fit
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$67.49
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Ease of Use
95 %
Safety Hazards
94.2 %
Durability
95 %
Fit
95.4 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$13.65
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Ease of Use
94.6 %
Safety Hazards
93 %
Durability
93.6 %
Fit
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$97.19
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Ease of Use
91 %
Safety Hazards
92 %
Durability
91.7 %
Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Cabelas
$119.99
See Deal
Amazon Link
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Ease of Use
89.3 %
Safety Hazards
91 %
Durability
90 %
Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$66.29
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Ease of Use
88.5 %
Safety Hazards
87 %
Durability
86 %
Fit
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$21.39
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.3
Ease of Use
84.3 %
Safety Hazards
84 %
Durability
84.2 %
Fit
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$49.82
Cabelas
$49.99
See Deal
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Ease of Use
83 %
Safety Hazards
82 %
Durability
82 %
Fit
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$104.44

10 Best BlackHawk Holsters

1. Serpa CQC

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
BlackHawk Serpa CQC
BlackHawk Serpa CQC
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
99
Safety Hazards
99.3
Durability
98
Fit
99
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$30.26
Cabelas
$44.99
See Deal
Pros:

Especially comfortable

Excellent retention

Works as both a paddle or belt insert holster

Easily concealed

Lasts for years

Cons:

Does not properly fit all advertised models

Mounting screws are not included

Blackhawk Holsters are typically known for their smooth draw. This holster, however, takes it up a notch with their Serpa Auto-lock technology. It allows for a quick draw, easy re-holster, and better all-around security, meaning your weapon isn’t going anywhere until you tell it to. All this comes in a sleek package that draws no attention when concealed.

Retention
With the side button release, the extra level of retention provided means that your pistol can’t just be ripped from its holster, nor will it just slide out accidentally. Where you go, it goes.

Paddle? Belt loop? How about both!
How do you wear your holster? It doesn’t matter. The SERPA CQC Concealment Holster eliminates that question by providing both. You could switch it up and use both, just to keep things interesting, if you really wanted.

Cost and Value
As what is probably one of the most popular holsters, the Serpa CQC Is priced well enough that you likely won’t look back on your purchase with any regrets.

2. Serpa Sportster

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
BlackHawk Serpa Sportster
BlackHawk Serpa Sportster
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
98.3
Safety Hazards
97.1
Durability
97
Fit
98
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$25.73
Cabelas
$29.99
See Deal
Pros:

Paddle holds securely

Simple to adjust

Weapon locks easily into place

Minimal rattle

Intuitive retention release

Cons:

Too bulky to conceal well

Questionable durability

Hey civilian, nice holster. This is specifically built to be an everyday concealed carry or range holster, and has the durability to prove it. Since it is for everyone, essentially, it has a smooth, quick draw, and adjusts easily to fit your needs. Strap it on, slide in your weapon, and you are good to go.

Customize your angles
A math nerd’s dream holster, really. Where do you want to draw from? The world is your oyster with this holster. For those who hate to choose, choose this holster.

Once it’s in, it’s locked in!
As is typical with BlackHawk products, once you hear the audible click, your gun is in there, by your side, where it belongs. Bonus, while it’s in there, it fits perfectly, so it won’t rattle around, either.

Cost and Value
Given what it offers for security, draw speed, and aesthetics, the Serpa Sportster Holster offers great value for a reasonable price. Without question, you won’t be disappointed.

3. SERPA Level 2 Duty

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
BLACKHAWK! SERPA Level 2 Duty Holster
BLACKHAWK! SERPA Level 2 Duty Holster
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
96
Safety Hazards
97.4
Durability
96
Fit
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$67.49
Pros:

Reduced gun profile

Angle-adjusting belt loop

Easy to use and find the right fit

Does not get in the way of anything you might do

Full-length

Priced quite well

Has auto-lock

Cons:

Sizing is a bit off even when you have the adjusting element

Reviewers have noted that this holster tends to scratch your gun

When seeking to find an upholster that gets the job done you want to ensure you get your hands on a durable product with an added dose of protection. Constructed to protect your weapon the SERPA Level 2 Duty Holster, comes in at number 3.

Passive Retention
The point of having a holster is being able to carry and hold your weapon safely without showcasing it to the world. However, to do that you need to have some sort of retention from your holster. The SERPA Level 2 Duty Holster provides just that. Featuring a passive retention detent screw already included in the holster you can adjust the fit of your gun. The screw itself is positioned in a way that you can screw and unscrew it depending on the size of your gun. Having this feature will help you customize just how well your gun of choice will fit.

