The Blackhawk T-Series L2C – The Redeemer?

The Blackhawk SERPA holster might be one of the most controversial pieces of firearm gear ever. I remember being issued one for my Beretta M9 and thinking it was the Bee’s Knees. There was a time when they dominated the polymer holster world because they became undeniable. When Walmart sells your holster, you know you’ve made it to the top or at least dominated it. Yet, the SERPA began a slow and steady downfall and is now largely considered unsafe in the firearms world. That left a permanent stain on Blackhawk’s holster, but can the T-Series L2C redeem its name? 

The SERPA series is famously ridiculed for the push button release on the front of the holster. I remember thinking it was genius because I could release the gun with a natural firing grip. The problem was your finger was in line with the trigger, and downward pressure could continue as you drew the gun and could end with your finger on the trigger with pressure applied. Other problems included crap getting caught behind the trigger release, which made it impossible to free the gun. 

The SERPA was a pile, but Blackhawk released the T-Series, and the world was a bit cautious of it. They released numerous models for numerous guns, and I decided to give one a spin to see if the T-Series L2C would redeem the Blackhawk name in the world of holsters. 

The L2C – Redeeming Blackhawk Holsters 

The Blackhawk L2C is a ‘Level 2’ holster with an active retention device. It’s not the L2D that Blackhawk advertises as a duty holster. This model falls between the need for active retention and duty features. I picked it up for the competitive circuit as a holster I could use for whatever. I’m not competitive enough for my holster to help, and I don’t shoot often enough to improve. 

The L2C offered an active retention option, so I could use one holster for Action Steel, Steel Challenge, Run & Gun, and any other semi-casual competition I wanted to participate in. The simple system makes it attractive for a wide variety of uses. I might want to do the Tactical Games or one of my semi-local Tactical Biatholons, so the active retention might be necessary.  

The holster uses a thumb release that’s pressed inwards to release the active retention system. When you go to draw and assume a good firing grip, your thumb finds the release automatically. As you grip the gun, you pull the lever, which releases your gun. This mechanism keeps things simple and allows you to defeat the retention mechanism without thinking much about it. 

The L2C uses a pair of wings to protect the button so that it’s tough to access unless you’re wearing the gun. An attack from behind or the front will have a hard time pressing the release and accessing the firearm. 

Running and Gunning  

Learning the draw took a little time. Admittedly, going fast will show you problems with your grip. When your thumb painfully hits one of those wings, you realize you weren’t practicing a proper grip on your draw. Pain is a great teacher, and my thumbs hurt enough to teach me that proper grip. With a good grip, the gun is easy to draw and slides smoothly and soundlessly from the holster. 

The L2C gives the gun up without complaint when it’s drawn and allows for a clean and easy draw. In time and with practice, I got my draw down to 1.25 seconds with a hit on a 2-inch circle at 5 yards. With a little more practice, I think I can break the one-second mark. 

The L2C offers a number of different attachment methods. This includes a belt and paddle, as well as a mid-ride attachment with a thigh strap. I went with the mid-ride attachment, and it’s just perfect. There is some room for adjustment to raise and lower the height, but it ended up falling perfectly into that Goldilocks zone for me. 

The L2C is red dot ready, and there are numerous light-bearing options as well. Red dot ready was important to me, and one of the big reasons I went with the L2C was the generous cut to accommodate my SIG ROMEO2. It’s a big optic, so I need a big cut. 

Long Lasting 

I’ve been using this holster for nearly a year with my Sig P320. It’s been my go-to for quite some time and has provided me with a very solid holster system. I’ve yet to run into malfunctions or flaws with the rig. Nothing has come loose, faltered, or failed. And the button seems well protected, unlike the original SERPA design. 

Has Blackhawk been redeemed in the holster world? That’s up for you to decide, but the L2C and the T-Series as a whole seem to be fantastic options for the modern era. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.