Gear, Parts and Accessories

Review: Blackhawk Omnivore — One Holster Fits 150+ Guns!

Light bearing (left) and regular Omnivore holsters

Not having the right holster is a problem often encountered by shooting enthusiasts and instructors. As an instructor, I often have students show up for defensive pistol classes wearing belt holsters that work fine as storage devices or for daily carry, but are insufficient and unsafe for serious training.

Many gun owners have a pistol or two that they’d like to use more, but don’t feel like spending the energy and money it takes to find the perfect holster for each gun. If you feel like one or more of these scenarios apply to you, you are reading the right article.

Light bearing (left) and regular Omnivore holsters
A comparison of the light bearing (left) and regular Omnivore holsters.

Enter the Omnivore, the new holster by Blackhawk. This Kydex device is designed to carry a wide range of firearms. More than 150 popular, as well as less-known models, can fit in this holster. It’s customized for either right- or left-handed shooters, and the light-bearing model accommodates most common rail-mounted lights. In this test, I used a Streamlight TLR-1.

I had the opportunity to test a regular left hand model and the light-bearing right hand holster. In addition to the “one size fits most guns” approach, I found the holster to be a good choice for other reasons—with just a couple minor drawbacks.

The Omnivore comes in a clamshell plastic package with written instructions and parts. That’s helpful, especially for people like me who have accumulated a series of tiny black screws that aren’t always easy to keep track of. The box, a little smaller than a typical shoebox, can keep the extras secure. It’s up to the user, however, to label what part of the holster the many extra screws are for.

Blackhawk Omnivore rail retention device
The Canik TP9 SA, wearing the rail retention device. This little tile may need to be moved forward or back on the rail in order to achieve the right depth of gun-in-holster.

Black is the only color option. The outer surface is finished in a tasteful and subtle stamped pattern with no obvious advertising. Personally, I’m happy to not have to involuntarily read advertising.

The paddle and belt attachment give the user choices on how to wear the Omnivore. The belt attachment includes snap-in spacers, called snaplocks, that allow it to fit belts from 1.0 to 1.75 inches in width. Snaplocks can also be used to create cant on the holster for those who prefer to carry with the grip angled forward.

The adventurous side of me gets a slight kick out of seeing how far I can progress with new products on my own without reading the directions. I made it only as far as attaching the belt loops and paddle to the two holsters before needing to consult the manual about what to do with the remaining loose parts. Setting up this holster for any gun takes a little time.

Thumb pads on the Omnivore holster
Showing the difference in height of thumb pads, customized for these two guns. The XD required no extension, while the TP9 needed the highest of three choices to optimize operation during the draw.

The Omnivore is a Level 2 holster, requiring intentional action on the part of the wearer to release the firearm. A rail retention device, in the form of a narrow tile of Kydex, must be secured onto the rail with two screws. It’s an easy process, but one that may require re-doing to achieve the right depth of the gun in the holster. There’s also a long, narrow, strip of Kydex that has to be snapped into the deepest part of the non-light bearing version of the Omnivore. Securing it took me a few minutes; it has to be held just so before it snaps into place.

For the light-bearing pistol, adjustment of the attachment screw that holds the TLR-1 onto the Springfield XD was required. The screw slot must be vertical for proper retention.

The device on the rail serves as the retention base on both types of Omnivore. To release the gun, the wearer must push their thumb straight down on a rubber-padded post during the initial drawing motion. Blackhawk includes three heights of thumb pads, which secure with two screws. A Springfield XD turned out to be a good fit with no thumb pad adjustments, while a Canik TP9 SA required the highest pad for an efficient draw. That was unexpected, as they’re both duty-size pistols, but a satisfactory fit was made for each.

Adjusting attachment screw on the TLR-1 light
Retention in the light-bearing model requires adjustment of the attachment screw on the light itself to vertical orientation.

Drawing from the holster took several repetitions to get accustomed to the motion, as any active retention holster requires. Once that was comfortable, I perceived no delay on the draw, regardless of whether it was from the holster with or without space for an auxiliary light.

Blackhawk obviously kept safety front of mind in the construction of the Omnivore. From the rail-connected, rock-solid retention, to the tough outer shell, gun and wearer are both protected. I didn’t perform torture tests on the holsters, but then again, if I’m ever run over by a truck, my last concern will be whether the holster cracked.

If anything, it’s overbuilt; a tad on the bulky side. That’s to be expected from a holster that fits such a wide variety of guns. It’s not heavy for its size, however, wearing one while strapped into a seatbelt for extended periods may prove uncomfortable, especially for those who already “fill out” a car seat.

top view of the thumb retention pad
The thumb pad retention release, as seen from above.

The size and superb safety features of the Omnivore seem like a bit of a message from Blackhawk, saying “we get it, we really do,” in this surely not-accidental evolution away from their embattled Serpa design. Border Patrol academies and some nationally known instructors have banned the slimmer, trimmer Serpa due to issues with negligent discharges. These incidents are mostly associated with users whose finger discipline was lacking, however there have been a couple allegedly unintended discharges due to snow or other outdoor crud packing into the release button. Retention of the pistol with a Serpa holster is via the trigger guard. Moving that business south should preclude any such problems with the Omnivore.

The light-bearing Omnivore has become the trusty companion of my bedside pistol with its weapon-mounted light. Having to go through the little motion of using the thumb release is a good consciousness check for a gun that’s set for use by deep-sleeping me.