Small Profile
Keeping your weapon concealed is one of the main uses of having a holster, this one does a great job at that, due to having a small profile. Showcasing a full-length holster body, it sits quite close to your body so its display is as minimal as possible. Having this small profile aspect allows your gun to be as community-friendly as possible. Its the perfect form of having a quality item that doesn’t scream “I have a weapon on me.”

Cost and Value
Anyone who has ever purchased a BlackHawk Holster knows quality is always up-to-par with all their items, this one is no exception. Therefore, you know the cost will be justified. This product is priced exceptionally well, but it does depend on what size holster you need. The smaller your holster, the cheaper the price. Keeping that in mind, this holster can hold numerous different size Glocks.

4. ITP 73IP00

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Blackhawk ITP 73IP00
Blackhawk ITP 73IP00
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
95
Safety Hazards
94.2
Durability
95
Fit
95.4
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.65
Pros:

Fits most small revolvers

The thin fabric is comfortable to wear

Nylon lining for quick draw

Compact size

Cons:

The trigger guard can get caught

Doesn’t grip the gun

If you’re looking for a less complicated holster for your gun, then this is the right model for you. The ITP 73IP00 is a simple pistol holder that fits 2"-3" Barrel small and medium double-action revolvers. The belt clip makes it easy to connect to your pants or belt, which makes it's great for hunting and security. The three-layer nylon laminate ensures that it will feel comfortable even if it is against your skin.

Ultra-Thin
Thanks to the ultra-thin layers of nylon laminate, this product feels pleasant next to your skin. It’s great if you prefer to keep your weapon concealed.

Easy Draw
Because you never know the exact moment when you need your gun for self-defense, this holster won’t stand in your way. The nylon lining permits you to draw your gun in a second. In some circumstances, this can save your life!

Cost and Value
Having such a simple design makes the ITP 73IP00 one of the lowest-priced products in this category. However, the cost varies depending on your selection. You can opt for right or left orientation and different sizes from 0 to 9.

5. Serpa Level 3 Tactical

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Tactical
BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Tactical
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
94.6
Safety Hazards
93
Durability
93.6
Fit
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$97.19
Pros:

Y harness allows unrestricted movement

High-quality build

Doesn’t slide around

Lots of safety features

Plenty of mounting locations for accessories

Cons:

Can occasionally jam

Doesn’t easily fit all stated weapons

Top of the line. Every company has a product that customers and critics consider their crown jewel, it’s this one right here. It’s a tactical holster, so it needs to be well built. Check. It cannot restrict movement. Check. It HAS TO have a wealth of safety features to help keep the user safe, Bingo. This holster was made for a specific situation, and it fits the bill to a tee.

Safety first
Did I say the wealth of safety features? Yes, I did. The leg strap was designed to stay put, thumb-activated pivot guard for added security, and immediate retention upon re-holster are just a few of the features that make this holster super safe.

Great mobility
One of the most uncomfortable things with using this type of holster is unwanted movement. This selection eliminates that for you by implementing a design that reduces the unwanted movement.

Cost and Value
The SERPA Level 3 Tactical Holster is one of the pricier holsters on this list. With all the features included to improve safety, security, and function, it is worth it. Remember, the people who use this holster on a regular basis rely on it to perform, and boy does it.

6. Serpa L2 Tactical Holster

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Blackhawk Serpa L2 Tactical Holster
Blackhawk Serpa L2 Tactical Holster
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
91
Safety Hazards
92
Durability
91.7
Fit
91
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
Cabelas
$119.99
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Pros:

Easily conforms to leg size

Rear sight protection

No slide design

Features swivel buckles for quick disconnection

Cons:

Does fit all models it claims to fit

Inconsistency with quality

This is one of the best-reviewed holsters produced by BlackHawk. It has the ability to fit snuggly to your leg. This means that you’ll feel comfortable while wearing it. The form of the harness suspension system is ideal because it distributes weight evenly and keeps holster vertical when kneeling. This holster is also easy to mount and dismount thanks to the swivel buckles. It also features rubberized leg straps, reducing the likelihood to slide.

Flexible Thigh Platform
One of the best things about this holster is its flexibility and ability to conform to your thigh size. What’s more, you won’t feel any inconvenience because you’re the one who makes the necessary adjustments!

Superior Maneuverability
This particular model was designed to allow easy and comfortable maneuverability. They are also equipped with swivel buckles that make mounting and dismounting as simple as possible.

Cost and Value
The price is varies depending on hand orientation, size, and color. If you want your holster to blend in with your clothes, don’t worry! You can choose from a large range of colors and sizes.

