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I’ve had a Blackhawk Omnivore holster ever since it premiered years ago. It’s likely the holster I’ve used more than any other, just due to the nature of reviewing firearms. The Blackhawk Omnivore is a quasi-universal holster design made from polymer and requires your pistol to have some form of rail. The Omnivore is an interesting design and one I’ve used extensively. This might be one of the more long-term reviews I’ve ever written.

The Omnivore comes in three variants, two light-bearing and one standard. The two light-bearing designs work with either the TLR-1 or 2 or the Surefire X300U. The non-light-bearing model requires you to use a small block that attaches to your Picatinny rail. Your light or that small block is what locks into the holster and activates the Omnivore’s active retention system.

This system works with compact and full-sized firearms as long as they have a rail and the appropriate attachment. Blackhawk maintains a list of over 150 handguns that are compatible with the Omnivore. I first grabbed it for my homemade PF940C. Plenty of other guns seem to work perfectly fine, and I haven’t had an issue with anything in the 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP varieties.

The Omnivore In Action

The Omnivore uses an active retention system that is released via a thumb lever. Press the lever down, and the gun is released. It’s not complicated and much safer than the SERPA series holsters.

A very audible click makes it obvious when the weapon has been seated properly. The Omnivore comes with three different-sized levers to make reaching the lever more ergonomic. I installed the right one for me and promptly lost the others years ago.

The Blackhawk Omnivore is a big bulky beast. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

While the SERPA wasn’t a great holster design, it had a huge aftermarket, and part of that aftermarket means there’s a wide variety of holsters, holster mounts, etc. That’s good because the Omnivore is compatible with those rigs. You can make it a belt rig, a shoulder holster, a thigh rig, mount it to MOLLE, and more. The Omnivore comes with both a traditional belt loop and a paddle attachment.

The Omnivore is SERPA compatible. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Drawing from the Omnivore is super easy. Grip, press the lever down with your thumb, and pull the gun up. The lever is big and wide enough to be easy to use and hard to miss with a proper grip. It’s designed like a duty holster, so it rides fairly far from your body. That means your thumb lever is never compromised and the release lever is easy to access.

It’s Not Perfect

While the Omnivore is easy to use 99% of the time, I did find there was some room for error when drawing. When you press the lever down and pull the gun upward, you can reach a snag point. If the button isn’t fully depressed as you begin to pull the firearm upward, it can catch.

To fix the snag and draw your gun, you’ll need to release the button, press the button again, and draw the gun. This only occurred when I played Quick Draw McGraw, and it only happened to me rarely. It’s something that will go away with practice and repetition.

Pull carefully. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Doing Work

I’ve used the Omnivore an hundreds of times. If I’m reviewing a modern handgun, I will likely use the Omnivore as part of that process. I pop my TLR-1 on the gun and drop the gun in the Omnivore.

Buying holsters for all the review guns I get would get quite expensive, and not being able to get real training while I review guns makes no sense. So the Omnivore gets broken out over and over again.

Press the thumb lever and draw the gun. Simple. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

I’ve drawn from it, carried it, and trained with it since 2016, and in the last seven years, I’ve only run into the above snag a handful of times. The Omnivore has held together exceptionally well, especially for a holster that costs less than $50. I’ve used the holster with guns as small as the GLOCK 19 and as large as the FN LS Edge long slide. The Omnivore does a fantastic job of covering the trigger and carrying an impressively wide range of handguns.

The Omnivore’s retention is top-notch, and the gun locks in with ease. Once it’s seated, it’s staying put, and you won’t lose your gun when bumping, hiking, jumping, or whatever you’re doing. I’ve never had a gun come loose when using the Omnivore.

Finding Purpose

The main problem with the Omnivore for many people may be finding a use case for it. It’s way too big and bulky for concealed carry. The instructions advise that it’s not a duty holster, and you probably would want a dedicated holster for a duty rig anyway. That limits the Omnivore to the range or for open carry. It’s great for hiking with its active retention device. It wouldn’t be terrible for competition at lower levels.

The Omnivore works great for unusual handguns without much holster support. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The handiest aspect of the Omnivore is being able to use it with “atypical” guns that don’t have a ton of holster support. It works great with guns like the Arex Delta Gen.2, the CZ P09, and many more good, though less popular handguns. Sadly, that seems to be a fairly small market for the Omnivore.

Do you want to review guns or be a gun writer? If you do, buy an Omnivore. It will be extremely handy in your pursuits. I’m not sure Blackhawk had us as writers in mind, but the Omnivore comes in exceptionally handy for this line of work. I love the Omnivore and think it’s a great design and works very well for my purposes. It’s surprisingly nice for it’s amazingly low price and is certainly a functional option, even if its use case seems limited.

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    • I use this holster for 3-Gun because you’re running around like a crazy person; and there’s at least one DQ every year at the annual match for someone’s gun falling out of their holster.

