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Best BlackHawk Holsters Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Mar 20, 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 their 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
BlackHawk Serpa CQC
99.1/100 our score
Comfort
100
Ease of Use
99
Safety Hazards
99.3
Durability
98
Fit
99
BlackHawk 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:
BlackHawk Serpa CQC
Test Winner: BlackHawk 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:
Felician Gavrau
By Felician Gavrau:

This artiicle is a snapshot into the world of BlackHawk holsters. In it, I've covered a range of the available styles and models, in order to provide a broad overview of what's out there. The accompanying "Best Ten" list will help everyone, from the seasoned professional, to the weekend user, find a holster that will do the job they need it to.

Sorting Options
Comfort 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.
99.1
Comfort
100 %
Ease of Use
99 %
Safety Hazards
99.3 %
Durability
98 %
Fit
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$41.79
Cabelas
$49.99
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
Comfort
98 %
Ease of Use
98.3 %
Safety Hazards
97.1 %
Durability
97 %
Fit
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$25.95
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.
96.6
Comfort
96.8 %
Ease of Use
96 %
Safety Hazards
97.4 %
Durability
96 %
Fit
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Cabelas
$16.99
See Deal
Amazon Link
$18.53
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Comfort
95.3 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Safety Hazards
94.2 %
Durability
95 %
Fit
95.4 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$14.83
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Comfort
93 %
Ease of Use
94.6 %
Safety Hazards
93 %
Durability
93.6 %
Fit
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$132.98
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Comfort
91.6 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Safety Hazards
92 %
Durability
91.7 %
Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$100.99
Cabelas
$119.99
See Deal
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Comfort
90 %
Ease of Use
89.3 %
Safety Hazards
91 %
Durability
90 %
Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$78.96
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Comfort
87 %
Ease of Use
88.5 %
Safety Hazards
87 %
Durability
86 %
Fit
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$18.52
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.5
Comfort
85 %
Ease of Use
84.3 %
Safety Hazards
84 %
Durability
84.2 %
Fit
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$44.99
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
Comfort
82.3 %
Ease of Use
83 %
Safety Hazards
82 %
Durability
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.06.19)
Amazon Link
$137.58
In Depth Review Top 10
  • BlackHawk Serpa CQC BlackHawk Serpa CQC
  • BlackHawk Serpa Sportster BlackHawk Serpa Sportster
  • BlackHawk Reversible Inside the Pants BlackHawk Reversible Inside the Pants
  • Blackhawk ITP 73IP00 Blackhawk ITP 73IP00
  • BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Tactical BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Tactical
  • Blackhawk Serpa L2 Tactical Holster Blackhawk Serpa L2 Tactical Holster
  • BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Auto Lock BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Auto Lock
  • BlackHawk Standard CQC Concealment BlackHawk Standard CQC Concealment
  • BlackHawk Omnivore Streamlight TLR BlackHawk Omnivore Streamlight TLR
  • BlackHawk Epoch Level 3 Light BlackHawk Epoch Level 3 Light
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best BlackHawk Holsters

1. BlackHawk Serpa CQC

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.1
BlackHawk Serpa CQC
Amazon Link
Comfort
100
Ease of Use
99
Safety Hazards
99.3
Durability
98
Fit
99
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$41.79
Cabelas
$49.99
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 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.

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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 BLACKHAWK! 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 BlackHawk! Makes, the Serpa CQC Is priced well enough that you likely won’t look back on your purchase with any regrets.

2. BlackHawk Serpa Sportster

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
BlackHawk Serpa Sportster
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Ease of Use
98.3
Safety Hazards
97.1
Durability
97
Fit
98
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$25.95
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.

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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 BLACKHAWK! Serpa Sportster Holster offers great value for a reasonable price. Without question, you won’t be disappointed.

3. BlackHawk Reversible Inside the Pants

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
BlackHawk Reversible Inside the Pants
Amazon Link
Comfort
96.8
Ease of Use
96
Safety Hazards
97.4
Durability
96
Fit
97
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$18.53
Cabelas
$16.99
See Deal
Pros:

Easy to adjust ride height and cant

Allows for a full grip on the weapon

Works very well for both left and right hands

Stays well hidden when concealed

Cons:

Weak belt clip

Construction feels kind of cheap

The A.R.C, as the website likes to call it, is a chameleon of conceal carry holsters. There aren’t many ambidextrous holsters out there, so the bar theoretically could be set pretty low on this one. Nope, they made it well, slapped an affordable price tag on it, and shattered the bar.