7. Serpa Level 3 Auto Lock

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Auto Lock
BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Auto Lock
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
89.3
Safety Hazards
91
Durability
90
Fit
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$66.29
Pros:

Great for on-duty use

Natural release

Nice draw speed

Eye-pleasing design

Well built

Cons:

Fits almost too snug

Slightly oversized

Level 3 retention holsters are pretty standard for law enforcement use. BlackHawk went and added their SERPA technology for superior retention, creating a holster that allows for rapid draw perfect in high-stress situations. You’ve got draw speed, natural release, and a cut down body with a tapered trailing edge for optimal concealment. What more could you want?

Excellent duty holster
It does what it’s supposed to do. What more could you ask for with a holster that’s relied upon by so many people? Whether on duty or at the range, it will do the job, admirably, again and again.

Release system ease of use
In a high-pressure situation, when you need your weapon in your hand, NOW, this holster will not let you down. It gives you a full grip, for a nice, natural release.

Cost and Value
Whatever it costs for the feelings of safety, confidence, and reassurance that this holster gives you, it’s minimal at best.

8. Leather Inside-The-Pants

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
BLACKHAWK! Leather Inside-The-Pants
BLACKHAWK! Leather Inside-The-Pants
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
88.5
Safety Hazards
87
Durability
86
Fit
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.39
Pros:

Adjustable to multiple guns

Made of all-leather

Priced fairly well

Adjustable belt loop

You can draw from your right or left can be depending on how you position it

Cons:

The velcro is not as sturdy as you would like it to be

Concealment isn’t as easy with this one

If you are seeking something a bit more upscale, with quality, the Leather Inside-The-Pants holster is an option to consider. Unlike the nylon options, this leather one is a bit more elastic to your personal needs and your weapon of choice. With this holster, you have the option of learning which drawing form works best for you, due to how it was constructed.

All-Leather Exterior
As previously stated the exterior is made completely made out of all-leather. Having a leather exterior works quite well due to how moldable it is. Unbeknown to many, leather is quite stretchy. Its one of those materials that stretch in multiple directions, which in return creates this customized aesthetic. Any handgun you place inside of it will comfortably fit right in. Furthermore, the leather is paired with an adjustable tension screw that allows you to choose the level of retention the holster itself has. Having this feature is excellent for those that want to purchase one holster to hold multiple guns.

Adjustable Belt Loop
To be as comfortable as possible, this holster comes prepared with an adjustable belt loop. Its all about being able to adjust to what you are already wearing. Therefore, you want your holster to simply clip on. This one does just that with ease. You can easily and quickly mount it to your belt for added upper body stability. It adds an extra dose of durability to your holster as well.

Cost and Value
When it comes to the cost and value this item is priced quite fairly. Due to it being created out of leather you might assume that the price with being on the pricier side, but that is not the case. You are getting a quality product, that is quite durable and adjustable all at once. Furthermore, you have the ability to use multiple multiple handguns with this holster as it will mold to what you need it for.

9. Omnivore Streamlight TLR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.3
BlackHawk Omnivore Streamlight TLR
BlackHawk Omnivore Streamlight TLR
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
84.3
Safety Hazards
84
Durability
84.2
Fit
85
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$49.82
Cabelas
$49.99
See Deal
Pros:

Welcome versatility

Heavy-duty construction

Locks onto the light securely

Fast draw

Holds the gun very securely

Cons:

Weapon sometimes gets stuck

A bit too large

Omnivore. That implies that this holster shouldn’t be picky, and it’s not. With over 150 pistols equipped with an accessory rail, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a gun it doesn’t like. It is an extremely versatile holster that goes out of its way to make users happy.

So many guns!
This holster can fit many different types of pistols to ensure you can carry the right one for the occasion. While it is pretty huge, that just increases the range of weapons it can hold.

Like a tank
It looks good, it fits well, it’s designed well. All around, the holster was built to perform, and for a long time at that. If you fear commitment, stay away, because this holster isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Cost and Value
For as solid-built as the holster is, it would be perfectly acceptable if it was also expensive. It’s not. BlackHawk missed an opportunity to charge a lot more when they built it, given the quality.

10. Epoch Level 3 Light

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
BlackHawk Epoch Level 3 Light
BlackHawk Epoch Level 3 Light
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
83
Safety Hazards
82
Durability
82
Fit
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$104.44
Pros:

Responsive and easy to use

Smooth draw

Compatible with several lights

Fits well

Cons:

Clunky

Bulky

This holster has three levels of retention. THREE. That gives the EPOCH Level 3 Light Bearing Duty Holster the highest level of security that BlackHawk offers. It also fits several types of lights, locking on and not letting go. That in and of itself demands attention and should be enough of a selling point. But wait, there’s more.

Compatibility!
It’s hard enough to find any light bearing holsters worth talking about, so to find one with so many options is a breath of fresh air. Not only does it fit lots of gun/light combinations, but it also holds them well, too.