As an instructor, I am better prepared to ensure a positive and safe experience for pistol owners who show up for class with shoddy holsters. It’s not drawing or wearing, but reholstering that presents safety issues most often. The rigid Omnivore, with its wide-open top, is quite ideal for shooters who are new to drawing and reholstering into a solid holster, one that doesn’t require risky fiddling from their non-shooting hand.

For gun enthusiasts who love their guns but haven’t gone to the trouble of properly outfitting each one, the Omnivore is a boon.

While the initial setup isn’t fast, the Omnivore is a solid, safe choice for the range that should please a lot of folks, including some departments looking to replace their Level 2 holsters. At $59.95, it’s priced very competitively in comparison to other custom-fit brands.

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We all love Blackhawk! products, but what about a holster for so many models? Is the set up worth the versatility? How about the size and durability? Share your answers in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (26)

  1. One size fits all just doesn’t fit well with me, or a Kel-Tek PF9 to a 1911? Really got to see that! Both would fit in a shoe box too.

  2. I tried one of these so I could use my TLR-1 on my XD, it was way too tight even with the screw in the right spot. It was so tight it carved out a piece from the inside of the holster. I called Blackhawk and they sent me a new unit. It was better but it was still way too tight. I ended up sending it back. My TLR-1 is still waiting for a holster…

    I am not sure how they got the XD with TLR to work in this article, mine surely would not work. Took both hands to pull the gun out of the holster even after I removed the retention device just to make sure.

  3. We would I want to compermise safety of my sidearm with the slim possibility of discharge when removing it from the holster just go get an Alian holster they seem to work the best for me and cost no where near these others. They also will give you a new kydex if you replace you gun with a different on and the kydex’s are interchangeable with the holster by removing 4 screws and the tension is adjustable the only drawback I have with mine is the don’t make a kydex for every gun but most of my 1911 style semi autos fit the same kydex with good retention and smooth pull. I carry every day and have both iwb and owb check them out

    1. “We would I compermise the safety….”
      Really? At first, I thought that an education in language and writing might be in your future, sir. I mean, who misspells the word “one”? Then I read the rest of it and you certainly know how to spell, so I guess it’s just the need to proof-read what you type! It only takes a second and you don’t look like a complete moron afterward! Try it – you’ll like it! And if you’ve got more than 8 to 10 .45 ACP’s then you’re either a collector, which is fine, or you’re out to make a name for yourself in the annals of police infamy!! Hey…good luck with that, y’all ‘hea!

    2. Who cares for a misssspelled word? Atleast come with a reply about the product after being rude about a stupid English lesson. Nice post be had at least his post referred to good product not foolish waste about spell checking..LOL…and we all should have however many guns we want! Atleast his post was about safety first and a product to check out. The the English teacher …I ask only…where was your point about the holters? Get a life and forget spellchecking!

  4. I bought the omnivore holster. I searched for two weeks to find it. While it is a quality product ,I didnot like the bulk ones of it as I like to carry concealed. There is also a slight wobble to it since it’s a free floating holster. I’d give it a 6 out of 10

  5. I an instructor and attend many schools as well, and like others I have many types of pistols. Several years ago I bit the bullet and bagged up my dozen or so Serpas and threw them in the trash. At that point no school I wanted to attend (national, local or stealthy) would allow them and there had been negligent discharges on a one of the ranges.

    Instead I purposely re-kitted to the Safariland ALS using just a thumb release and added the QLS (quick locking system) so that one holster attaches to duty belt, concealment paddle, thigh rig or body armor.

    Not an advertisement for Safariland, just acknowledgement of a superior product to the Serpa that rarely gets airtime from a blog like this.

  6. I own an Omnivore holster and like the concept alot. I was able to switch between my 1911 and my Springfield Xdm without adjusting the holster. I like the easy of operation for the release button and really appreciate the adjustable height of the release

    I did not like the quality of the holster attachment options. They are made of plastic and the on the belt attachment was cheaply made. It broke after a few hours if use. The paddle attachment is also cheaply made and did not keep the holster securely attached to my belt.

    I suggest purchasing a Blackhawk M-Lok belt attachment as gives a stronger attachment point for your belt.

  7. I love the Blackhawk Serpa holster. It seemed so instinctive to draw with my finger fully extended, that it was hard for me to understand why someone would want to “push” the button with the tip of their finger. I’m glad the author included the term “negligent discharge” regarding this rather than “accidental discharge”.

  8. This may solve the problem of having to take the firearm to a store to get a holster that fits the firearm. I have two Serpa holsters and I do like them but having to push the button in the right place and direction take some getting used too. This new Blackhawk Omnivore system may solve the problem of having a firearm that doesn’t seem to fit any holster just right, specially with a light or laser attached to the front rail section. Time will tell.

    1. It depends..I have several Fobus, Galco, and Crossbreed holsters that are made for a “specific” firearm that also accommodate other brands/models of firearms.

    1. Not all 1911 styles are without rail systems. My Rock Island 2011 Tactical 1911 has a full length rail on it.

  9. Y A W N ! Just Shooter’s Log republishing a press release that was nothing but a blatant ad for a nonsense product.

    1. Your opinion is a nonsense product. If you can’t see not only the purpose of the holster but the bonus of fitting so many pistols without having to buy a new holster, then I don’t see how intelligence wise you are able to have steady employment anywhere because you just don’t pick up on things.

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