Read more

Left hand or right hand? So many choices!
Again, not a lot to choose from if you don’t want to be confined by the constraints of having a dominant hand, so why not pick the one that does it so well?

Fits how you want it to.
There are other holsters that boast versatility, but nothing like this. Not only can you use it left or right handed, but you can also set it up to your heart’s desire. Cant? Ride? Angle? You got it.

Cost and Value
This is a very affordable conceal carry holster, and the option to use it either left or right handed makes it a no-brainer.

4. Blackhawk ITP 73IP00

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Blackhawk ITP 73IP00
Amazon Link
Comfort
95.3
Ease of Use
95
Safety Hazards
94.2
Durability
95
Fit
95.4
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.83
Pros:

Fits most small revolvers

Thin fabric is comfortable to wear

Nylon lining for quick draw

Compact size

Cons:

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 Blackhawk 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.

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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 Blackhawk 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. BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Tactical

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
BlackHawk Serpa Level 3 Tactical
Amazon Link
Comfort
93
Ease of Use
94.6
Safety Hazards
93
Durability
93.6
Fit
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$132.98
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, and for BlackHawk!, 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.

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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 BLACKHAWK! 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. Blackhawk Serpa L2 Tactical Holster

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Blackhawk Serpa L2 Tactical Holster
Amazon Link
Comfort
91.6
Ease of Use
91
Safety Hazards
92
Durability
91.7
Fit
91
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$100.99
Cabelas
$119.99
See Deal
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.

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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. BlackHawk 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
Amazon Link
Comfort
90
Ease of Use
89.3
Safety Hazards
91
Durability
90
Fit
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$78.96
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?

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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. BlackHawk Standard CQC Concealment

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
BlackHawk Standard CQC Concealment
Amazon Link
Comfort
87
Ease of Use
88.5
Safety Hazards
87
Durability
86
Fit
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$18.52
Pros:

Excellent bargain

Very comfortable

Great fit

Comes with both belt loop and paddle

Cons:

Excessive wear on the weapon

Poor retention

A more cost-conscious offering of the Serpa CQC Concealment holster, the standard CQC holster is accessible to every type of shooter and can be used for work or for play. While it doesn’t offer the same retention of some of the other BlackHawk! Holsters on the market, the included belt loop, and paddle, along with other bells and whistles you’d expect from the company, more than makeup for this minor issue. Better still, it is COMFORTABLE.

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You get (more than) what you pay for
The BLACKHAWK! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster is a fantastic holster. It’s also expensive, and maybe a bit too much holster for the average “sport” shooter. No problem. This version offers the same peace of mind and leaves you at peace with your wallet.

Paddles and loops
Much like the BLACKHAWK! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster, this holster gives you the option of a paddle or a belt loop. Both are simple to figure out, and the holster is comfortable once installed. This versatility goes a long way to providing excellent value.

Cost and Value
This holster has much of the same appeal as the Blackhawk Serpa CQC holster for less than half the cost. That means it is a great bargain.

9. BlackHawk Omnivore Streamlight TLR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.5
BlackHawk Omnivore Streamlight TLR
Amazon Link
Comfort
85
Ease of Use
84.3
Safety Hazards
84
Durability
84.2
Fit
85
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$44.99
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.

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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. BlackHawk 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
Amazon Link
Comfort
82.3
Ease of Use
83
Safety Hazards
82
Durability
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$137.58
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.

Read 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

Comfort

BLACKHAWK! also goes out of the way to make sure their holsters feel snug and comfortably on your person. And to make sure you don’t feel weird or weighed down when your gun’s in the holster.

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

BLACKHAWK! holsters are best known for their “auto-lock” system/technology. The company ensures that your gun is safely in their 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.BLACKHAWK!’s 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

BLACKHAWK! 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

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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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! had made products for this type of people.

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’.

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.BLACKHAWK!’s 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 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,