The Hold
Not only was this one designed to hold your firearm securely in place. It was also developed to allow you a quick and smooth draw of the weapon. Promising you that while drawing the weapon you won't get a snag.

Cost and Value
Not a value-priced holster per se, but if you factor in how many lights it’s compatible with, that really doesn’t matter. If you need a light-bearing holster, it’s affordable and well made, so why don’t you own one?

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Ease of Use

Being able to pull out your gun quickly and effectively in an emergency situation can make a difference between life and death. And the last thing anybody wants is for the gear to restrict that effectiveness too much. BlackHawk understands this and made sure their holsters grant you that effectiveness.

Safety Hazards

These holsters are best known for their “auto-lock” system/technology. The company ensures that your gun is safely in its holster. Not flopping around in it when you’re walking. And, most importantly, not pulled away by somebody else when in the heat of the battle. Training is important and available to users of BlackHawk’s patented SERPA “auto-lock” technology.

Durability

BlackHawk raises the bar away from the polymer plastic that’s been used since the ’60s. Their polymer is of high-density and mixed proportionally with carbon fiber materials. The other parts of their holsters are made of stainless steel and brass, For their holsters that don’t rely on metal or polymers; the nylon and leather they use are of high quality. These holsters are widely known for their durability and long-lasting toughness. Conceal carriers, police, security officers, and soldiers mainly choose BlackHawk's holsters with little regrets.

Fit

The holsters have been designed to make sure they fit onto your person, and the guns fit into them, without difficulty nor issues. If fitting does become an issue; there are fellow gun enthusiasts on websites like YouTube, the people at BlackHawk and the dealers who sell the holsters who are more than happy to help.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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expert tips icon
Consider Ambidexterity

We forget sometimes that there are people in the living, and cartoon, the world who can utilize a gun in each hand. Be it Cho Yun Fat’s characters he plays in past movies or Revy from the anime Black Lagoon. BlackHawk has made products for this type of person.

Know how much concealment you want to have

One of the main issues with concealed weapon carriers is the feeling of uneasiness from people who don’t carry weapons. The supposed idea behind “concealed carry” is that other people aren't supposed to know that you have a gun on them. BlackHawk goes out of the way to make sure that nobody knows that you’re packin’. Additionally, extensive information is offered on how well their holsters help conceal your weapon of choice. Whether they help conceal them throughout or only a little bit, the description will help guide you on what holster will help you with your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How did it all start?

a:

With a wish, a wish to achieve a goal. During the ’90s, one of our proud Navy SEALs was going through a minefield. However, his gear pack ripped apart on him and the stuff he needed became dangerously out of his reach. What was going through the back of his mind at the time (probably after a few, elongated curse words that can’t be posted on this site) was a goal to achieve if ever he survived his ordeal. And that goal was, and is today, to create the type of gear that would not fail any soldier or anybody else; EVER.

q: What IS the SERPA system?

a:

Michael Serpa had heard about how the police and plain-clothed officers had their guns pulled out of their holsters and killed with them. So he decided to create the technology to cut down on situations like these ever happening again. It’s been considered an amazing system despite him not being a gun enthusiast. The SERPA comes in 3 levels; #3 being the highest. And it mainly consists of a padded lock that holds the gun tightly in the holster. The tightness can be adjusted by one or more screws on the holster.

q: So what is CQC?

a:

“Close Quarters Concealment;” a “younger sibling term” for “close quarters combat.” “Close quarters concealment” is a term that’s used for police officers in a sting or plain-clothed bodyguards.

q: Wait. Wasn’t there an effort to ban BlackHawk Holsters?

a:

Recently, the Los Angeles Police Department had outright banned the use of them this summer. There are also a number of shooting ranges, training agencies, and police agencies that would rather not use them. To be more precise; the Serpa auto-lock holsters. One of the main issues is dirt, sand, and other small particles that will jam the parts of the auto-lock feature. The other is that the unlocking mechanism of the holster is right next to the trigger finger. So someone might accidentally discharge the handgun while trying to pull it from out of the holster. The third is the complaints about the shoddy material holding the holster; someone’s belt or something else. And the “bad guy” might rip the whole holster away from its owner. (Although it would be totally cool of the “good guy” is able to shoot from the holster, like in the movies or cartoons, doing it unintentionally and accidentally would be in-between the realm of bad and worse.)

Sources

  1. Bob Owens, serpa-sucks-thats-just-say,
  2. Editing Team, Gun guide designs ,
  3. Editing Team, blackhawk-disappointed-lapd-ban-serpa-holster,
  4. Duane A. Daiker , blackhawk-serpa-cqc-holster,
  5. Editing Team, BlackHawk Serpa Holsters,
  6. youtube, Holsters,
  7. SeanNewton, RefSerpa,