Blackhawk T-Series L2C Overt Holster
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As I mentioned in another article, I’ve been struggling a bit to find accessories for my M&P 10mm. It turns out that, at least for most things, the key is to buy things that work with the M&P in .45 ACP, which is another gun that’s harder to find accessories for (can you tell I’m an M&P junkie?). After upgrading the recoil spring, my next move was to find some holsters.

Next week, I’ll review some concealed carry holsters, but one of the first things I got for the M&P 10mm was something for carrying out in the desert or into the woods. One place I like to go is home to quite a few mountain lions and there’s the occasional bear attack, too. So I ended up looking for something I’m familiar with: Blackhawk holsters.

Why I Decided To Give It A Try

Everyone seems to have an opinion on Blackhawk, mostly do their SERPA holsters. Back before feds started hurting themselves with them and military members saw them get clogged with sand and some of the cheaper models break off their mounts, I really enjoyed using Blackhawk holsters in law enforcement.

If you put the reps in and tested yourself with a shot timer, it was pretty easy to figure out why people were hooking triggers and putting lead in legs. If you can keep your finger flat and let it slide onto the frame of the gun, it’s not a problem. If you decide to push in with the fingertip, you can end up with problems.

So, I put the problem mostly on users who didn’t put the reps in, while admitting that the design was one that lent itself to making mistakes if you don’t.

Blackhawk T-Series L2C Overt Holster
The M&P 10mm in the L2C, with an old SERPA duty holster holding my SIRT laser pistol. The newer L2C construction is significantly tougher and thicker than the Level 2 Duty SERPA.

Despite my fond memories and my stubbornness, I understand the issue. Range safety officers and people running events/classes have no way of knowing whether someone had put the repetitions in under stress, so they had to ban them to avoid safety problems. They can’t take people’s word for it. I get that. Plus, the sand issue is real, even in the tougher duty holsters that don’t break.

But I heard about the new Blackhawk T-Series holsters. Not only were they all built tougher, but they also switched the button position to free the gun up from the trigger finger to the thumb, and engineered it so that when it does get gummed up with sand or mud, it locks into the open position, so you’ll still be able to get at your gun.

Even better, it fits all of my full-size M&P pistols, has room for suppressor height sights, and is contoured so that an optic won’t be a problem later. Just as important, it’s made from thicker plastic than the old SERPA duty holsters were, which means it won’t break if you snag it on something or run into something (or have someone try for a grab).

Dry Fire Practice

I figured out right quick that the holster would take some work to get used to. Unlike the SERPA, the thumb button isn’t in as natural a position, but it’s positioned in just the right place for the thumb to be during a draw. It’s very close to what I was already doing, and only requires a little bit of adjustment, while the rest of the grip is just as you’d want for firing.

To get some reps in and build muscle memory, I decided to switch to my SIRT pistol, a gun that’s shaped and weighted just like a 9mm or .40 S&W M&P pistol, but shoots lasers instead of bullets. Using the LASR-X App (a web app that watches for your laser shots and times you), I was able to do a bunch of repetitions with some time pressure.

Initially, I fumbled it. Times to shoot were over 2.5 seconds. I kept getting the thumb wrong, and would have to get it right before I could draw. But, after several dozen reps, muscle memory built up and I started getting my thumb in the right spot. (Note to female shooters: trim your thumbnail before trying this, because it’ll hurt if you don’t)

After I got used to it, I started doing close-in point shooting and failure drills with OK times. I’m no competition shooter, but I was able to get the first shots down to just over a second with a little work. This was just an hour of practice, and I can tell there’s plenty of room for improvement with more practice time on that thumb button. The times I got reflect on the shooter more than the holster, in other words.

Blackhawk T-Series L2C Overt Holster
A screenshot from the LASR-X software. The appliance box served as a torso and the milk jug served as a head for today’s dry fire testing. The drill was two point shots from retention followed by an aimed shot to the milk jug. Blue and red dots indicate the shot locations. The cat does not seem amused that the laser keeps disappearing before she can chase it.

Final Thoughts

I’m going to do my dry-fire work before I go for times with the holster on the range, but it worked great for target shooting and didn’t give me any problems at all with the 10mm doing a few draws. I have no reason to believe it won’t work great for the M&P 10mm going forward.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the T-Series L2C. It’s tough, it has all of the issues of the SERPA holsters worked out, and (with some work) that extra retention doesn’t get in the way of drawing the gun in a hurry.

Gear is no substitute for training in retention techniques, but having that little extra margin of safety gives you a little more time to get your hand on top of theirs, which could make a big difference if you ever carry openly in town or on trips to states with no reciprocity that aren’t California or New York.

I’d recommend the holster to people with similar needs and wants as mine.

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  1. Yiah, no offense intended but based on prior history Imma hold back a while and see if, or how many, collect a peg leg before I make a decision.

    Don’t need any new OWB holsters anyway, my Ragnarok’s and Safariland’s are more than satisfactory.

    • Again, read the article. The T series uses a THUMB activated button, not an index finger that could lead to an ND. Takes even less training than a leather thumb break holster.

      • I read the article just fine, and you can’t seemingly recognize a ribbing. Here, /s.

        I went far out of my way to find other reviews before commenting, including this gem of a commentary.