      This locks on very nicely to the pistol at the expense of maybe 0.10 seconds added to your draw; which for me as a “B” rank shooter isn’t going to make or break the day.

  1. Mostly use Safariland ALS holsters now for OWB concealed and open carry but lately I’ve been trying out a Blackhawk T-Series level 2 compact holster and I like it.

    • Tell us more when you’re satisfied. I’ve crossed into the world of red-dots and am considering going t-series rather than a Safariland RDS because they’re cheaper.

      Two things that keep me thinking I’ll stick with Safariland are 1)I’m already used to the mechanism and 2)they’ll work without the light attached.

      • I don’t use a pistol mounted light on the carry so that makes the choice a little different for me, so I went with the T-Series level 2 compact.

        But so far I like it. There was a short adjustment for the release method vs the Safariland but a little practice took care of that.

        The only thing I wish was a little different on it is the way they cant the front edge of the holster out away from the body so the grip will tuck in closer to the body. It does tuck the grip in but it also pushes the front away from the body some so while the height is great for me the front is not as tight in as I like it. But there is a reason for this and its acceptable – they do this so their release will not be pressed against the body and can be easily gotten to.

        Its a little different with the ALS on the Safarilands I have, they sit suitably high and tight and don’t do that and with the Safariland ALS you don’t need to get ‘behind’ the holster like you do with the Blackhawk release for the thumb because the ALS release is activated from the top and its not an inward push (towards the holster) like the Blackhawk.

        But overall I like the T-Series level 2 compact.

        • clarification:

          On the T-Series level 2 compact holster the outward cant is only present when using the regular belt loop attachment. There is a Quick Dual Release (QDR) belt loop attachment that also comes with the holster and it does not provide this cant but the whole gun sets a little farther away from the body so this attachment is not that good for the OWB concealed carry but is fine for open carry. There is also an optional CQC Paddle attachment for it, with no cant, and this works for OWB concealed.

  2. I have actually thought about buying this holster for a High Point in 45 ACP. Or even the new 10mm version. High Point is not on their list of guns. But High Point is usually just dismissed out of hand. And I’m not sure if Black Hawk even tried to see, if any of their guns would fit and work in this holster.

  3. Why is it, while looking at it, I hear a deep, mechanical voice saying :

    “You have 20 seconds to comply…” ?

    • My thought as well. I just don’t understand why so many reviewers and BroVets attach such monstrously huge lights on their handguns. The Olight PL Minis are perfect for my Glocks, and literally half the size while putting out sufficient lumens to handle any drill I’ve run thru.

      • Proven lights are proven. just because someone uses quality gear doesn’t make them a brovet.

        Olights have been nothing but junk in my experience. Ive yet to have one last more than a hundred rounds or so.

        The Minis have pitiful throw and the brightness declines so rapidly that its deceptive they advertise it as a 600 lumen light.

        The TLR1 is powerful, bright, reliable, and capable of being a very versatile tool

        • Yeah, I’ve seen a few people complain here. Yet all my WMLs and EDCs are Olights, and I’ve never experienced any of these infamous issues. On my ARs, my Glocks, my belt, etc. All of them work just fine, and have continuously since I began buying them a few years ago. And I think the magnetic charging is fantastic. I’m sure Streamlights and Surefires are quality, and thumbs up from me if you have them, but outfitting all my gunz-n-gear for half the price but all the reliability I need was good enough for me.


          BTW, if you really did buy and use a Mini and it didn’t give good light throw, then you got a dud and should have returned it for a replacement. Both of my PL Minis have always been great for me.

        • I’ve never had any problems with my OLights. I use a mixture of lights, mostly Olight and a few others (Nightstick and Streamlight and Surefire in the remaining mixture). I don’t use a light on my EDC but I have them on my home defense guns (AR’s, Glocks/Sigs, Shotguns) and on those guns with Olights I’ve fired thousands of rounds over (range) time and training and I’ve never had one of the Olights fail on me.

          I’ve got friends that use Olights on their firearms, and I see a lot of Olight on those around here who carry one on their EDC or on the range. Of course I see others from surefire and streamlight too but a lot of Olights.

          I’m not sure what people are doing to their Olights to generate these ‘complaints’. Mine had always worked, given good reliable light output and I’ve never had an issue with them.

      • because olight likely has the distinction of the only weapon-flashlight company to accidentally kill their own customer via exploding

  4. I’ve had both the TLR and non-light versions for several years. I bought a few extra mounting blocks to put on other guns so I don’t keep having to unmount them from a gun to put on another gun. This holster works very well. It is a big bulky but that doesn’t matter for what I use it for.

  5. Guess I’m a bit behind the times. I still prefer leather holsters. The polymer/plastics just don’t feel right to me. Too unyielding and blocky.
    That said, if you like the polymers, be my guest.

    • you aren’t behind the times. nothing says class like a good leather holster. I have some leather holsters I wear occasionally, I like them.

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