        “About 400 rounds later — through a withering flurry of draw-holster-draw drills with a mean-as-hell former Marine ninja instructor — about 90 percent of the time I got the G17 out, on target and a hole in paper no problem. All other instances were just delays in getting my hand in the proper draw stroke position or fumbling too fast on the clock.”

        Emphasis mine. Partly the same complaint being made here. 90% success rate, not good enough when my life is on the line. Period.

        You have some sort of personal investment in the success of this holster? Because it certainly reads like it.

  2. So a holster that requires hours of practice so you don’t shoot your self in the leg. I have some plastic but mostly leather that work just fine.

    • If you’d read the article, you’d have seen that the T series is a thumb break action with no more likelihood of a ND than any other holster. The index finger isn’t used to activate anything. Unless you already have terrible trigger discipline, this is as good a holster as any that covers the trigger guard. Having carried it for years on duty now, I can say it’s intuitive and has great retention to prevent a gun grab. What’s more, it’s even simpler to reholster and still have positive retention in a fluid situation.

  3. Makes little to no sense buying and training to use such a holster when a simple careless act can place an extra hole in a person. Training in a safe environment is no guarantee of safety in the heat of the moment. There seems to be enough training without adding additional training for a particular holster.
    However, the old adage of different strokes for different folk still exist.

    • After watching several videos and reading CannotComply’s comments I must say I agree with CannotComply for the T2 is merely a thumb break and training for using should be at a minimum. It appears to be in a natural position for the thumb to easily access and manipulate. I prefer the convenience of Cardini paddle holsters but the belt quick connect accessory is a good option too.

  4. I use Simply Rugged holsters. Retention is good. No buttons to press. All leather. Can purchase with a retention strap and can be configured for IWB, but I just wear it OWB under an untucked shirt. Paired with the 1.5″ belt, the pancake holsters distribute weight well. I wear a .357 revolver or Glock 32 all day with no problems. And you can get one for the M&P .45 ACP. They start at $80 and take up to a month to deliver, but they are worth it.

  5. I own a T Series light bearing holster for my P320 with a TLR1 combo its essentially a rip off of the Safariland ALS. To the people who have a bad taste in their mouth due to it being a Blackhawk holster I understand the hesitancy. In my view Blackhawk should completely discontinue the SERPA and offer the T Series for more guns besides Glocks, P320s and M&Ps. YMMV

    • No, in point of fact the T-Series release mechanism is in no way similar to Safariland’s ALS. The ALS switch is pulled to the rear to release. On the T-Series, you squeeze your thumb inboard. It is as natural as grasping for a Coke can, or cup of coffee. Any time you grab something, you squeeze inboard with your thumb. That is what makes the T-Series so intuitive.

  6. I’ve had a T Series for years and I can confidently say it’s one of the best holsters on the market, rivaling the ALS at half the price. I have absolutely no idea how the author struggled with the thumb release because it’s in a *perfect* position for a very natural grip and drawstroke.

    The T Series has been around for several years now and I don’t understand why Blackhawk doesn’t market it more aggressively. They’ve got a real winner on their hands

  7. @Jennifer Sensiba

    “Things That Don’t Suck: Blackhawk T-Series L2C Overt Holster Kit”

    I’m a little mystified as to why this article is titled like this.

    T-Series L2C holster offers the duty rated reliability of T-Series in a compact concealable design.”

    Its their L2C concealable design holster on a belt in your article pics. Its an OWB concealable design belt holster. The pic with your article shows it on a belt. Its not, what you show in your pics, according to the blackhawk marketing verbiage from the link provided in your article, ‘overt’ but rather by its nature of intended ‘concealable’ as an OWB design belt holster and by that nature being concealable it is ‘covert’. Are you considering it ‘overt’ because its an OWB holster that could be worn not concealed like a thousand others on the market?

    So where is the “Overt Holster Kit” part at in the pic you provided with the article? You just show the holster in its normal ‘concealable’ OWB concealable design belt holster.

    Blackhawk does have a ‘kit’ for this holster, but you don’t show it. It is ranger (e.g. olive drab) green and not black, the holster in your pics is black.

    Ranger Green T-Series L2C Overt Gun Belt Holster Kit

    T-Series L2C is our premier duty rated, thumb activated, compact holster kit with a jacket slot and leg strap attachment. The T-Series L2C is made for the mission.”

    The pics you provide are not the “Blackhawk T-Series L2C Overt Holster Kit”.

    Which holster configuration are you using and writing about … the ‘L2C Overt Gun Belt Holster Kit’, or the “T-Series L2C holster offers the duty rated reliability of T-Series in a compact concealable design.” ?

    • There is a regular L2C, an L2C Overt and an L2C Overt in Ranger Green. The author appears to have the L2C Overt on her gun belt, except she doesn’t have the provided leg strap mounted on it.

  8. OK, a pet peeve here. If the thumb release is important, show it! Turn the holster over, and take a picture so we can see it.

  9. “at least for most things, the key is to buy things that work with the M&P in .45 ACP, which is another gun that’s harder to find accessories for”

    MANY holsters/etc that are labeled for M&P 9mm/.40 will also fit .45. Perhaps make the label too long? Try for fit.

  10. For me personally plastic holsters are just to uncomfortable because they do not bend with the body. The soft suede holster I find the most comfortable and concealable too.

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